The Best of the Exuma Islands

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

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

Best Hotels in the Exuma Islands


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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