Explore Andros' cultural side with excursions to some of our favourite crafters, island events and more.
Of the nearly 700 Bahamian islands, Andros is the largest. Comprised of three major atolls dissected by saltwater channels, it’s technically an archipelago. Despite its beauty, size, and proximity to Nassau, just eighteen miles away, Andros remains among the least explored islands of the Bahamas. Its population of just 10,000 spread across 2,300 square miles of tropical foliage, mahogany and pine forests, and lush mangroves; mainly along the island’s palm-fringed white sand coast.
A haven for marine, plant, and wild life, Andros boasts one of the largest protected nature reserves in the Caribbean. The island’s 300,000 acres of wetlands, reefs, and marine replenishment zones, are preserved and protected by The Andros Conservancy and Trust. The West Side National Park is home to wild boar, rock iguana, tropical butterflies, over 25 species of orchid, and shelters the endangered West Indian Flamingo. With more than 200 endemic and migrating species, Andros is one of the finest birding locations in the Bahamas, rich in pink ibis, spoonbills, herons, hawks, hummingbirds, swallows, woodstars, parrots, and piping plovers.
Known as ‘bights’, the saltwater channels of Andros are the globe’s premier bonefish habitat, and also teem with sea turtles, starfish, and dolphins. One hundred miles deep, the world’s third-largest barrier reef lies one hundred feet offshore; colourful angelfish and parrotfish, stingrays and nurse sharks navigating pristine coral gardens. Dropping sharply into a trench known as the Tongue of the Ocean, the sea floor plunges to depths of more than 6,000 feet and is home to marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, marlin, and other large fish species.
Andros Excursions: Car & Guide: $60 / hour
THE ANDROSIA BATIK FACTORY
The Boutique, Fresh Creek or The Workshop, Small Hope Bay
Distance: 20 mins via taxi
The signature textile of the Bahamas, Androsia has been producing bright, tropical prints since 1973. Turtles, seashells, hibiscus flowers, hummingbirds and coral, these original batik designs are hand waxed, dyed, cut and sewn locally, using pre-shrunk fabric and fade resistant dyes. Vibrant magenta, aquamarine, and canary yellow, prints adorn bedspreads, table linens, beachwear and clothing. You may also buy fabric by the yard.
ARTISANAL WOVEN BASEKETS, WOOD CARVING & FRESH SEA SPONGES
Red Bay, Andros
Distance: 1 hour via taxi
This remote settlement is named for the tribe of Seminole Indians who founded it in the 1840s and offers a glimpse of Androsian village life. Descendants of an ancient tribe, locals practice traditional sponge harvesting, basket weaving and woodcarving. Exhibited internationally, the mahogany carvings (odalisques, fish seashells, other natural forms) of Henry Wallace have been displayed at The Smithsonian and range $100 to $2,500. Carving professionally for 45 years, Wallace works six days a week and meditates on Saturday, the Rastafarian Sabbath.
Distance: 1 hour via taxi
Arriving on Andros in 1950s, the local Mennonite community runs a thriving carpentry shop, fruit orchards, greenhouse, and bee farm that produces the island’s delicious organic honey.
INLAND BLUE HOLE
Distance: 30 mins via taxi
In the island’s lush interior forest, a fresh water blue hole is edged by a gazebo and diving platform. Toss a bathing suit and sunscreen in your beach bag—and take along a gourmet hamper stocked with lunch and chilled wine.
CRAB FEST (June)
Fresh Creek, Andros
Catching land crabs as they leave their burrows and march off to sea to lay eggs is an Andros custom with locals and visitors walking the beach and scooping crustaceans into baskets. Held June 13th & 14th, Andros Crab Fest brings islanders together to celebrate with an array of delicious Bahamian recipes. .
SOUTH ANDROS CONCH FEST (October)
Mars Bay, Andros
Running October 10th to 12th, this festival celebrates the island’s other ubiquitous shellfish with a three-day feast and conch-cracking contests.