Andros Island is the largest of The Bahama islands. It is only a short flight from Nassau, Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Despite its convenient access to the US, it is mostly uninhabited and unspoiled, protected from development by its shallow water shorelines and lack of natural harbours.
Flat and heavily forested, Andros is not a single island, but a labyrinth of islands, cays and waterways. It extends about 100 miles from north to south and 45 miles east to west at its widest point, with an area of 2,300 square miles. Andros is also one of the least populated islands with a mere 8,000 souls. All live in small settlements on the eastern side of the island leaving the vast interior and western shores untouched. To our first time visitors, it is almost incomprehensible that such a place can still exist in the world, especially so close to the United States.
Mangrove Cay is an island in the center of Andros which is separated by waterways that bisect the island from east to west. These are the North, Middle and South Bights, themselves dotted with countless uninhabited cays. This collection of mangrove forests, shallow shores, vast banks and flats make up the largest area of bonefish habitat in the world, establishing Andros as the Bonefishing Capital of the World.
The barrier reef parallels the east coast of Andros and borders an oceanic trench over 6,000 feet deep called The Tongue of The Ocean. The reef draws divers from all over the world, as well as deep-sea fishermen, who take advantage of the massive drop-offs and clear water basins. These healthy reefs support a myriad of species of fish and marine life. Billfish, wahoo, dolphin fish and tuna all abound in the ocean, together with the mammals, dolphins and whales.
On land, wildlife includes Bahamian boa constrictors, anoles, large iguanas and a wealth of birdlife, including herons, egrets, ibis, flamingos, spoonbills and a winter migratory population.
Andros is also home to the largest concentration of Blue Holes in the world. Blue Holes are a unique geological feature, found on land and in the sea, and a target of extensive scientific study and conservation effort. In fact, the pristine condition of Andros’ ecosystems draws scientists and students from all over the world to conduct field studies. The West Side is the subject of scientific study conducted and sponsored by The Nature Conservancy.