The Nassau Pigs are arguably the most famous sites in the Bahamas and are even well-known across the world. Most people have seen the images of them; friendly, snorting pigs lounging around the beach and splashing around in the crystal-clear Bahamas water. However, few people know where to find them.
If you’re planning a Bahamas vacation, you want to ensure that you make time for the Bahamas swimming pigs, as they might just be the highlight of your trip. In this article, we’re going to help you figure out how to reach them.
Keep reading to learn all about how to sign up for a swim with the pigs excursion to see the Staniel Cay pigs.
Nassau Pigs: Where in the World Are They?
Look Beyond Nassau
Many people arrive at the country’s capital hoping to see the Nassau swimming pigs. However, while you can certainly sign up for a swim with pigs Nassau experience, you might want to hold off on doing so. The Nassau pigs you’ll find in and around New Providence aren’t the original pigs and are just imitations of the real deal.
Tour operators base the Nassau swimming pigs experience off of the Staniel Cay pigs in Exuma. The original pigs are miles away from the capital, and because of that, they know that not everyone will be able to get there. To make up for that, you end up with imitation pig sites around Nassau and the country, in general.
However, the reality is that it’s easier to get to Exuma, the home of the real Nassau pigs, than you may realize.
Reaching the Exumas
If you’re unfamiliar with them, the Exumas are a chain of 365 islands located to the south of Nassau. They’re also one of the prettiest spots in the entire country.
The Exumas are famous for their gorgeous beaches, bright-blue water, and laidback lifestyle that differentiates the area from other spots, like Nassau and Freeport. However, unlike the major cruise ship hubs in the North, the Exumas are a bit more remote and more challenging to reach.
Since the Bahamas is an island nation, reaching them by boat seems like a logical option. However, it’s best avoided, as boat rides to the island are often crowded, uncomfortable, and suck hours out of your itinerary.
In contrast, flying by plane from Nassau has you landing in the Exumas in around 30 minutes. Besides offering a more comfortable experience, getting there by plane also gives you more time to see the top sites in the region, including the so-called Nassau pigs.
What to Expect When You Arrive
When you first touch down in the Exumas, it won’t be on Pig Island, where the pigs reside. You’ll instead fly to Staniel Cay, which is near the pig’s home. From there, you’ll switch to a boat and then cruise over to see the pigs.
While most travelers who sign up for a swimming with pigs excursion do so to see the famous animals, the great thing about flying by plane to the Exumas with Bahamas Air Tours is that you get the chance to see other sites, as well.
For example, you’ll also have time to stop by Compass Cay, another famous island in the region. There, you can see schools of nurse sharks swimming around the waters of the local marina. If you feel brave, you can even hop in the water with them!
Likewise, you also get to stop by Thunderball Grotto. The site of the ’60s film Thunderball, the site features a network of underwater caves that make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. It’s the ideal place to experience some of the wonderful marine life that makes the Bahamas famous.
The opportunity to explore other sites makes a Nassau pigs tour in the Exumas even more exciting. That said, the focus of the swim with the pigs excursion is to see the famous Staniel Cay pigs.
Bahamas Swimming Pigs: Local Legends
One of the most special things about the Nassau pigs in Exuma is that a tour company didn’t bring them to the island to draw in visitors. In fact, no one can say with 100% certainty how the pigs arrived at the island.
Depending on who you ask, some people will tell you that the pigs were originally shipwrecked on the island and have lived there ever since. Others will tell you that they escaped from a nearby island. Perhaps the most likely version of the story explains that farmers in the region brought the pigs to the island to give their noses a break from the smells the pigs were creating.
Regardless of which version of the tale you end up believing, they remain on their uninhabited island to this day, ready to greet you when you sign up for a swim with pigs Nassau tour.
Swimming With Pigs at Pig Island
By now, people have been traveling to Pig Island by boat to feed the Nassau pigs for years. Over time, that’s conditioned the pigs to associate the arrival of boats with feeding time. Because of that, when you pull up to Big Major Cay, you’ll see them waddle into the water and swim out to greet you.
Once the boat reaches the shore, you can climb out to be with them, as well as explore their home. Like the surrounding islands, Big Major Cay is stunning, resembling something out of a travel documentary.
Over the years, the beauty of the island and, of course, the pigs themselves have made the island famous. From travel documentaries to The Bachelor, several different programs have featured the island paradise. And when you travel with Bahamas Air Tours on a Nassau Pigs tour, you’ll get to experience it yourself!
Respecting the Pigs
As Pig Island becomes more popular, it attracts more and more visitors each year. While it still remains quieter than most other places in the country, its popularity can, unfortunately, put the well-being of the Nassau pigs at risk.
Bahamas Air Tours takes a few steps that other operators don’t to ensure the pigs’ safety. For one thing, we make sure that they always have a supply of freshwater. We also advise visitors on how to interact with the pigs to help ensure that they don’t get sick or injured.
Since air travel allows you to quickly get to the Exumas, you also get to tour the island before most of the tour groups arrive later on. This leads to a more enjoyable experience and also makes it easier to learn more about the pigs and their home.
Swim With Pigs Excursion: The Experience of a Lifetime
While the original Nassau pigs might not actually be in Nassau, they’re still easy to reach and are well worth a visit. All it takes to see them is a trip to the Exumas — something that you can even do in just a day.
When you fly by air, you get to avoid many of the problems that plague travelers who take the boat. You save time, travel in comfort, and beat the crowds, making air travel the most worthwhile experience by far.
If you’re ready to get up close and personal with the amazing Nassau pigs, make sure to sign up for a Staniel Cay day tour from Nassau!
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