Abacos or Exumas???

Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 05:16 PM
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Abacos or Exumas???

We are trying to decide between these two island groups. We are looking to rent a house on the beach in May...two couples traveling together. We saw some places that looked good on Guana Cay...is that a good choice in the Abacos or should we be looking at Great Exuma. We want great beaches, some restaurants and a few places to go for drinks. We also want to rent a boat and beach hop. I really want that beautiful crystal clear water. Which group would be best for us? Also, if anyone coudl recommend a nice house that would be great too.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Wow! That's a tough choice between the two. Exuma is beautiful, especially if you rent a car and travel from miles south of Georgetown, and see miles of empty white sand beaches. We always stayed at the Peace & Plenty Beach Inn or the downtown P & P. The free boat ride to Stocking Island was nice. However, if you visit the Abacos and stay in the outer cays, like Great Guana Cay, you can rent a golf cart and island explore. Definately go to Nippers for neat meals, Bahamian drinks and entertainment. Nippers also has a pig roast that's to die for on thte weekends. OK, here's the winner for my choice of the Abacos. You can rent a boat (Boston Whaler) and visit a line of outlying cays from Guana. If you stay at the Dolphin Beach Resort, you can tie your rental boat up there. On one side of Guana is the Atlantic, which can kick up at times. On the other side of Guana (a couple hundred feet walk) is the Sea Of Abaco, which is where you'll do your boating in. We stayed at Lubber's Quarters Cay off of Hopetown (Elbow Cay) and took our boat to Hopetown every day. Then, we hit Tahiti Beach on the way back to Lubbers. Also, definately purchase the book The Cruising Guide To Abaco" by Steve Dodge assisted by Jeff and Jon Dodge. It has a boaters guide to take you all through the Sea of Abaco to other cays like Manjack, Green Turtle, Man-O-War, Hope Town, etc. Each cay has it's own culture and ambience. All have many beautiful beaches where you will be the only ones there. So, my choice for you is the Abaco's. Robert59
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 06:33 AM
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jennifer3841,

I am having the same "problem" too, trying to figure out where to go.

I am thinking about Exumas,Abacos,Aguilla,maybe Harbour Island....too many decisions

I also saw a website called majesticholidays.com, they do multi day trips to different out islands. It looks tempting too.

Anyone have experiences with Majestic Holidays?

Thanks,
Elaine
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:17 AM
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We've been to Abacos and Eleuthera but not Exuma. We will likely be going to Exuma this year. Based on that not sure if I can help but here are my thoughts. Abacos is perfect for renting a boat and beach hopping/snorkelling. We stayed at Elbow Cay and did day trips to Great Guana Cay. Elbow is more developed that Guana. We thought the beach by Nippers was really nice (the best we found in the abacos). We drove by Dolphin Beach resort and their Atlantic beach and were not impressed. It was too rough. Elbow has Tahiti beach (very shallow and calm) and the beach by the center of town which is also very nice. I don't think Guana has many restaurants/dining options. Elbow has a much better selection. Not to confuse you but we loved Eleu (and actually prefered it over Abacos). It is quiet, the locals are very friendly, and the beaches are amazing. Many great villas to choose from on Eleu. You may want to consider HI also since it has many dining options though only one gorgeous beach. You can always do a day trip to nearby Eleu and explore the mainland. I have done some research on Exuma and it looks just as appealing as Eleu. Let us know what you decide.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Thanks everyone for your help. We went to Harbour Island last year and liked it a lot. That is why we were thinking of a different island group. I think we are leaning towards the Abacos...but you just never know! Now Elbow Cay or Guana Cay. We are looking to go crazy just a spot or two for drinks in the evening. Nippers looks good. Are there any other spots on Guana? What about Elbow?
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Old Jan 23rd, 2007, 01:18 PM
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Guana is pretty much a one-bar cay. I exaggerate a little, but Nipper's is the biggest show in town.

