Nestled within the sapphire waters of the Bahamas lies a treasure trove of beauty and adventure: the Exuma Islands.

This archipelago, comprised of 365 cays and islands, boasts some of the most breathtaking landscapes and vibrant marine life in the Caribbean.

From pristine beaches to secluded coves, the Exuma Islands offer a paradise for travelers seeking sun, sand, and serenity.

With countless islands to explore, choosing the right ones to visit can make all the difference in your Exuma experience.

Each island has its own unique charm, attractions, and activities, catering to different preferences and interests.

Whether you seek tranquility amidst nature or crave thrilling adventures in the sea, selecting the perfect islands ensures a memorable journey tailored to your desires.

In this article, we’ll delve into five of the most captivating Exuma Islands that deserve a spot on your travel itinerary.

From the bustling shores of Great Exuma to the secluded haven of Compass Cay, each island offers its own distinct allure and unforgettable experiences.

Join us as we explore the wonders awaiting you in the enchanting realm of the Exuma Islands.

1. Great Exuma

great exuma

Great Exuma stands as the largest island in the Exuma archipelago, offering a vibrant tapestry of culture, natural beauty, and adventure.

Its azure waters and powder-white beaches beckon travelers from around the globe, promising an unforgettable tropical escape.

Top Attractions and Activities

  1. Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park: Explore the pristine marine environment through snorkeling, diving, and boating excursions in this protected sanctuary.
  2. Tropic of Cancer Beach: Bask in the sun and swim in the crystal-clear waters of this idyllic beach, named after the famous latitude line that crosses through the island.
  3. Chat ‘N’ Chill: Experience the laid-back ambiance and indulge in delicious Bahamian cuisine at this iconic beach bar and grill on Stocking Island.
  4. Georgetown: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the charming capital of Great Exuma, where you can shop for souvenirs, sample authentic cuisine, and interact with friendly locals.

Notable Landmarks and Points of Interest

  • Elizabeth Harbour: Discover the stunning vistas and tranquil waters of one of the largest natural harbors in the world, perfect for boating and yachting enthusiasts.
  • Sapphire Blue Hole: Embark on an exhilarating diving adventure to explore the depths of this captivating underwater sinkhole, teeming with colorful marine life and coral formations.

Dining and Accommodation Options

  • Grand Isle Resort & Spa: Indulge in luxurious accommodations and world-class amenities overlooking Emerald Bay, featuring exquisite dining options and spa treatments.
  • Peace & Plenty Resort: Experience authentic Bahamian hospitality and charming accommodations in the heart of Georgetown, with easy access to local attractions and dining establishments.

Tips for Visiting Great Exuma

  • Travel Essentials: Pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and lightweight clothing suitable for the tropical climate.
  • Currency and Payments: Carry Bahamian dollars for local transactions, as some establishments may not accept foreign currencies or credit cards.
  • Transportation: Renting a car or scooter offers flexibility in exploring the island at your own pace, although taxis and water taxis are also available for transportation.

2. Little Exuma

little exuma

Nestled south of its larger counterpart, Little Exuma exudes a laid-back charm and unspoiled beauty that captures the essence of island living.

This serene oasis offers a tranquil retreat for travelers seeking solace amidst nature’s splendor.

Unique Features and Attractions

  1. Tropic of Cancer Beach: Revel in the pristine beauty of this secluded stretch of shoreline, where powdery sands and turquoise waters create a picturesque paradise.
  2. Santana’s Grill Pit: Delight your taste buds with authentic Bahamian cuisine at this local hotspot, known for its mouthwatering seafood dishes and warm hospitality.
  3. Hermitage Estate: Step back in time and explore the historic ruins of this 18th-century plantation estate, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  4. Williams Town: Discover the vibrant culture and traditions of Little Exuma by exploring its charming villages and interacting with friendly locals.

Activities and Experiences

  • Snorkeling and Diving: Dive into the crystal-clear waters surrounding Little Exuma to discover colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and other marine wonders.
  • Bonefishing: Embark on an exhilarating fishing excursion to catch elusive bonefish in the shallow flats and mangrove-lined creeks of the island.
  • Beachcombing: Wander along the pristine shores of Little Exuma and collect seashells, sand dollars, and other treasures washed ashore by the gentle tides.

Dining and Accommodation Options

  • Club Peace & Plenty: Indulge in delectable cuisine and cozy accommodations at this historic hotel overlooking Elizabeth Harbour, offering a blend of old-world charm and modern comfort.
  • The Fish Fry: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this local dining hub, where you can savor freshly grilled seafood and mingle with locals and visitors alike.

Tips for Exploring Little Exuma

  • Respect Local Customs: Embrace the laid-back pace of island life and respect the customs and traditions of the local community.
  • Pack Light: Opt for lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and insect repellent to stay comfortable while exploring the island’s natural wonders.
  • Plan Ahead: Research local attractions and activities in advance to make the most of your time on Little Exuma, and consider renting a car for convenient transportation.

3. Staniel Cay

Staniel Cay

Nestled in the heart of the Exuma Cays, Staniel Cay beckons travelers with its pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and unparalleled natural beauty.

