About a 10-minute walk from Bluff House and a 5-minute walk from the Green Turtle Club is Coco Bay, one of the most beautiful crescents in The Bahamas. Shaded by casuarina pine trees and lapped by lazy waves, this long beach is often empty. The rougher Ocean Beach, about a 10-minute stroll from either Bluff House or the Green Turtle Club, is another stunner. Frothy waves thrash the starkly white sand, set off by the Atlantic's intense blue.
For more beach time, you can take a boat trip to one of the nearby uninhabited islands that are ringed with even more pristine sands. On Manjack Cay, for example, the expanse of sugar-white sand seems to go on forever, and the shallow water is a brilliant shade of turquoise. There's no regular service from the ferry dock, but you can negotiate with one of the local boatmen. The staff at your hotel will be helpful in this regard.
With one of the world's largest barrier reefs, the Abacos offer some of the best snorkeling and diving sites in The Bahamas. You can get an eyeful at reefs starting in depths of just 1.5m (5 ft.) and ranging to more than 18m (59 ft.). Like sheets on a clothesline, sprawling schools of fish billow by coral caverns, huge tube and barrel sponges, and fields of elk and staghorn coral. Sea turtles and large groupers are common sights. In fact, the waters are so clear that you can often see farther than 30m (98 ft.).
If you like small groups and big fun, try Brendal's Dive Center, at the Green Turtle Club Marina (tel. 242/365-4411; www.brendal.com). Whether you're an experienced diver or snorkeler or you're just getting your feet wet, the personal attention makes the difference here. Originally from Acklins, a small Bahamian island to the south, Brendal has more than 20 years of underwater experience. A special treat for snorkelers is the Wild Dolphin Encounter ($85 per person), which includes stops at undisturbed islands. This company also rents kayaks ($15 per hour for singles, $25 per hour for doubles, or $199 per week for singles, $250 for doubles).
For a snorkeling adventure, call Lincoln Jones at tel. 242/365-4223, and he'll arrange everything for you -- probably on some deserted beach that only he knows about. Prices are to be negotiated, of course, but a lunch of fresh conch or lobster is a fine addition to any day.
If you've spent enough time sitting on the beach and exploring underwater, it's time to get out on the water. From boat rentals to fishing expeditions, Green Turtle Cay offers an array of things to do. Note that reserving a boat when you make your hotel and airline bookings is a good idea, particularly during the busy spring and summer months.
The aforementioned Brendal's Dive Center, at the Green Turtle Club Marina (tel. 242/365-4411; www.brendal.com), can take you on a group sunset sailboat cruise (complete with rum punch) for $85 per person (up to eight passengers).
To rent a speedboat, contact Donnie's Boat Rentals, in Black Sound (tel. 242/365-4119; www.donniesboatrentals.com). Its Whaler and Mako motorboats start at $65 a day for a 4.2m (14-ft.) boat, going up to $110 a day for one that's 7m (23-ft.). Or try Reef Rentals, across from the ferry dock in New Plymouth (tel. 242/365-4145; http://reefboatrentals.com). Its fleet includes a sleek motorboat made on Man-O-War Cay, the nearby island long known for its excellent boat building. Rentals for a 5.7m (17-ft.) Keywest Craft start at $240 for 3 days.
Fishermen from all over the world visit Green Turtle Cay in search of yellowfin, dolphinfish, and big-game wahoo, among other catches. If you want to go deep-sea fishing, check with the two cousins in the Sawyer family: Referrals are usually made through the Green Turtle Club (tel. 242/365-4070), or you can call directly at tel. 242/365-2461.
At press time, the annual Green Turtle Club Fishing Tournament (tel. 800/688-4752 or 242/365-4271) is on hold, but if you're planning to visit in May, call to find out whether it's back on.
There's a tennis court at Bluff House (tel. 242/365-4247), where guests play free. Nonguests pay $10 per hour and must call ahead to reserve playing time.
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.