The Exumas are a chain of over 365 islands in the Bahamas, also knows as “cays”. The largest cay is Great Exuma – connected to Little Exuma only by a bridge.
The water is some of the bluest you will ever see. And the beaches are very secluded. You likely won’t have to share. If that isn’t enough to get you there, here are some more travel tips!
1) TAKE A BOAT TOUR TO SEE THE SWIMMING PIGS.
This is the #1 attraction in the Exumas right now. We used Robert’s Island Adventures and they were perf! We did the full day tour, which took us to a bunch of different stops. We hung out on an island full of giant iguanas. We searched for sand dollars on the most gorgeous mile-long sandbar. We passed islands owned by David Copperfield, and Faith Hill/Tim McGraw. We snorkeled through “Thunderball Grotto” – an underwater cave where they filmed parts of the movie “Splash” and the James Bond movies “Thunderball” and “Never Say Never Again”. Had lunch at Staniel Cay Yacht Club, where we had the option to swim with the neighboring nurse sharks. And of course, we swam with the great swimming pigs of Exuma!
2)SWIM WITH THE TURTLES IN HOOPER’S BAY.
This was one of my favorite experiences, not only the in the bahamas, but ever! The turtles like to hang out around the docks, and once you spot one, you are likely to see many more. Trying to pick one up is almost an art form. If you aren’t ninja enough to grab them right away, they will shoot right out of your hands faster than I ever imagined a turtle could move!
3) TRY THE LOCAL BEER.
4) LAY OUT ON TROPIC OF CANCER BEACH.
Also knows as Pelican Beach, this is probably the prettiest beach in the Exumas! It is located on Little Exuma. After passing the bridge that connects Great Exuma to Little Exuma, you will just keep driving until you see a sign on the left for the beach. It’s a very bumpy road down to the beach so DO drive slowly! Once there, you can actually stand on the Tropic of Cancer – the line is marked on the ground.
5) EAT AT SANTANA’S.
The reviews don’t lie. This beachside place is delightful. Have a Kalik light (my fave beer of the Bahamas) and try the fried lobster! Also, try “Mom’s” bakery next door for dessert.
6) RENT A BOAT AT MINN’S.
We are no sailors. Neither of us had ever driven a boat, but decided this was the place to do it. Nothing like driving straight out into the ocean at your own pace. It took us a little while to trust our anchoring skills, but after that, we were golden. And besides taking a water taxi, it’s the only way to explore Stocking Island – which leads me to my next recommendation….
7) FEED THE STINGRAYS AT CHAT ‘N CHILL.
The food is served up just like you’re at a summertime cook-out. I had a grilled cheese on a hamburger bun, with shoe string fries, and the most amazing garlic coleslaw on the side. Tried a bite of the grouper, and it was the best fish I’ve ever tasted!
The stingrays are almost always hovering around out front, waiting for food. They will swim right up to – and even on top of you – if you’re in the water.
8) TRY CATCHING THE LIZARDS AND FROGS.
They are all over the place. All these pictures were taken right outside our cottage.
9) WALK ACROSS THE OCEAN IN ROLLETOWN.
At low tide, you can actually walk across the ocean from Rolletown to Man-O-War Cay. It becomes a giant sandbar with tons of starfish and sand dollars to be found!
I truly believe that if you’re thinking about planning a trip to Great Exuma – the time to go is NOW. The island is pretty undeveloped right now, but I think that will change in time and the beaches will no longer be the hidden treasures that they are now.
The plane ticket is the most expensive part. We rented a 2 bedroom cottage complete with a kitchen for a full week for $900 (hoopersbayvillas.com), and rented a car for $350 (thompson’s rental cars). Food is very expensive – I would recommend stashing some basics in your luggage to save some $$$. And load up on sunscreen! You will most definitely burn without it, and probably even with. 🙂