Online Travel Guide To Bahamas Out Islands
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Surrounded by lovely, clear waters, full of exotic tropical flora and fauna, and steeped in a history of maritime activity and discovery, the Bahamas out islands offer a unique and exciting vacation without the expense and crowds of a tourist trap.

Lovely pink-sanded beaches line Harbour Island, renowned for its beauty and romantic atmosphere. Visit Dunmore Town, named after the 18th century royal governor, and see the Bahamas' oldest Anglican church, St. John's. Take a dive or charter a boat for some fishing in these waters, known to be clear and blue. Expert anglers may wish to enter the annual Harbour Island billfish tournament. Many shops sell art, jewelry, and souvenirs to take home.

More than a hundred small islands and tiny cays make up the crescent moon-shaped Berry Islands, most of them uninhabited. The main settlement, Bullock's Harbour, contains several shops and a supermarket. Bonefishing flats abound on Anderson Cay and Money Cay. Stay and the Chub Cay Marina and Resort for great sportfishing and fresh seafood daily. Take a dive into the waters, especially clear around this area, and explore the coral reefs and underwater fauna, maybe even catching sight of a sea turtle.

Historians tell of Christopher Columbus sailing down between the Crooked and Acklins Islands and being attracted by the sweet aroma of the indigenous herbs. Now known as the "Fragrant Islands," Crooked and Acklins offer splendid fishing and diving sites as well as historical relics. Marine Farm, conjectured to once have served as a fortification, and Hope Great House, remain preserved by the Bahamas National Trust Fund on Crooked Island. Visit the famous Bird Rock Lighthouse on Crooked Island and the Castle Island Lighthouse on Acklins Island, both built in the 19th century.

The third-largest island in the Bahamas, Inagua prospers from the salt harvest. For bird-lovers, Inagua contains huge flocks of pink flamingos, one of the largest populations of the rare Bahama parrot, and other species such as herons, egrets, owls, and hundreds more. This island remains relatively secluded, so enjoy the quiet bird watching without crowds. Though few beaches allow for sunning and swimming, visitors go to Matthew Town and enjoy the weather in the many small parks. A magnificent sight, the Morton Salt Company presents an alluring attraction with its 2,000 acres of crystallizing ponds and over 34,000 acres of reservoirs, which creates a rich, briny feeding ground for the flamingos.

Living up to its name, Long Island measures nearly 80 miles long with a population of 5,500. A jewel of the Bahamas, Long Island displays a wealth of natural beauty with iridescent coral reefs, white limestone cliffs, mangrove swamps, and salt-producing flatlands. In the 18th and 19th century, more than 4,000 acres of plantations covered the land. Today, tourism continues to rise as sailing enthusiasts, divers, snorklers, and fishing experts flock to this island. Cape Santa Maria lies at the northern tip, known for its beautiful white beaches. Nearby at Columbus Cove, a plaque commemorates Columbus's historical landing. Southwards, Stella Maris hosts the Stella Maris Resort Club, a luxurious place with shopping complexes, yacht club, and marina. Annually, the residents celebrate the Long Island Regatta at Salt Pond, attracting contestants from all over the island with a huge party complete with a pig roast.

San Salvador became etched into history when Christopher Columbus claimed the land for Spain in 1492. A cross stands erected at Fernandez Bay, symbolizing his approximate landing spot, and an underwater monument marks where his ship, the Santa Maria, anchored. The New World Museum, near the east coast, displays artifacts of the Lucayan Indians who lived there before European influence. The Riding Rock Resort and Marina presents a diver's dream with three dives a day to offshore reefs that teem with marine life. For somewhere upscale, the Club Med-Columbus Isle measures 80 acres near the beachfront.

Rum Cay, reportedly named after a wrecked ship with a cargo of rum, originally boasted the name of Santa Maria de Concepcion, given by Columbus when he made his second stop. Offering plenty of pristine white beaches and rolling hills, this island makes a beautiful place for boating. Another favorite sailing spot, Mayaguana lies eastwards of the Bahamas chain. Fish abound in these clear waters.

For a truly exotic vacation without the hustle and bustle of the busier locations, plan a trip to the Bahamas out islands. Charter a boat, or bring out your own vessel, and sail these lovely turquoise waters and enjoy a taste of Bahamian life on these many islands and cays.

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