The Out Islands



All the islands other than New Providence and Grand Bahama are referred to as the Out Islands (also known as the Family Islands). They include Abaco, Andros, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, the Exumas and San Salvador, but there are oodles more. Life on the islands moves at a leisurely pace and offers a lot of relaxation but little in the way of entertainment, shopping or restaurants.

Although the major islands have their own airports, the smaller islands can only be reached by boat or seaplane. Many of the more remote islands have only rudimentary and often vastly overpriced accommodations and services, and getting around can be a challenge because of the lack of available cars to rent and inadequate taxi service.

Among the more remote islands that are most accessible, Acklins and Crooked Island offer bonefishing, scenic beaches, snorkeling and historic sites. The Berry Islands have underwater rock formations, an offshore shipwreck and the Great Stirrup Cay Lighthouse. On Berry, Chub Cay is a private fishing and diving resort that provides isolation, snorkeling and great wall and drop-off diving in very clear water.

Diving is also the attraction at Long Island, which has underwater wrecks and shark feeding. Stella Maris Resort, in the north, specializes in diving, including shark dives. On land, there are limestone caves to explore as well as two pretty whitewashed churches designed by Father Jerome Hawes, and the famous Dean's Blue Hole, site of a biannual international freediving competition, near lovely Clarence Town in the south.

Great Inagua contains a national park that functions as a breeding ground for pink flamingos. More than 50,000 flamingos and many other bird species are found there, but access is limited. Arrangements must be made through the National Trust in Nassau, and visitors must be accompanied by a guide.

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