11 Best Sights in Great Abaco Island, The Abacos

Abaco National Park

Fodor's choice

Abaco National Park was established in 1994 as a sanctuary for the endangered Bahama parrot. The mission has been a success as the population at the time was just 1,500, and today there are nearly 9,000 documented. Many other birds call the park home, including the pine warbler and the Bahama yellowthroat.

A 15-mile dirt track passes through the 20,500 protected acres, ending at the Hole in the Wall Lighthouse, a starkly beautiful and desolate location overlooking the ocean. The drive from the paved highway all the way to the lighthouse takes about 1½ hours and can only be done in a 4x4 vehicle. The lighthouse is technically not open to visitors, but people still do climb the rickety stairs to the top, where views of the island and the sea are mesmerizing.

The Johnston Art Foundry and Gallery

Fodor's choice

Sculptor Pete Johnston and his sons (direct descendants of Randolph and Margot Johnston, who founded Little Harbour) and acolytes cast magnificent lifelike bronze figures using the age-old lost-wax method at the only bronze foundry in The Bahamas. You can purchase the art in the gallery. 

The Long Dock

Fodor's choice

You can walk hundreds of feet along this dock above the shallow aquamarine sea, and it is well worth a visit to the quaint village of Cherokee Sound, especially when you hear the story behind it. The Cherokee Sound community had always boasted about having the longest dock in the country. When Hurricane Dorian washed all 770 feet of it away, leaving little but a few pilings, the community got busy raising money and rebuilding using logs cut from local pine forests. The new bridge is even longer than the original by more than 30 feet and has a series of platforms with benches that make it an even nicer spot to take in the views.

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Treasure Cay Beach

Fodor's choice

This beach is world famous for its expanse of truly powder-like sand and breathtaking turquoise water. A hotel and upscale homes line the miles-long beach, but most of it is clear from development since the land is privately owned—and almost clear of footprints. Amenities: parking (no fee); Best for: sunrise; sunset; swimming; walking.

Carleton Settlement Ruins

Tucked away toward the northwestern end of the Treasure Cay development are the ruins of the very first settlement in Abaco, founded by the Loyalists who left the Carolinas during the American Revolutionary War. The sight is not well marked, but a local can point you in the right direction.

Gifts from the Sea Museum

One of the tiniest museums in the world is located under the communications tower in Cherokee Sound in a small building that used to house the community telegraph office. Most locals know it as the "Shell Museum" because inside you'll find a collection of more than 200 shells identified by both their Latin and common names. Many of these shells are ones you may find yourself (if you're lucky) as you walk the island's beaches.

Cherokee Sound, Bahamas
242-475–7868
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Call ahead to request entry

Hole in the Wall Lighthouse

Off Great Abaco Highway at the turn in the road that takes you to Sandy Point, a rugged, single-lane dirt track leads you to this navigational lighthouse that stands on Great Abaco's southern tip. The lighthouse was constructed in 1838 against local opposition from islanders who depended on salvaging shipwrecks for their livelihood. Over the years the lighthouse has survived sabotage and hurricanes and was automated in 1995 to continue serving maritime interests. The Bahamas Marine Mammal Research Organisation has leased the site to monitor whale movements and conduct other ocean studies.

Pelican Cay Beach

In a protected park, this is a great spot for snorkeling and diving on nearby Sandy Cay reef. The cay is small and between two ocean cuts, so the water drops off quickly, but its location is also what nurtures the pure white sand. If you get restless, ruins of an old house are hidden in overgrowth at the top of the cay, and they offer fantastic views of the park. Amenities: none. Best for: snorkeling.

8 miles north of Cherokee Sound, Cherokee Sound, Bahamas

Sandy Point Beach

If shelling and solitude are your thing, venture 50 miles southwest of Marsh Harbour to the sleepy fishing village of Sandy Point. Large shells wash up on the sandy beaches, making it great for a stroll and shelling. The best spot for picking up one of nature's souvenirs is between the picnic site and Rocky Point. Well offshore is the private island Castaway Cay, where Disney Cruise Line guests spend a day. Amenities: none. Best for: solitude; walking.

Sandy Point, Bahamas

Sawmill Sink Blue Hole

A half-hour drive south of Marsh Harbour is a crudely marked electric pole directing you to turn right onto an old logging trail. A short drive down this road takes you to an incredible blue hole. It was featured by National Geographic in 2010 for the fossils found deep within it. Though you cannot dive this hole, you can swim in it.

Treasure Cay Blue Hole

You'll need a car or at least a bicycle to visit this natural wonder, but it's worth the trek. Scientists believe the Treasure Cay Blue Hole is 200 feet deep, but feel free to dip your toes into the crystal-clear blue waters or make a splash swinging from one of the rope swings tied to surrounding pine trees. The water is both salt and fresh, and there is no known marine life in the blue hole.