Explore the home of more than 80,000 flamingos!
If birdwatching is your forte, then Inagua is the place for you. This natural beauty of an island, known as a Birder's Paradise, is home to a large colony of West Indian Flamingos, National Bird of The Bahamas, and 140 species of resident and migrating birds.
Inagua is renowned for its natural environment.
Inagua is actually two separate islands, Great Inagua and Little Inagua, covering 645 square miles. Together, they form the most southern tip of The Islands Of The Bahamas, where they are positioned less than 60 miles from the coasts of Cuba and Haiti.
Contrary to popular belief, Inagua is not an anagram for iguana. That herbivorous animal is found on several other islands, but is not common to Inagua's shores, nor has one ever been sighted there. Inagua is believed to have been originally named Heneagua by English settlers, which means “water to be found here,” a corruption of two Spanish words, heno (full) and agua (water). The origin of the current name is unclear, but Spanish maps from around 1601 have the island labeled as Ynagua.
GREAT INAGUA ISLAND
Great Inagua is an ideal destination for travelers who are interested in ecotourism. The Inagua National Park, which makes up almost half the island, is home to more than 80,000 flamingos, considered one of the largest colonies in the world. Other resident exotic birds include Bahama parrots, pelicans, herons, egrets, and Bahama pintail ducks. It is reported that in 1949 several unique animal species had been found in Inagua, including a fast moving fresh water turtle, several breeds of duck, a hummingbird peculiar to Inagua, and a new genus of lizard.
Also located on Great Inagua is The Morton Salt Company’s main facility. Known for seawater salt recovery, Morton Salt uses this facility to produce about a million pounds of salt per year—the second largest saline operation in North America. This has long been Inagua's main industry.
LITTLE INAGUA ISLAND
Little Inagua is five miles north of Great Inagua, and the area is a protected habitat for endangered sea turtles. Covered in a vast reef apron that prevents boats from getting too close, Little Inagua’s 30 square miles are completely uninhabited except for herds of wild donkeys, goats (descendants of stock introduced by the French), and a wide variety of bird life, including a rare species of heron.
It also has very fertile soil, salt ponds, and hardwood trees such as Madeira and Lignum Vitae (“Tree of Life”) the national tree of The Bahamas.