Mayaguana Island Bahamas
The easternmost island in the Bahamas archipelago, Mayaguana lies half way between South Florida and Puerto Rico. Approximately 450 nautical miles southeast of Palm Beach, Mayaguana boasts a year round tropical climate and a tranquil, island atmosphere. Mayaguana Island, an Arawak Indian name, is the least developed and most isolated of the family islands. With unspoiled beaches and excellent scuba diving and fishing, Mayaguana Island offers a quiet and relaxing getaway for vacationers.
Mayaguana Island was uninhabited until 1812, when people began to migrate from the nearby Turks Islands. Located 60 miles north of Inagua, Mayaguana Island is a popular stopover for yachtsmen on a direct route to the Caribbean.
Of all the Out Islands, this is the most “out” as well as the least developed and visited. This eastern-most island boasts large stands of lignum vitae and other hardwoods, at least two fine anchorages for yachtsmen, magnificent beaches and superb duck hunting.
Mayaguana’s main settlements are Betsy Bay, Pirates Well and Abraham’s Bay.
Still retaining its aborigine name and populated mostly by fishermen and farmers, Mayaguana’s main settlements are Betsy Bay, Pirates Well and Abraham’s Bay. All three are truly old-time Bahamian in spirit and appearance.
The deep Atlantic waters surrounding Mayaguana are rich in conch, fish and shipwrecks. The island’s unofficial coat-of-arms bears a Spanish coin, evoking the long-ago era when treasure-laden galleons sailed through on their way to Spain.
Mayaguana’s lone airstrip is part of the former U.S. missile tracking station used in the early days of space exploration. The base closed but the airstrip is still used by Bahamasair and private aircraft.
Mayaguana Island is home to 312 locals who live in 3 quaint settlements; Pirate’s Well on the north coast, Abraham’s Bay on the south coast, and Betsy’s Bay on the west coast. Another inhabitant is the Bahama hutia — a cross between a rat and a rabbit that was thought to be extinct until the mid-1960s. Most people make a living fishing and farming the fertile soil of this woody terrain. The main form of communication on Mayaguana Island is the mail boat, which transports the mail once a week.
Nature lovers will enjoy the fact that the island has an ecological significance, being home to tropical birds like the West Indian Flamingo and the Booby. (A type of gannet that breed on the small cays offshore of the main island) Other wildlife includes osprey and iguanas. An important venue for nesting sea turtles, the eastern half of the island is completely undeveloped. This side of the island is attractive to those extreme hikers that enjoy the challenge of hiking without developed trails.
Get out in the sun and enjoy peaceful beaches surrounded by a spectacular diving reef. And if you want to check out the local life, visit the shops, bars and restaurants in the three main settlements — Abraham’s Bay, Betsy Bay and Pirate’s Well.