MAYAGUANAIf you’re looking for the road less travelled, Mayaguana is perfect for you! This southernmost island remains relatively untouched by commercial development. As the most isolated and least developed island in the Bahamian archipelago Mayaguana is rarely visited by tourists - those who do favour the seclusion.
Scuba divingHowever, the growing attraction of Eco-Tourism, in addition to Scuba diving, bone-fishing and snorkeling, is helping to put Mayaguana on the map. The eastern part of the island is popular with advanced off-trail bikers.
Mayaguana was inhabited by the Lucayans prior to the arrival of the Spanish following 1492 who carried off the last of the Lucayans to Hispaniola early in the 16th century. After that the island remained uninhabited until 1812, when people began to migrate from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Today the island hosts approximately 300 inhabitants. The largest settlement is Abraham’s Bay on the south coast; other settlements are the neighboring towns of Betsy Bay and Pirate’s Well in the northwest. The uninhabited areas of Upper Point (north shore), Northeast Point, and Southeast Point are largely inaccessible by road.
ShipwreckMayaguana is bordered to its east by deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Many underwater coral reefs are found off shore, as well as shipwrecks. The first steamship to circumnavigate the globe, the Royal Navy sloop HMS Driver, was wrecked on Mayaguana on 3 August 1861.
During NASA’s Project Mercury and the Apollo program, the United States space program had a missile tracking station on what is now Mayaguana Airport. The station was used to help keep astronauts on course.
Nature ReserveMayaguana is known for its fertile soil, which is good for farming, and its woody terrain. The island is home to several government nature reserves with The Bahamas National Trust and boasts a large population of lignum vitae - a national symbol of The Bahamas.
Bahamian HutiaNature lovers will be delighted by the fact that Mayaguana is home to the Bahamian Hutia, a rodent that was thought to be extinct until the mid-1960s, Flamingoes, Iguanas, plovers, terns, and Osprey. Nesting sea turtles can be found throughout the undeveloped eastern part of the island. About 118 species of bird are found on the island, including two large Brown Booby colonies.
MailboatMayaguana uses the mail boat system as its primary form of import and is visited once a week for delivery and pickup. The Lady Mathilda makes weekly inter-island trips between Nassau, Acklins/Crooked Island, Mayaguana and Inagua. One-way passage ranges from $30 - $100 depending on the destination. If you’re traveling from Nassau, the trip takes at least two days. The mail boat runs on Bahamas time so if you're looking for speed and convenience, this option is not for you. Check with the Dockmaster's office in Nassau for schedules and fairs. Tel: 242-393-1064.
Mayaguana AirportThe island is accessible by Mayaguana Airport (MYG), which is located southeast of Abraham's Bay and is serviced by Bahamasair as well as private aircraft.
Southernmost IslandThe downside of the southernmost islands is that the mosquitoes (big as mice!) are plentiful! You’ll want to make sure that you have a really good repellant and some itch reliever when you travel here!