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AOPA offers new Bahamas, Caribbean travel guidesAOPA offers new Bahamas, Caribbean travel guides

AOPA has released the 2019 editions of its comprehensive AOPA Pilot Guides for the Bahamas and the Caribbean. The publications have been an indispensable trusted source of flight planning information for the islands for more than 35 years. Following the hurricane season of 2017, the tourism sectors of the islands are rebuilt and continue to see an increase in visits.

Aerial photography of Bob Hepp flying Aviation Adventures' Twin Comanche around Cat Island of the Bahamas.

The guides also help you plan your stay after arrival, with a wide range of destination information including phone numbers of hotels and recreational places, details of local culture and food, and tips for how to get around the islands. You can also read suggestions and advice from other pilots who have flown in to visit.

Digital editions of the guides are priced at $39.99. Each guide bundled with charts costs $48. The complete package of both guides and associated charts is priced at $92.

The Bahamas

From Grand Bahama to Great Inagua, the Bahamas guide covers all 58 airports in the Bahamas.

The Bahamas are a popular destination for pilots. It is a flight of slightly more than 50 nautical miles from southeast Florida to Bimini—the closest Bahamian island to the United States—and it takes an hour or less to reach many of the islands in a Cessna 172. Each of the islands of the Bahamas has a different personality, making them great getaway destinations.

Nassau and Paradise Island are bustling with visitors by aircraft and cruise ship, with large resorts and plenty of activities. Abaco and the Exumas are a boater’s paradise with cays to explore—and don’t miss the swimming pigs on Staniel Cay. Bimini, Grand Bahama, Andros, Crooked Island, San Salvador, and Long Island are renowned for diving, snorkeling, and an abundance of fishing opportunities, with many lodges and guides available. Eleuthera is famous for its boutique hotels and beaches of coarse pink and powder-soft white sand. The uncrowded, peaceful beaches of Cat Island and Mayaguana offer a unique get-away-from-it-all experience.

The Bahamas welcomes visitors who arrive by general aviation aircraft, offering numerous GA-friendly fixed-base operations where the staffs are happy to help you get out and enjoy the islands with ease.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean guide covers 85 Caribbean airports from the Cayman Islands in the west to Barbados in the east, and from the northernmost Turks and Caicos to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao to the south. The Caribbean is open for tourism and has resumed welcoming visitors following the hurricanes of 2017.

Caribbean islands accommodate many tastes. St. Maarten is known for its great nightlife. Savor Puerto Rico’s natural beauty and rich history. Dominica, with its hot springs, and the Dominican Republic are all about the outdoors, with hiking, watersports, and kite surfing. St. Barth’s, with its beautiful resorts, is luxurious in the French fashion; St. Vincent and the Grenadines are a boater’s paradise.

The Cayman Islands are home to the beautiful Seven Mile Beach and Stingray City. Speaking of beaches, visit the much-awarded Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos; Barbados adds multiple horse races to Caribbean-style fun, including the prestigious Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup.

As in the Bahamas, there is an abundance of GA-friendly airports with FBOs that are excited to be your hosts.

For more information and downloadable forms for your flight, see the AOPA Pilot Guides: Bahamas and Caribbean page on AOPA Online.

Topics: AOPA Flight Planning Tools, AOPA Products and Services, Travel

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