The Exumas Travel Guide

With sapphire-blue water everywhere, The Exumas are an exotic collection of dream destinations. Footprint-free beaches and 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.

The Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and islands, beginning just 35 miles southeast of Nassau. Once called Yumey and Suma, the islands have gone through many changes over the years. Today, they’re divided into three major areas—Great Exuma, Little Exuma and The Exuma Cays. Each offers its own unique Bahamian experience. Great Exuma and Little Exuma are known for their laid-back surroundings, while The Exuma Cays act as a playground for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private homes, luxury resorts and beach side condos. The Exumas are also rich in history, as they were settled by British Loyalists with their slaves following the American Revolution.  The Exumas Travel Guide will provide you with everything you need to plan your next dream beach vacation.  For more information on the best beaches in the Exumas, visit The Best Beaches in the Bahamas Guide.

Exumas Weather – When to Visit

High season is December through April, when weather is in the 70s (although lows can dip into the 60s). Be warned that hotels will sell out for events such as the George Town Cruising Regatta and the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in March, and the National Family Islands Regatta in April.

Summer room rates are cheaper than the winter high season, but fall (late August through November) offers the best deals. That’s because it’s hurricane season (June–November), with the most chance of a storm from August to November. Weather during this time can be rainy and hot. Some inns close for September and October.

Exumas Attractions

Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, The Exumas, Bahamas, Exumas beaches, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, the Exumas Travel guide, top beach destinations, Exumas Hotels, Exumas restaurants, things to do in the ExumasExuma Cays Land & Sea Park

The 176-square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea National Park, created in 1958, was the first land and sea park in the world and is one of the most successful marine parks. It is the first “no-take reserve” (all fishing is prohibited) in the wider Caribbean. This stretch of pristine water, land and beaches is an ecological preserve and wildlife refuge famous for its breath-taking marine environment.  Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular here, and you can encounter nature first-hand by feeding the endangered Bahamian iguanas or catching a glimpse of the elusive hutia, with the assistance of one of the professional guides.

Coco Plum Beach, The Exumas, Bahamas, Exumas beaches, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, the Exumas Travel guide, top beach destinations, Exumas Hotels, Exumas restaurants, things to do in the ExumasCoco Plum Beach

Located on the northern end of Great Exuma, this white-sand beach is dotted with beautiful palms. It is ideal for picnicking and most likely you will have the beach all to yourself. It is also well known for great shelling and sand dollars during low tide.

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Stocking Island, The Exumas, Bahamas, Exumas beaches, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, the Exumas Travel guide, top beach destinations, Exumas Hotels, Exumas restaurants, things to do in the ExumasStocking Island

Easily reachable by boat from Elizabeth Harbor, Stocking Island has some of the finest white sand beaches in The Bahamas. Snorkelers and divers love to explore the island’s blue holes, coral gardens and undersea caves. The Island is also home to Stromatolites, said to be the oldest known macro-fossils on the planet, found on the Atlantic-side beaches.

Pig Beach, The Exumas, Bahamas, Exumas beaches, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, the Exumas Travel guide, top beach destinations, Exumas Hotels, Exumas restaurants, things to do in the ExumasPig Beach

Meet the adorable and famous Swimming Pigs. This is one thing you can’t miss while you’re here. Visit Pig Beach and get a selfie with the swimming pigs—they’re even cuter in person!  Big Major Cay is uninhabited and the pigs are not native to the island. Some say they were left by a group of sailors, who planned to come back and cook them. Or that the pigs swam over from a shipwreck nearby.  Wherever they came from, there are now about 20 pigs and piglets on Pig Beach. With daily visits from Bahamians and tourists, the pigs are living the easy life on Big Major Cay.

Jolly Hall Beach, The Exumas, Bahamas, Exumas beaches, Bahamas beaches, best beaches of the Bahamas, the Exumas Travel guide, top beach destinations, Exumas Hotels, Exumas restaurants, things to do in the ExumasJolly Hall Beach

Protected from ocean waves by Stocking Island, the water is as calm and clear as they come. The experience is tranquil and the views spectacular. It is adjacent to Coconut Cove Beach, but the beach at Jolly Hall is a little wider, and possibly fewer people.  Located in George Town, Jolly Hall Beach is on the West edge of Great Exuma. You might think about stopping by whether or not you’re staying nearby. Jolly Hall Beach is one of those beaches that is never really too crowded, even though it’s central to many of the area’s urban amenities.

Things to Do in the Exumas

Exuma Water Sports

No. 1 swimming pigs tour in the Bahamas! They proudly try to give you the best boat tours in Exuma. Fun, professional, amazing, and in a premium setting with all the frills.  Telephone:  242-357-0770  Web:  Exuma Water Sports.

