The Bahamas’ collection of islands is as distinct as each wave in the ocean, but their pristine beauty and no-fuss lifestyle unifies them. Exuma was ranked among the 2017 Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas by Travel + Leisure. The Exumas, which consists of 365 islands, offers a less commercialized Bahamian vacation, with a variety of activities sure to please any visitor.
Nature lovers will rejoice as they explore Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which is the first land-and-sea preserve in the world. Established in 1959, it provides 176 square miles of beauty and protection for a variety of species, including nesting sea turtles. This unparalleled natural habitat also has arguably the best underwater sightseeing in The Bahamas.
Another unique attraction exclusive to the Exumas: swimming pigs. Legends of these mammals’ arrival date back to Christopher Columbus, but no one is certain of how they got to the islands or how they learned to swim. Despite their mysterious beginnings, these delightful creatures never fail to make their visitors smile.
The Exumas are known for being less populated with tourists and providing a more laid-back Bahamian experience, which is part of the location’s appeal for many, but the islands are beginning to see growth as well. In February of 2017, the Bahamian government signed a “heads of agreement” for a new $200 million project, to include a five-star hotel and resort on Children’s Bay Cay and Williams Cay. The developer has pledged to leave the majority of the islands untouched and to be environmentally mindful with their design. So despite the impending construction, The Exumas are certain to retain their relaxed reputation for years to come.