The Exuma islands in The Bahamas are the perfect Caribbean paradise—a group of islands featuring shimmering white stands and stunning sapphire waters, plenty of peace and quiet, and a romantic setting that feels remote but is only an hour away from Florida. It’s no wonder that Exuma is a top couples’ vacation and honeymoon destination in The Bahamas. Wondering what to do in Exuma, Bahamas? We’ll tell you all you need to know.
Although the islands of Exuma are tranquil, there are still plenty of things to do in Exuma. There are even things to do in Exuma at night, free things to do in Exuma, and some really fun Exuma Bahamas excursions. In this article we’ll tell you our picks for the top 22 things to do in Exuma on your Bahamas honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Many people wonder, what is Exuma best known for? That answer to that question leads us right into our top thing to do in Exuma.
Swim with pigs
One of the most unique things to do in Exuma is also one of the best-known things to do in Exuma: swimming with pigs. Pigs roam freely on the uninhabited Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach. No one is quite sure how they got there, but they are very friendly. Accustomed to daily visits, the world-famous “swimming pigs” like to swim out to meet arriving boats and enjoy frolicking in the water with visitors.
One of the top Exuma Bahamas excursions, Pig Beach is an easy day trip from Nassau, Great Exuma, or Staniel Cay; plenty of tour operators offer powerboat trips, most of which start at 9 a.m. and last until about 1 p.m. or all day. The trip from Nassau to Pig Beach takes about 2 hours. The closest islands to Pig Beach are Staniel Cay and Fowl Cay, if you want to stay nearby. The boat trip from Staniel Cay to Big Major Cay is just 15 minutes. You can also visit by private plane.
Explore Exuma Land and Sea Park
Another top thing to do in Exuma is take a boat trip out to Exuma Land and Sea Park, a protected area of water and land that showcases the local plant, animal, and marine species. Here you can relax on some truly stunning beaches; snorkel or scuba dive amidst incredible marine life like Nassau groupers, angelfish, and reef sharks; and hike through some beautiful natural areas like the sand dunes, mangrove swamps, and rocky bluffs at Warderick Wells.
Don’t miss the hidden cave at Rocky Dundas, Shroud Cay, and Chicken Cay. And one of the best spots for snorkeling is the Sea Aquarium, which features coral, colorful fish, and even the wreckage of a plane.
Lounge on the beach
Hanging out on the beach is one of the best free things to do in Exuma. The beaches in Exuma are some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, and one of the best is Coco Plum Beach. Offering shallow aquamarine water, lagoons, and sand bars, it’s located on Great Exuma’s northeastern side. There are also swings set out in the water, for a great photo opportunity.
Another fabulous beach is the Tropic of Cancer Beach on Little Exuma, which feels secluded but still offers a beachfront cocktail bar and snack shack. Sandy Cay, located in the southern part of the Exumas, also offers a breathtaking beach with clear turquoise water. Saddle Cay Beach on Norman Cay is another of the best beaches in Exuma.
Since the waters around the Exumas are generally calm and shallow, these are great beaches to kayak or paddleboard from.
Dive and snorkel
Thunderball Grotto is one of the best places to snorkel and dive in Exuma. It’s called that because scenes from the James Bond movie “Thunderball” were filmed here. You can see amazing marine life whether snorkeling or diving—just be sure to check the currents. They can sometimes be too strong for snorkelers or inexperienced divers.
The reef off the eastern coast of the private island of Halls Pond Cay is another great dive spot. There are sunken planes that you can see up close in the waters off of Staniel Cay. Exuma Land and Sea Park is another excellent area for snorkeling and diving, especially the Sea Aquarium (see above).
At North Gaulin Cay, you can snorkel and dive, and often find sand dollars at low tide on the sandbar that is to the west of the island. Stocking Island features great snorkeling at the mouth of Jacques Cousteau’s Mystery Cave (and be sure to explore Moriah Harbor Cay National Park on the island as well).
Explore George Town
There are plenty of things to do in George Town, Exuma. The capital of the Exumas (located on Great Exuma), George Town is laidback and fun place to explore, with colorful architecture, historic buildings, restaurants, and shopping at local spots like the Straw Market and Sandpiper Arts and Crafts.
