Whether by cruise ship or plane, Nassau is the place through which most visitors to the Bahamas enter. However, while it offers plenty to see and do, you’ll want to give yourself enough time to tour some of the other beautiful parts of the country. Day trips from Nassau to Pig Island are a great way to explore all that the Bahamas has to offer.
That said, you’ll find several Nassau Bahamas shore excursions that travel to Exuma. So how do you know which tour is the best option? In this article, that’s exactly what we’re going to help you figure out.
Keep reading to learn about day trips from Nassau Bahamas to the Exuma Cays and how to choose the best option.
Day Trips From Nassau to Pig Island: The Best Bahamas Vacation
Know Your Transportation Options
As you might be able to guess, anyone looking to sign up for day trips from Nassau to Pig Island has two ways to go about getting there: by boat or by plane.
While each transportation option can ultimately offer an enjoyable experience, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each is essential before you can commit to embarking on either.
Traveling by Boat
Boat travel is the standard option that most people go with for day trips from Nassau to Pig Island. For many travelers, the idea of gliding over the blue waters of the Bahamas is dreamy, and traversing around an island nation by boat seems logical. Unfortunately, reality often paints a different picture.
For one thing, the boats rarely offer smooth sailing experiences. As they have to cross over the rough, open waters that separate Nassau from Exuma, there’s a lot more smacking into waves than you might expect. Oftentimes, given how rough the waters are, the boat tours end up having to cancel altogether, leaving travelers stranded and unable to enjoy day trips from Nassau Bahamas.
Besides being more uncomfortable than many people realize, boat tours also require you to embark on something of an odyssey. The journey can take a couple of hours during which you battle the elements of sun, surf, and wind. The travel time then means that once you arrive, you won’t have the chance to spend as much time touring the Exumas.
Traveling by Plane
If the cons that go along with day trips from Nassau to Pig Island that travel by boat seem unappealing, the good news is that air travel sidesteps most of them.
Far from being a bumpy, uncomfortable experience, flying in a private-class plane lets you enjoy a smooth flight to the Exumas. It’s also a much more efficient mode of transportation, getting you to Staniel Cay (an island close to Pig Beach) in around 30 minutes. As you soar through the skies, you also get treated to unbeatable views of the region from above.
While flights to Pig Beach might cost a bit more than standard boat tours, it’s a worthwhile upgrade given the level of comfort, convenience, and efficiency that they offer!
Understand the Different Sites You Can See
Once you arrive in the Exuma Cays, you’ll want to ensure that you sign up for day trips from Nassau to Pig Island that allow you to make the most of your time. While you shouldn’t feel rushed on your Nassau Bahamas shore excursion, your itinerary should include several different places. If it doesn’t you might end up feeling like you weren’t even in the Exuma Cays.
While the exact sites you see may vary, here are a couple that you can almost always expect to enjoy on day trips from Nassau to Exuma.
Of course, one of the biggest highlights on Exuma day trips is Pig Island. Also known as Big Major Cay, Pig Beach’s unique history and famous Swimming Pigs have put the island on the map. Today, travelers from across the world travel to the Bahamas to go swimming with pigs.
The origins of the Exuma Pigs are something of a mystery, and several legends seek to explain how they arrived on their uninhabited tropical island in the first place. Some people believe they were shipwrecked and swam to shore, while others will tell you that farmers brought them to Pig Beach to give their noses some relief. Either way, the Exuma Pigs remain on Big Major Cay today and have become a huge attraction.
When your boat pulls up to Pig Island, you can expect to see the Swimming Pigs swimming out to greet you. At that time, you can feed them bits of bread and other approved foods. Once you step foot on their island, you won’t be able to feed them, but you can hang out with them and explore their island digs.
While all day trips from Nassau to Pig Island will stop at Big Major Cay, flying by plane gets you to the Exumas hours before everyone else. There’s a chance you might make it to the island before dozens of other travelers do by boat!
Compass Cay is another popular stop on day trips from Nassau to Pig Island. It’s home to a school of nurse sharks that inhabit the waters around the local marina, making it the perfect place to go swimming with sharks.
While the idea of submerging yourself in shark-infested water might sound scary, guides are there to ensure the experience remains safe. Nurse sharks are also one of the most docile species of sharks, with bites and negative interactions with people being incredibly rare.
Like the Swimming Pigs on Big Major Cay, most Nassau Bahamas shore excursions will stop at Compass Cay. However, as flying cuts hours out of your travel time, it’s possible to get there before the other tour groups do. That means more time with the nurse sharks and a more enjoyable experience, in general!
And Much More
While day trips from Nassau to Pig Island visit many of the same sites, there are some that you can only see when you travel by plane. Again, that has to do with scheduling – time constraints limit the number of places boat tours can visit.
One Exuma attraction that boat tours don’t usually visit is Thunderball Grotto. This is a system of underwater caves full of fish and other marine creatures that also served as a filming location for the James Bond film Thunderball. Likewise, Pipe Creek, another site near Big Major Cay, offers some of the prettiest views in the region, as it’s the place to go to walk on sandbars at low tide. Boat tours don’t usually stop there, making it likely that you’ll have the whole area to yourself.
If you’re looking to make the most out of your travel time and enjoy some more secluded attractions to yourself, ensure you sign up for day trips from Nassau to Exuma that travel by plane.
Day Trips From Nassau Bahamas: The Whole Country Is Your Oyster
Day trips from Nassau to Pig Island are one of the best tour options you can sign up for. When you travel by plane, you end up with hours you can spend snorkeling, walking along beaches, and interacting with unique wildlife, like the Exuma Pigs and the Compass Cay sharks.
However, as the 700 islands of the Bahamas offer so much to see and do, consider signing up for flights to other parts of the country. From Harbour Island to Bimini, air travel can get you wherever you need to go.
Sign up for a Staniel Cay day tour or look into chartering a plane today!
Discover the Bahamas Out Islands
With beautifully illustrated maps and informative destination guides.
Download the Guidebook