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Andros in the Bahamas

Map of Andros, Bahamas
Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas (100 miles long and 40 miles wide) and one of the least explored. The island's roughly 8000 residents live in about a dozen settlements on the eastern shore from Morgan's Bluff in the north to Mars Bay in the south.

The Andros Barrier Reef is the largest reef system in the Bahamas and the world's third largest reef. Andros is famous for their variety and beauty of diving and snorkeling possibilities as well as for bonefishing.

The island is also a good ecotourism spot with snorkeling, blue hole exploration, sea kayaking and nature hikes. There are more than a dozen small lodges on the eastern shore of this Bahamas island which cater to the vacationer.

If you plan a vacation on Andros Island, look on the Andros Island Hotels website for further information and booking possibilities.

Andros in the Bahamas is also famous for its Androsia Batik, which are colorful island-made fabrics. The Androsia Batik Works Factory is situated in Andros Town. A shop is next to the factory were you can buy the colorful fabrics and other souvenirs.

Andros' land mass is carved up by myriad channels, creeks, lakes and mangrove-covered cays. The North, Middle and South Bight cut through the width of Andros, creating boating access to both coasts.

Andros, Bahamas
Andros undeveloped West Side adjoins the Great Bahama Bank, a vast shallow-water haven for lobster and game fish. Immense bays, tiny sloughs and mangrove swamps snake in and out of the chalk-color shoreline.

Andros lush green interior is covered with wild orchids and dense pine and mahogany forests. The forests provides nesting grounds for parrots, partridges, quail, pigeons and whistling ducks.

Farming and commercial fishing are the mainstays of the economy in Andros and the island is the country's largest source of fresh water.

There are four airports on Andros. One in North Andros, the Andros Town airport in Central Andros, the South Andros airport in Congo Town and the airport in Mangrove Cay.

You should check with your hotel for the closest airport. Several small airlines including Bahamasair, Western Air or Lynx Air have flights from Nassau. Daily charter service is also available from Ft Lauderdale, Florida to Andros Town and Freeport, Grand Bahama, to all four airports.

There are also four mail boats which leaves Nassau and drives to the major settlements in Andros on a weekly basis. The boat ride is between 2.5 and 5.5 hours.

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Interesting Sights on Andros

Beaches in Andros
The island is basically divided into three main parts. First there is North Andros which reaches from Nicholl's Town to Cargill Creek in the south. Then there is the little island of Mangrove Cay in the middle and South Andros from Driggs Hill to Mars Bay. Mangrove Cay and South Andros are connected by a government ferry service which run twice a day.

In North Andros is the main settlement Nicholl's Town with about 600 inhabitants. This community has stores for supplies and groceries, a few motels, a public medical clinic and small restaurants.

A few miles north is a crescent beach and a headland known as Morgan's Bluff. This is the site of the All Andros Crabfest in June, an annual party with crafts fair, sailboat races, live music and plenty of Bahamas food and drinks.

Androsia Batik, Bahamas
Several miles south of Nicholl's Town lies Conch Sound, a wide protected bay with long strands of white sand and tranquil waters, ideal for swimmers and bonefishers.

Batik fabric called Androsia is made in Andros Town, a small community in central Andros on the south side of Fresh Creek. This brilliantly coloured fabric is designed and dyed at the Androsia Batik Works Factory, a 3 miles drive from the airport.

You can visit the factory and see how the material is made and take lessons in the art of batik. Batik fabrics is turned into wall hangings and clothing for men and women, which are sold throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean and is popular with the locals, too. Adjacent to the fabric is also a store where you can buy the fabrics and other souvenirs.

Blue Hole, Andros, Bahamas

A couple of miles north of Andros Town lies Fresh Creek. Fresh Creek is a small hamlet with a few restaurants along the waterfront, several boat docks, a small hotel and a couple of shops and offices.

Fresh Creek is a good place to explore Captain Bill's Blue Hole, where you can enjoy a picnic and a cooling swim. The way from Fresh Creek is also a nice 6 miles bicycle ride.

The creek with the same name cuts over 16 miles into the island, creating tranquil bonefishing flats and mangrove lined bays that can be explored by boaters and sea kayakers.

Just off Fresh Creek and Andros Town lies the Andros Barrier Reef. The Reef is a heaven for snorkelers, divers and fishermen.

Snorkelers can explore such reefs as the Three Sisters, where visibility is clear 15 feet to the sandy floor and jungles of coral snake up to the surface. Divers can delve into the 60-foot-deep coral caves of the Petrified Forest. Beyond the wall slopes down to a depths of 6000 feet into the Tongue of the Ocean.

Anglers can charter boats to fish offshore or over the reef and bonefishers can wade the flats on their own in Fresh Creek.

Bonefishing in Andros, Bahamas
Remote Mangrove Cay is sandwiched between two sea-green bights, separating it from north and south Andros and creating an island of black coral shorelines, gleaming deserted beaches and dense pine forests.

Moxey Town rests on the north-east corner in a coconut grove. Pink piles of conch shells and mounds of porous sponges dot the small harbor of this commercial fishing community. The flats around the settlement attracts anglers on their search for giant bonefish as well as fly-fishers who can wade on hard sand flats with lots of starfish.

The Victoria Point Blue Hole is good for snorkeling and diving and there are a number of pristine spots which are good for looking for birds or wild orchids.

The island's main road runs along coconut tree shaded beaches to Lisbon Creek. From there a free government ferry makes trips twice daily across the South Bight to Driggs Hill on South Andros.

A kayaking tour at South Bight on the Lisbon Creek and the various cays is surely a highlight of the island Andros.

Driggs Hill, on South Andros, is a small settlement of pastel houses, a tiny church, a grocery store, the government dock and a resort.

A mile south is the Congo Town airport. Further south, The Bluff settlement sprawls atop a hill overlooking miles of golden beaches, lush cays and the Tongue of the ocean.

For more information about diving and snorkeling sites on Andros visit the Bahamas Dive and Snorkeling site.

If you plan a vacation on Andros Island, look on the Andros Island Hotels website for further information and booking possibilities.

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