What to Know About Visiting Exuma
Welcome to Your Exuma Paradise!
Get Ready To Enjoy A Fun Family Vacation
Pack the slippers. Grab your binoculars. Raid the bookstore. Bring your swim suits. Make landfall prepared to hunt, snorkel, dive, fly fish, kayak and find lots more activities to make your stay most memorable.
With sapphire-blue water everywhere, The Exumas are an exotic collection of dream destinations. Footprint-free beaches, ultra-exclusive resorts, and islands fit for celebrities make this tropical paradise an absolute gem. Here, nature outnumbers man, coastlines remain flawless and private homes play host to some of the world’s most famous stars. The Exumas truly are the ultimate escape.
With 365 islets and cays, one for each day of the year, create your own dream vacation discovering hundreds of white pristine sandy beaches and deserted cays.
The largest of the cays is Great Exuma, which joins to another island, Little Exuma by a small bridge. The majority are uninhabited or privately owned and are regarded to be some of the best places to stay in the Exumas. Of the populated only Great Exuma features many locals.
Located off the coast of Nassau, Exuma and The Exuma Cays have become a popular travel destination for those looking for a tropical paradise holiday. Particularly, those wanting to try something other than the typical spots such as Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, etc. In fact, many of the rich and famous have known about Exuma for some time now, and many of them call it their home-away-from-home.
Why? Well, chances are, you probably need to see it and experience it to truly understand why Exuma should be your next vacation spot. From breathtaking beaches, to stunning turquoise waters, to that ‘untouched’ feeling you can only get in some remote vacation spots, Exuma is a treat for travelers of all kinds.
A visit to the Exumas is all about pottering around island hopping or taking advantage of the vastly varied coastlines off which to dive, snorkel, fish or try out any number of other watersports.
The lack of people on the Exuma Cays equals a lack of footprints on the many beaches. This is definitely one of the best places to come to in the Bahamas if you want a beach all to yourself.
Great Exuma and Little Exuma are known for their laid-back atmosphere and gorgeous natural surroundings. The cays themselves are known for being either perfectly pristine or dotted with ultra-luxurious private island resorts such as Musha Cay and Compass Cay Marina Resort.
So, have you been planning that long overdue fun family vacation? Have you been surfing the internet to discover more about this tropical paradise? Well, that is exactly what this page is for – to help you get ready for your incredible trip to the Exuma and The Exuma Cays by providing some very useful information!
Before Booking Your Trip
If you have not already booked your trip, there are a few things you should know. Depending on where you are coming from, you may or may not find a direct flight into Exuma. There is a direct flight into Exuma if flying from Toronto, Canada. Yet, if you are flying in from the USA, many cities (North Carolina or Atlanta) also offer direct flights straight into Georgetown.
Otherwise, you’ll need to fly directly into Nassau, Bahamas, where you then take a short and scenic flight from Nassau to Exuma International Airport (Great Exuma Island). Bahamasair, Western Air or Sky Bahamas Airline are the main options for this short puddle jump.
If arriving by flight, which seems to be the most common choice, you will likely be landing at the main airport in The Exumas, which is located on Great Exuma: Exuma International Airport (GGT). Several major national and international airlines offer daily, bi-weekly and weekly flights.
Do you need passports to go to The Bahamas? Yes indeed, you will need them. Generally, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to The Bahamas, as well as proof of anticipated departure from The Bahamas. Those traveling to The Bahamas on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document.
Getting Around Exuma
Taxis play a big role in the transportation of tourists on Great Exuma. Exuma Travel & Transportation provides taxi services and island tours. Taxis are readily available on Great Exuma, especially at the airport and near the busy resort areas of the island. Most resorts are willing to arrange taxi services for their guests when they arrive at the airport, as well as any time they are in need of a ride during their stay. But you can take matters into your own hands and call for a ride yourself or book a car rental service.
Yet, not everyone wants to rent a car to get around during their stay on Great Exuma, and even those who do may only do so for a day or so of sightseeing. For these people, the presence of local taxi services is a great benefit to them.
Nonetheless, on Great Exuma and Little Exuma, you may choose to rent a car or scooter to get around. But remember, taxis are readily available by phone and usually stationed at the airport to meet incoming flights and at the docks for the ferry and mailboats.
The 365 islands and cays of The Exumas are easily reached from the mainland by chartered and scheduled plane service, as well as chartered day trips by boats. While on the cays, you’ll find that walking is the preferred mode of transport, but bicycles are sometimes available at hotels and resorts. Golf carts are also available for rent on Staniel Cay and in Black Point. Pedestrians should remember to first look right and then left before crossing streets.
If you are staying on Great Exuma island, or Little Exuma island too, for that matter, you will benefit greatly from having your own rental car. There are many exciting things to see in Exuma and they can be pretty spread out. A rental car will give you the freedom to explore the island(s) at your leisure and provide you with a freedom you wouldn’t have otherwise. However, if you are looking to stick close to your resort and nearby locations, a taxi service might be more up your alley.
Local Car Rentals
Driving in Exuma is done on the left side of the road and is truly not that big of a deal. Remember: Keep Left! There should be stickers in the car that remind you. Seatbelts must be worn while driving and drinking and driving is not permitted. Coming out of the airport road to the Queen’s Highway there is a small round-about, but there isn’t much traffic. Just take your time and you will be fine.
