Best Things to do in the Exumas
The Exumas is an island chain that can be found in the Bahamas. It’s made up of 365 islands known as cays, and they’re located south of Nassau, the most famous Bahamian destination. This Exumas district is known for its dazzling crystal clear water, pristine white sandy beaches, and fascinating marine life. Home to those charming swimming pigs that became popular on the Instagram, The Exuma Cays are the place to go if you’re looking for that perfect place to relax your entire vacation. And with a range of hotels and vacation homes in the Exumas to choose from, your Bahamian experience is a paradise waiting for you to visit, stay and explore.
Planning for a trip to The Exumas? Here are some tips for you to enjoy and to help you make the most out of your holiday.
BE A BEACH BUM
This is the highlight of going on a beach vacation, right? Relax and enjoy the stunning scenery. Why not spend the first couple of days appreciating the views that will make you think of staying on the island for good. You might even have the beach completely to yourself! And to round off each day bid goodbye to the fiery sunset.
GO TO STOCKING ISLAND
Don’t forget to drop by the Chat n’ Chill Beach Bar & Grill located on Stocking Island for the Sunday pig roast. Even the people of the Bahamas go to Chat n’ Chill on Sundays – it’s definitely the place to be. You can take a short ferry ride from Great Exuma where you can ride on water taxis which usually depart every 20 minutes or so coming from the Government Docks in Georgetown. Make the most out of your day here at the best Beach Bar on the Exumas by chilling under palm trees with their popular drink, Bahamas Mamas in hand.
SWIM WITH STINGRAYS
The perfect spot to do this activity is at the Chat n’ Chill where they house numerous pet stingrays which are very social. Get in the water about waist deep and they will glide from one person to another as if they are begging for your attention.
MEET THE FAMOUS SWIMMING PIGS
Finally, you’ll be able to meet the endearing swimming pigs near Staniel Cay on Big Major Cay. Their domesticated pigs have no natural predator so they swim out to meet tour boats that often offer them food. It is the only place in the world with swimming pigs and they are becoming quite popular. If you’re planning a vacation in the Exumas, be sure not to miss their adorable pigs.
SWIM WITH NURSE SHARKS AT COMPASS CAY
Compass Cay is known for their nurse sharks and is the perfect destination if you want to encounter them up close. For around $10, you’ll get a chance to swim with them. Of all the species of sharks, nurse sharks are renowned for being the friendliest. Just a piece of advice though – you just need to keep your hands out of the water for your own safety.
FEED IGUANAS ON LEAF CAY
Leaf Cay which used to be owned by Nicholas Cage is now home to a rare breed of Iguana. These Bahamian iguanas are very sociable and welcoming. When visiting your boats captain will most likely bring lettuce and grapes to feed them – making them even livelier.
HIKE ACROSS STOCKING ISLAND
Near the Chat n’ Chill, you can hike across the island towards the beach on the other side. Starting on the boat dock, the next step is to walk around the bay until you see some rocks and spot the first trail sign. The trail is elevated and over a slight hill and after that, you’ll cross a small inlet before rejoining the trail to get to the beach. This activity takes around 20 minutes to get to the beach and will probably be one of the highlights of your trip. It welcomes you with breathtaking views and you’ll more often than not you’ll have the beach for yourself too.
TAKE A BOAT TOUR
Take a boat tour and see what the Exumas has to offer. Numerous tour operators can be found in the area which offers exciting activities which involve the adorable swimming pigs. One of the tours that will allow you to see the best of the islands is the Exuma Water Tours wherein the captain will point out the so-called cays of the rich and famous namely Nicholas Cage, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and David Copperfield.
SNORKEL AT THUNDERBALL GROTTO
This is located near Staniel Cay. Thunderball Grotto also served as a filming location of some of the popular James Bond movies. You’ll be needing a boat to reach the place but if you bought water tours departing from Great Exuma, this attraction will most likely be included.
VISIT THE TROPIC OF CANCER BEACH
Tropic of Cancer is one of the Exumas best beaches and can be found quite close to Santana. It is named literally because of its location. A visit to this place is truly worth the effort. The beach area here is huge.
BEACHCOMBER ON THE MILE LONG SANDBAR
If you’re thinking that the highlight of your vacation is the swimming pigs, you’re mistaken because there’s the Mile Long Sandbar located near Staniel City – and visiting here will truly complete your vacation. One of the most amazing sights you’ll ever see! You’ll probably want to spend the rest of the day on this superb sandbar.
TRY THE LOBSTER AT SANTANA’S GRILL PIT
It can be found on Little Exuma which is connected to Great Exuma by a bridge. It features an insanely beautiful beach which used to be the filming site of Johnny Depp when he was filming the movie Pirates of the Caribbean! Right on the water here at Santana’s Grill Pit are where the best lobsters on the island can be tasted. You can swim, and later wine and dine in the ocean – enjoy a freshly made sumptuous lunch partnered with a Bahama Mamas.
Written by Tim Baker. Tim is an avid traveller, blogger and freelance writer. Tim contributes to a number of travel and lifestyle blogs, sharing his travel and life experiences.