The Abacos are a group of islands and cays that form a 120-mile–long chain stretching over 650 square miles. The coastlines are scalloped with bays, coves and protected harbours that feature full-service marinas and resorts. Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the "mainland." Marsh Harbour has a lively downtown area with all city amenities. Treasure Cay boasts miles of pristine beaches, including one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Elbow Cay and Green Turtle Cay are old English loyalist settlements, where your'll find beautifully preserved colonial architecture with a touch of Bahamian pastels, of course. And Guana Cay is famous for Sunday barbecues atop the island's tall sand dune, which overlooks a magnificent 7-mile–long beach.
The Abacos are one of the world's top boating and sailing destinations and have been The Bahamas' boating capital since colonial times. The number and variety of islands make this an island hopper's paradise.
Elbow Cay is home to The Abacos' most famous landmark—candy-striped Elbow Reef Lighthouse in Hope Town, built in 1862. It stands at 89 feet and is one of only a handful of manually operated lighthouses in the world.
The tradition of building boats by hand (without plans) has been passed down for centuries in The Abacos. Some residents of Man-O-War Cay, known as the islands' boat-building centre, still practice that trade, and are renowned for their superior workmanship.
British Loyalists left the United States after the American Revolution ended to establish homesteads in The Abacos. The Loyalist heritage remains strong and their presence is still noticeable today in the colonial style homes of Hope Town and New Plymouth.