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Exuma Cays Bahamas: Insider’s Guide To Paradise Islands

Aerial view of Exuma Cays clear waters, islands, and anchored boats.


In 2023, the Bahamas welcomed 9,654,838 visitors, with the Exumas becoming a hot spot for those seeking crystal clear waters and unique experiences. I was one of those lucky visitors, and I’m here to share all the details.

In this complete travel guide, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Exuma Cays. From the best beaches to must-see attractions, where to stay, what to eat, and how to get around. I’ll also share tips based on my personal experience to help you make the most of your trip. So, let’s get started on planning your dream Exuma Cays vacation.

What Are the Exuma Cays and Why Do They Have This Name?

The Exuma Cays are a bunch of small islands in the Bahamas. There are more than 365 of them – that’s one for every day of the year! But why are they called Exuma? Here’s the story:

  • The name “Exuma” comes from a word used by the first people who lived on these islands. They called far-away places “Yumey.”
  • These first people were called Lucayans. They lived here long before any other people came to the islands.
  • “Cays” is just another way to say “small islands.” It sounds like “keys” when you say it out loud.

So when we say “Exuma Cays,” we’re really saying “a bunch of far-away small islands.” That’s a good name for them because they do feel very far away and special!

The Exuma Cays are split into three parts:

  1. Great Exuma – the biggest island
  2. Little Exuma – a smaller island next to Great Exuma
  3. The Exuma Cays – all the tiny islands nearby

If you could see these islands from an airplane, they would look like green jewels floating in bright blue water. It’s no surprise that people have loved visiting the Exuma Cays for hundreds of years!

How to Get to Exuma Cays: Your Adventure Begins

Most Exuma tourists start their adventure by flying into Exuma International Airport (GGT) in Georgetown, the capital of Great Exuma. When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how small and charming the airport was.

If you’re coming from the US, there are direct flights from cities like Miami, Atlanta, and Fort Lauderdale. I flew from Miami, and the flight was just about an hour and a half. As we approached the islands, I immediately noticed how the water was so blue it looked like someone had turned up the saturation on the world!

For my international friends, you might need to connect through Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. It’s a bit longer, but hey, the anticipation just builds!

Here’s a quick breakdown of some flight options:

Departure CityAirlineApproximate Flight Time
MiamiAmerican Airlines1 hour 30 minutes
AtlantaDelta2 hours 15 minutes
Fort LauderdaleSilver Airways1 hour 45 minutes
TorontoAir Canada (seasonal)3 hours 30 minutes
NassauBahamasair40 minutes
Getting to Exuma by Plane

Take note that flight schedules can change, so always check with the airlines for the most up-to-date information.

Island Hopping Options

Once you’re in Georgetown, the real fun begins. To explore the Exuma Cays, you’ve got a few options:

  • Water Taxis: These are great for short trips to nearby cays like Stocking Island. I took one to visit the famous Chat N’ Chill beach bar, and it was a quick and fun 10-minute ride.
  • Boat Tours: Perfect for day trips to multiple cays. I booked a full-day tour with Four C’s Adventures, and it was the highlight of my trip. We visited the swimming pigs, and iguanas, and even snorkeled in Thunderball Grotto!
  • Ferry Services: Some larger cays have regular ferry services. For example, there’s a ferry from Great Exuma to Staniel Cay that runs a few times a week.
  • Private Boat Rentals: If you have some boating experience, this can be a great option. Just be sure to get a map and some local advice on navigation.

I tried a mix of water taxis and boat tours during my stay. It gave me the flexibility to explore at my own pace while also benefiting from the local knowledge of tour guides.

Plus, the boat rides themselves were half the fun – nothing beats cruising over that crystal-clear water with the wind in your hair!

