Andros Island – Bahamas

World-Class Reef-Diving and Bonefishing in Florida’s Backyard

Much of Andros, the Bahamas’ largest island, is uninhabited, connected by a series of shallow canals and cays called “bights”—Andros is, in fact, mostly water. Aside from the occasional tourist, most visitors here are divers or fishermen.

At 142 miles, Andros’s barrier reef is the third longest in the world after those in Australia and Belize, with a wall that begins around 70 feet from shore and plunges 6,000 feet to a narrow underwater canyon known as the Tongue of the Ocean (TOTO).

A unique system of more than fifty blue holes, as these watery caves are called (first made famous by Jacques Cousteau), offers endless opportunities to explore in tun­nels filled with shipwrecks and sea life.

All this is just 1 mile offshore from the Bahamas’ oldest dive resort, the comfortable, family-run Small Hope Bay Hotel. If you don’t know how to dive or snorkel, they’ll teach you at your own pace and at no extra cost, but non diving guests are just as happy flopping into the inviting hammocks positioned here and there among the tall coconut palms.

No one puts on airs at this easygoing beachfront colony—no one even puts on shoes very often, except perhaps at dinner, a hearty, con­vivial affair that might include fresh conch fritters and chowder, lobster, and hot home-baked johnny bread.

If you’d rather catch your own seafood, Andros’s gin-clear waters are the bonefishing capital of the world, with large numbers of trophy-size bonefish (often topping 12 pounds) providing some of the most exciting light-tackle fishing there is. It’s not hard to find a specialist to help you perfect your saltwater angling technique and to guide you to the vast flats in and around the bights, where you’ll often be the only one in sight.

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