Mayaguana (an Arawak name), located 50 miles east of Acklins and 60 miles north of Inagua, is the least developed and most isolated of the Family Islands although there are now three Bahamasair flights a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) from Nassau, via Inagua. The main settlement is Abraham’s Bay, a small town with a few shops and one bar/restaurant run by the Brown family who also own the guesthouse (Batelco T3393065). There are two other settlements, Betsy Bay and Pirate’s Well, which are both very isolated. Several people will rent you a room in their homes for US$30-60; freshwater and food can sometimes be hard to come by, young coconuts are recommended if short of water. Take mosquito repellent. Most people earn their living from fishing or farming and many leave for Nassau and Freeport to look for work. In 1993 the Government approved a tourist development by a Californian group in East Mayaguana. About half of the 50,000-acre project will be a botanical garden and park. If it is implemented it will provide employment but no doubt change the island considerably.
The island is on a direct route to the Caribbean and as such is sometimes visited by yachtsmen, although it is not a port of entry. There is a very large reef around the northwest side of the island and excellent diving, although a liveaboard dive boat is necessary. 20 miles from Mayaguana are the Plana and Samana Cays, notable for their interesting wildlife, where you can see the Bahama hutia, thought to be extinct until the mid-1960s. A cross between a rat and a rabbit, this rodent’s flesh is said to be similar to pork.