The Ultimate Guide To The Exumas, Bahamas

EXUMA

The Exumas, a chain of islands within The Bahamas are some of the most beautiful islands in the world and we’re not saying it because we’re biased, but because it is the truth.  Exuma is a spell-binding slice of heaven on earth and even carries the nickname “quarter mile from heaven” because it’s unlike any other place in the world. Celebrities, business tycoons and off-the-beaten-path adventurers for years have known and flocked to this part of the world to escape from the insanity that is the real world.

GETTING TO THE EXUMAS

Flying ito The Exumas it is pretty easy; Exuma is a chain of islands, therefore you have many options.  The main airport Georgetown International Airport (GGT) is located on mainland Great Exuma and has daily, bi-weekly and weekly flights from the U.S. and Canada on popular carriers such as Air Canada, Delta, American Airlines, Bahamasair, Silver Airways and Sky Bahamas.  You can also fly into Staniel Cay airport (MYES), via chartered air. If you’re adventurous you may want to take a ferry or a mailboat from the capital.  The options are limitless.

STAY

  • Sandals Emerald Bay –  It’s Sandal’s need we say more?  So luxe, you can even book a butler if you wish!
  • Augusta Bay –  It’s not luxury but a comfortable and affordable accomodation located 20 minutes away from town. The views are stunning and the service is great!
  • Hideaways At Palm Bay – While the service and resort is great, the bar is a top seller. The drinks keep flowing and there is a swing at the bar that is a favourite!
  • Staniel Cay Yacht Club – Located on Staniel Cay, this was definitely a favourite. The staff were super accommodating and anyone who has ever been to Staniel Cay can vouch for this! You can explore the by island bicycle which was featured in the James Bond flick, ‘Thunderball” or hop on a quick ten-minute boat ride to the world famous Swimming Pigs.

DO

  • Swimming Pigs:  Pigs don’t fly, but they sure do swim here. Swimming with the local celebrities located on Big Major’s Cay is a popular must-do. Their popularity has grown in the last few years as they have found themselves featured on ABC’s The Bachelor, on late night talk shows and across many travel and entertainment publications. They live on a remote island only accessible by boat so make sure to book a reputable tour company.
  • Thunderball Grotto:  The most beautiful underwater spot we’ve had the pleasure of snorkelling. Named after 007’s ‘Thunderball’ film, the grotto is a preferred snorkelling and diving haven crowded with hundreds of exotic coral, fish and sea life. If you’re brave enough to swim inside, do me us a favour and look up and admire the amazing 20 ft. ceiling, just jaw-dropping.
  • Tropic of Cancer Beach:  Officially named Pelican Beach, this is is quite possibly the most awe-inspiring beach in all of The Exumas. Located a short way outside of Willams Town in Little Exumas at 23 26N 75 35W, this crescent hideaway with its soft sand and azure waters has received much notoriety not only because of its beauty but because of one geological fact: the Tropic of Cancer latitude line runs along this beach.
  • Three Sister’s Rock Beach:  One amazing beach day awaits at Three Sister’s Rock Beach. Legend has it that three sisters fell in love with the same Englishman, but didn’t know it. They found out on the day he was set to leave and decided to swim out to his ship to confront him. The weather was not good and all three of the sisters drowned, the three rocks are said to have grown in the spots where the sisters drowned. What a story right? You can view these rocks from the beach which is incredibly beautiful and most times deserted.
  • Iguanas:  If petting baby dragons excite you, this may be something you’re interested in.  Rock Iguanas are endemic to The Bahamas and there is an island in Exuma that is home to these oversized lizards. The island is crawling with them, it’s actually pretty amazing. You can feed them or pet them but don’t try to leave the country with them. Yes, that’s happened before.
  • Compass Cay:  You can’t leave Compass Cay out; it’s a vacation sin if you do.  This tiny and infamous island is the home of the friendly nurse sharks and gives island vibes for every time. If you book a tour, a stop here is usually included. There is food, beaches and overall great times on Compass Cay.

EAT

  • Santana’s Bar & Grill: Many stumble upon this famous spot as they get lost trying to find the Tropic of Cancer beach, but make sure Santana’s is a priority on your foodie list.  The open-air florescent coloured restaurant overlooking the sea specialises in lunch and dinner; menu options range from lobster to conch, fish with classic Bahamian sides – peas n’ rice and baked macaroni and coleslaw.  Wash it down with a cold beer, preferably the local favourite Kalik.
  • Fish Fry: Head to the fish fry for a true Bahamian experience. Located in Georgetown, you can find the spot where the locals eat. You can find authentic Bahamian food at any of the ten plus colourful shacks by the sea. Indulge in fresh food from the sea while shooting the breeze with the Exumians.
  • Chat ‘N’ Chill:  A short ferry ride from Georgetown to Stocking Island is where you can find one of the most famous beach bars in all of The Exuma Cays.  This full-service open-air bar and restaurant serve up of grilled items like burgers and ribs and you shouldn’t pass up a bowl of the local delicacy, conch salad at the tropical stall. If you’re in town on a Sunday, the popular pig roast is not to be missed. Besides the tempting beach, other on island activities include volleyball, bridge, and dominoes.
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