Of the many Islands of The Bahamas, the largest (104 x 40 miles) is Andros. It is also the least explored. This mysterious, mangrove-choked island is more populated with whistling tree ducks and terns than humans. You may even run into a chickcharnie, a mythical, mischievous inhabitant that is exclusive to the island. These creatures are said to live in the tops of pine trees and, according to legend, will cause mischief to all who look upon them and grimace. If you are lucky enough to see one of these elfin creatures with three fingers and toes and red eyes [...]
Andros can boast that it is the largest island in the Bahama chain, and it has the beautiful beaches, wonderful villages, and great activities to go along with it. If you like exploring nature, Andros has a vast area of creeks, mangroves, bights, bays and inlets. It is one of the least explored of the islands, and you will see more wildlife than people! Because the soil of Andros is mostly limestone, the inhabitants of the island have had to become imaginative in their forms of local trade. They are known for sponging, basket weaving, woodcarving, and the making of beautiful fabric. On the beaches of Red Bay you can watch the locals harvest sponges!
Because it has the second-largest reef system in the Western Hemisphere, Andros is a perfect spot for divers. There are miles and miles of reef to snorkel and dive on while you swim with some of the most beautiful fish and plant life around. Here you can also enjoy some of the deepest cave diving in the world. For those who like to fish, Andros is also known as the World’s Bonefishing Capital! The reefs here run for 170 miles, and the bonefish have been known to be as large as 3 to 5 pounds! So, don’t forget to take a short (or long) fishing trip while you are on vacation here on Andros. But, don’t count out the beaches on your stay either. There are plenty of beaches that are rarely occupied, so you can feel like a true castaway while soaking up the sun.
In the 1500’s the Spaniards came to Andros looking for slave labor. Their presence destroyed the Lucayan people either by violence or by disease. They gave the island the name “Espiritu Santo”, which means Island of the Holy Spirit. It may also have been named due to peoples from the Island of St. Andro on the Mosquito Coast, who settled in Andros in 1787. During this period, pirates also made their appearance on the island. Also, during the 1800’s, Loyalists accompanied by their slaves, populated the island. Today, there are over 6,000 living here, making it the least populated island per unit area. Most of them live on the eastern coast of the island.
Andros is very limited in commercial development, leaving it’s natural beauty nearly untouched. It has a rainforest and swamp area that covers over forty square miles. This area enjoys 50 different types of orchids, and over 200 types of native birds. So this is definitely an island for the nature lover! You can check with your hotel or locals to find out where the best places to explore and see some of the native wildlife on Andros are to ensure that you can enjoy the best scenery while you are here.