The Exumas are a chain of 365 islands in The Bahamas. An island for each day of the year! Their sapphire waters and snow white sands are beyond compare. It’s no wonder films like Pirates of the Caribbean, Into the Blue and James Bond have all been filmed there. We had the time of our lives exploring Great Exuma and Little Exuma last week. We spent our days boating from cay to cay, snorkeling, and enjoying pristine beaches all to ourselves. If you’ve been looking for a secluded, quiet, and stunning place to vacation – consider this slice of Heaven for your next island getaway. Read on for tips and highlights if you’re planning a trip, or if you just need a good mental vacay today.
We have traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean, but I have never seen such crystal clear blue water in my life. I couldn’t stop taking photos of the “Exuma blues” as some people like to call them. I tried to capture it’s beauty in photos, but they really don’t do it justice (I took almost 500, but I’ll spare you and only share a few:)!
We flew into Nassau and hopped on a puddle jumper to Georgetown, where we stayed at a beautiful house in February Point. My favorite part was the private pool overlooking the ocean. I mean, talk about a dream scene! If I could have a time portal or an “Easy” button, it would teleport me back to that spot. We loved taking in the BLUE-tiful views and hearing the waves crashing every day. It was healing like a soul massage.
Our days included island hopping, boating, visiting incredible secluded beaches (on most of which we were the only people in sight!), snorkeling, diving, eating fresh seafood and, of course, steadily drinking Bahama Mamas and Goombay Punch. It was all wonderfully laidback and relaxing. The people of Exuma are incredibly friendly and will belly up to the bar with you and chat for hours. They are very passionate with hometown (home-island?) pride and enthusiastic to share it with anyone who will listen.
The Clearest Waters
I think it is impossible to find an area of water in the Exumas that isn’t a gorgeous shade of turquoise. Of course, all of the Caribbean islands have beautiful water, but the water in Exuma takes it to a whole new level. We almost couldn’t believe our eyes – it was so bright and clear. How many shades of blue can you count?
Stunning Beaches All To Yourself
The Exumas are incredibly quiet and secluded. On many occasions, we found that we were the only people in sight. Even the famous Tropic of Cancer beach was empty. One of our favorite discoveries was this breathtaking powder white sandbar between the islands. We lounged around swimming and searching for sea creatures. We were the only people out there and it felt like a dream.
Incredible Snorkeling & Amazing Wildlife
Underwater life in the Exumas is amazing, with wrecks, reefs, and caves to explore. It was like diving and snorkeling in a crystal clear aquarium. We swam with stingrays, snorkeled blue holes, and searched for beach creatures. I came home with starfish, sea fans, and beautiful seashells that we found in the ocean. To swim with the pigs, you’d want to travel north 2 hours to Big Major Cay. We are saving that for our next trip!
One of our favorite stops while out boating was Stocking Island. There they have a pig roast, lively music, beach volleyball, a cool and colorful gift shop and the bar & restaurant Chat ‘N Chill. We met people from all over the world who had anchored up their boats to have lunch there. It reminded us a lot of Jost Van Dyke in the BVI’s. They also have friendly sting rays who will swim up to you and beg for you to feed them!
I remember learning about the Tropic of Cancer in high school geography, and it always sounded like a mythical place. It was even more magical in person. The longest beach on Little Exuma island, it is also the prettiest and you will probably have it all to yourself. Located at 23 26N 75 35W, the beach is named after the meridian line that defines the northern extent of the tropics and crosses right through it. Visitors come from all over the world to see it, one of Exuma’s well kept secrets…
Tips for Visiting Great Exuma & Little Exuma:
1. Spend the day boating. The Exumas have 365 Islands alone – You can explore an island a day for a year!
2. Rent a boat and snorkel as much as you can! Because the islands are so undeveloped, the coral reefs are the most vibrant, colorful, and healthy reefs we’ve ever seen. There were beautiful fish, stingrays, and animals everywhere. There are tons of blue holes, caves, shipwrecks and underwater treasure to discover.
3. Rent a car and go exploring from one end of the island to the other. Don’t forget they drive on the “wrong” side of the road!
4. Visit Stocking Island (via boat), feed the sting rays and grab lunch at Chat n’ Chill.
5. Have the cracked conch and lobster at Santana’s (Johnny Depp’s favorite restaurant). Wash it down with Goombay punch!
6. Go to the Fish Fry for authentic local island fare (true Bahamas staples – cracked conch, fresh lobster, grouper, steaming johnnycake, and johnnycake). Shirley’s is the best!
7. Watch the glorious Exuma sunset, eat dinner and feed the sharks at Catch-a-Fire.
8. Listen to live music and have dinner at Peace and Plenty.
9. Visit Tropic of Cancer Beach. It’ll be the most gorgeous beach you’ve ever seen.
10. Bring cash! Most places do not take credit cards, so be prepared to pay with American or Bahamian dollars.
We fell completely in love with this little slice of heaven, and I hope that you will too! I’ll be sharing another post about our favorite things to do in Nassau, so stay tuned! I’d love to hear what you think!
Bahamas Island Hopping – The Exumas