This idyllic island paradise offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a truly unforgettable experience.

Famous Attractions like the Swimming Pigs

  • Swimming Pigs: Embark on a boat tour to visit the world-famous swimming pigs at Big Major Cay, where you can frolic alongside these friendly creatures in the crystal-clear waters of their island home.
  • Thunderball Grotto: Dive into the underwater cave made famous by the James Bond film “Thunderball,” and snorkel amidst vibrant coral reefs and exotic marine life.

Snorkeling and Diving Spots

  • The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park: Explore the breathtaking marine biodiversity of this protected reserve, home to vibrant coral gardens, underwater caves, and an abundance of marine species.
  • Coral Gardens: Discover the colorful coral formations and tropical fish that thrive in the pristine waters surrounding Staniel Cay, offering unparalleled opportunities for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

Accommodation Options and Dining Experiences

  • Staniel Cay Yacht Club: Immerse yourself in luxury at this iconic resort, offering waterfront accommodations, world-class dining, and unparalleled views of the surrounding Exuma Cays.
  • Staniel Cay Marina: Experience the laid-back charm of island living at the marina’s cozy cottages and waterfront villas, complete with on-site dining options and easy access to the island’s top attractions.

Insider Tips for Enjoying Staniel Cay

  • Plan Boat Excursions in Advance: Book boat tours and excursions early to secure your spot and maximize your time exploring Staniel Cay’s iconic attractions.
  • Respect Wildlife: Practice responsible tourism and respect the natural habitat of Staniel Cay’s resident wildlife, including the famous swimming pigs and indigenous marine species.
  • Explore Off-the-Beaten-Path: Venture beyond the island’s popular attractions to discover hidden gems and secluded beaches, where you can immerse yourself in the serenity of Staniel Cay’s untouched landscapes.

4. Stocking Island

Stocking Island

Just a stone’s throw away from Great Exuma lies the picturesque Stocking Island, a haven of natural beauty and tranquil serenity.

With its pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and crystal-clear waters, Stocking Island offers an enchanting retreat for travelers seeking solace amidst nature’s splendor.

Pristine Beaches and Natural Wonders

  • Chat ‘N’ Chill Beach: Sink your toes into the soft sands of this idyllic beachfront paradise, where azure waters and swaying palm trees create a postcard-perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.
  • Boiling Hole: Marvel at the mesmerizing spectacle of the Boiling Hole, a natural phenomenon where ocean tides rush into an underwater cave, creating swirling whirlpools and bubbling waters.

Hiking Trails and Outdoor Activities

  • Elizabeth Harbour Trail: Embark on a scenic hike along the Elizabeth Harbour Trail, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding cays and secluded beaches.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Explore the pristine waters surrounding Stocking Island by kayak or paddleboard, venturing into hidden coves and mangrove-lined channels teeming with marine life.

Beachside Dining and Relaxation Spots

  • Chat ‘N’ Chill: Indulge in mouthwatering Bahamian cuisine and ice-cold beverages at this laid-back beach bar and grill, known for its delicious seafood platters and lively atmosphere.
  • Hammock Haven: Unwind in a hammock beneath the shade of swaying palms, listening to the gentle lapping of waves against the shore as you bask in the warm Caribbean sun.

Recommendations for Visitors to Stocking Island

  • Snorkeling Gear: Pack your snorkeling gear to explore the vibrant coral reefs and underwater ecosystems teeming with tropical fish and marine creatures.
  • Sun Protection: Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect against the tropical sun while lounging on Stocking Island’s pristine beaches.
  • Respect Nature: Practice responsible tourism and respect the fragile ecosystems of Stocking Island by disposing of waste properly and refraining from disturbing wildlife.

5. Compass Cay

Compass Cay

Tucked away in the tranquil waters of the Exuma Cays, Compass Cay beckons adventurers with its pristine beaches, azure waters, and unique marine encounters.

This secluded island paradise offers a serene retreat for travelers seeking unforgettable experiences amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Bahamas.

Highlighting the Nurse Sharks Experience

  • Nurse Sharks Encounter: Delve into the exhilarating experience of swimming with gentle nurse sharks in the crystalline shallows of Compass Cay’s protected marina. Witness these majestic creatures up close as they glide gracefully through the pristine waters, offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for marine enthusiasts.

Snorkeling and Water Sports Opportunities

  • Vibrant Coral Reefs: Dive beneath the surface and explore the vibrant coral reefs that fringe the shores of Compass Cay, teeming with colorful marine life and exotic underwater species.
  • Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Embark on a leisurely paddle along the island’s serene coastline, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the surrounding waters while basking in the warm Caribbean sun.

Accommodation and Dining Options

  • Compass Cay Marina: Experience island living at its finest with waterfront accommodations overlooking the marina, offering unrivaled views of the surrounding cays and easy access to the island’s top attractions.
  • Compass Cay Restaurant: Indulge your palate with mouthwatering Bahamian cuisine and freshly caught seafood at the island’s charming restaurant, where flavorful dishes and warm hospitality await.