Best Time to Visit Exuma Bahamas

Now, when should you plan your trip? The Exumas are beautiful year-round, but there are some things to consider. Here’s a quick breakdown:

High SeasonDec – AprPerfect weather (avg. 75°F/24°C), lots of eventsMore crowded, higher prices (hotels can be 30-50% more expensive)
Shoulder SeasonMay – Jun, NovGood weather, fewer crowdsSome rain, hurricane season starts June 1
Low SeasonJul – OctGreat deals (up to 60% off high season prices), peacefulHurricane season, some businesses closed
Different Times to Visit Exuma Bahamas

I visited in May, and it was perfect. The weather was warm but not too hot (about 80°F/27°C most days), and the crowds were manageable. Plus, I got to enjoy some local festivals without breaking the bank on accommodation.

One event you might want to plan around is the Annual Family Island Regatta, usually held in late April in Georgetown. It’s a big sailing competition and a great chance to experience local culture. I missed it by a few weeks, but the locals were still talking about it when I arrived!

Pro Tip: The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is open year-round, so you can always enjoy its natural beauty. Just keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially during hurricane season (June 1 – November 30).

Exploring the Exuma Cays: Islands and Attractions

Exuma Cays islands have their own unique charm and attractions. I spent two weeks hopping from cay to cay, and I still feel like I barely scratched the surface!

Heart-shaped cove of Great Exuma surrounded by greenery and azure waters.

Great Exuma: Your Home Base

Great Exuma is the largest island in the chain and where most visitors start their adventure. It’s home to Georgetown, the main town, where you’ll find a mix of local charm and tourist amenities.

One of my favorite spots on Great Exuma was Coco Plum Beach. Imagine you’re walking along pristine white sand, and there’s a wooden swing right in the ocean. I spent a whole afternoon here, just swinging and watching the sunset. It’s Instagram gold, folks!

Here are some must-visit spots on Great Exuma:

  • Tropic of Cancer Beach: This stunning beach is exactly on the Tropic of Cancer line. The water here is a shade of blue I didn’t even know existed!
  • Rolle Town Tombs: These mysterious above-ground tombs date back to the 1700s. It’s a quick stop but glamorous if you’re into history.
  • Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park: This 176-square-mile park was the first land and sea park in the world. The snorkeling here is out of this world – I saw more types of fish than I could count!
  • Georgetown Fish Fry: Every Friday night, locals and tourists alike gather for fresh seafood, cold drinks, and live music. I had the best conch fritters of my life here.

Stocking Island: A Day Trip Paradise

Stocking Island is just a short water taxi ride from Georgetown. It’s famous for the Chat N’ Chill beach bar, and let me tell you, it lives up to the hype!

Here’s what you can’t miss on Stocking Island:

  • Feed the stingrays at Chat N’ Chill: These gentle creatures swim right up to the shore, and you can hand-feed them. It’s a bit nerve-wracking at first, but it’s totally safe and super cool. The stingrays have been coming here for years, and they’re as gentle as can be.
  • Try the Conch Salad: They make it fresh right in front of you, and it’s delicious. I watched as the chef chopped up conch, tomatoes, peppers, and onions and mixed it all with lime juice. It was tangy, spicy, and so fresh!
  • Hike to the highest point on the island: It’s not a tough hike, but wear good shoes—flip-flops won’t cut it. From there, you can see Exuma Sound for miles.

I spent a whole day on Stocking Island and wished I had more time. It’s the perfect place to unwind and really get into that island vibe. The beach here is also great for collecting sand dollars.

Staniel Cay and the Swimming Pigs

No trip to the Exumas is complete without visiting the famous swimming pigs on Big Major Cay, near Staniel Cay. It’s one of those experiences that sounds bizarre but ends up being incredibly fun.

Here’s the deal with the pigs: they live on their own uninhabited island, and they swim out to greet boats, hoping for treats.

The origin story is a bit murky – some say sailors left them, while others claim it was a Y2K preparedness scheme. Whatever the reason, they’re here now and they’re adorable!

Here are a few tips for your pig encounter:

  • Bring fresh vegetables or fruit for treats. I brought some carrots and apples, and the pigs loved them!
  • Don’t try to ride the pigs. It’s not safe for them or you.
  • Be prepared to get wet. These pigs don’t mind swimming right up to you!