Sugar Adventure Company Day Boat Tours

Escape for a day on the water with Sugar Adventures. You will travel aboard 32ft Contender in most pristine shallow waters of the Exumas Cays. They offer snorkeling, sightseeing, private beach lunches, spear and deep sea fishing. Your captain Horace “Sugar” Smith, has intricate knowledge of the waters around Exuma. Tours launch from Barretarre. (20 Minutes drive from Grand Isle resort and Sandals resort).  Snorkeling gear and refreshments are provided. Swim along with swimming pigs, nurse sharks and feed the iguanas. Half day trips from 8:00am-1:00pm & Full day trips from 8:00am- 5:00pm. Telephone:  242-524-2607  Web:  Sugar Adventure Company Day Boat Tours.

Island Boy Adventures

Let them make your trip to the Exumas an unforgettable one! They only offer private tours so that you along with your family and friends can cruise the Exuma blues in comfort and style! Check out their website and feel free to like and follow them on Facebook and Instagram!  Telephone:  1 242-357-0459  Web:  Island Boy Adventures.

Coastline Adventures Exuma

It is their pleasure to take you on your unforgettable full day or half day tour. Snorkel the world renown 007 Thunder Ball Grotto, Sample our mouth watering freshly made conch salad, caught while on tour, play with sharks, swim with the pigs, feed the iguanas. A full fun day awaits you. Nothing but fun times with Coastline Adventures.  Telephone:  1 242-524-8687  Web:  Coastline Adventures Exuma.

Robert’s Island Adventures

Robert’s Island Adventures promises something for everyone and an unforgettable tour experience. Several different tours are available. Exuma Cays Tour; this full-day tour begins in Barreterre and travels through the cays with exhilarating stops at all the attractions. Reef Fishing, Sightseeing and Snorkeling – half and full-day trips offered.  Telephone:  1 242-357-0224  Web:  Robert’s Island Adventures.

Bext Exumas Restaurants

Big D’s Conch Spot  $11 – 30

For the freshest—and according to locals, best—conch salad and the coldest beer, look for the splatter-painted seaside shack a stone’s throw from Grand Isle Resort. You can’t get a better water view, and the beach is great; bring a swimsuit.  Telephone:  1 242-358–0059  Web:  Big D’s Conch Spot.

Chat ‘N” Chill  $11 – 30

Yacht folks, locals, and visitors alike rub shoulders at Kenneth Bowe’s funky open-air beach bar on the point at Stocking Island. All of the food is grilled over an open fire; awesome conch burgers with secret spices and grilled fish with onions and potatoes attract diners from all over Great Exuma. Dances and bonfires on the beach during the winter season are famous island-wide. Sunday pig roasts, which start around noon, are legendary, but call first to make sure it’s scheduled. Most guests arrive by sailboat but you can get here by water taxi (242/464–1558; or call Capt. Elvis Ferguson on VHF radio channel 16) from the Government Dock, which leaves on the hour during the day.   Web:  Chat ‘N’ Chill.

Exuma Yacht Club  $11 – 30

Located in the hustle and bustle of central George Town, the Exuma Yacht Club has a magnificent view of the harbor. Enjoy the ocean breeze from the bar on the balcony, or dine in the chic indoor seating area. The menu includes burgers, salads, and a fresh catch of the day.  For more information call, or visit them on the web at Exuma Yacht Club.  Telephone:  242-336–2579  Web:  Exuma Yacht Club.

Palapa Pool Bar & Grill at Grand Isle Resort  $11 – 30

This poolside restaurant serves three meals a day and offers a stunning view of the ocean. The extensive menu equally features American classics and Bahamian specialties. Dinner highlights include ahi tuna steak, shrimp pasta, prime rib eye, and baby back ribs. A fun drink list including many frozen concoctions complements the food.  This is one of the most romantic restaurants in the Bahamas.  Telephone:  242-358–5000  Web:  Palapa Pool Bar & Grill at Grand Isle Resort.

Santana’s Grill Pit  $11 – 30

This seaside open-air restaurant—you can’t miss the orange-and-yellow building—is the hot spot in Little Exuma, and the closest restaurant to the Tropic of Cancer Beach. Dinner highlights include cracked lobster, cracked conch, shrimp, and grilled grouper, all served with peas ‘n’ rice or baked macaroni and cheese. Ask to see the photo book of celebrities who have eaten here; it was popular with the Pirates of the Caribbean cast and crew. Telephone:  1 242-345–4102  Web:  Santana’s Grill Pit.

Best Bars in the Exumas

The Peace and Plenty

The Peace and Plenty in Downtown George Town is a local hot spot for poolside parties and live bands keeping both visitors and locals on the dance floor. Kick off your shoes and sip on a perfectly mixed cocktail as you overlook the vibrant blue waters of Elizabeth Harbour. Arrive at the dock by boat and stay as long as you like.  Telephone:  1-242-336-2551  Web:   The Peace and Plenty.

