With a size of 2,300 square miles, Andros is the largest of the Bahama Islands (104 miles long and 40 miles wide) and the fifth largest island in the Caribbean. Although it is almost ten times bigger than New Providence it has a population of only 8,000. There is an abundance of bonefish and the world’s third largest barrier reef which is over 140 miles long and is renowned for its superb marine life.
An Endemic paradise, Andros is teaming with lush green foliage, spunky land crabs, and wild orchids of every possible color. If you like to get your feet wet, Andros has more than a few beaches to do it. The island has some of the best diving sites in the world, filled with deep coral canyons and home to more magnificent blue holes than anywhere in the world.
Andros lies in the Atlantic Ocean and is made up of many islets, cays and a north, middle and south Bight. There are numerous wetlands and shallow water areas, which are connected with fresh water streams in some parts of the island. Andros is also known for its abundant fresh water supplies. In 1978 -2012, 5-6 million gallons of fresh water was barged to New Providence from Andros on a weekly basis.
The island was given the name “Espiritu Santo,” the Island of the Holy Spirit” by the Spanish, but is also called San Andreas on a 1782 map. The modern name is believed to be in honour of Sir Edmund Andros, Commander of Her Majesty’s Forces in Barbados in 1672 and former Governor of New York, Massachusetts and New England.
It is also believed that the island could have been named after the inhabitants of St. Andros Island on the Mosquito Coast as 1,400 of them settled in Andros in 1787.
Loyalists and their slaves also settled in Andros in the late 19th Century. Cotton and sisal were grown and later sponging became a flourishing industry in Andros for many years.
Legend has it that Andros has a leprechaun or gremlin known locally as the chickcharney. Androsians believe it migrated to Red Bays in the 19th century with the Seminole Indians.