SI Swimsuit 2019 Destinations: Exuma, The Bahamas

SI Swimsuit 2019 Destinations: Exuma, The Bahamas

Swim with pigs, eat fresh conch and relax on a pristine beach during your getaway to beautiful Exuma! 
April 30, 2019

SI SWIMSUIT DESTINATIONS: SOUTH AUSTRALIA | COSTA RICA | KENYA | NASSAU | PUERTO VALLARTA | ST. LUCIA

Searching for the perfect island getaway? Exuma is definitely the place for you! Once you lay your eyes on the stunning blue waters and white-sand beaches, you'll want to spend every moment of your trip outdoors. Whether you spend the afternoon at a local market, sip on fresh coconut water by the beach or swim with pigs at Big Major Cay, your time in Exuma will be pure perfection! If you're on the hunt for a destination with the ideal combination of relaxation and adventure, look no further than Exuma!

FAQS
Everything you need to know before a trip to Exuma, Bahamas.

Where is Exuma, Bahamas?

Exuma is located 35 miles southeast of Nassau and just about an hour flight from South Florida.

How do I get to Exuma, Bahamas?

Several major national and international airlines offer daily, bi-weekly and weekly flights to Exuma International Airport (GGT).  

Any interesting historic notes about Exuma, Bahamas?

The Exumas have evolved over time from a salt mining port of call, to a haven for pirates, to a cotton-producing colony – with each phase influencing its historical development. The Lucayan Indians were the first to inhabit The Exumas, followed by the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s. During the American Revolution a group of loyalist to the king sought refuge on the island, and wealthy European landowners started large cotton plantations. The most notable was John Rolle, who eventually freed his slaves and deeded his land to them.

Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 
Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 

What is Exuma, Bahamas known for and why?

Though the swimming pigs on Big Major Cay have made quite the name for themselves, Exuma is best known for having the most beautiful water in the Caribbean!

What is the weather like year round in Exuma, Bahamas?

Like many of the islands in the Bahamas, temperatures in Exuma range from 68 to 86 degrees during the day and 62 to 70 degrees at night, year-round. 

Best time of year to travel to Exuma, Bahamas?

With beautiful weather year-round, The Exumas are a great destination to visit any time of year.

What are the beaches like in Exuma, Bahamas?

Exuma is home to the most exquisite white-sand beaches and the clearest water in The Bahamas. In fact, retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly considers The Exumas the most beautiful place from space. In The Exumas it’s easy to get a spectacular beach to yourself.

Tropic of Cancer Beach, also known as Pelican Beach, is a graceful, secluded white sand beach named after the meridian line that crosses through it.

Three Sisters Beach offers breathtaking views of the beautiful blue-green and is home to the legendary rocky trio, The Three Sisters Rocks.

Coco Plum Beach is home to the very Instagrammable ocean swing sets and offers some of the best shelling in all of Exuma.

Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 
Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 
Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 

Must-have packing items for a trip to Exuma, Bahamas?

Travelers should bring plenty of swimwear, because you’ll live on the beaches of Exuma!

What should I bring home from Exuma, Bahamas and why?

The Straw Market in George Town offers a variety of unique locally handcrafted handbags, baskets, jewelry, straw hats and many more souvenirs.

What shouldn’t I bring home from Exuma, Bahamas and why?

While the swimming pigs in Exuma are adorable, they are not to be taken home. Grab your beachcombing finds instead.

What animals will I see in Exuma, Bahamas?

Exuma has enough wildlife for an Instagram safari. Here you’ll find the famous swimming pigs of Big Major Cay, the nurse sharks of Compass Cay and the Allen Cay Iguanas. (Fun fact: The Allen Cay Iguanas aren’t found anywhere else in the world outside of three cays in Exuma.)

How can I swim with sharks in Exuma?

Head to Compass Cay Marina to swim with 15–20 Nurse Sharks.

Can I get fresh coconut water in Exuma?

Yes! Pop into any local bar or restaurant and request fresh coconut water sourced from the palms of The Exumas.

Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 
Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 
Courtesy of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation 

What are some must-have meals in Exuma?

Santana’s Grill is a famous fish shack that overlooks the Atlantic and offers a wide variety of mouthwatering local dishes. (Fun fact: The owner, Mrs. Denise Moxey, has endless stories about celebrities who have visited Santana’s Grill.)

Big D’s Conch Spot on Great Exuma is a well-known, vibrant cabana-style Bahamian restaurant offering some of the best signature conch dishes on The Exumas.

The Fish Fry is a collection of local eateries that cook up some of the best Bahamian cuisine on the island, including barbecue, conch salad and  Shirley’s famous curried and fried lobster.

What are some must-have drinks in Exuma?

Kalik and Sands, Bahamian brewed beers, are a must for beachside hangs, or stop by Chat ‘N’ Chill on Stocking Island and order a Bahama Mama to cool off with.

What are the top must-have experiences in Exuma?

The famous Thunderball Grotto offers snorkeling, diving and exotic marine life, and has been used for scenes from James Bond’s Thunderball and Never Say Never Again.

Big Major Cay, the official home of the swimming pigs, where visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience swimming with The Exumas’ most famous four-legged animals.

Chat ‘N’ Chill on Stocking Island is an essential Exuma experience, a beachside bar and grill designed and developed by Kenneth (KB) Bowe and home to  Volleyball Beach, a full service bar and a variety of Bahamian specialties, including the Conch burger.

While The Exumas boasts 365 cays and islands, there are three beaches to keep at the top of your list: Tropic of Cancer Beach, The Three Sisters Beach and Coco Plum Beach.

Just north of George Town, the Fish Fry is a place to chat with locals, jive to music and indulge in fresh Bahamian cuisine.

For an adventurous type of traveler, what can I experience in Exuma?

Travelers can enjoy scuba diving blue holes, snorkeling spectacular coral reefs and shipwrecks, including the Austin Smith Wreck or kitesurfing around the Exuma chain.  

If I am looking for some R&R, what can I experience in Exuma?

Exuma is the ultimate escape from the everyday hustle and bustle. Travelers can choose from a number of beaches to stretch out as they soak up the sun and listen to the calm Bahamian breeze or take a boat ride out to the crystal clear waters, drop anchor and enjoy the sunshine with a cocktail in hand.

What is the one photo I have to take while in Exuma?

The photo opps are endless in Exuma, from a selfie with the swimming pigs to floating with the nurse sharks, but add the magical sandbar in George Town’s Elizabeth Harbour to your list for the most epic photo in Exuma.

What makes Exuma so special?

Exuma is home to warm locals, miles of jaw-dropping beaches, the most amazing multihued water and adventures that can only be experienced on this bucket-list worthy destination. It’s a place for those who seek the perfect mix of exotic exploration and serene relaxation. You’ll leave The Exumas with a handful of new Bahamian friends and endless stories!