The Staniel Cay Pigs are the most famous pigs in the world! These Swimming pigs that live in the Bahamas have become a world-wide phenomenon, with visitors flocking to the island with pigs from all corners of the Earth. The Swimming with Pigs experience is now the #1 thing to do in Bahamas, after featuring in a number of popular TV shows.
Pig Beach Bahamas is a small island known as Big Major Cay in the Exuma Cays. The Exuma Cays are an archipelago of 365 islands. The Bahamas Out Islands, that make up the Bahamas nation, has over 700 tropical islands in total. The Exuma Cays which are just south of Nassau range in size and ownership, Hollywood movie stars like Johnny Depp own their own private islands here.
Staniel Cay is the main gateway to visiting the Swimming Pigs Exuma at Pig Beach. Staniel Cay has a small airport giving it connections to Nassau and Miami Florida. Which means that most visitors to the Swimming Pigs will go through the small but picturesque Staniel Cay island.
Staniel Cay Pigs – The original Bahamas Swimming Pigs
The Swimming Pigs that live on Big Major Cay have become the hottest tourist attraction in the Bahamas, but how did they get here? Why are the Swimming Pigs in the Bahamas? These are questions that we need to answer for you!
Legend has it a long time ago the Staniel Cay pigs were shipwrecked during a hurricane and swam ashore to their new home on Pig Island. Another fascinating story is that the pigs were left on the island by sailors who had the intention to come back to them later, but never did, standing them at Pig Beach.
Well, the real reason we have the Staniel Cay pigs is because they were too smelly to keep at Staniel Cay village. So the farmers decided to move them to nearby uninhabited Big Major Cay (island with pigs). What began to happen, is when the farmers sailed to Pig Beach with food to feed the Staniel Cay pigs, they would smell the food and know to swim out to greet the farmer in the boat. And that is how the legend of the Swimming Pigs began!
Big Major Cay (Pig Beach): The Island with Pigs
Big Major Cay is an uninhabited island in the Exuma Cays. It neighbors Staniel Cay island, the main gateway to the Exuma Cays. The island has 2 beaches, one on the eastern shore and Pig Beach on the western shore. A local group of residents and tour operators came together to build the shelter that the Staniel Cay pigs live in. They also provide food and ensure the rain water reservoir is always safely filled up for the thirsty swimming pigs.
Pig Beach is best visited in the mornings or late afternoons when visitors numbers are lowest. Big Major Cay can get inundated with visitors travelling by speedboat from Nassau around midday. At the peak of tourist season in the Bahamas (Spring Break / Easter and Christmas) the Pig Beach can get very busy! Many super yachts anchor off Pig Beach because of it’s natural sheltered harbor geography.
Staniel Cay Bahamas Island
The Staniel Cay Pigs get their name from the nearby Staniel Cay island which neighbors Big Major Cay. Staniel Cay is a small island with a village, airport and a number of boutique hotels and private rental villas. There is a full service marina (with fuel available), making Staniel Cay a major hub in the Exuma Cays.
Staniel Cay airport is served by a mixture of scheduled flights and private Bahamas Air Charter flights. Flights to Staniel Cay come from Nassau and other Bahamas Islands. International flights to Staniel Cay come from Miami and Fort Lauderdale Florida.
The Staniel Cay Yacht Club (SCYC) is the central hub of activity on the island. The Yacht Club has 16 bungalows, all with sea views and ownership of the Staniel Cay full service Marina. They also have a very popular restaurant and bar.
The village on Staniel Cay is very small, they have 2 shops, a couple of restaurants, a church, primary school and health clinic. A small secondary school remains under construction. The public dock is served by the weekly mail boat that delivers groceries to islanders.
How to get to Pig Beach Bahamas
Staniel Cay is reached by either boat or plane. The Staniel Cay Yacht Club Marina serves all sizes of boat and yacht. The Staniel Cay Airport is very much an “airstrip”, there is no fuel here so flights need to operate with roundtrip fuel.
Visitors can fly to Staniel Cay from Nassau and Miami. Private air charter services offer on demand flights between all the Bahamas Out Islands. Popular island links include Staniel Cay to North Eleuthera and Staniel Cay to Georgetown Great Exuma.
The Staniel Cay Pigs at Pig Beach can be reached by boat. The island with pigs is only 5-10 minutes by boat from Staniel Cay. Generally visitors have 2 options, either stay on Stnaiel Cay and make the short journey to Big Major Cay; Or visit the Swimming Pigs on a day trip excursion from Nassau or Miami.
Day trips & excursions to visit the Staniel Cay Pigs
Bahamas Air Tours offers full Day Trips and Excursions to visit the Staniel Cay Pigs. These unique swimming pigs tours depart from Nassau and Miami and transport guests by plane; Private Bahamas Air Charter flights from Nassau to Staniel Cay and Miami to Staniel Cay. Fully inclusive day experience packages, these day trips not only visit the Staniel Cay pigs but also take gusts Swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay and many other exciting things to do in Exuma and the top Bahamas Attractions.
Book a Nassau to Exuma Day Trip by plane with Bahamas Air Tours.
Staying at Staniel Cay Bahamas
Staniel Cay makes for a very accessible gateway for visiting the Bahamas Swimming Pigs at Pig Beach (Big Major Cay). There are numerous accommodation options on Staniel Cay, but no sprawling resort hotels if that is what you are usually seeking. Staniel Cay only has small bungalow hotels for the perfect small island experience – the authentic Bahamas!
The Water Villas at Staniel Cay are a collection of 3 luxury newly built villas on the water’s edge of Lazy Bay Lagoon. Each villa has 2 bedrooms and 1,400 sq-ft of fully furnished living space. With ample outdoor space including a private splash pool for each villa, with direct access to the lagoon you can dock your boat directly outside your front door! This makes visiting the Staniel Cay pigs with your own boat rental. All boat rentals include a hire Captain.
Things to do in Staniel Cay Exuma
People don’t just visit Exuma because of the Staniel Cay pigs. Whilst they maybe the number #1 attraction, there are so many more exciting things to do in Bahamas besides Swimming Pigs!
Another popular activity in the Exuma Cays is swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay Marina. These pet nurse sharks that live at compass cay are mostly harmless to humans. Close to Compass Cay is Pipe Creek, with it’s stunning Sand Bar that can be reached at low tides.
Closer to Staniel Cay pigs is the Thunderball Grotto James Bond Cave, located inside the small rocky island that sits between Staniel Cay and Big Major Cay. Visitors can snorkel inside the Thunderball Grotto to find hundreds of tropical fish in a living aquarium. Thunderball Grotto was a filming location in the James Bond Film Thunderball from 1965.
The underwater Bahamas Plane Wreck is another popular tourist attraction in Exuma. This twin engine plane crashed here in the 1970’s during the Pablo Escobar drug smuggling era when he based his operations out of Normans Cay airstrip (which is further north in the Exuma Cays).
The Bahamian Rock Iguanas at Bitter Guana are another exciting attraction close to the Staniel Cay Pigs. They can be visited on the Bahamas Air Tours Day Trips & excursions.
Visit the Staniel Cay Pigs with Bahamas Air Tours
Going swimming with pigs couldn’t be any more easier now that Bahamas Air Tours operates daily tours and excursions to the Exuma Cays from Nassau and Miami. Book onto the Nassau to Staniel Cay Day Tour for an incredible 5-star rated experience and visit the authentic Bahamas Out Islands.
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