With over 700 islands to choose from, targeting just one destination in the Bahamas for a private luxury yacht charter might appear daunting. No need to fret. Anywhere you pitch a dart on a Caribbean map will land you in absolute heaven, with beautiful water, soft sand, a pleasant climate, and warm welcomes. If an escape is truly your choice, however, the Bahamaian out islands known as The Abacos are an excellent destination.
The Abacos Islands are a stunning collection of treasures strung out to the west of Grand Bahama Island, a short 45-minute flight from the US mainland. Home to the third largest coral reef in the world, and famous for its sport fishing, scuba diving, fine sand beaches, and lavish hospitality, the Abacos offer a true taste of Caribbean culture along with a healthy dose of authentic cuisine, historic settlements, and incredible natural gifts. This seven-day itinerary is simply an example, but similar options embracing other out islands, with variable length, are easily arranged.
Day 1: Marsh Harbour – A quick flight from Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, Marsh Harbour reportedly boasts the only working traffic light in all the out islands. Collecting traffic for several marinas and an abundance of restaurants, bars, and hotels, the city makes an efficient and interesting launch for a fabulous escape. Plan a celebratory evening getting settled on your private luxury yacht charter, perhaps dressing for dinner on board with a bottle of fine Champagne to match the mood.
Day 2: Trading your tux and evening attire for a swimsuit and sandals, cruise north to Treasure Cay for fishing: bonefish, marlin, tuna, barracuda, wahoo, or any of the great Caribbean game fish are abundant. A sip at the Tipsy Seagull might also be in order, along with a quick trip to Abaco Ceramics for their signature white clay pottery. Then carry on to the Green Turtle Cay town of New Plymouth, where two marinas greet you at the north end, along with an exceptionally beautiful scene at Coco Beach with its graceful casuarina pines. Fabulous for fishing, diving, and sunning, Green Turtle Cay is also a fun onshore excursion for casual dining and live local music.
Day 3: Great Guana Cay is a narrow slip of sand with a superb Atlantic side beach favored by loggerhead and hawksbill turtles. The elkhorn and staghorn coral reef makes a delightful underwater adventure for snorkeling or diving. Although only inhabited by 150 full time residents, the island celebrates the good life, and enjoys a festive reputation. Join in the fun at Nippers Bar and Grill, or up the scale just a bit at their fine dining option, Overso. Sundays host a pig roast, and Fridays feature Conch in the Bag, but every day features a smile and a sip. Dress is casual.
Day 4: Man O War Cay is the flip side of Great Guana, being very conservative, as well as dry with regard to beverage service. A lovely Loyalist settlement, the native population remains steadfastly committed to the British Crown. Peaceful, friendly, and clean, it is a charming, authentic, Caribbean scene.
Day 5: Hope Town on Elbow Cay is another typical New England style town, replete with its candy-striped lighthouse built in 1863. The Tahiti Beach area at the south end of the island is the place to head for swimming. Pelican Cays National Park offers protected aquatic and avian nature viewing at its best. Should you feel like an onshore excursion, dinner and drinks at the Harbour Lodge’s Reef Bar and Grill has a decent menu. Consider arranging a private gourmet beach picnic as a divine alternative.
Day 6: Little Harbour offers some fabulous bonefishing along the Bight of Old Robinson, and some terribly interesting abandoned pirate caves that invite a curious explore beneath the cliffs. After a casual day on board, or water play with sea turtles and an amazing show of coral on the reef, tender in to Pete’s Pub where a continuous event calendar celebrates all manner of fetes, with live music and a Blaster, a house drink favorite guaranteed to bring a smile.
Day 7: Head back to Marsh Harbour, devouring the view to savor until your next excursion, maybe including a visit to John Bull for a little bling or a new Rolex. Doubtfully your last experience, it is certain you’ll want to return again and again.