"Great Guana Cay" Great Guana Cay by travelgirl3

Great Guana Cay Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 34 photos

Nothing to do, so much to do.

If your idea of the perfect vacation spot includes endless shopping, casinos and 5 star restaurants, don't come to Guana Cay in the Abacos. However, if you enjoy spending hours walking the beach without seeing another soul, playing in the warm Atlantic waters, snorkeling, and enjoying a great Grouper-burger, you'll feel right at home here.

Located about 150 miles East of Florida, this little piece of paradise is an easy 1 hour flight from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach. As the island is only 7 miles long, there's no room for an airport, so you need to fly into Marsh Harbour, located on Big Abaco Island. From there, a 30 minute ferry ride will bring you to Guana Cay.

This was our first visit to Guana Cay, and after spending many months researching, and visiting the Coconut Telegraph, (the Abaco Message Board), we thought we knew exactly what to expect. Well, we did, and we didn't... It was quiet, we made our own fun, and we didn't see many other people (except for the same familiar faces we'd run into at the various watering holes). But we ended up having a lot more to do than I ever imagined. I pictured myself on the beach with a great book for hours on end, when in fact, the only time I was able to read was first thing in the morning, before everybody else was awake! Other than that, we were busy every minute, not wanting to miss a thing. It seemed that each time the boys would go out, even if it was just to the dock to fish, they would see dolphins, sharks, rays and the like, so I never wanted to hang back for fear I'd miss the excitement!

Where to Stay?

Although there are a couple of hotels/resorts on the island, the most common accommodation is the rental cottage. Varying in size and grandeur from tiny 2 bedroom cabins to villas large enough to sleep 8 or 10, most are owned by Americans as a second-home rental income property. They are all well cared for by local Guana residents who take great pride in their 'caretaking duties', ensuring the cottages are prepared for the next arriving guests, and properly protected during the occasional hurricane. (Hey, it IS the Bahamas!)

Historically, the men of Abaco have been boat-builders by trade, living on an island as they do. More recently, they have become expert home-builders as well, and the houses and cottages are all extremely well constructed to withstand the hurricanes which are a fact of life here. The houses are all typically painted in the pastel shades common in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

What to do?

There are only a couple of bars & restaurants on the Island, but they are all excellent. The only one where you would need to remotely 'dress for dinner' would be the Blue Water Grill. The other 4 are Guana Sunset, Guana Seaside, the Art Cafe, and the famous Nippers. With the exception of Guana Seaside, all are located in the town, referred to as the 'Settlement', and while prices are a bit high, they are not as outrageous as I had been lead to believe beforehand. The food was always good and the house Rum Thang delicious.

Well, that about covers sleeping, eating and drinking... to fill up the rest of your time, you can try the various activities available, or you can do nothing - your choice. Fishing (either from shore, or deep-sea), diving, snorkeling, boating, shelling, bicycling - all are available on lovely, laid back Guana Cay.

But one last word of advice which truly applies here, "Bring half the clothes and twice the money".

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Swimming, snorkling, fishing, deserted beaches
  • In a nutshell:Paradise
  • Last visit to Great Guana Cay: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated Sep 9, 2005
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Reviews (20)

Comments (9)

  • MoeA4's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    That looks like so much fun! I really need to hit a place like this for a few weeks and unwind a little bit. I am reading this from my iPad while trying to hail a taxi. I am away on business right now, but hopefully before the end of the summer, I can take my wife to a beautiful place like this.

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2008 at 3:50 PM

    Looks like my kinda holiday Penny!! The beaches look amazing.....and if I'd have seen George I would have done a Jesus too ;o) I enjoyed the read & pix!! Cheers, Ann :o)

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2008 at 10:27 AM

    What a wonderful place and what a wonderful page. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • Hermanater's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2006 at 4:44 AM

    Happy Birthday....I met my own George in St. Lucia and ran on top of the water too.

  • 807Wheaton's Profile Photo
    Nov 9, 2005 at 5:25 PM

    Hi Penny. So glad you had such a great time here. We haven't been to the Bahamas for over 33 years. hmm.....maybe it's time! Marcia

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2005 at 7:21 AM

    Penny, what a fantastic page! I love your writing style. Great Guana Cay sounds like so much fun--the snorkeling, the beach and ocean. What more do you need to make you happy! I'd love to visit this place!

  • cocopichocha's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2005 at 7:01 PM

    We saw a lot of barracudas, be careful not to use gold or shine things inside the water....and HUGE mosquitos, that look like bees.

  • Jul 19, 2005 at 11:15 AM

    wow - looks like you had an amazing trip!

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2005 at 10:38 AM

    Wow, I was joking!! ('c',) Can't wait to see the rest of the page. Wonderful travelogue !!


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