Searching for the best place to go in the Bahamas? Look no further than the Exuma Cays – an archipelago of three hundred and sixty five tropical paradises. The Jewel in the Crown of the Bahamas islands is one special place; Staniel Cay – and the top places to visit in Bahamas.
Staniel Cay is one of those rare places on planet Earth that is not only stunningly beautiful but remains peaceful and quiet despite its popularity and good connections to Nassau and South Florida. A true “hidden gem” of the Bahamas 700 islands nation.
The Exuma Cays are one of the most special collections of tropical islands, surrounded by the beautiful turquoise blue waters of the Bahamas Sea. Frequented by movie scouts as filming locations, the Exumas have been featured in films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and James Bond. In fact Johnny Depp, film star of the Pirates of the Caribbean series purchased his own private island here in the Exuma Cays after filming was completed.
Best Place to go in the Bahamas: Staniel Cay in Exuma
The crowing glory of the Exuma Cays is without a doubt Staniel Cay. This small tropical island is now the Most sought after destination in the Bahamas. Blessed with the authentic Bahamas small island experience. And that is what visiting the Bahamas is all about. Not only do you get to feel the authentic Bahamas, but Staniel Cay is home to the Swimming Pigs, cementing itself as the best place to go in the Bahamas.
Visitors flock from all corners of the globe to visit these famous Swimming Pigs, and quite rightly, the sight of pigs swimming in the ocean is unique to this one small island in the Exuma Cays. And Staniel Cay is so much more than just a gateway to visiting the Swimming Pigs. With a collection of stunning white sandy beaches, the longest and most spectacular being Ocean Beach on the Eastern shoreline. Ocean Beach is usually deserted, so a visit there you will enjoy the entire beach to yourself.
The most popular place on Staniel Cay is the Yacht Club. Staniel Cay Yacht Club has been a landmark on Staniel Cay for many years. Passed down the generations of one family, it retains this “family run” feel, much like the rest of Staniel Cay and another reason why the Authentic Bahamas experience makes this the best place to go in the Bahamas.
The Yacht Club is a 16 bungalow boutique resort, with luxurious private ocean bungalows, a restaurant, bar and outdoor swimming pool. The SCYC also has a full service Marina, so there are many impressive yachts moored up. A popular stop for boaters and yachting crews, the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is always a hive of social activity, day and night.
With only a handful of small hotels and private accommodations on Staniel Cay it can be difficult to secure overnight accommodation at late notice especially during the Peak seasons – Christmas and Spring Break. Looking for somewhere to stay on Staniel Cay? Look no further than the Luxury Staniel Cay Water Villas – 3 impressive and luxurious 2 bedroom villas with ample living space indoors and outdoors, situated on the waters edge.
Best place to go in the Bahamas: How to get to Staniel Cay
Located about 80 miles south of Nassau in ten Exuma Cays, Staniel Cay is one of the few islands in the archipelago to have its own airstrip. the Staniel Cay airport is a major travel gateway for visiting the Exuma Cays. Bahamas Air Tours offers Bahamas Air Charter flights and Day Trips to Staniel Cay from Nassau and South Florida – including Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Day Trips to the Best Place to go in the Bahamas
With Bahamas Air Tours you can now take day trips and tour excursions to visit the “Best Place to go in the Bahamas”, Staniel Cay. With departures from Nassau and Miami, these full day adventures will take you on an experience of a lifetime! Flying into Staniel Cay on a day trip and being able to see the stunning Exuma island from above is truly a spectacular sight to behold.
Top Things to do in the Bahamas Exumas
With an abundance of exciting things to do in and around Staniel Cay can we give you any more reasons that this is the best place to go in the Bahamas?
In the islands that surround Staniel Cay here are the top Exuma attractions:
Swimming Pigs at Pig Beach
The famous Exuma swimming Pigs is one of the top reasons why Staniel Cay is the best place to go in the Bahamas. Living on the island next door to Staniel Cay called Big Major Cay and often referred to as Pig Beach or Pig Island. Only a 10 minute boat ride away from Staniel Cay, Pig Beach is within easy reach of the best place to go in the Bahamas. The Exuma pigs are now the top tourist attraction in the Bahamas, having been made famous by TV programs like the a bachelor and the Fyre Festival documentaries.
The Pigs here at Pig beach learned to swim when the local farmers on Staniel Cay moved the pigs to Pig Island (because of the bad smells). When the farmers arrived at Pig Beach by boat, the pigs would associate the sound of the approaching boat with feeding time. And so these pigs began swimming out to greet the farmers for their food (greedy pigs!).
Swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay
As the best place to go in the Bahamas, Staniel Cay is only a 20 minute boat ride away from the popular swimming with sharks experience at nearby Compass Cay. The pet sharks that live at the Compass Cay Marina are a type of Nurse Shark and for the most part harmless to people. The Jetty at Compass Cay Marina was purposefully built with steps down to a low tide platform allow visitors access to petting the sharks without having to get wet. Although the fun of the experience is climbing into the water and swimming with sharks!
Compass Cay has a small number of vacation rental villas, but apart from that it is sparsely populated, which adds to the small island experience. An impressive Crescent Beach is on the eastern shoreline.
Snorkel at the Staniel Cay Plane Wreck
The intriguing underwater plane wreck, just off the coast line of Staniel Cay, is another reason to visit the best place to go in the Bahamas. One of the most accessible Bahamas plane wreck because of its ideal proximity to Staniel Cay. Having crashed here in the 1970’s nature has begun reclaiming much of the aircraft hull leaving only the cockpit and wings as visible.
Dive into the Staniel Cay James Bond Thunderball Grotto Cave
The James Bond production crew came to Staniel Cay in 1965 to film the 007 adventure Thunderball with Sean Connery. Nassau also features heavily in the film. This hollow rocky island sits between Pig Island and Staniel Cay, another reason why the best place to go in the Bahamas is so accessible.
There are many passageways into Thunderball Grotto, all of them require you to swim through although not underwater. Their are some submerged underwater tunnels you can snorkel through to get into the interior cave of the island. Inside there is a plethora of tropical fish.
Discover prehistoric Rock Iguanas at Bitter Guana Cay
Another island that neighbours Staniel Cay (the best place to go in the Bahamas), is Bitter Guana Cay. The island is just to the south of Staniel Cay, about a 10 minute boat ride away. Unique to these islands is the endangered species of Iguana that live here; Bahamian Rock Iguanas have a distinctive red or pink skin colour. They liv in the undergrowth and bush that grows behind the beach. There is only one beach on Bitter Guana Cay, at the end of which are impressive limestone cliffs.
Pipe Creek Sand Bar
Located between Staniel Cay and Compass Cay is Pipe Cay, home of the Pipe Creek Sand Bar. Fully submerged at high tides, the sand bar can only be visited during low tides. But when the sand bar does appear at low tide, it appears beautifully pristine – previous foot prints having been washed away by the sea. This spectacular sight of nature is surely another defining reason that the Exuma Cays are the best place to go in the Bahamas.
Looking for the best places to visit in Bahamas?
The best place to go in the Bahamas is without any doubt, Staniel Cay. This spectacular tropical island paradise awaits all visitors seeking the Authentic Small Islands experience. And with Bahamas Day trips and Private Air Charter flights there is no better way to travel there than in the luxury of a private charter flight!
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