While you’re in the area, don’t miss Thunderball Grotto. This underwater cave system was featured in the James Bond film “Thunderball” (hence the name).

Snorkeling here is like entering another world – schools of colorful fish, intricate coral formations, and shafts of sunlight piercing through the cave openings. Just be careful of the currents – they can be strong!

Compass Cay: Shark Encounter

If swimming with pigs isn’t exciting enough for you, how about swimming with nurse sharks? At Compass Cay, you can do just that!

Now, I know what you’re thinking – sharks?! But don’t worry because nurse sharks are generally harmless to humans. They’re more like big, curious puppies… with fins.

The experience goes like this: you stand on a dock, and dozens of nurse sharks swim around below. When you’re ready, you can climb down a ladder into the water and swim with them. It’s totally optional, but I decided to go for it, and it was exhilarating!

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t touch the sharks. They might look friendly, but they’re still wild animals.
  • Wear water shoes if you have them. The dock can be slippery.
  • Have your camera ready! It’s a once-in-a-lifetime photo op.

After your shark encounter, take some time to explore Compass Cay. It’s one of the best islands in the Bahamas with some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. The beach here is perfect for shell collecting, like some beautiful conch shells!

Little Exuma: Off the Beaten Path

If you’re looking to escape the crowds and experience some truly secluded beaches in Exuma, head to Little Exuma. It’s connected to Great Exuma by a small bridge.

The star attraction here is Tropic of Cancer Beach, also known as Pelican Beach. It’s often cited as one of the best beaches in the Bahamas, and I have to agree.

The sand at Pelican Beach is powder-soft, the water is that impossible shade of blue-green, and often, you’ll have the whole place to yourself. I spent a whole afternoon here and saw maybe five other people the entire time!

While you’re on Little Exuma, don’t miss the following:

  • Santanna’s Bar & Grill: A no-frills beach bar with amazing seafood. Their lobster is to die for! I had the grilled lobster with rice and peas, and it was one of the best meals of my trip.
  • Salt Beacon: An old stone structure used in the salt trading days. It’s a quick stop but offers great views. You can climb to the top for a panoramic view of the surrounding area.
  • The bottomless hole: A natural phenomenon that locals claim is bottomless. It’s eerie and fascinating! Local legend says it’s connected to the ocean by underwater caves.

I spent a day exploring Little Exuma, and it was one of the highlights of my trip. It’s a chance to see a more authentic, less touristy side of the Bahamas.

Where to Stay: Accommodations in the Exuma Cays

After a day of island-hopping and adventure, you’ll need a cozy place to rest your head. The Exumas have options for every budget and travel style. I’ve tried a few different places during my visits, and I’ll share my experiences to help you choose the best spot for your stay.

Resort pool in Exuma with palm trees and lounge chairs under blue sky.

Luxury Resorts: Treat Yourself

If you’re looking to splurge, the Exumas won’t disappoint. While I didn’t stay at these myself (hello, travel writer budget!), I did some serious window shopping and chatted with guests who were staying there.

  • Sandals Emerald Bay: This all-inclusive resort on Great Exuma is the height of luxury. With a golf course designed by Greg Norman, a 16,000 square foot spa, and 11 restaurants, you might never want to leave! One couple I met said they barely left the resort during their week-long stay.
  • Grand Isle Resort & Spa: Located on Emerald Bay, this resort offers villa-style accommodations with stunning ocean views. They have a great farm-to-table restaurant that sources ingredients from their own garden.

Mid-Range Options: Comfort Without Breaking the Bank

For those wanting a bit of comfort without the luxury price tag, there are plenty of great mid-range options:

  • Paradise Bay Bahamas: This is where I stayed on my first visit, and I loved it. The rooms are spacious, there’s a beautiful pool, and it’s right on the beach. Plus, the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. They even arranged a boat tour for me at a discounted rate.
  • Hideaways at Palm Bay: These colorful cottages are perfect if you want a bit more space and privacy. I stayed here on my second visit and loved having a kitchen to prepare some of my own meals with fresh local ingredients.

