The Bahamas is such a beautiful place with over 700 hundred islands. Between tour boats, swimming, and flights we visited 11 islands while we were there for our 11 day trip. We flew from Tampa Florida to The Great Exuma and then flew from The Great Exuma to Tampa eleven days later but had a day layover in Nassau on the way back.
One of the first things we noticed when we arrived is how beautiful and clear the water is and how empty the beaches are. End of December and beginning of January is supposed to be their busy season but we had most beaches all to ourselves!
They Airbnb we stayed at also offered a rental car which worked out great for us. The car is a tiny Japanese car that talks to you in Japanese! Ricardo and Maxine are the owners and are a super cool couple. They were so friendly and we loved just chattin with them! They were so helpful as well.
Here is a link to their airbnb! We totally recommend staying with them. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3970579
The First day, we drove from our Airbnb through George town and to Tropic of Cancer beach. This is a really beautiful beach where there were some islands that we snorkeled to. The water was so so clear and we had the whole little island to ourselves. We found hundreds of sand dollars to which was my favorite part :) FInding them is magical!! After that we then continued to Little Exuma. Little Exuma is a smaller island off of The Great Exuma but it’s connected by a bridge. Near the end of the island there’s a little bakery called “Mom’s Bakery” where we bought some bread for $6. The lady who sells the bread was so nice and said she was now are mama on the island. The people in Exuma are seriously some of the kindest people we’ve met! TIP: Get mosquito repellent! Around 5:30 a million mosquitos and sand flies start swarming the beach like you would never believe!! We only stayed outside for sunset twice because it was so crazy haha.
Next day, we decided to drive down to the other side of the island to Coco Plum beach. This beach is beautiful and has wooden swings that are off the beach in the water. Talk about fun! We spend a lot of time swinging on the swings, playing in the water, and even walked out to another island that we had all to ourselves! It probably took us about 45 min to walk out to the closest island and by the time we got back the sun was setting and the sky was a beautiful pink color. It had to be one of the most beautiful sunset ever!
For around $20 you can catch a 7 minute boat ride to Stocking Island from Georgetown and visit a well known hang out spot called Chat and Chill or Lumina Point. We spent a really fun day at Lumina point eating amazing food, kayaking, getting a couples massage(we never do things like that but it was SO fun!!), and hanging out on the beach. Imagine a bunch of beautiful white beach bungalows scattered on the edge of a beautiful beach all connected by little jungle maze of paved trails. If you are looking for a tropical getaway this is definitely an amazing location. For more information about Lumina Point go here: http://www.luminapoint.com/?utm_source=Lumina%20Point%20Resort%20%26%20Spa
Boat tour day
We scheduled a full day boat tour through Exuma Water Tours for $180 per person. Note, we payed online and there was a $20 processing fee so it probably better to just pay when you get there. It seems like a lot of people did that. This tour pick you up at around 7 am from the nearing pickup location closest to where you are staying and then brings you back to that location at the end of the day around 6 pm.
During the tour, we say some of the celebrity islands of David Copperfield, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and more. We then saw an amazing dock with Nurse Shark (this was $5/person to see but super cool), walked around on a little sand bar, and swam through Thunderball Grotto (where they filmed the James bond movie). We had plans of staying in the island of Staniel Cay so got dropped off before the whole tour was done.
Staniel Cay is a beautiful little island that can be totally explored in one day of walking or by golf cart. Most people drive golf carts in this small island :) While at Staniel Cay we stayed at the Embrace Resort. Embrace Resort was a fun place to stay. They have some units that are perfect for two people and others that would be perfect if you are coming with a whole family. It’s situated right in the middle of the island which is ideal for walking anywhere you would want to explore. It’s also right next to the little airport which makes things easy if you are flying in our out to Nassau using Flamingo Air. Through the resort we were able to book a boat tour to see the pig island which was only about a 10 minute ride by boat from Staniel Cay. For more information about Embrace Resort on the island of Staniel Cay go here: http://www.embraceresort.com/
Local were telling us that the population in Staniel Cay fluxuates from 75 to 100 people. On the island you have a two little markets and two restaurants. We really really liked the local restaurant called “Taste and Sea”. I think their hours were from 9am to 12ish. A plate was about $10 and usually came with fish or chicken, salad, rice, and a fried plantain. Sooo good and filling :)
Almost didn’t make it back!
We woke up our last day on Staniel Cay and knew we had to find a boat to take us back to The Great Exuma (about 3 to 4 hour boat ride). We had tried to make plans with several of the boat tour companies but they said they could only get us if they already had a tour going out that day. The forecast was looking like there was going to be heavy rain and wind so a lot of tours were being cancelled. During this time we tried everything, including almost hitching a ride back to Florida on a huge yacht. Josh was stoooooked on that idea! We were bummed that ultimately didn’t work out. At the last moment we got word there was one tour running that day and that it would swing by and pick us up if we were at the government dock at 12:30 pm. We got to the dock at 12 and waited until a little past 1pm and started getting nervous but luckily the boat came by and took us back to The Great Exuma to catch our flight to Nassau and from Nassau to Florida. If were to plan it again and wanted to see The Great Exuma and Staniel Cay, we would book a one way ticket to The Great Exuma and then fly out of Staniel Cay on Flamingo air.
Overall, the Bahamas was a blast! Amazingly blue water with beautifully beaches/islands with relatively few people on them. If you are looking for a fun place to relax and catch some island vibes we definitely recommend checking it out!