The Best of the Exuma Islands – 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. Visit The Best Beaches in the Bahamas Guide for information on all of the Grand Bahama beaches, or visit us on Pinterest.
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.
Best Beaches in the Exuma Islands
Tropic of Cancer Beach
Located on Little Exuma, just outside of Williams Town, Tropic of Cancer Beach, or its official name, Pelican Beach, has been called one of the prettiest in the Exuma chain. Snorkeling right off the beautiful beach is fantastic and always an adventure. You’ll know you found it when you see a little hut with benches and the Tropic of Cancer name carved into the ramp down to the beach.
Three Sisters Beach
Located in Mt. Thompson, about 12 miles north of George Town, this expanse of white sand beach offers breathtaking views of the beautiful blue-green waters and of course the legendary rocky trio, Three Sisters Rock.
Coco 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.
The beautiful white sand beach on this archipelago is a stark contrast from the expanse of mangrove vegetation that surrounds it. Overlooking the beach on a hill is Camp Driftwood, made famous by a hermit who dug steps to the top leaving behind pieces of driftwood, to which people have been adding ever since. The current around Camp Driftwood creates a natural whirlpool that spins you right onto the powdery beach.
Easily reachable by boat from Elizabeth Harbour, Stocking Island features one of the finest beaches in The Bahamas. Snorkelers and divers love to explore the islands blue holes, coral gardens, and undersea caves. Head to Chat N’ Chill where you can savor a few tropical drinks, play some volleyball, and soak in the laid back atmosphere.
Best 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.