Budget-Friendly Accommodations: Save Your Cash for Adventures

Traveling on a budget is normal these days, right? Lucky for us, the Exumas have some great affordable options:

  • Peace & Plenty: Located in Georgetown, this historic hotel offers simple rooms at reasonable prices. It’s a great base for exploring Great Exuma. I didn’t stay here, but I did enjoy their rooftop bar one evening.
  • Exuma Palms Hotel: This small hotel on Three Sisters Beach offers basic but comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere. A friend of mine stayed here and raved about the homemade breakfasts.

Vacation Rentals: Live Like a Local

For a more home-like experience, consider a vacation rental. Websites like Airbnb and VRBO have lots of options throughout the Exumas. I met a couple who rented a beautiful house on Stocking Island – talk about a room with a view!

One unique option I came across was the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. They offer cute, colorful bungalows right on the water. It’s a bit pricier, but the location is unbeatable if you want to be close to the swimming pigs and Thunderball Grotto.

Eco-Friendly Options: Sustainable Stay

If you’re environmentally conscious (and we all should be, especially in a place as beautiful as the Exumas), consider an eco-friendly stay:

  • Embrace Resort on Staniel Cay: This resort uses solar power and has a strong commitment to sustainability. They even have a program where guests can help with local conservation efforts.
  • Over Yonder Cay: If you’re really looking to splurge, this private island resort is entirely powered by renewable energy. It’s super exclusive – only four villas on the whole island!

Here’s a quick comparison of some Exuma Bahamas accommodation options:

AccommodationTypePrice Range (per night)LocationNotable Features
Sandals Emerald BayLuxury Resort$500 – $1000+Great ExumaAll-inclusive, golf course, multiple restaurants
Paradise Bay BahamasMid-Range$200 – $400Great ExumaBeachfront, pool, spacious rooms
Peace & PlentyBudget-Friendly$100 – $200Georgetown, Great ExumaHistoric building, rooftop bar
Staniel Cay Yacht ClubUnique$300 – $500Staniel CayWaterfront bungalows, close to attractions
Embrace ResortEco-Friendly$250 – $450Staniel CaySolar-powered, conservation programs
Accommodation Options in Exuma Bahamas

No matter where you choose to stay, remember that the Exumas are all about the outdoors. You won’t be spending much time in your room anyway!

Eating Your Way Through the Exumas: Local Cuisine and Restaurants

The Exumas aren’t just a feast for the eyes – they’re a treat for your taste buds too. Bahamian cuisine is a delicious mix of seafood, tropical fruits, and Caribbean spices. I tried so many amazing dishes during my stay, and I can’t wait to tell you about them!

An Exuma local preparing fresh conch, a popular Exuma seafood delicacy.

Must-Try Bahamian Dishes

Before we dive into restaurant recommendations, let’s talk about some local specialties you absolutely must try:

  • Conch: This local seafood is the star of Bahamian cuisine. I tried it in so many forms – fritters, salad, and “scorched” (a spicy ceviche-like dish). My favorite was the conch fritters at Shirley’s Fish Fry – crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and full of flavor.
  • Cracked Conch: This is a conch that’s been tenderized, battered, and fried. It’s like calamari, but better! I had some amazing cracked conch at Santanna’s Bar & Grill on Little Exuma.
  • Rock Lobster: The Bahamian lobster is sweeter than its Maine cousin. I had it grilled at Chat N’ Chill on Stocking Island, and it was so good I went back for more the next day!
  • Johnnycakes: This slightly sweet bread is often served as a side dish. It’s perfect for soaking up sauces or just enjoying with a bit of butter.
  • Guava Duff: This dessert is made of guava wrapped in dough and boiled. I was skeptical at first, but it’s heavenly! The best one I had was at Exuma Point Bar & Grill.