Now Where Are You Going To Stay?
Exuma and The Exuma Cays offer a variety of accommodation styles depending on what you like. To discover hotels and resorts on The Exumas, click here to read more.
If your first stop in Exuma is to be the tourist center for additional travel information, you can visit the Exuma Tourist Office situated in the Turnquest Star Plaza (George Town). Telephone numbers are: (242) 336-2430 or (242) 336-2456
Grocery Shopping In Exuma
You may be well served to utilize local concierge services to have groceries picked up and stocked into your vacation rental, cottage or villa before you even arrive! (Who wants to grocery shop as soon as they arrive at their destination?)
Otherwise, conveniently located in George Town, Exuma Markets is the grocery store, which is typically where locals and tourists conduct their “normal” everyday food/grocery shopping.
For those restocking their boats or those doing self-catering in one of the many rental units in and around George Town, the Market has all the essentials and then some. However, it could be challenging for those with dietary restrictions.
There is always a good selection of vegetables and fruits. Note that it may not be up to visual appeal that one may be used to. Remember, imported items have to make at least two boat trips to arrive Exuma. If you can, buy whatever local produce that may be in season.
There is a broad selection of canned and boxed food, paper goods, sodas, cookies, crackers, snack foods, dog and cat food, etc. Everything that you need is here.
However, meat selection is limited and is often frozen. Deli types of items such as luncheon meat and cheeses ae simarly limited. however, there are some cheeses available that might surprise you!
For those who are going south of George Town to a rental, make Exuma Markets your first stop. There are no other major food stores south of George Town. Other than fresh meat and fresh fish, Exuma Markets is your main one stop for all your grocery shopping. As far as costs go, overall, they are about 10-15% higher than what one would normally pay in the United States of America.
Where to Dine in Exuma
There are many great dining spots spread out throughout the Exuma islands and it is highly recommended to try them out! Bahamian food dishes are incredibly tasty, and many restaurants offer western varieties as well. There is sure to be something for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters. Learn more.
Bahamian’s speak English, but they also have their own native tongue and accent which you will be sure to hear a lot of while exploring Exuma!
The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar (B$1), which is equivalent in value to the US dollar. Both US and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands. If credit cards are not accepted at a specific spot, or you run out of cash, there are two major banks (Scotiabank & Royal Bank of Canada) with ATMs in Georgetown and Exuma International Airport where you can withdraw from.
How To Best Enjoy Your Visit?
The Exuma islands run on island time, and in some ways, on their very own version of it. Although the service may be slow at times, the food is always made to order and well worth the wait. The staff and locals are extremely friendly and want to ensure you enjoy your time! Just know that once you place your order, you will be waiting longer than standard western times.
The Exumas are located out in the ocean, off of some of the bigger islands who provide much of their services. The Wi-Fi and cell service can be scarce. Therefore, this gives you more of a reason to kick back, relax, and take in everything Exuma has to offer! The Exumas are very safe. People are very friendly and the place is beautiful. However, common sense is your best defense but don’t worry too much on Great Exuma. The locals are extremely friendly and you will certainly feel safe.
The Exumas have some of the most beautiful beaches and water in the world! You will find yourself drawn to the many beaches that the Exuma Islands have to offer, as they are absolutely stunning.
Beaches in The Exumas
There are thousands of miles of invitingly soft, white-sand beaches stretching along the length of the chain, cays and inlets, for relaxing or exploring by foot and by boat. The shallow, crystal-clear waters provide one of the prettiest settings for snorkeling in the entire Bahamas.
On Great Exuma Island, there is Tropic of Cancer Beach, the longest one on the island and the prettiest in the chain. Others include Emerald Beach at Sandals Emerald Bay Resort, named for the translucent emerald-green water it sits on; Three Sisters Beach is associated with a local myth; crescent-shaped Jolly Hall Beach can be reached on foot from most hotels; Coco Plum Beach is great for shelling Notable beaches can also be found in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park and on cays shrouded by large expanses of mangrove.
Swim with The Pigs
The Swimming Pigs are famous in the Exuma islands and an absolute treasure. Visit them while taking part in one of the many tours offered as well as many other incredible stops along the way. These happy and friendly pigs will swim out to greet you and eat food right out of your hands.
A vacation in the Exumas is very relaxing. Often times you will find yourself in an area with absolutely no other people, or if you do see them, they are far away. Especially on the beaches. There are not many crowds in Exuma and you will find this to be a great vacation spot for peacefulness and relaxing.
However, there are a wide variety of other things to see and do in the Exumas. Click here to discover more:
Stocking Island is a highly recommended place to spend some time beach time during your visit to Exuma. Take a tour or take the water taxi over, and enjoy the food, sandy beaches, and sights. Stocking island gets raving reviews and is considered a must-see by many visitors and locals.
**Bring your own bug spray and sun screen, as you will need these and they can be expensive on the island**
SO MUCH MORE!
Keep following the Rhema Kingdom Ministries blog for lots of great information about Exuma and to be kept in the know about what’s happening on this treasure of an island! The Rhema Kingdom Ministries Facebook page and Instagram accounts are great resources as well!