Being in the Bahamas and not seeing the Exumas makes the whole trip totally incomplete. The Exumas, district of the Bahamas that consists of 365 islands, is one of a kind in the world. Breathtaking environment, transparent turquoise waters and natural gardens of coral reef teeming with extraordinary sea creatures makes this place a true paradise. I visited the Exumas twice on my two trips to the Bahamas and would do it again in a heartbeat. Here is a short guide on how to get a taste of one of these fabulous islands on an affordable one day trip.
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Why you should visit Exumas in the Bahamas
Can you imagine ocean filled with crystal clear water lightly colored in blue shade hitting the coast of white, warm and soft sand? Yes, sounds like paradise and it really is one. Exumas are surrounded by the clearest water in the world. It’s something that is hard to find in many other places.
When to go to the Exumas
Practically any time you wish. The weather in the Exumas is enticing all year around. Just make sure to check the forecast between June and October since it is hurricane season. Summers are hot and humid with average temperatures in high 80s. The peak season runs from November to May with more moderate weather conditions.
What to pack
Since it is a beach haven your essentials should include: swimsuit, cover up, hat, sunscreen, towel, good humor 🙂 Unless you are planning to stay overnight then probably some extra items. I did one day trip so these were absolutely enough.
How to get there
While there are 365 Exumas islands, not many of them are inhabited and majority are private. You need to do some research and know where you want to go. The most popular island is Big Major Cay with its famous Pig Beach. I bet you heard about swimming pigs in the Bahamas but these are not the only ones in Exumas. I did a tour organized by Powerboat Adventures to a different island named Ship Channel Cay and was amazingly surprised by the pigs’ appearance. Additionally, you will experience other sea creatures in person such as sharks and sting rays … details below 🙂
How much does it cost
A day trip costs around a couple hundred dollars which adds up quickly if you have a big family. However, if you consider what’s included in the price (keep reading below on what to expect) it actually turns out be a great value. I have seen the cost rise over the years due to increased popularity so you it’s best to refer to Power Adventures website on the latest pricing.
How long does it take to get to the Exuma Bahamas
The company will organize the pick up from your hotel (make sure to schedule it) and bring you off to the marina from which the tour begins. My experience is based solely on the tour organized by Powerboat Adventures to Ship Channel Cay. I did this tour twice with them and was absolutely satisfied each time. One small drawback is that the tour has got more crowded due to increased popularity. The company now operates a second powerboat. On the other hand, they compensate everybody by doing a Miami Vice style chase with two boats as you get to the final destination.
Once you leave the marina it takes about 1.5h to reach final destination. The trip can be bumpy especially if you sit in the front of the boat. Try to board first, so you have the best choice of seats. We sat in the middle of the boat and had fairly smooth ride. Another important point is to apply plenty of sunscreen. As long as the wind blows in your face, you don’t feel the sun burning you.
What to expect: food, drinks, attractions
On the way to the Ship Channel Cay we made a short stop at Allen’s Cay to provide a tasty breakfast to the protected Rock Iguanas. It was one of a kind experience. When we reached the beach it immediately filled up with plenty of hungry iguanas that we fed with grapes provided by the tour company.
From there it took us around 20 minutes to get to the Ship Channel Cay which was our final destination. The Island is two miles long and half a mile wide and offers some spectacular views in every direction. It is a private island so you are allowed to stay at the beach the entire day. The rest of the island is not really accessible to visitors. You will be provided with the beach chairs and delicious food and drinks (open bar!). Seriously, the dinner there was made up of variety of different dishes and was super tasty. In addition to the buffet, you can taste freshly prepared conch salad right on the beach while sipping on Bahama Mama, the most popular local cocktail. Besides eating and dinking you can spend your time feeding stingrays, playing with the sharks (hahahaha), and snorkeling. The main attraction are, definitely the swimming pigs that wait for their dose of crispy apples fed by the guests. Other than that you will be relaxing on the beach or in turquoise shallow water.
Have I convinced you to visit this Caribbean paradise? Let me know in the comments if you have already visited or are planning to visit Exumas in the Bahamas!
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