South Andros

South Andros

South Andros is a district of the nation of The Bahamas. Geographically, South Andros is the southernmost third of the land mass colloquially called Andros, which includes the districts of North Andros, Central Andros, Mangrove Cay and South Andros. The districts are divided by broad unspanned “creeks”, some of which offer public ferry crossing; otherwise the only way to travel from one district to another is by private plane or boat. On the island of Andros, located about fifty kilometers southwest of Nassau, time seems to have stood still, and life moves at the slow pace of the ocean waters. Far from the hustle and bustle of the capital, Andros is an intimate, authentic, almost confidential part of the archipelago. “The fifth largest island in the Caribbean is one of the least known,” according to Vincent Wallace, the Bahamian Minister of Tourism.

The Queen’s Highway, a two lane paved and illuminated road without traffic lights or stop signs, runs approximately 64 km from the northernmost edge of South Andros which is the port of Drigg’s Hill, to the dockside settlement of Mars Bay. At Mars Bay the road ends in a cul de sac but the island extends approximately 32 further kilometers south without roads or services, inaccessible except by boat. In its course from Drigg’s Hill to Mars Bay, the highway crosses two bridges, one at Deep Creek and one further south at Little Creek, both refurbished in 2012. Almost the entire population of South Andros lives in housing abutting the Queen’s Highway and a few short, paved roads trailing off it. The only other significant road is that leading west, inland, along the north side of Deep Creek, to Black Point, where there are a handful of additional homes. South Andros‘ widest point is about 20 miles (32 km) east to west, but only the eastern fringe is inhabited, as most of the island consists of salty marsh and tidal estuaries.

South Andros is known for the production of certain seasonal delicacies, fresh conch, land crab, and spiny lobster, in relative abundance, which are sold commercially in Nassau or to the representatives of Nassau food distributors, providing an important source of cash to many inhabitants. The only other current industry of note is tourism.

Although the majority of Bahamian islands owe their subsistence to mass tourism, Andros has preserved its beauty thanks to the local authority’s accent on the policy of eco-tourism. The island’s great biodiversity includes the third longest coral reef in the world after that of Australia and Belize. It also boasts one of the world’s oldest diving centers. Nicknamed the “island of blue holes” these strange, natural and circular pools conceal sumptuous underwater caverns which attract a great many deep sea divers fascinated by the beauty of these ocean depths.

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