Top Things to do in Exuma, Bahamas
The Exumas are located in the heart of the Bahamas. With 365 islands, known as “Cays” (pronounced “keys”), you will almost certainly find privacy during your stay, while being surrounded by some of the bluest water you can find on this planet. This brief overview of the top things to do in Exuma will help plan your next trip to the Exuma Cays.
Gorgeous blue waters
While there are many top things to do in Exuma, you’ll find yourself in some of the best waters in the world enjoying them.
Getting to Exuma
Exuma is extremely remote, so you can only get to it by boat or plane. While there are a few smaller airports in the Exuma Cays, the main airport is located in Great Exuma (GGT). There are daily flights from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and a few other select cities that do not cost an arm and a leg.
Upon arriving in Great Exuma, you will notice the airport is extremely small. There are no large terminals, just a small building that houses the customs offices. After a brief stop in customs, you are outside on a small road without little around. There is a bar/restaurant directly across from the airport if you have time to kill.
If you are staying at a resort that has a shuttle service, you have nothing to worry about. If not, we recommend renting a car for your stay. Everything is extremely far apart, so walking is not an option and it’ll get expensive to take a cab everywhere. You can rent cars for around $100/day and you will find it is extremely convenient to come and go as you please. There are taxi’s waiting outside the airport, but they are quite expensive ($40-$50 one-way) for a rather short trip. We spent A LOT of time waiting for cabs to pick us up. Remember, they are on “island time”, which means they go extremely slow, never in a rush.
Where to Stay
You have a few options to stay when looking to enjoy some of the top things to do in Exuma. You can choose to stay around somewhat of a civilization in Great Exuma, or head out to the Cays and find a more private place. Keep in mind, the Cays are extremely remote, so harder to get to once you land in Exuma, not a lot of restaurant options, stores and general things to do. Not unless you live on Tim McGraw’s and Faith Hill’s private island.
Our Recommendation: We first stayed at Sandals, but it was not the greatest experience. While it’s an ideal setup, all-inclusive, we did not receive great service and the food was mediocre, especially for paying $600/night. However, the staff is extremely friendly and nice. We visited Exuma another time and rented an Airbnb and had a much better experience. We had our own car to get around, buy groceries, see more of the island. We got to explore more restaurants and bars and just experience everything Exuma has to offer. We definitely recommend going the vacation home route.
Top things to do
Whether you are exploring the Exuma Cays or checking out Georgetown in Great Exuma, you will find that there are plenty of things to do. Here are a few of the top things to do in Exuma that you must check out.
The famous swimming pigs are not only one of the top things to do in Exuma, but in all of the Bahamas. People travel from all over the world to see them. Most tours in the Bahamas will take you there. You can enjoy swimming with them, feeding and playing on the beach with them. Check out our swimming pigs review here.
Nurse Sharks at Compass Cay
The Bahamas have many kinds of sharks. One of those is the Nurse Shark. They pose no threat to humans so they are fun to swim with. Head over to Compass Cay to take a dip with them. Be sure to get there early in order to beat the crowds. There is a $10/per person fee to do so.
Beaches, beaches and more beaches
There are many gorgeous beaches in Exuma. Whether you are in the Cays or on Great Exuma, you’ll find one just right for you. Some of the more popular ones in Exuma are Cocoplum Beach and the Tropic of Cancer. Both on different parts of the island, but they are quite big so you’ll likely have a good amount to yourself.
If you venture out to the Cays, you’ll likey weave in and out of some islands owned by some famous celebrities. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are one of the more popular ones that purchased their own island and developed quite the compound. David Copperfield and Nicolas Cage are among others.
Nicknamed after a famous James Bond movie that was shot there, Thunderbolt Grotto is a fun place to dive on into. Or for some, snorkel on into. This is not an excursion for the faint of heart. We have to dive into and out of Thunderbolt Grotto through air pockets before finally making our way out.
Exuma is home to some of the most breathtaking waters in all of the world. It is truly amazing. The waters of Exuma can be quite shallow, leaving sandbars all over the place. Just off Musha Cay, there is a mile long sandbar that you can pull your boat up to and enjoy some relaxation.
What to pack
We’ve been there, so we know what you need. Here are a few of Plentiful Travels top travel products that you should pack if you will be exploring the top things to do in Exuma Bahamas. Check out our packing tips for ideas on packing for your next trip.