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Mayaguana

Photo © jmered2

Travel Guide Caribbean Bahamas Mayaguana

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Introduction

Mayaguana is the most southeasterly, least developed, and most unspoiled of the Bahamas' inhabited islands. It is 43 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide at its widest. The population is 300.

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Geography

About 100 kilometres north of Great Inagua and 560 kilometres southeast of the capital Nassau, Mayaguana is considered the halfway point between South Florida and Puerto Rico and is about 450 nautical miles off Palm Beach, Florida. It is a popular stopover for boaters on a direct route to the eastern Caribbean. It also was one of the first islands that Christopher Columbus landed on during his journey to the new world.

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Settlements

  • Abraham's Bay
  • Betsy Bay
  • Pirates Well

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Sights and Activities

Mayaguana remains one of the most pristine and untouched islands in the Bahamas. Yet the island – home to beautiful beaches, unique wildlife and world-class fishing – has never fully reached its development potential. Most tourists who visit, do so for the unspoiled essence of the island. Visitors can also enjoy scuba diving, bonefishing, snorkeling, white crown pigeon hunting and bird watching. The eastern part of the island is a popular area for persons who are interested in crabbing (catching local island crabs) off-trail bikers.

Ecotourism is also a growing spectrum. Booby Cay is home to hundreds of indigenous species of iguanas only to Mayaguana. There is also an interesting species of Booby birds that is also found on a separate cay on the northern side of Mayaguana. Blackwood Point, located in upper Pirates Well is where one would find Bahamian flamingo feeding year round.

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Weather

Mayaguana has a pleasantly warm but humid climate. Compared to Caribbean islands more to the south, there are some differences regarding temperatures, mainly because it is somewhat colder during the wintermonths of November to April. Generally though, temperatures are high, with summer maximum temperatures averaging around 30 °C and minimum temperatures around 24 °C. During the wintermonths temperatures are about 5 °C lower. The rainy season lasts from May to October, with September and October being the wettest months. This is also the time (especially from August to October) when hurricanes are a possibility.

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Getting There

By Plane

Bahamas Air flies to the island from Nassau three times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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Getting Around

Although much of the island remains untouched and lacks roads, many hiking, diving, and fishing destinations are too spread out to reach on foot. Car rentals are an informal affair as the locals simply rent out their private vehicles.

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Eat

Mayaguana is a seafood paradise. Many types of tropical fish are caught fresh daily by the locals. Fresh conch and lobster from the reef also make a welcome addition to the rice, beans, and chicken that form a large part of the local diet.

Although the island farms are not producing to the extent of the past, the land is extremely fertile and locals grow limited amounts of their own watermelon, sweet potatoes, peanuts, corn, and peas as well as an assortment of other fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Drink

Have a beer with the locals at Velva and Elvin's place in Pirates Well - 1(242)339-3068.

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Sleep

If you are interested in meeting and living with the locals (highly recommended!), you will get the experience if you decide to stay anywhere other than the Baycaner with its semblance of a "resort" type atmosphere - and even at the Baycaner you can obviously arrange opportunities to immerse yourself in the local community.

  • Baycaner Beach Resort (Pirate's Well). Although not a "resort" in relative comparison to those of Mayaguana's sister islands, the Baycaner is directly on the water, does accept credit cards, and is run by a friendly islander nicknamed "Shorty."
  • Paradise Villas (Abraham's Bay), ☎ +1 242 339-3065. Simple but clean air conditioned rooms as well as a restaurant and chef who will gladly cook up the day's catch and add a little rice and beans for good measure. Dootch, brother of the owner, lives at the villas and owns a small skiff which he uses to dive for conch and explore the reef in Abraham's Bay. If you've come to Mayaguana to fish or dive, Dootch will be glad to take you out for some exciting adventures. Note that the villas are not directly on the water and are a 5-10 minute walk from the "pier" in Abraham's Bay.

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Mayaguana Travel Helpers

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This is version 2. Last edited at 8:28 on Jul 28, 17 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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