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The Abacos


With 193 kilometres (120 miles) of ocean highway, lined by a string of inhabited and uninhabited cays, the Abaco Islands are a destination for sailors. The most recognizable landmark is Elbow Reef Lighthouse, located on Elbow Cay. Before its beacon illuminated the way (and before modern navigation), these islands were treacherous for the uninitiated. Hundreds of Spanish galleons made their final voyage to the bottom of the ocean during the colonial past. Sailors have no cause for worry anymore, but the past still shapes the culture of the islands. In its architecture, its politics, and pace of life, Abaco’s appeal is its constancy. The lighthouse, after all, is still manually operated—one of the last in the world.

The Candy-striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse on Elbow Cay – Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Quick Facts

Area: 650 sq. miles
Population: 17,224 persons
Highest Point: 120 feet
Location: approximately 55 miles north of New Providence and less than 200 miles east of Florida
Origin of the Name: The origin of the island's name is unknown.

Nearby Places