Exuma is one of the strangest places I have been to. It has almost everything. From great beaches to fantastic nightlife, but, when it comes to tourists, it has some of the oddest things to do. These are things you get to brag about to your college friends when you go on a reunion or make a punchline of when you end up in an awkward office party.
Get this, you can swim with stingrays and pigs on the same day and follow it up with nurse sharks, how? Get yourself inside one of these Exuma vacation rentals first, and then join me on a journey through the weirdness that is Exuma.
1. Swim with the pigs
Big Major Cay attracts thousands of tourists every year. And why not?! It has the famous swimming pigs. This is massive gentle creatures that swim with you in the ocean. Beware though, these pigs can get very large and can be quite intimidating at first.
One of the best experience I have had in Exuma was going into the Cay and lazing around in the sea like the real beach bum that I am.
However, there is a slight downside to this. If you are sensitive that way, watch out for the pig’s poop in the sea. Pigs are well, pigs and they often do their business while swimming alongside you. It is better to keep watch, and also to wash when you are done with the swim.
2. Dance with the stingrays
Most of the western world knows the stingrays as the creature that took Steve Irwin’s life. However, they are so much more than that. To remember to get over to the beaches in the Stocking island. These pet stingrays are friendly and crave for attention.
When you are in the water, you can expect one to swim near you looking for a bit of attention. Enjoy your swim and make your way into the Stocking Island for the weekly Chat n Chill.
3. Let go at the Chat ‘n’ Chill
Stocking Island is known for being the host of a great event every Sunday. Just get yourself a water taxi from Greater Exuma and chop down on pig’s roast. This is also the only time when you will get to meet the stingrays. However, CHat ‘n’ Chill with its vibrant atmosphere and music is all that and more.
Share your stories with the fellow travelers and let go of the Bahama styles pig roast party. You can make friends with the locals and find out the best places to eat nearby and make a few friends while you are at it too.
The Stocking Island also holds a beautiful trail to hike to arrive at one of the most pristine beaches in Exuma. You can walk for 20 minutes and have the entire beach all to yourself.
4. Swim with the fishes
I cannot describe the Thunderball Grotto better than that title. This cave which has been featured in the James Bond film as well and, is something right out of the storybooks.
The only downside to this is, it is quite hard to navigate if you are not a swimmer. However, once you have browsed through the cavern and sunlight hits your eyes again you would see the most magnificent sight.
Sealife of every kind is found in this little cave, and it is one of those sights that make it worth the entire trip to Exuma.
Pro tip, take your time at this place, since, the Thunderball grotto has a lot to explore. Also, make sure to laze around in the water as you swim with the fishes, there is nothing more delightful the vibrant dash of colors all around you.
5. Feed the nurse sharks
The Compass Cay is a perfect cure for anyone who has seen Jaws one too many times and got an irrational fear of sharks. With many nurse sharks just swimming around, you can pay 10$ to dive in and swim along with them.
These are gentle creatures that will swim with you, and eat hot dogs from your hands. This is one of those stories that I can always count to brighten the spirits at any party.
6. Walk with the iguanas
If lizards are what make you afraid, then Leaf Cay is the place to be at to get rid of your phobia. Carry your supply of lettuce to feed these little babies, and they would walk around the Cay with you without any hesitation.
Don’t worry, this special breed of Bahamian iguanas are super friendly and always crawl out to welcome the visitors when they come by.
7. Dance on the Beach Long Sandbar
A part of most one day boat trips around the Exumas; the Mile Long Sandbar is a photo opp opportunity from the dreams. A vast stretch of white sand lying against the sea, you can let down your hair and simply sunbath here or enjoy a long picnic.
What’s more, since, this Sandbar reveals itself only at low-tide you are sure to find many Starfish around the entire area.
8. Laze around at the Tropic of Cancer Beach
I understand that the Exumas can get crowded for most of the year, but, as an answer to that, there is the beautiful Tropic of Cancer beach. Admittedly, a hard place to get to, this vast area remains pristine for most of the year. And even when there are people around, you will most likely never meet them.
Set out your umbrella by the beach and get into your summer read, or slip into clear seas to enjoy the Meditteranean way of life.
9. Have some seafood
From Lobsters at Santana’s Grill Pit to the variety of fishes you can find throughout the Exumas, it remains a seafood lover’s heaven. Try out the conch while you are there, given that t is one of the national delicacies of the entire Bahamas.
Binge out on some light-hearted conversation as you feed on the lobsters and remember to finish up with some rum cake. I promise you, travel would never be as tasty.