Among the 700-plus islands and cays that make up the Bahamas, there is a handful of hotspots for tourists.
However, not many explore the smaller and lesser-known islands that actually have their own rich history and culture.
With a lot of vacation spots to explore and consider, let's talk about one of our favorites: the Crooked Island Bahamas.
It is one of the four islands that form an atoll hugging the gorgeous shallow waters of the Bight of Acklins.
Crooked Island Bahamas
Crooked Island, or more commonly known as Acklins & Crooked Island, is one of Bahamas' more remote islands.
Where Is Crooked Island's Location?
The island's location is in the southern parts of the Bahamas, which is quite far away from the popular tourist destinations.
These islands have some of the most beautiful surroundings and offer exciting activities for the adventurous visitor.
They have rustic landscapes which are ideal for tourists looking for more private getaways.
If that’s not enough, they also have outstanding secluded beaches.
The Acklins & Crooked Island is one of the best-guarded secrets of the Bahamas.
It boasts sparsely populated settlements like Gun Point and French Wells, which are all reminiscent of early plantation lifestyles.
It has an abundance of birdlife that thrives on the reefs and magnificent limestone caves.
That said, the best thing about this island is the pristine, untouched, and spectacular white sand beaches that stretch for miles.
The island’s deliciously sweet scent of native herbs and flowers inspired Christopher Columbus to call it “one of the fragrant islands.”
He named the island “Isabella” after his queen, while the Arawaks called it “Samoete."
The Best Places To Visit on the Island
For a remote island not well-known to most vacationers, you'll be surprised by how much Crooked Island has to offer.
Some of the top places you can visit and the activities you can do when you are on this island are:
1. Bird Rock Lighthouse
The Bird Rock Lighthouse’s construction began back in 1866 but was only operational in 1876.
It is believed that Christopher Columbus anchored here for a short while when he arrived in the Bahamas.
The lighthouse is a magnificent structure standing at 112 feet above sea level. It is situated on a cay right off the Pittstown Point.
This serves as a beacon at the northern entrance of the much-traveled Crooked Island Passage.
Since it's at the northwestern point of the island and separated from the mainland by a narrow waterway, you can only access the lighthouse by boat ride.
That said, you can hire a chartered boat through local fishing guides or Crooked Island Lodge to visit this lighthouse.
2. Crooked Island Caves
The hills and cliffs of this island are known to hide countless caves that you can explore.
In fact, some say there are as many as 42 caves on this island, and most experts strongly believe that many are yet to be discovered.
At present, seven caves are properly identified and owned either by the Moss’ or the Farquharson’s.
Popular caves on this island include the following:
- Macki Cave at Macki Bluff,
- Preacher’s Cave in Thompson,
- a large cave at Gun Buff,
- and the Gingo Hill at Turtle Sound.
These caves are definitely worth the visit, especially since you will also discover some magnificent limestone formations that take on unusual shapes and forms.
3. Colonel Hill
Colonel Hill is a settlement situated on the highest point of the island.
It has breathtaking views that you can capture with your camera or just enjoy during your alone time.
Colonel Hill is also home to the local and central government offices.
4. French Wells or Gun Point
As the name suggests, these wells were dug by French pirates who used them as hiding places during the years of piracy.
This was a convenient location for the pirates because the channel at French Wells was properly sheltered by the cays between the Crooked Island and Long Cay and by the Bight of Acklin's shallow flats.
To fight back the pirates, the British set up a fort at Gun Point.
Now, these two areas are great spots to visit. Upon exploring them, you will find the remains of fortifications near the shoreline that also include an old cannon.
5. Hope Great House National Park
Over three acres in size, the Hope Great House National Park is a protected landmark, including two loyalist compounds, with a 19th-century plantation house with a kitchen and an artillery battery.
The great house was considered a centerpiece of the plantation around the time of George V of England.
Now all these ruins are covered with aloe vera and other plants from the gardens and orchards.
It was announced that it would be a national park in 2002 and is presently managed by the Bahamas National Trust.
Where To Stay
Since there are only a handful of hotels and resorts on this island, we recommend booking in advance.
Some of the best hotel you can choose from include:
1. Sonsette Villas
The Sonsette Villas has a Caribbean-style.
It has a one-bedroom home with queen-sized beds a full bath.
It has a peaceful setting, and guests often described it as a small piece of heaven.
All the rooms sit barely 55 feet from the ocean. You will enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean while being caressed by the balmy southeast and northeast trade winds.
It also offers a two-bedroom villa option, but there are only a few of them, so be sure to book in advance.
The villa is located roughly five minutes away from Crooked Island Airport.
2. Crooked & Acklins Trophy Lodge
This is a quiet, private, and small lodge located off the beaten track on the white sandy beach.
A friendly Bahamian couple manages the property.
Five large double rooms offer all the comforts of a home, including a sitting area, a full bath, dresser, chest, refrigerator, and more.
Meals here are served in their in-house restaurant and bar. The restaurant is popular for its delicious local cuisine.
This is the only lodge in the entire atoll that proposes its guests to fish on both Crooked and Acklins Islands and on the same trip.
3. Casuarina Villas
Owned by the Moss’, the Casuarina Villas is a mere 100 feet away from the beach.
There are six spacious cottages, and each of them has breathtaking ocean views.
The rooms are fully equipped with a stove, coffee maker, fridge, and dishes, while the bathroom has a bathtub and shower.
Best of all, all the best restaurants are located only five minutes away on foot.
Where To Eat
There are quite a few restaurants on this island, and the Bahamian cuisine dominates the menus in most of them.
Fresh local seafood is offered in almost every restaurant.
You will even find many fine-dining restaurants offering an upscale experience in a tranquil seaside setting.
In these restaurants, the menus often consist of Italian, American, and other European cuisines.
You can also get local specialties such as lobster chowder or stuffed lobster, homemade bread, chicken with coconut and rice, and several different types of Bahamian desserts during the right season.
You can also head to Acklins Island during the annual Acklins Island Regatta to enjoy local specialties like crab soup and stuffed crabs.
A Secluded but Worthy Vacation Spot
In terms of where is Crooked Island Bahamas, it is indeed a little far when compared to where popular tourist destinations are.
Still, it's worth visiting and spending a few days of your vacation, especially since the island is gorgeous, with its white sandy beaches.
What's better is that you can discover this island’s natural surroundings and hidden gems in absolute peace and enjoy real tranquility.