Last weekend we were in need of an escape from everything, and found the perfect spot at Mangrove Cay Sea View Villas on Mangrove Cay – part of the archipelago that makes up Andros Island located about a 20 minute plane ride west of New Providence. Mangrove Cay is the smallest of Andros’ 3 main islands, sandwiched between the much larger north and south islands. Like the rest of Andros, Mangrove Cay is dominated by the West Side National Park, with the vast majority of its 890 inhabitants occupying the land nearest the Queen’s Highway on the east coast.
Arguably the north and south islands offer more sights and activities for tourists, but we were looking for partial isolation and total relaxation. Mangrove Cay is perfect for this! The main attractions on Mangrove Cay, and arguably all of Andros, are bone-fishing expeditions and blue hole exploring. With spring break and bone fish season in full swing, all the fishing lodges were full and the boat captains happily employed. We asked our host to look into the possibility of hiring a boat to take us on a bird watching/island exploring trip (inspired in part by this photo essay of West Side National Park by Bahamas National Trust employee Heather Carey), but it wasn’t to be. We will have to return some time after the high season has passed, and the far more lucrative fishing expeditions are not quite so high in demand.
Our self catering villa, situated in the Lisbon Creek Settlement on the southeastern edge of Mangrove Cay, offered stunning views of the bonefish flats and other small islands off the coast. The only sounds were those of the wind in the trees and birds calling to each other. Only occasionally did cars pass on the highway out front. We rented a car for the one full day we were there and were able to stop in at the various beaches along the east coast, eat delicious conch salad, and visit a blue hole. The last day was spent doing nothing but relaxing on the terrace and it was glorious.