Who, What, Where, When, and Why Exuma?
The Exuma Islands, located within the chain of the Bahamas, consists of over 365 islands, also called cays. The largest of the cays is Great Exuma, which joins to another island, Little Exuma by a small bridge. Located off the coast of Nassau, The Exuma Islands have become a popular travel destination for those looking for a tropical paradise type of holiday but want to try something other than the typical spots such as Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, etc. In fact, many of the rich and famous have known about Exuma for some time now, and many of them call it their home-away-from-home.
Why? Well, chances are, you probably need to see it and experience it to truly understand why Exuma should be your next vacation spot. From breathtaking beaches, to stunning turquoise waters, to that ‘untouched’ feeling you only get in some remote vacation spots, Exuma is a treat for travellers of all kinds.
So, when looking to travel to a new and exciting place, especially one you have heard of maybe only a handful of times, you are likely to start doing some internet searches to find out about the place, which is exactly what this blog is for – to help you get ready for your incredible trip to the Exuma islands by providing some very useful information!
Before Booking Your Trip
If you have not already booked your trip, there are a few things you should know. Depending on where you are coming from, you may or may not find a direct flight into Exuma. If flying from Canada, flying directly into Nassau, Bahamas is easy, where you then take a short and scenic flight from Nassau to Georgetown International Airport on Great Exuma island. Sky Bahamas Airline is a great choice for this.
If you are flying in from the USA, many cities offer direct flights straight into Georgetown. If yours does not, or if you are flying from another country, the same recommendations for Canada are made for you!
Passports? Yep, you will need them.
Where are you going to stay?
The Exuma islands offer a variety of accommodation styles depending on what you like.
Hideaways at Palm Bay, for example, offers an array of accommodations types catering to your party’s size and needs. From oceanfront cottages, to garden view cottages and villas, with studio sizes all the way up to three bedroom units, Hideaways has you covered. Hideaway’s location is nestled cozily on the Elizabeth Harbor, offering guests a beautiful and private, white sand beach, with use of watersport equipment as well. Not a beach person? No matter, there is also a pool located right off the beach, and conveniently, right beside Splash! Bar and Grill where you can eat and drink and have an all around good time indoors or on the patio.
Arriving in Exuma
You will likely be landing at Georgetown International Airport if arriving by flight, which seems to be the most common choice. So how are you going to get around?
If you are staying at Hideaways, your concierge service is able to pre-book you a taxi that will be waiting at the airport for you upon your arrival, or book you in for a car rental service.
- Out Junior Taxi Service
- Leslie Dames Taxi Service
- Bal Sound’s Taxi Service
- Luther Rolle Taxi Service
- Airport Car Rental
- Berlie’s Car Rental
- Don’s Car Rental
- Exuma Transport
- Thompson Rental
If you are staying on Great Exuma island, or Little Exuma island too, for that matter, you will benefit greatly from having your own rental car. There are many exciting things to see in Exuma and they can be pretty spread out. A rental car will give you the freedom to explore the island(s) at your leisure and provide you with a freedom you wouldn’t have otherwise. However, if you are looking to stick close to your resort and nearby locations, a taxi service might be more up your alley.
Driving in Exuma is done on the left side of the road. If you are driving a rental car, be sure to drive on the correct side! Seatbelts must be worn while driving and drinking and driving is not permitted.
If your first stop in Exuma is to be the tourist center for additional travel information, you have a few options:
- Resource Center
- Directory Assistant
- And Exuma Tourist Office
What to Know About Visiting Exuma
Helpful info for once you arrive and get settled in.
What are you going to eat?
Depending on where you are staying and what their food policy is, you may need to have access to a grocery store to pick up some of your own goods.
Hideaways guests have the added luxury of utilizing the concierge service to have groceries picked up and stocked into their cottage or villa before they even arrive! (Who wants to grocery shop as soon as they arrive at their destination?)
Groceries can be a bit expensive, as they are brought in by boat from some of the bigger islands. If you have the option, consider packing some dry foods and bringing them along to save yourself some money.
There is a grocery store in Georgetown which is typically where locals and tourists buy their day-to-day foods. The selection can be limited and may be challenging for those with dietary restrictions.
There are many great dining spots spread out throughout the Exuma islands and it is highly recommended to try them out! Bahamian food dishes are incredibly tasty, and many restaurants offer western varieties as well. There is sure to be something for everyone, even the pickiest of eaters.
Bahamian’s speak English, but they also have their own native tongue and accent which you will be sure to hear a lot of while exploring Exuma!
Plan to spend USD while visiting Exuma. If credit cards are not accepted at a specific spot, or you run out of cash, there are a few different banks with ATMs in Georgetown where you can withdraw from.
How to best enjoy your visit?
Know what your expectations should be!
The Exuma islands run on island time, and in some ways, on their very own version of it. Although the service may be slow at times, the food and drinks are always made to order and well worth the wait. The staff and locals are extremely friendly and want to ensure you enjoy your time! Just know that once you place your order, you will be waiting longer than standard western times.
Keep in mind, the drinks are strong! You will be sure to get your moneys worth when ordering alcoholic bevvy’s.
The Exumas are located out in the ocean, off of some of the bigger islands who provide much of their services. The Wi-Fi and cell service can be scarce. Therefore, this gives you more of a reason to kick back, relax, and take in everything Exuma has to offer! Hideaways at Palm Bay offers computers in the front lobby and Wi-Fi throughout the public areas for guests needing to access the internet. Cell phones can also be provided for day use from the concierge service.
The locals are extremely friendly and you will feel safe in the Exumas. Feel free to experience the nightlife and walk around at night, as tourists are treated very well on the island, on and off the resorts.
The Exuma islands have some of the most beautiful beaches and water in the world. You will find yourself drawn to the many beaches that the Exuma islands have to offer, as they are absolutely stunning.
Top Beaches to Visit:
> Tropic of Cancer Beach
> Three Sisters Beach
> Coco Plum Beach
> Hamburger Beach
> Volley Ball Beach
> Jolly Hall Beach
> Starfish Beach
Stocking Island is a highly recommended place to spend some time during your visit to Exuma. Take a tour or take the water taxi over, and enjoy the food, beaches, and sights. Stocking island gets raving reviews and is considered a must-see by many visitors and locals.
**Bring your own bug spray and sun screen, as you will need these and they can be expensive on the island**
The swimming pigs are famous in the Exuma islands and an absolute treasure. Visit them while taking part in one of the many tours offered as well as many other incredible stops along the way. These happy and friendly pigs will swim out to greet you and eat food right out of your hands.
Little Exuma Island is the smaller of the two island that make up the Exumas. It is home to Santanna’s Bar and Grill, a local favorite of actor Johnny Depp while filming Pirates of the Caribbean. The food and drinks are great and the ocean front location makes it a great place to relax. Right next door is Mom’s Bakery, a local and tourist favorite for baked goods made by Mom herself.
A vacation in the Exumas is very relaxing. Often times you will find yourself in an area with absolutely no other people, or if you do see them, they are far away. Especially on the beaches. There are not many crowds in Exuma and you will find this to be a great vacation spot for peacefulness and relaxing.
There are a wide variety of things to see and do in the Exumas including:
> Bird Watching
> Historical Sights
> Boating and Sailing
> Nightlife Entertainment
> Visiting the Fish Fry
> Kite Surfing
> Pig Roasts
And SO MUCH MORE!
Keep following the Hideaways blog for lots of great information about Exuma and to be kept in the know about what’s happening on this treasure of an island! The Hideaways Facebook page and Instagram accounts are great resources as well!