The Exumas, an exotic collection of cays and islands

 

Set in the aquamarine and sapphire waters of the Caribbean sea, the sensuous sunsoaked islands are definitely the ultimate beach scape. Once a save haven for pirates and privaters in the early 1700s, the chain of 365 cays is a feast for the senses and offers the perfect combination of pure relaxation and adventure.

Like a string of luscious pearls scattered over the impossibly blue ocean, the pristine 120-mile chain is a paradise of invitingly soft, silken sands, emerald-green waters and picturesque palms leaning towards the sea.

Once called Yumey and Suma, names of Amer-Indian origin,  the Exumas archipielago is best experienced by boat. With an ocean sparkling in every shade of blue, turquoise and subtle green, the breathtaking beauty of Exuma and her outlying cays is absolutely unrivalled.

Divided into the Exuma Cays, Little Exuma and Great Exuma, this string of the Islands of Bahamas is a destination with endless reasons to fall in love.

Here, I relieve some of my favorite Bahamian adventures…

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GEORGE TOWN

Steeped in rich history, the capital of the Exumas is located on Great Exuma Island. With its quaint shops, candy-colored historic sites and charming bars, the colonial era seaport is the perfect base to set out sailing.

From tiny boutiques selling hand-printed fabrics, island accesories and elegant summer dresses to open-air markets, straw vendors and unique art galleries, shopping in Exuma is truly an authentic experience and an ideal way to find yourself immersed in the warm hospitality of the islands.

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Overlooking Stocking Island and Kidd Harbour, the whitewashed 150 year-old St. Andrew’s Anglican Church located on Kidd Hill is an active place of worship in the Exumas today.

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Chillin’ with a Bahamian beer

After our marine adventures,  we used to embrace the gentle pace of life in the island enjoying the ocean view with a Sands or a Kalik beer and indulging ourselves in the Bahamian culture flavor.

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Exumas Famous Straw Market

An impressive African fig tree shades the colorful Straw Market which is home to  Bahamian-made arts and craft as well as other handmade souvenirs.

The busy market offers brilliant displays of woven hats and baskets, mama dolls, personalized straw bags, lines with vivid prints, floral pareos, shell-encrusted jewelry and ornamental ceramic pieces. 

After wandering the lively market and being tempted to have my hair braided, I purchased a beautiful clasped straw clutch, a shell bracelet and a few items more to bring back home.

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Giant Starfish

Off the mainland of Great Exuma, some of the biggest starfish can be found carpeting the shallow ocean floor. We picked one up for a limited time and then returned it to the sea.

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The Sunken Drug Plane At Norman Cay

In the 70s and early 80s, the Bahamian island of Norman’s Cay became the perfect base for Carlos Lehder’s drug running operations and an exotic hideway for him and his long-time associates.

The cocaine business was revolutionized by the founder of the infamous Medellin cartel who made a vast fortune by bringing cocaine up to The Bahamas from Colombia and then to the States in smaller planes.

According to court papers, the Colombian drug lord earned $250 to $300 million a year in 1980.

Partially submerged under the clear water lies the sunken wreckage of a Curtis C-46 that crashed at Norman’s Cay during the 80s.

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THUNDERBALL GROTTO

Witnessing an incredible sight like this -an intricate, underwater maze situated on the western coast of Staniel cay- made it clear to me why the Bahamas is considered one of the world´s top sites for diving.

Two James Bond scenes were filmed in this magical underwater cavern, as well as the movie ‘Splash’ and ‘Into The Blue’. 

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MILE-LONG SANDBAR

Emerging from the ultra-clear waters a stretch of pure white sand suddenly zoomed into view. We dropped anchor, lounged on the footprint-less sandbar and absorbed all the wonder of paradise. Imagine warm and balmy weather, clear blue skies, smooth snow-white sands and complete solitude.

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The Famous Swimming Pigs

The delightful experience not to be missed, swimming with wild piggies, will be the hightlight of your trip.

Click here to check out our unforgettable adventure with these excellent swimmers!

Swimming With Pigs in an uninhabited Bahamian Island

 

 

 Allen Cay Rock Iguana

Located thirty-seven miles Southeast Nassau in Northern Exuma, Allen’s Cay is home to the endangered Bahamian Rock Iguana (Cyclura chylura) which can only be found on three islands worlwide.

The dinosaur-like lizard is protected at the National level under the Wild Animals Protection Act of 1968. Large and robust, the friendly creatures warmly welcomed us as soon as we set ashore.

With impressive spiny crests and their bright and beautiful colors, the wild lizards are primarily vegetarian feeding on leaves, flowers and fruit.

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STOCKING ISLAND

The creamy flawless white sands beaches fringed with tilting coconut tres of Stocking Island are sure to inspire. The 4-mile-long exquisite island is easily reacia ble by boat from Elizabeth Harbour. 

The Chat N Chill beach bar is defenitely the place to be on Sundays for their famous Pig Roast.

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