Once you know how to get to Exuma, your Bahamas vacation will open up to a world of adventurous possibilities. Imagine your day trip to Bahamas, immersed in the warm sand of Pig Island, wading in the crystal clear water, side by side with the adorable pigs in the Bahamas. With a little planning, this could all be yours.
The Bahamas is an archipelago country made up of over 700 islands bordering the northern Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Today, we will be discussing how to get to Exuma Cays — an extraordinarily wild set of over 360 islands, cays, and islets in the southern half of the country.
The Exuma Out Islands are filled with beauty and plenty of things to do. Below, we will break down the best way to travel there and what should be on your itinerary when you get there. Hopefully, by reading this you will be ready for the vacation of your dreams!
How to Get to Exuma from Nassau
There are two main ways how to get from Nassau to Exuma. The first and most popular way for how to get to Exuma is by ferry. The alternative choice, which is becoming much more popular in the past few years, is by plane. We write about the voyage for each below.
How to Get to Exuma by Ferry
Knowing the schedule of how to get to Exuma by ferry isn’t exactly straightforward. There is a lot of guessing and waiting involved. Regardless, a one day cruise to Bahamas has been the most cost-friendly way to travel to the Exuma Cays for years.
Why? Because it is the way of the masses. If everybody is doing it, it makes it more affordable for everyone. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is worth it. Companies like Bahamas Ferries and Balearia Caribbean have been the industry leaders for decades, but they’ve yet to figure out convenience.
According to Bahamas Ferries website: “The Exumas are the most widely recognized islands in The Bahamas”. Yet, the only route serviced to the Exumas goes to George Town, the Exumas capital on Great Exuma Island. This is a sheer 50 miles from the Exumas most well-known attraction — the Exuma pigs. And even further from some of the other natural beauty you will see in the northern Exuma islands.
Being that the journey is a four-hour round trip from Nassau to George Town (if there are no delays), it is very unlikely you will come anywhere near Pig Island on the ferry to the Exumas. You have to ask yourself if you’d sacrifice experience for price.
If it were us on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to the Bahamas, we’d want to see everything the islands had to offer.
How to Get to Exuma by Plane
Bahamas Day Trips by plane have steadily grown in popularity as people realize how much it offers. Tours to Pig Beach from Nassau are a breeze and you actually get to pick your own itinerary!
Typical flights to Bahamas leave in the early mornings and get back around sundown that evening. You will have door-to-door service which includes hotel transfer and be treated like a true VIP. Just ask other customers which have given us a 5-star rating on Trip Advisor.
In a Bahamas Air Charter, you can make it to the Exuma Cays from Nassau in around 30 minutes. That saves you about three hours of exploring when compared to the roundtrip on a ferry. Imagine what you can see in that time! Plus, you won’t have to deal with the often harsh conditions of the open water.
Additionally, it goes without saying, the views you witness in the clouds on a clear Bahamas day, staring down at magnificent turquoise blues and greens are unparalleled.
The booking process couldn’t be more straightforward and our crew of local guides and professional pilots will take care of everything. You will have nothing to worry about, just get in touch with us today.
4 Excursions on Day Trips from Nassau to Exuma
So, you’re probably wondering what you can do on day trips from Nassau to Exuma. Well, wonder no more. Here are some of our favorites from the trip:
1. Pig Beach Bahamas Tour
Many who take time to figure out how to get to Exuma elect to take Swimming Pigs Tours. Swimming with pigs Bahamas style is one of the most popular attractions in the Exumas. In 2019 alone, the famous beach was visited by over 6 million people. That must mean there is something special about it.
Nobody knows exactly how the pigs got there. It’s assumed farmers from Staniel Cay brought them over decades ago after the village complained about their smell. All we know for sure is that the swimming pigs Exuma highlight is a favorite among many of our customers.
There are around 25 pigs at Big Major Cay who will swim up to your boat and take food straight from your hand. You can’t fully imagine the spectacle until you witness it. We’ve been doing the tours for years and it still never gets old!
2. Nassau to Staniel Cay Day Tour
Almost every Pig Beach Bahamas tour will cross through Staniel Cay. If you want to know how to get to Exuma, you must acknowledge that the best tours will take you to Staniel Cay; the heart of the Out Islands. Enjoy a Nassau to Exuma Day Trip with Bahamas Air Tours – the best way to visit the Swimming Pigs from Nassau!
Once on the island, don’t be shy to stop in at Staniel Cay Yacht Club which is conveniently near the marina. Here, you’ll be able to chat up locals about the swimming pigs Exuma tour you just went on. You might also take in some local island lore and culture where its history is literally written on the walls in the form of photographs and artifacts.
If you’re hungry, why not scarf down a local delicacy and start a conversation with the island bartenders. Trust us, they are friendly and will make sure you never go thirsty!
3. Compass Cay Sharks Highlight
Another truly magic experience is being able to jump in the water with reef sharks at the Exumas’ Compass Cay! At Compass Cay Marina, it’s a sanctuary with dozens of harmless nurse sharks that are waiting for you to wade in the water with.
It’s the perfect photo opportunity and one of our favorite places to take guests. You don’t know what thrill feels like until you feel a shark’s smooth exterior rub up against you.
At full growth, these mammals can be up to 10-feet in length and nearly 300 pounds. Despite typically being bottom-dwellers and feeding off the ocean floor, they still have full carnivorous potential. Don’t worry, though, they don’t usually mess with humans unless they feel threatened. Just play by the rules and you have nothing to worry about!
4. Thunderball Grotto Excursion
The last highlight of your Staniel Cay day trips which we will point out is the adrenaline-junkie’s paradise of Thunderball Grotto. Let’s just say, if you have a fixation on adventure, you’re going to love this place.
It is a rock formation in the middle of the sea, within swimming distance of the Exuma pigs. If you can figure out how to get to Exuma, you will be able to figure out how to make it here, too. However, getting there is only half the adventure. What is hidden inside is the real treasure.
Imagine a thriving ecosystem of marine life with vibrant corals, an abundance of exotic fish, and underwater tunnel systems that kept even James Bond himself in adventure mode in his 1963 Hollywood film titled Thunderball.
You don’t have to be 007 to visit this place, but you will surely feel like it.
How to Get to Exuma the Best Way
Figuring out how to get from Nassau to Exuma shouldn’t be stressful. Let us do all the heavy lifting and you worry about how you are going to enjoy your time in these paradise islands.
Bahamas Air Tours has been taking people on trip to Bahamas for years and we are full of insight to make your vacation a lasting memory. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us so we can customize the perfect day trip for you and your family!
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