Best Restaurants in the Exumas

Now, where can you find these delicious eats? Here are some of my favorite spots:

RestaurantLocationSpecialtyNotable Features
Shirley’s at the Fish FryGreat ExumaConch frittersLive music and dancing on Friday nights, local institution
Big D’s Conch SpotGreat ExumaConch saladUses about 500 conchs weekly, owned by local personality “Big D”
Catch a Fire Bar & GrillGreat ExumaLobster pizzaStunning sunset views, beachfront location
Staniel Cay Yacht Club RestaurantStaniel CayGrouper FingersUpscale dining, sources fish from local fishermen
Taste & Sea at EMBRACE ResortStaniel CayCoconut curry conchAuthentic Bahamian cuisine, family recipes
Santanna’s Bar & GrillLittle Exuma“Lobster Feast”Whole grilled lobster with traditional sides, casual beachfront setting
Tropic Breeze RestaurantLittle ExumaConch burgerPanoramic views of turquoise water, close to Tropic of Cancer Beach
Popular Restaurants in the Exumas

Local Markets and Self-Catering

If you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen or just want to pick up some snacks, check out these local markets:

  • Exuma Markets in Georgetown: The largest supermarket on the island. Good for stocking up on essentials. They have a decent selection of local products too.
  • Smitty’s Store: A smaller local market with fresh produce and basic groceries. I bought some amazing local honey here.

Don’t forget to try some local fruits! The pineapples in the Bahamas are incredibly sweet, and if you’re lucky, you might find some fresh mangoes or soursop. I bought a pineapple from a roadside stand, and it was the juiciest I’ve ever tasted!

Dining Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind when eating out in Exuma Bahamas:

  • “Island time” is real. Service can be slower than you might be used to.
  • Many restaurants add a 15% gratuity automatically. Check your bill to avoid double-tipping.
  • Fresh seafood is abundant, but other ingredients might be limited or expensive due to import costs.
  • Don’t be afraid to chat with the locals at smaller establishments. They often have great stories and recommendations!

Activities and Adventures in the Exuma Cays

The Exuma Cays are a playground for water lovers, nature enthusiasts, and anyone who enjoys a good dose of excitement. During my stay, I tried so many amazing activities in Exuma Cays and now is the time to share them with you.

Swimming pig in Exuma Cays' turquoise waters peeks at camera from beside boat.

Water Sports Galore

With crystal clear waters and perfect weather, the Exuma Cays are a water sports enthusiast’s dream. Here are some must-try activities:

  • Snorkeling: The underwater world in the Exumas is incredible. I snorkeled at Thunderball Grotto and saw more types of fish than I could count! The water visibility was amazing – often over 100 feet.
  • Kayaking: Many resorts offer kayak rentals. I paddled around the calm waters near Stocking Island and even spotted a sea turtle!
  • Paddleboarding: Great for a workout and sightseeing. I tried this at Coco Plum Beach and it was so peaceful early in the morning.
  • Jet Skiing: For a bit more excitement, rent a jet ski and zip around the cays. I did this near Staniel Cay and it was a blast!
  • Kiteboarding: If you’re up for a challenge, try kiteboarding. The steady trade winds make the Exumas a great spot for this. I took a lesson at Exuma Kitesurfing and managed to stand up by the end!

Boat Tours and Island Hopping

One of the best ways to explore the Exumas is by boat. I took a full-day tour with Four C’s Adventures, which was another highlight of my trip. Here’s what we did:

  • Visited the swimming pigs on Big Major Cay
  • Fed iguanas on Allen’s Cay
  • Snorkeled in Thunderball Grotto
  • Swam with nurse sharks at Compass Cay
  • Explored a sandbar in the middle of the ocean

The tour cost about $200, including lunch, and was well worth it. Our guide, Captain Samara, was incredibly knowledgeable about the local ecosystem and history.


The Exumas are a fisherman’s paradise. You can catch bonefish in the flats or go deep-sea fishing for mahi-mahi, tuna, and marlin.

