Legends loom large (and small) on these northwestern Bahamas islands. On Bimini, you'll hear about the lost underwater city of Atlantis, Ernest Hemingway's visits, and the Fountain of Youth. Tiny birdlike creatures known as chickcharnies are said to inhabit the pine forests of Andros Island. On both islands, along with the Berry Islands, bonefishing has made legends of mere men.
Despite the stories, Andros, Bimini, and the Berries remain a secret mostly known to avid divers, boaters, and fishermen. These islands stash their reputation for superlative bonefishing, diving, blue holes, and other natural phenomena away from the glamour of nearby Nassau, just minutes away by plane but a world apart. Historic for its Hemingway lore and deep-sea fishing records, North Bimini has been transformed into a busier island by Resorts World; its casino and new Hilton hotel are fed with hundreds of golf-carting tourists that buy packages on the Bimini Superfast cruise ship. Although Andros is the largest Bahamas island, it is mostly uninhabitable and largely undiscovered. In fact, it offers only three notable resorts and a dozen or so bonefishing lodges. The 30-some cays of the Berry Islands are less known still, in spite of gorgeous, secluded beaches and superb snorkeling and fishing. None of the islands have traffic lights, movie theaters, or fast-food outlets—let alone water parks or shopping centers.
So, with that in mind, plan your trip here as an adventurer. If you're not into diving, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, hiking, biking, or secluded beach-vegetating, these are not the islands for you. If you are into any of the above, you will be thrilled and endlessly delighted. All three islands are spoken of synonymously with bone-, deep-sea, and bottom-fishing—focused on lobster, grouper, and snapper, and it is this fishing and commercial diving that sustain the economies of many of the smaller settlements. Andros thrives also on its harvest of land crabs, fruit and vegetable crops, and straw work that it exports to Nassau.