Santana’s Grill & Bar

Santana’s Grill Pit is a seaside open-air restaurant and the hot spot on Little Exuma. Grab a cocktail and some of the best conch fritters around. A favorite of the cast of Pirates of the Caribbean, Santana’s won’t run out of rum matey! While you’re there, venture down to Mom’s bakery for her famous coconut bread.  Telephone:  1-242-345-4102  Web:  Santana’s Grill & Bar.

The Fish Fry

The Fish Fry, a cluster of shacks 2 miles north of George Town, always has something going on. On Monday nights there’s a rake ‘n’ scrape band and a DJ is usually there on Friday and Saturday. Kick back with an authentic Bahamian meal and ice-cold beer.  Telephone:  1 242-336-3737  Web:  The Fish Fry.

Exuma Beach Resort

Exuma Beach Resort is also just north of George Town, and popular with locals for its festive waterside tiki bar. Plan on being here just before dinner, as the restaurant is one of the best on the island. Curry shrimp, local lobster and delicious conch chowder await!  Telephone:  1 242-336-3100  Web:  Exuma Beach Resort.

Best Exumas Hotels

Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis & Spa – All Inclusive – Couples Only


Showcasing a private beach area and water sports facilities, Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa All Inclusive Resort – Couples Only is located in Georgetown in the region of Exuma Islands. The resort has an outdoor pool and spa center, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site.  All rooms have a flat-screen TV with cable channels and DVD player. Certain units include a sitting area to relax in after a busy day. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom fitted with a shower. Extras include free toiletries and a hairdryer.

Grand Isle Resort & Spa


With a spa and health club and a restaurant, Grand Isle Resort & Spa is in Farmer’s Hill, right on the beach. It’s close to many golf courses and features free WiFi and on-site parking.  Each room or suite here is air-conditioned and includes a spacious sitting area and a private bathroom with free toiletries. Some include views of the sea or gardens.  At Grand Isle Resort & Spa, there is a fitness center, and other facilities at the property include luggage storage.

Peace and Plenty Hotel & Beach Club

Here you will find a charming 32-room resort with magnificent waterfront views. To completely submerge yourself in the Exuma’s relaxing ambiance and seaside serenity, you are invited to enjoy our new exclusive Peace & Plenty Beach Club on Stocking Island just across Elizabeth Harbor.  The perfect launching pad for all that Exuma has to offer whether it is swimming with famous Exuma Pigs or snorkeling in the Thunderball Grotto and at Dean’s Blue Hole.

Gunhill Bay Villas


Featuring a private beach area and restaurant, Gunhillbay Beach Villas is located in Williams Town Little Exuma. Free WiFi access.  There is a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave and an oven. En suite bathrooms come with a bath or shower.  An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or on the surroundings, including swimming and snorkeling. Free parking is offered.

Augusta Bay Bahamas Exuma


An intimate 16-suite beachfront boutique resort on one of Exuma’s prettiest coves. Reopened in 2009 following a lavish makeover. Augusta Bay is an exclusive boutique hotel.  Activities such as fishing, kayaking and snorkeling can be arranged. Beach picnics and party boat rides are available as well. Massage treatments can be requested.


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30 Comments

  1. Lane Onson

    While I didn’t go to the Exumas, I did go to the Bahamas on my honeymoon. I love conch. That’s where my husband and I first fell in love with it. I wanna see the blue waters and attend these various activities.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The waters here are stunning that is for sure. I hope you can vacation here soon! Thanks for visiting The Exumas Travel Guide.

      Reply
  2. Daniella

    WOW, the Exumas is a dream destination! We plan to sail in December to the Abacos, which is really close. Staniel Cay and Eleuthera are on our bucket list. I won’t miss the chance to swim with the pigs. A big dream of mine since I was a small little girl:)
    I just would like to know. We will be bareboating the area, so we need to buy our own food and provision the boat. Are the food and beverages expensive in the Exumas?

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for visiting Daniella! I can say that you will find the prices a little on the high side. But, much cheaper than if you were to eat out for lunch and dinner for sure. I have not swam with the pigs, but I think it would be so much fun! Thanks for visiting the Exumas Travel Guide!

      Reply
  3. Chas Guevara

    I am really not much of a beach person, but the water is so beautiful! I may have to add this to my list of places to visit. I love the year-round ability to be in the water and outside. I recently moved from Arizona to Wisconsin and it’s definitely a culture shock. I love weather where I can go out wearing my flip flops and shorts year-round. Thanks for posting!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes I agree Chas. I live in Florida, and my closest is full of flip flops, can never have too many. The water here in the Exumas is amazing, and there so so much more than just the beaches. Although, I have to admit, being the beach bum that I am, I LOVE the beaches and that is my reason for vacationing here 🙂

      Reply
  4. Sanket

    Oh man this looks exotic and heavenly.
    I love beaches and the ocean and looking at this just made my future travelling goals.
    What a wonderful place it seems to relax and chill, just fabulous.
    I would certainly travel here, thank you for guiding and helping us navigate through this place , it was really helpful

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome Sanket.  You are right that the Exumas is just fabulous with some much beauty, as well as a great place to just relax and enjoy life.  Thanks for reading the Exumas Travel Guide.

