About the Exumas
Thirty-five miles southeast of Nassau begins a chain of 365 islands and cays known as the Exumas. It is among the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world and once you get here, you understand why. The islands feature crystal clear seas, powdery sand, and lots of family activities that you’ll enjoy. There are 365 of these cays along this section of the Bahamas, covering 130 brilliantly turquoise miles.
Top Things to Do in Exuma
What are the best things to do on a week vacation to Exuma? Part of the fun of Exuma is just exploring and losing track of time. However, for those that want (or need) a plan, here is our check list of the Top Things to Do during a week long visit:
✦ Enjoy A Fun-Filled Day at The Beach
No matter which direction you look, as Great Exuma is a small island, you are likely to see water. Therefore, there are beaches, well, just about everywhere! Ultimately, part of the Exuma experience is visiting a number of beaches and deciding for yourself which is your favourite. Certainly, this is a topic of much family debate!
Do you want long sweeping powdery sand, a hidden grotto sheltered by rocks, access to snorkeling or walking distance to a great beach bar? Surely, one of the most popular beaches on Little Exuma is Tropic of Cancer Beach. The Exuma beaches are a great place to go during your family vacation. You will get to enjoy mind-blowing sunrise and sunset views and also try out a variety of watersports activities.
To narrow it down for you, some of the other must-see beaches while visiting Great Exuma are Jolly Hall Beach, Coco Plum Beach, and Three Sisters Beach. Just imagine beaches that are absolutely stunning. White sand, beautiful sand bars, crystal clear, turquoise water as far as the eye can see.
- Coco Plum Beach: a breathtaking beach, with sand bars as far out as the eye can see during low tide. The water is shallow, crystal clear, and filled with sand dollars.
- Jolly Hall Beach: a secluded and quiet crescent shaped beach, perfect for a relaxing day or a night time visit under moonlight.
- Three Sisters Beach: home to the legendary rock trio! “Town lore explains the appearance of the rocks after three heartbroken sisters drowned swimming out to sea to their wayfaring lovers.”
✦ Bird Watching in The Exumas
For you bird lovers, be prepared to revel in all of the species of birds the Exumas have to offer. Exuma consists of over 365 cays. Between these 365 cays including Great Exuma and Little Exuma islands, there are around 125 species of birds taking up residence.
You can explore the island on a self-guided tour to see these magnificent creatures or join a tour group to see them. One of the top places to go for bird watching activities is Moriah Harbor Cay National Park. Other spots include Grog Pond, Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, or just simply exploring the island.
Moriah Harbour Cay National Park is 16,800 acres, and is a vital part of the ecosystem between the Great Exuma and Little Exuma islands. It is a protected coastal zone, home to many different species of wildlife and habitats. Visitors will have the chance of seeing many different birds and nests while visiting this national park.
Some of the birds to watch out for in The Exumas are Gull-Billed Tern, Antillean Nighthawk, Least Tern, American Oystercatcher, Osprey, Plover, West Indian Whistling Duck, White Crowned Pigeon, Laughing Gull, Bahama Mocking Bird, Thick-billed Vireo, Zenaida Dove, Bananaquit, Black-faced Grassquit, Zenaida Dove, Great Antillean Bullfinch, etc.
If you are planning to join tour guides some of the best tour guides that you can join in Exuma include Dorcas Shuttleworth and Exuma Cays Adventures with Captain Peter Burrows.
✦ Bonefishing in The Exumas
Exuma is surrounded by clear shallow waters, which make it a perfect place for watersports. Among the activities for which the Exumas are renowned is bonefishing. However, if you are going to embark on a bonefishing adventure, hire a local guide such as “Bonefish Stevie” Ferguson, an Exuma native who grew up fishing these flats.
Bonefish are not easy to catch and give an incredible fight. Therefore, a guide will surely be your best bet so that you can easily locate the best bonefishing grounds. The Exuma guides are well-versed in fishing, so you can easily learn from them if you are a novice.
Also a half day or full day deep sea fishing is incredible. Wahoo, Kingfish, Mahi Mahi and more are just off shore “in the blue” of Exuma sound. And finally, reef fishing or shore fishing is always fun. One of the best spots is the bridge to Little Exuma. You can easily get access to local tour providers in Exuma, such as Island Boy Adventures.
Book your Exuma bonefishing trip with Funntripps. Our Playgrounds are a perfect home-base for your bonefishing family vacation. Many of our properties are conveniently located just outside George Town. Hence, we’re equidistant from top sites up and down the island.
✦ Visit the Starfish Reserve
The shallow waters which surround the southernmost part of The Exuma Cays are popularly known as the Starfish Reserve. You are going to find a plethora of five-pointed creatures in this region. Kids will surely love the trip to the starfish reserve as they will get a close-up interaction.
✦ Snorkeling in The Exumas
Exuma is filled with safe and protected reefs such as Elizabeth Harbour. The reefs make it a great place for sightseeing, snorkeling and underwater photography. You and your kids will be amazed by the mind-blowing corals and the plethora of fish species that you will see in the area.
If you are a SCUBA diving enthusiast, you can head to the blue holes which can be found only in few locations around the world. You are going to be spoilt with a plethora of spots where you can go diving in Exuma.
✦ Boating in The Exumas
One of the best ways to explore Exuma is by boat. There are lots of great boating opportunities and sought-after activities that you can enjoy in Exuma. You can simply use the boat as a means of travel. Or you can go on boating tours where you are going to explore some of the numerous cays that make up The Exumas. From swimming with the pigs, to visiting the iguanas, to snorkeling, fishing, scuba diving, and so much more, the possibilities are endless.
✦ Visit the Exuma Cays & Swimming Pigs
Situated in the Outer Exuma Islands is Big Major Cay, a small island ruled by pigs. Yep, that’s right, actual pigs! It is in fact one of the biggest attractions on this island. The pigs will swim out to your boat as you approach the island and depending on how friendly they are on the day they will hang around, swim with you and have some of your lunch as well.
Even if you have visited them many times, it is hard not to smile when you see Exuma’s world-famous swimming pigs. Pig Beach is usually combined with other stops including seeing Iguana beach, starfish bay, the Blow Hole. On full day tours you can also see the sunken drug plane, Thunderball Grotto and swimming with nurse sharks.
However, if you are pressed for time, there is a closer piggy island called White Bay. You can book the half-day tour with Exuma Water Sports. But , if you’ve got the stamina and energy for the full day tour that includes a nurse shark swim, check out this tour: Coastline Adventures Exuma Sea & Water Boat Tours
The tours generally leave from Barraterre at the Northwest end of Great Exuma but most offer pickup service in George Town or hotels along the way. You can buy individual tickets and go as a group (usually 8 to 12) or book a private boat.
The perfect Exuma week will clearly depend on what you are looking for but the list above hopefully gives you a start!
Discover the Perfect Playground for Adventure
Our authentic family adventure features a fun and exclusive Swimming Pigs Tour that will thrill both adults and kids! This is the ultimate opportunity to see all the amazing attractions in the Exuma Cays.
Our Swimming with The Pigs mini-course (eBook included) was created so that you could enjoy the most beautiful country on earth and get the most out of your trip there.
Explore the Exumas – the warm, welcoming Exumians you meet along the way make this even more delightful. From them you’ll get the sense that here is a place you are welcome to return to, again and again. See you soon!