Great Inagua

shutterstock_269357873The third biggest island in the Bahamas is called Great Inagua. The island lies around 60 miles from the tip of Cuba and is one of the biggest producers of sea salt. Great Inagua is also the home of Lake Windsor, which takes up nearly a quarter of the island. With a population of just under one thousand people, this is definitely a vacation destination your neighbor probably won’t have visited.

The capital city, “Matthew Town,” is named after the 19th century governor of the Bahamas, George Matthews, and the island happens to have one of the most famous bird sanctuaries in the world—with over 85,000 birds including the Inagua woodstar, the Bahama pintail, the brown pelican and, most notably, the West Indian flamingo.

Near the main island lies an uninhabited island called Little Inagua, which is occupied only by herds of feral goats and donkeys. Little Inagua is most notable for its protective reef—a reef that stops all boats from getting too close to the main island, extending up to a mile out from the island in all directions. In addition to the various exotic birds, visitors can see endangered freshwater turtles, and when accompanied by guides, travellers can explore Inagua’s limestone caves and enjoy fabulous beaches and snorkeling.

It is Little Inagua that holds the attention of seasoned divers, though, with many different treasure-laden ships destroyed by the reef through the years. The Santa Rosa was lost in 1599 and may be its most famous victim. The British HMS Statira and HMS Lowestoffe were lost in the early 1800s, and the French lost their Le Count De Paix in 1713.

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