Exuma Islands – Bahamas Out Islands – Adventures Article
Exuma Islands adventures with ticklish sharks and swimming pigs
Exuma Islands Adventures Article Written by Travel Writer Linda Jackson, Editor Active Caribbean
How naïve was I when I first started travelling the globe! Someone mention a holiday in the Bahamas, and I thought of Nassau – maybe two other islands – and that, to me, was THE Bahamas. How wrong could I be. Little did I realise that the Exuma Islands offered adventures I hadn’t experienced before.
Well, I thought, there’s Nassau (New Providence Island) and Paradise Island – the two virtually joined at the hip – and Grand Bahama. I had the audacity to think I had covered them all. Ha! In fact there are 29 islands and around 660 cays (pronounced keys) and, if you want to be pedantic… getting on for 2,400 islets (rocks).
The capital Nassau, on New Providence Island, is clean, very ‘American’, extremely friendly, and geared up for the cruise passengers who swarm over both Nassau and Paradise Island like families of ants every time the huge cruise liners make the sophisticated islands their port of call. The marina on Paradise Island is all rather glitzy and glam… big motor cruisers, pastel-coloured town houses hugging the waterside, cocktail bars, dressed-to-impress luxury hotels and casinos, and well-groomed horses pulling quaint carriages in which to tour the town centre with its pretty pink colonial buildings. All very twee. All very pleasant.
Then there’s cosmopolitan Grand Bahama Island boasting endless beaches, enchanting marine life and one of the world’s biggest systems of caves under water. But, surprise surprise, there’s more away from the hustle and bustle of sophistication…
Travel to the Exuma Islands – the Bahamas Out Islands… a necklace of hidden gems blessed with a simple way of life, fabulous beaches, and waters made in heaven for keen anglers. This, readers, is where I found my very own piece of Paradise on a foul-named island called Fowl Cay – just one of many tip-to-toe islands in the very ‘out’ of the Bahamas Out Islands.
How could I not fall in love with this tiny little cay with only six exclusive holiday villas on it? Bliss, peace, tranquillity, solitude, unlimited fizz… what more could anyone possibly want? Not a lot to be truthful. Whether one needs it or not, a personal boat to explore the nearby cays, plus a golf cart to traverse the island is gratuit. So, having one’s own basic little motor boat, and having taken a 30-minute flight from Nassau to Staniel Cay then a boat ride across to Fowl Cay though, this one felt obligated to at least take a quick peek at a few other clone-like cays that sit just a stone’s throw from base camp.
My conclusion on the Exuma Islands
Result: Fascinating, funny, breathtaking, pleasurable… wild pigs that swim (yes!) out to your boat for a few tasty titbits, roaming iguanas on a neighbouring island, a casual lunch at a tiny yacht club while watching sting rays glide past; Tucker’s friendly nurse sharks to caress at Compass Cay, plus a kaleidoscope of fish in the aptly-nicknamed ‘aquarium’ snorkelling hotspot on another.
Oh! And there’s Johnny Depp’s private tropical island (no pirates visible). And, further afield, a scrumptious lobster lunch at Santana’s Grill Pit on Little Exuma, and a scenic championship golf course with no less than six Signature holes on Great Exuma.
I’m having second thoughts.
I really don’t think you should explore the Out Islands of the Bahamas.
You definitely wouldn’t like the bliss, peace, tranquillity, solitude, deserted sand bars, and awesome views of a crystal clear sea waxing and waning in the most amazing blend of turquoise and emerald.
Trust me, these Out Islands of the Bahamas are unbelievably horrid. You won’t like it there…. (you’ll LOVE it).
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