Elbow Cay has a bit more activity. In Hopetown, you've got Captain Jack's, the Harbour's Edge, and Hopetown Harbour Lodge (off the top of my head). A little further south, the Abaco Inn and Seaspray offer nice spots to enjoy a sunset cocktail near the water or dinner (or lunch, for that matter). None of these spots are too far from each other (it is a small island), and if you've got a golf cart, you're all set. Elbow Cay is more developed than Guana, but that's all relative -- when the "town" sports "streets" not much wider than a golf-cart's breadth, you're not exactly talking about a bustling metropolis. It's blissfully slow and quaint and friendly.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 04:25 AM
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We've stayed on Great Guana and Lubber's ( near Elbow ) in the Abacos. Of your two choices there, my vote is for Elbow for the reasons listed by the previous posters. To me the largest advantage is its' more central location. From Elbow you can easily visit Guana to the north and go as far south as Little Harbour with lots of great stops in between.

Definitely buy the Dodge Guide if you decide on the Abacos.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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Thank you all! I am going to take a look online this week regarding house/villa rentals on Elbow.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 08:17 AM
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I stayed in a Hopetown Hideaway house during Thanksgiving and had a pretty good experience. I loved Elbow Cay... and Hopetown Hideaways had a good selection of houses from which to choose. Only thing I didn't like about the trip was that the ocean was a little too rough for swimming while I was there.

But Tahiti Beach was beautiful.... should have gone there on the first day!
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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What house did you end up renting...I was just on their site and they have a bunch. Did you rent a boat or cart while you were there? Any places you would recommend for eating?
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 09:27 AM
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I stayed at the house called Banana Split... It was nice but was NOT directly on the ocean (it was across the street). Next time, I would stay near Tahiti Beach (even thought it's relatively far from Hopetown).

I really enjoyed dinner at the Abaco Inn and Seaspray (best conch fritters). There was another restaurant in Hopetown (can't remember the name) that was pretty good.

We did rent a boat and went over to a few other islands (e.g., Man-o-war cay) but I'm not sure we really needed to (next time, I probably won't).

You definitely need a golf cart... I loved riding it around.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 02:40 PM
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The snorkeling is not very good in most of the area around Great Exhuma based on several trips there in 2002-2004. In the Abacos you have 6-8 cays to choose from where the snorkeling was good to very good. Some coral bleaching kept it from being great in 2005. In 1984 it was superb but that is 20+ yrs. ago.
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Old Jan 24th, 2007, 02:47 PM
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A best kept secret for snorkelers: The beach at Hopetown Harbor Lodge as a nice reef just 20 feet offshore. I've done much underwater filming and counting reef fish there. It's open to the public. Robert59
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Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Check out Tanny Key Vacation Rentals on Elbow Cay. We stayed at Crew's Nest and snorkeled right off our beach. She has several great houses.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2007, 06:34 AM
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Two years ago, my husband and I and another couple rented a house on Elbow Cay, right on Tahiti Beach. We also rented a golf cart and boat. Loved it - loved golf carting to the island restaurants in the evening, and exploring the snorkeling spots by day.

Last year, just my husband and I, rented a houseboat on Great Exuma for a week. We enjoyed this also, but the snorkeling was def better on Abaco than Exuma - however we were limited to a ten mile radius between Great Exuma and Stocking Island. The beaches on Stocking Island were breathtaking.

I have also stayed several times in villas on Eleu - it is romantic and gorgeous too. Pink sand on the beaches! BUT you need a car, because nothing is in walking distance (the island is 100 miles long). That said, it sure was fun to pack a lunch and jump in our rented jalopy for a day of beach exploring.

All in all, with two couples, I'd go for Elbow Cay - as Callaloo said, just the right mix of beaches, activities, and restaurants.

Have fun deciding!
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Old Feb 3rd, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Here is the cottage (quite nice house on the water, we docked our rental boat on that long dock you see) on Elbow Cay:

http://www.abacovacations.com/elbow/...hp?property=21
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Old Feb 3rd, 2007, 11:42 AM
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We stayed at Treasure Cay and boated to Green Turtle & Great Guana. A great time! Love the Abacos.

Here is the Abaco message board to get lots of info:

http://coconuttelegraph.net/forums

Also, had a great beachfront villa:

http://www.vrbo.com/10756
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