Andros is largely unexplored, and for good reason -- getting around takes some effort. With the exception of the main arteries, the few roads that exist are badly maintained and full of potholes. Sometimes you're a long way between villages. If your car breaks down, all you can do is wait and hope that someone comes along to give you a ride to the next place, where you'll hope to find a skilled mechanic. If you're heading out on your own, make sure you have a full tank of gas -- service stations are few and far between.
At present, not all of Andros can be explored by car. We hope that as the island develops, roads will be constructed so that it will be easier to get around. Most of the driving and exploring is currently confined to North Andros; even there, roads go only along the eastern sector past Nicholl's Town, Morgan's Bluff, and San Andros.
Bird-watchers are attracted to Andros for its varied avian population. In the dense forests, in trees such as lignum vitae, mahogany, Madeira, horseflesh, and pine, dwell many birds, including parrots, doves, marsh hens, and whistling ducks.
Botanists are lured by the wildflowers of Andros. Some 40 to 50 species of wild orchid are said to thrive here, some of which can be found nowhere else. New discoveries are always being made, as more botanists study the land's rich vegetation.
If you're driving on Central or South Andros, you must stay on the rough Queen's Highway. The road in the south is paved and better than the one in Central Andros, which should be traveled only for emergency purposes or by a local.
On Central Andros, near Small Hope Bay Lodge at Fresh Creek, you can visit the workshop where Androsia Batik (tel. 242/368-2080; www.androsia.com) is made. These are the same textiles sold in the shops of Nassau and other towns. Here, artisans create designs using hot wax on fine cotton and silk fabrics. The fabrics are then crafted into island-style wear, including blouses, skirts, caftans, shirts, and accessories. All are hand-painted and hand-signed, and the resort wear comes in dazzling red, blue, purple, green, and earth tones. You can visit the factory Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm, Saturday from 9am to 2pm.
Morgan's Bluff, at the tip of North Andros, lures people hoping to strike it rich. The pirate Sir Henry Morgan supposedly buried a vast treasure here, but it has eluded discovery to this day, though many have searched.
Located off the northwestern coast of Andros, Red Bay Village is the type of place that continues to make these islands seem mysterious. In the 1840s, Seminoles and people of African descent escaping slavery in Florida fled to Andros and, miraculously, remained hidden until about 50 years ago, when an explorer "discovered" their descendants, who remain a very small, virtually self-sufficient tribe, living just as the Seminoles did in the Florida Everglades some 2 centuries ago. You should be polite and ask permission before indiscriminately photographing them. Red Bay Village is connected by a causeway to the mainland, and tourists can get here by road from Nicholl's Town and San Andros.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.