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The island's vast number of pink flamingos outnumbers its human population by far. They're so plentiful on Inagua that some of them even roost on the runway of the island's airport, as well as at thousands of other locations throughout the flat, heat-blasted landscape.

Dedicated bird-watchers who are willing to forgo comfort usually trek inland to the edges of the many brackish lakes in the island's center. About half the island is national park land, and Inagua's most viable industry involves distilling salt from the local salt flats.

To see the birds at Inagua National Park is reason enough to come here. The best time to see the feathered beauties is from November until June. Everyone entering the park must be accompanied by a warden, and reservations and a day pass ($25 for adults, $10 for students) must be obtained in advance. Get the passes either through The Bahamas National Trust in Nassau (tel. 242/393-1317; www.bnt.bs) or by contacting one of the local wardens, Henry Nixon (tel. 242/339-1616). In addition to the park fee, you're expected to offer the wardens a large tip; the usual payment is about $50 per day.

One of the island's best panoramas can be taken in from Southwest Point, 2km (1 1/4 miles) south of Matthew Town. From here, you can see Cuba on a clear day -- it lies just 81km (50 miles) west. The best view of Cuba comes from the top of the Inagua Lighthouse, which dates from 1870 and is one of a quartet of hand-operated kerosene lighthouses left in The Bahamas. The reefs off this point are treacherous, as many a captain has fatefully learned.

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.