      Reply
  5. Mark

    The Exumas is one of our destinations that we have been wanting to vacation to.  You did a great job of providing everything we need to start planning, and boy are we ready!  The look of the beach is calling me for sure.  You have provided everything we need to start packing.  Thank you for this website!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, and I am glad you found the information you are needing so that you can start planning your trip to The Exumas.  You will have a wonderful time.  If you need any help planning your trip, I would be more than happy to help!  Thanks for reading BeachTravelDestinations.com

      Reply
  6. Juan

    I’ve been looking for travel destinations around the world and the Exuma islands look extremely promising. I like how clear and clean everything looks. Another big thing for me is the tourist population density there, I’ve gone on trips to places before that, although beautiful, have just way too many other people there that prevent me from relaxing.

    Looking at the airfare deals, it doesn’t look to be too much of an expensive vacation spot. DO you know if the prices for regular day to day items like food and household supplies are more expensive than those from the US?

    Definitely saving this and visiting this place later on.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Your airfare is going to be the most expensive part of the trip. The Exumas are a little cheaper than some of the other islands, but you have to remember that this is a little slice of paradise, so yes, it is going to be somewhat more than say a trip within the U.S. It is one of those vacations though, that would be unforgettable.

      Reply
  7. GiuliaB

    Leahrae, what you are described sounds like one of lovely adventure paradise areas you can only see in a documentary on telly. And yet, you can have a wonderful – and I expect unforgettable -holiday in Exuma. I womder whether there are flights going straight to Exuma from other routes than the States. I’m not much of an adventure type of person, nor are beach holidays my ideal type of vacation, but the clear waters, the sea life, all appeals to my love of nature. And from what you are saying, it sounds like there is no better place than Exuma to feel fully immersed in nature. This is one of those journeys which I’m going to add to my bucket list!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am so glad, and yes for the nature and the wildlife, it is truly amazing. I don’t feel you have to be a beach love to enjoy the Exumas. It is one of those destinations that has something for everyone. Thanks you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  8. Cesar

    That place looks wonderful! It seems you could never get bored if you stay there. The water looks amazing, the food looks good, and the attractions look fun. It definitely seems like a place people would love to go to to spend a wonderful vacation.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, it truly is a wonderful place for sure! One of those bucket list items. Thanks for visiting Cesar.

      Reply
  9. Kristel

    This place is stunning. I love beaches and your website fills me with all the detailed information.
    The Exumas in the Caribbean is my dream destination. You are awesome! Keep all these amazing articles. I’m all in reading them.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Kristel! I am glad you are enjoying them 🙂 I am pretty passionate about beaches and beach travel, so I try to put as much into them as I can to get other excited!

      Reply
  10. Madelyn Galvez

    Wow, what a beautiful place. The beautiful water, totally dreamy! I can see myself there already, and that weather sounds absolutely perfect!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      The weather is always perfect and t is one of those “dream about” destinations that belongs on the bucket list! Glad you enjoyed!

      Reply
  11. Brent

    I always love your reviews as they are so detailed!! I have ever even heard of the Exumas so I wanted to take a look and once again I was not at all disappointed at your review.

    It looks like there would be plenty to do here. Have to save up for this one.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, you will. It is well worth the trip and anyone visiting loves the place. One of those bucket list items to definitely check off. Thanks for reading Brent!

      Reply
  12. brad

    Wow what timing! I am just looking at where my vacation will take me this year, and I think I have found the spot. Great weather, great food, great sites to see-and not to mention those beaches!!
    Are there any packages available for this destination. I would be interested.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, there are packages Brad! I will put some together for you and send them to you. How long do you plan on staying? I suggest at least a week.

      Reply
  13. Rob

    Wow. What a nice place. I just recently went to St. Martin and it was beautiful. I love to travel and the Exumas looks like a great place. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome, St. Martin is also beautiful. Yes, you would love it here as well! Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  14. Aaron Brown

    I always love reading these guides and reviews. It’s very helpful when looking to go on a new vacation or buy new gear! continue posting for us please, I appreciate all of the information you give.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you and I will 🙂 Please let me know if there is any information you are looking for that I can provide.

      Reply
  15. Robin Harris

    There is an abundance of information here. I found myself drifting over to packages to see if there were any for this kind of location. I am always looking for away to have someone else do the detailed work for me.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I don’t mind doing the detailed work! I love beach travel, it is my passion. So if there is any other information you need, please let me know.

      Reply

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