Golf by the ocean
One of the most gorgeous golf courses in the Caribbean is located on Great Exuma. The Greg Norman Championship Golf Course is an award-winning 18-hole par 72 championship course set on a peninsula with several oceanfront holes. (It’s on the grounds of Sandals Emerald Bay, and if you stay there you’ll get free green fees.)
Feast on local food
Bahamian cuisine is fresh and delicious, from seafood like conch, lobster, and mahi mahi to peas and rice to barbecued pork and chicken to tropical fruit. There are plenty of great local spots to try it, including Shirley’s Fish Fry Shack, Santanna’s Bar and Grill, Chat’n’Chill, Haulover Bay Bar & Grill, Big D’s Conch Spot, Catch a Fire Restaurant, and Mom’s Bakery (don’t miss the rum cake!).
Go island hopping
The main island is Great Exuma, and it’s attached to Little Exuma with a bridge. There are also 363 other islands in the Exumas, including plenty of smaller, uninhabited cays that you can explore by boat or kayak to find that perfect deserted beach.
You can also search for sandbars, which appear at low tide throughout the Exumas. Some of the top sandbars are at Sandy Cay and Morriah Cay Harbour.
Hang out with locals
On Great Guana Cay, there’s a small town at Black Point Settlement where you can visit with locals as they create crafts from palm leaves, enjoy some lunch, or just wander around and enjoy the relaxed vibe. Be sure to check out the natural blowhole before you leave.
Visit historic sites
From ruins that date to the 1750s at The Hermitage to the Salt Beacon and salt fields to the Pompey memorial (honoring the slave rebellion that led to Bahamian independence), there are historic sites dotted throughout the Exumas that you can visit.
Swim with nurse sharks
At Compass Cay Marina, you can swim with nurse sharks, and even feed them.
Soak in a natural bubble bath
While you’re at Compass Cay, be sure to check out Rachel’s Bubble Bath, a natural swimming hole that feels like a bubbling whirlpool (at the beach on the northwest part of the island).
Have a drink or meal at Staniel Cay Yacht Club
Open to all, the Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a popular spot for hanging out and enjoying some refreshing libations and delicious food.
Go diving for conch
One of the most popular seafood meats in Bahamian cuisine, conch are plentiful in the waters around the Exumas. You can find local tour operators that offer this experience for a unique addition to your Bahamas vacation.
Visit a Blue Hole
There are several blue holes in the Exumas. These deep sinkholes and cave systems offer great snorkeling, as well as opportunities for experienced divers. The closest blue hole to Great Exuma is Angelfish hole on Stocking Island. Dean’s Blue Hole is one of the deepest blue holes known to man (663 feet deep). Located on Long Island, this sinkhole has a submerged entrance and offers clear water, great swimming, and excellent diving.
Hang with iguanas
Hundreds of endangered Bahamian rock iguanas live peacefully on Bitter Guana Cay, which you can visit for some fun photo opportunities.
See live starfish
Just north of the island of Great Exuma you can find the Starfish Reserve, where you can see all kinds of live colorful starfish in the clear, shallow waters. You can also see starfish at Hamburger Beach on Stocking Island.
Swim with turtles
You’ll find turtles throughout the Exumas, but to swim with some head to Hoopers Bay in Great Exuma (just northwest of George Town). This is a fantastic free thing to do in Exuma.
The waters of the Exumas offer all kinds of fishing opportunities, from deep sea fishing to reef fishing to bonefishing. You can easily book a guide to take you out on an Exuma Bahamas fishing excursion.
Search for the best Goombay Smash
The Goombay Smash is the signature rum drink of the Exumas, and each local bar and restaurant makes their own version. A fun thing to do in Exuma at night (or during the day—you’re on vacation!) is to visit a different bar and try their take on the famous cocktail. At the end of your trip you can vote for the best one!
Enjoy George Town’s nightlife
Another of the fun things to do in Exuma at night is check out the clubs and bars in the capital city of George Town, on Great Exuma. Dance, drink, and listen to live local music as you hang out in this laidback island town.
One of the best things to do in Exuma at night is to head out to the beach and gaze up at the stars. You’ll be amazed at how many you can see in the sky here, without light pollution. Try using a sky map app to help you identify the constellations and planets you see.