I’m not much of a fisherman myself, but I met a family with kids who had gone bonefishing and they couldn’t stop raving about it. They used a guide from Bonefish Drex, who they said was excellent.

Land-Based Adventures

While the water activities are the main draw, there’s plenty to do on land too:

  • ATV Tours: I took an ATV tour on Great Exuma with Exuma Water Sports. We explored hidden beaches and even visited a cave used by pirates in the 1700s!
  • Hiking: There are some great trails in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. I hiked to the top of Boo Boo Hill for amazing views of the surrounding cays.
  • Birdwatching: The Exumas are home to many bird species. I’m not an expert, but I saw flamingos, herons, and even a rare Bahama woodstar hummingbird!

Unique Experiences

Some experiences in the Exumas are truly one-of-a-kind. Here’s a quick comparison of some popular tours:

TourDurationPrice RangeHighlights
Full Day Powerboat Adventure8-9 hours$180 – $220Swimming pigs, nurse sharks, Thunderball Grotto
Half Day Staniel Cay Tour4-5 hours$140 – $180Swimming pigs, iguana beach, sandbar
Thunderball Grotto Snorkel2-3 hours$80 – $120Snorkeling in the famous grotto
Sunset Cruise2-3 hours$60 – $100Scenic views, possible dolphin sightings
Exuma Cays Popular Tours

Remember that prices can vary depending on the season and the tour operator. Always book with reputable companies and read reviews before choosing a tour.

Practical Tips for Your Exuma Cays Adventure

Now that we’ve covered all the exciting stuff, let’s talk about some practical tips to make your Exuma adventure smooth sailing:

Swimming pig in Exuma Cays' turquoise waters peeks at camera from beside boat.

Getting Around Exuma Cays

  • Car Rentals: Renting a car is a great way to explore Great Exuma. I rented from Thompson’s Car Rental and found them reliable. Remember, they drive on the left side of the road in the Bahamas!
  • Taxis: Taxis are available but can be pricey. A ride from the airport to Georgetown costs about $30-40.
  • Water Taxis: Essential for island hopping. Elvis’ Water Taxi is a popular choice for trips to Stocking Island.

Money Matters

  • Currency: The Bahamian dollar is pegged to the US dollar, and both are widely accepted. I found it easiest to just use US dollars.
  • ATMs: Available in Georgetown, but can be scarce on smaller cays. I’d recommend bringing some cash with you.
  • Credit Cards: Widely accepted at larger establishments, but smaller shops and restaurants might be cash-only.

Staying Connected

  • Wi-Fi: Most hotels and resorts offer Wi-Fi, but it can be slow. I bought a local SIM card from BTC for data, which worked well.
  • Cell Service: Generally good on the larger islands but can be spotty on smaller cays.

Health and Safety

  • Sun Protection: The Caribbean sun is strong! Make sure to pack plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses.
  • Mosquitoes: They can be pesky, especially in the evenings. I brought insect repellent and was glad I did.
  • Water: Tap water is generally safe to drink, but if you’re sensitive, stick to bottled water.
  • Medical Facilities: There’s a clinic in Georgetown for minor issues. For serious medical problems, evacuation to Nassau or Miami might be necessary.

Packing Essentials

When I packed for my Exuma Cays adventure, I made sure to bring these items:

  • Reef-safe sunscreen: The Bahamas banned sunscreens with harmful chemicals in 2020 to protect their coral reefs. I used Stream2Sea, which worked great and is eco-friendly.
  • Beach essentials: Quick-dry towels, swimwear, and water shoes (the beaches can be rocky in some places).
  • Underwater camera: I brought a GoPro to capture those amazing underwater moments with the swimming pigs and nurse sharks.
  • Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial in the tropical heat. I filled mine up at the hotel to avoid buying plastic bottles.
  • Light rain jacket: Even in the dry season, we had a couple of short showers. My lightweight jacket came in handy.

