Are you planning a Miami vacation? If you are, do yourself a favor and sign up for the ultimate excursion. Day trips to Bahamas from Miami transport you from the Magic City to Exuma, one of the most beautiful areas in the world.
From the crystal-clear, turquoise water to unique local attractions like the Swimming Pigs, a day trip Miami to Bahamas lets you enjoy an expertly crafted itinerary. It’s also convenient, as air travel makes it possible to arrive in Exuma by mid-morning. After a day of sightseeing, you then return back to Miami that same evening.
Keep reading to find out more about some of the top sites you can look forward to seeing on a day cruise to Bahamas by plane.
Day Trips to Bahamas From Miami: Day Cruise to Bahamas by Plane
Enjoy the Plane Ride
Why is air travel the way to go? Aren’t boat tours just as good of an option? While some day trips to Bahamas do travel by ferry, these tours aren’t the best for a couple of reasons.
For one thing, traveling by boat is a much slower journey. This limits the islands you can visit on a day cruise to Bahamas to Freeport, Bimini, and other nearby, touristy destinations. And even though they’re the closest to Miami, these islands still require taking several hours’ worth of travel time out of your day.
On the other hand, day trips to Bahamas from Miami by plane take two hours, which includes a stop to clear customs at Andros Island. You also get to visit the Exuma Cays, a district of 365 islands that’s home to some of the best attractions in the country.
Combine that with a more comfortable, private-class vessel and spectacular views from the plane and you get the best mode of transportation by far.
Land in Staniel Cay
After enjoying the surreal views from the plane, you and your travel companions will land in Staniel Cay. Known as the Gateway to Exuma, this beautiful island is home to a regional airport. Once you land, you’ll make your way to the harbor and switch over to a powerboat.
While Staniel Cay is your entry point to Exuma, it’s much more than that. It’s also home to several great shops and restaurants like the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. On day trips to Bahamas from Miami, you’ll stop at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club or a local fish fry restaurant for lunch after your tour.
Explore a Sunken Plane Wreck
In the warm waters around Staniel Cay, a drug smuggling vessel crashed decades ago. Having run out of fuel and saddled to the brim with marijuana, the pilots were unable to escape the plane. However, in the years since its crash, the site has transformed into a new home for marine life.
Today, day trips to Bahamas from Miami let you visit the site and see its transformation. From coral and fish to other creatures, the unique plane wreck is now a habitat for many species.
What makes the Staniel Cay wreck so special is its location in shallow water. You don’t need diving equipment or anything special to experience it – a snorkel and mask are plenty.
Meet the Swimming Pigs on Big Major Cay
Of course, one of the top highlights on a Miami to Bahamas day trip is the Swimming Pigs. Residing on Big Major Cay, the official name of Pig Island, the pigs have inhabited their tropical home for years.
Interestingly, no one is quite sure how they arrived on their island in the first place. Regardless, today they’re friendly, especially after years’ worth of travelers signing up for a day trip to Bahamas.
Another surprise to many travelers is that the Exuma Pigs are the original pigs. While “imitation” Pig Beaches have popped up around the country, Big Major Cay is home to the original experience!
Swim With Nurse Sharks at Compass Cay
One of the most popular stops on a day trip Miami to Bahamas is Compass Cay. Whereas Big Major Cay is home to the Swimming Pigs, Compass Cay is the place to get up close and personal with nurse sharks.
The owner of the local marina is a shark lover, and over the years, he’s managed to form a bond with a school of nurse sharks. Like the pigs, these sharks have gotten used to travelers interacting with them, becoming docile and friendly in the process.
From holding the sharks to floating amongst them, Compass Cay offers some of the top highlights of day trips to Bahamas from Miami.
Snorkel Through the James Bond Cave
The Exuma Cays are home to another famous destination: Thunderball Grotto. Nicknamed the James Bond Cave, the site combines natural beauty with Hollywood history.
Thunderball Grotto is a system of underwater caves full of marine life. At low tide, it offers excellent snorkeling, with tourists being able to see fish, coral, lobster, turtles, and other animals. However, fans of James Bond will recognize it for a different reason. It was one of the many iconic filming locations for the movie Thunderball, which is where its name comes from.
With a stop to explore the James Bond Cave, day trips to Bahamas from Miami are perfect for marine life lovers and superspy fans alike.
Meet Endangered Iguanas
Another animal travelers get to meet on a day trip to Bahamas from Miami is the Bahamian northern rock iguana. While this beautiful lizard has seen its numbers decline in recent years, Bitter Guana Cay remains an excellent place to see it.
As your boat pulls up to this picturesque slice of paradise, you’ll see several iguanas slither out of the undergrowth. You shouldn’t feed them or touch them once they appear, but you can get close to them and take pictures.
Bitter Guana Cay is a popular stop on day trips to Bahamas from Miami because of how beautiful it is. Getting the chance to appreciate one of the island’s endangered residents is another highlight.
Walk on Sandbars at Pipe Creek
Another jaw-dropping stop on a day trip to Bahamas from Miami is the sandbars at Pipe Creek. At low tide, these soft, snow-white slices of paradise appear out of the turquoise water. They’re a great spot to walk around, sink your toes into the sand, and enjoy the serenity around you.
One of the great aspects of the sandbars is that many other tours don’t go there. When you visit Pipe Creek, there’s a good chance you’ll have the sandbars all to yourself to explore.
Miami to Bahamas Day Trip: Travel With Bahamas Air Tours
It’s best to enjoy day trips to Bahamas from Miami by plane. While boat tours from South Florida do exist, these limit the destinations you can visit. In contrast, air travel lets you reach the Exuma Cays and enjoy a more intimate, less touristy experience, in general.
From interacting with the famous Swimming Pigs to walking on sandbars and swimming with sharks, there’s so much to do in Exuma. The best part of a one day cruise to Bahamas, however, is you get to return back to Florida that same evening. No worrying about accommodations, logistics, or anything else.
Day trips to Bahamas from Miami: Plane vs Boat
- Tour by Plane
- $675per person
- 30 minute Flight in Comfort
- Stunning Aerial Views
- Visits 7 Exuma Attractions
- Guaranteed Small Group Size
- Weather Cancellation Rare
- Inclusive Pricing: Transfers & Lunch
- Private Upgrades Available
- 5-Star Reviews
- Tour by Powerboat
- $550per person
- 3 hour Boat Ride one way
- No Aerial Views
- Visits 4 Exuma Attractions
- Large Groups
- Frequent Cancellations
- Surcharges & Fees
- No Private Upgrades
- Poor Reviews
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