W ith water so clear and beaches so pristine, the islands of the Exumas are often compared to those in French Polynesia or the Maldives. The 365-island archipelago is just a one-hour flight from the coast of Florida and is touted by Islands Magazine as one of the top five islands on which to live. Here you'll find that nothing is too far away and no traffic exists to slow you down. In fact, we frequently we find ourselves chasing daylight in an attempt to squeeze in one more amazing experience. Residents and visitors of all ages can find delight in Exuma’s various activities and we offer the following bucket list to ensure a vacation you won’t soon forget.
Take a group tour or a private charter to see the, now famous, swimming pigs of the Exumas. Big Majors Cay, a deserted island in the Northern Exumas, is home to these swimming swine, but their origin is still unclear. Watch them waddle from the bush and make their way to the water to accept your food offerings. Don’t forget the GoPro for pig selfies and unforgettable underwater footage.
The Exumas are best known for it’s crystal clear water and shallow reefs teeming with a menagerie of marine life. Fortunately, there are myriad reefs dotting the harbour that are safe to swim for both adults and children. Minns Watersports offers daily and weekly boat rentals to the public to cruise around Elizabeth Harbour to your heart’s desire. Nearly ten marked reefs are located within minutes from downtown. Sea turtles, rays, and bottlenose dolphins can be spotted among the various corals and iridescent reef fish in the harbour’s calm waters. It is sure to impress even the toughest snorkeling critic.
If you’re seeking the most instagramable photos opps or to just disconnect completely and beach it all day, this is the spot. Just off the coast of Great Exuma, these two islands display some of the most picturesque deserted beaches in the area. Call Out Island Explorers for a couple of kayaks and hop over from the mainland in just 10-15 minutes. Have a picnic and a Kalik, of course, and laze the day away. The clarity of the water and the texture of the sand here are what dreams are made of.
Fortunately, many of the most beautiful beaches in the Exumas are easily accessible by car. Begin at the top of the island at Exuma Point and beach hop your way to Williamstown, at the southern end of Little Exuma. Each has its own splendor and offer great opportunities for amazing photos and beach combing. You will likely have the entire beach to yourself, which is one reason Exuma draws the attention of the world’s most high profile visitors. Some of our favorite beaches are: Coco Plum Beach, Flamingo Beach, Three Sisters, Hoopers Bay, Jolly Hall, Forbes Hill, and Santanna’s.
A visit to Exuma isn’t complete without a stop to the most popular beach bar/restaurant in the area, Chat N Chill. Take your own boat or the water taxi across the harbour to Stocking Island and spend the day feeding and petting the stingrays, indulging in made-to-order fresh conch salad, and imbibing in it’s specialty drink, the Goombay Smash. Even on a windy day, Chat N Chill offers calm, warm water as it is tightly tucked away inside Stocking Island along Elizabeth Harbour. Take an extra t-shirt to hang at the bar to represent your business, a sports team, or the like and as they say, “Come for the chat, stay for the chill.”
With such a variety of waters and so much of it, there are numerous fishing opportunities in Exuma. Fly fishing, spear fishing, deep sea fishing, or trolling is all a possibility. Just minutes from the protected waters of Exuma's harbors, the ocean floor drops a few thousand feet providing excellent opportunities for wahoo, tuna, dorado and even marlin - all only minutes away from the dock. The harbours along the island's east side and the expansive southwest-side flats offer excellent bonefishing, as well as lesser-known opportunities for tarpon and permit. Finally, one should never overlook the fantastic fishing for snapper, jacks, barracuda, sharks and other species available throughout Exuma's waters.
Exuma offers both tranquility for those seeking solace or adventure for those chasing a more active lifestyle. World-class water sports opportunities attract water enthusiasts from all corners of the Earth. An Exuma experience can be whatever one makes of it and we do hope you choose to include it in your future travel plans. Contact us for more information.