Your Island Vacation Guide to The Exumas Bahamas
The Exumas is a chain of 365 islands and cays in The Bahamas, surrounded by ocean so crystal-clear and blue, you can see the ocean bed. Divided into three major areas, Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and The Exuma Cays are filled with so many bucket list experiences, we don’t know where to begin. Thankfully, this family of islands and cays weren’t affected by Hurricane Dorian and are currently welcoming guests. Here’s everything you need to know before planning your adventure.
The world-famous swimming pigs.
Major Cay in The Exumas is home to the world-famous swimming pigs. Locally known as Pig Beach, the island is about 82 miles southeast of Nassau in the central Bahamas. Be sure to pack some tasty treats; these pigs, like any world-famous celebrity, expect a little something for making an appearance.
Bond. James Bond.
The Exumas was the site of not one but two films in the 007 series: Thunderball (1965) and Never Say Never Again (1983). One look at the gin-clear depths of this underwater cave filled with marine life and you’ll see why. But, don’t take our word for it. Snorkel next to some colourful fish and find out yourself.
Swimming in a sea of sharks...big gulp!
On Compass Cay, there’s a waterfront bar on the dock serving delicious drinks. Just below, a family of nurse sharks call the clear waters their home. At high tide, they swim to the surface to soak up some sun. The unreal sight is the best opportunity you’ll ever have for a safe, up-close encounter with these magnificent animals.
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is breathtaking.
You have our permission to take a moment and Google this eco-sanctuary. Protected for over 60 years, the land and sea park is a natural wonderland for nature-lovers, snorkelers, and divers. Within its 176 square miles are the Rocky Dundas cave system, the Sea Aquarium, forests of mangroves, and a bounty of marine life.
The Mile-Long Sandbar is the stuff of dreams. David Copperfield described this mile-long stretch of pristine-white sand rising from the sea as “Heaven on Earth.” We agree. The water here is shallow, only reaching about knee-high, and in typical Exumas fashion—crystal-clear, turquoise blue, and always warm.
Some of the best beaches in the world.
When it comes to the beaches in The Exumas, beautiful is an understatement. Hands down, some of the best in the world. Instagram-worthy. Warm. Pristine. Flat out amazing.
The Exumas might be 365 islands and cays, but they’re all relatively small. The Exumas International Airport and George Town Airport offer car rental service, but using local taxis to get around is perfectly fine. If it’s island hopping you’re after, there are a number of local companies that are happy to show you around.
Wait, wait, wait. You need flights and a place to stay!
Now that you’re sold on the destination, let’s talk logistics. First things first, the best time to travel to The Exumas is anytime. It’s about 261 miles from the 2 islands damaged by Hurricane Dorian (Freeport and The Abacos). The weather is great year-round, the water is warm, and the beaches are stunning. All major airlines offer daily and direct flights to Exumas International Airport and George Town Airport. When it comes to places to stay, the island is never over-crowded so you’re sure to find a hotel or resort near George Town within your budget.