Shopping in the Exumas

While the Exumas aren’t a major shopping destination, you can find some unique local products:

  • Straw work: The Straw Market in Georgetown sells beautiful handmade bags, hats, and other items. I bought a lovely woven bag as a souvenir.
  • Local art: Many resorts have small galleries featuring work by Bahamian artists. I picked up a beautiful watercolor of the Exuma Cays at the Peace and Plenty Resort.
  • Rum: John Watling’s Distillery makes a great rum right in the Bahamas. I brought a bottle home as a gift (and kept one for myself too!).

Language and Communication

English is the official language of the Bahamas, so communication wasn’t an issue. However, you might hear some local slang:

  • “SKC” – Sweet Kid Country (a nickname for the Exumas)
  • “Tingum” – A catch-all word for “thing”
  • “Muddasick” – An expression of surprise or disbelief

I found learning a few of these phrases really helped me connect with locals and added some fun to my conversations.

Emergency Information

While we hope you won’t need it, it’s good to be prepared so I kept these numbers saved in my phone, just in case:

  • Emergency number: 911 or 919 for police
  • Walk-In Medical Clinic: 242-328-0783 | 242-477-7286 (open 24/7 for emergencies)
  • US Embassy in Nassau: +1 242-322-1181

Planning Your Itinerary

With so much to see and do in the Exuma Cays, planning your itinerary can be overwhelming. Here’s a sample 5-day Exuma itinerary based on my experience:

1Arrive, check-inExplore GeorgetownDinner at Fish Fry
2Full-day boat tour (swimming pigs, etc.)Continue tourSunset at Catch A Fire
3Stocking Island day tripFeed stingrays at Chat N’ ChillDinner at Peace & Plenty
4Snorkel at Thunderball GrottoBeach time at Tropic of CancerSantanna’s Bar & Grill
5ATV tourLast-minute shoppingDeparture
Exuma Bahamas Itinerary Idea

This is just a suggestion, okay? The beauty of the Exumas is the laid-back vibe, so don’t be afraid to go with the flow and adjust your plans as you go.

Budgeting for Your Trip

Honestly, Exuma Cays can be pricey, but there are ways to manage your budget. Here’s a rough breakdown of costs based on my experience:

ExpenseBudget Range (per day)Mid-RangeLuxury
Estimated Budget for Exuma Bahamas Vacation

I could save money by mixing high-end experiences (like the full-day boat tour) with budget-friendly options (like packing a picnic lunch for beach days).

Final Thoughts on the Exuma Cays

As I wrap up this guide, I can’t help but feel a twinge of nostalgia for my time in the Exuma Cays. From the moment I saw those crystal-clear waters from the plane, I knew I was in for something special. But the Exumas surprised me in ways I didn’t expect.

Yes, the beaches are stunning, and the water is an impossible shade of blue. But what really stuck with me was the warmth of the people, the sense of adventure in exploring the cays, and the feeling of connecting with nature in a profound way.

As I sat on the beach on my last evening, I realized that the Exuma Cays had stolen a piece of my heart. It’s a place I know I’ll return to again and again. So, if you’re looking for even more travel tips and insider information about the Bahamas and other travel destinations, check out destination.com for a wealth of additional resources and guides.

How Many Days Do You Need in Exuma?

You need about 4 to 5 days in Exuma. This gives you enough time to enjoy the beaches, swim with pigs, snorkel, and explore nearby islands like Stocking Island without rushing​.

Is Exuma Worth Going To?

Yes, Exuma is worth visiting! Enjoy the stunning mile-long sandbar near Big Farmer Cay, swim with pigs at Big Major Cay, and explore the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Relax on Tropic of Cancer Beach and stay at luxury resorts like Sandals Emerald Bay.

Which Cay is the Best in The Bahamas?

Kamalame Cay is considered the best. This private island boasts luxurious beachfront villas, an overwater spa, and gourmet Bahamian-Asian cuisine. Its serene, intimate atmosphere, pristine beaches, and award-winning service make it a standout destination.

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