Essential Tips for Enjoying Compass Cay

  • Respect Wildlife: Approach nurse sharks with caution and observe them from a safe distance to avoid startling or disturbing these gentle creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Sun Protection: Shield yourself from the tropical sun with sunscreen, hats, and protective clothing while exploring the island’s outdoor attractions and water sports activities.
  • Boat Rentals: Consider renting a boat or chartering a guided excursion to explore the surrounding cays and hidden gems of the Exuma archipelago at your own pace.


As we conclude our exploration of the Exuma Islands, let’s recap the enchanting destinations we’ve uncovered:

  • Great Exuma: A vibrant tapestry of culture and natural beauty, offering pristine beaches, historic landmarks, and world-class amenities.
  • Little Exuma: A serene oasis of tranquility and charm, boasting secluded beaches, historic sites, and authentic Bahamian experiences.
  • Staniel Cay: A captivating playground of adventure and relaxation, featuring iconic attractions like the swimming pigs, Thunderball Grotto, and vibrant coral reefs.
  • Stocking Island: A hidden gem of pristine beauty and unspoiled landscapes, offering idyllic beaches, scenic hiking trails, and vibrant marine life.
  • Compass Cay: A secluded sanctuary of marine wonders and serene beauty, inviting travelers to swim with nurse sharks, explore vibrant coral reefs, and indulge in waterfront dining.

As you’ve discovered, the Exuma Islands offer a kaleidoscope of experiences and adventures waiting to be explored.

From swimming with sharks to lounging on pristine beaches, each island beckons with its own unique charm and allure.

Now is the perfect time to start planning your Exuma adventure and embark on a journey of discovery amidst the breathtaking beauty of the Bahamas.

As you prepare for your Exuma adventure, remember to embrace the laid-back pace of island life and immerse yourself in the natural wonders and vibrant culture of the Bahamas.

Pack your sense of adventure, curiosity, and wonder as you set out to explore the hidden gems and iconic attractions that await you in the Exuma Islands.

Whether you’re snorkeling amidst vibrant coral reefs, sampling authentic Bahamian cuisine, or simply basking in the warm Caribbean sun, may your journey be filled with unforgettable moments and cherished memories that will last a lifetime.

From the pristine shores of Great Exuma to the secluded coves of Little Exuma, may your Exuma adventure be nothing short of extraordinary.

exuma islands

FAQ’s About the Exuma Islands:

Is Exuma Expensive?

Exuma can be considered relatively expensive compared to some other destinations due to its remote location and limited infrastructure.

However, the costs vary depending on factors such as accommodation choices, dining preferences, and activities.

Visitors should budget accordingly to enjoy their desired experiences without overspending.

What is Exuma Best Known For?

Exuma is best known for its stunning natural beauty, pristine beaches, and vibrant marine life.

It is renowned for attractions such as the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay, Thunderball Grotto, and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.

The islands offer a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the Bahamas.

Is It Worth Going to Exuma?

Absolutely! Exuma offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers seeking sun, sand, and serenity.

From swimming with nurse sharks to exploring hidden caves and lounging on secluded beaches, Exuma captivates visitors with its natural wonders and authentic Bahamian charm.

It’s definitely worth a visit for those craving a memorable island getaway.

How Do I Get to Exuma?

The most common way to reach Exuma is by flying into Exuma International Airport (GGT), which is served by major airlines and regional carriers.

Alternatively, visitors can also arrive by boat or yacht from neighboring islands or cruise ships that include Exuma in their itinerary.

How Long is a Boat Ride from Miami to Exuma?

The duration of a boat ride from Miami to Exuma can vary depending on the type of vessel and weather conditions.

Generally, it takes approximately 6 to 8 hours to sail from Miami to Exuma, covering a distance of around 300 miles across the open ocean.

How Many Days Do You Need in Exuma?

The ideal duration for a trip to Exuma depends on individual preferences and planned activities.

However, to fully explore the main attractions and experience the laid-back island vibe, a minimum of 3 to 5 days is recommended.

This allows ample time for beach outings, excursions, and relaxation amidst the stunning scenery of Exuma.

Do You Need a Car to Get Around Exuma?

While renting a car provides convenience and flexibility for exploring Exuma, it’s not necessarily required.

Taxis, water taxis, and tour operators offer transportation services to popular attractions and destinations on the islands.

However, having a car allows visitors to explore remote areas and off-the-beaten-path attractions at their own pace.

What is the Best Month to Visit Exuma?

The best time to visit Exuma is during the dry season, which typically extends from December to April.

During this period, the weather is mild, and the skies are clear, making it ideal for outdoor activities, beach outings, and water sports.

However, visitors should be mindful of peak tourist season and book accommodations and activities in advance.

How Long is the Boat Ride from Nassau to Exuma?

The boat ride from Nassau to Exuma usually takes around 3 to 4 hours, depending on the type of vessel and sea conditions.

Several ferry operators offer daily services between Nassau and Exuma, providing a convenient and scenic way to travel between the two islands.


(Island Expert)

Christian is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with a relentless passion for unlocking the potential of island real estate.Christian's expertise extends beyond entrepreneurship and property transactions.He possesses a profound expertise in crafting captivating content and persuasive copywriting tailored exclusively to the enchanting realm of island real estate.

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