Yachting in the Exumas
Experience a world of turquoise bathwater and swimming pigs. Welcome to The Exumas; a string of 365 islands and cays located in The Bahamas. When traveling to the Out Islands of the Bahamas, it’s important to note just how remote this area is. Only accessible by boat or seaplane, the private serenity of The Exumas makes it the perfect yachting destination.
The Perfect Bahamas Itinerary
Begin your journey with a brief cruise through the Atlantic Ocean before entering this Bahamian oasis. Widely known for its luminous blue water, which can be seen from space, you will be left in awe of the natural beauty. Whether you’re going for a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, there is no better place to charter a yacht than The Exumas. Sprawling 120 miles southeast of new providence, Exuma is a tropical hideaway reserved only for those who can find a way to get there. The Bahamas is famous for its brilliant turquoise waters; due in large part to the shallow nature of the water. The word ‘Bahamas’ comes from Bajamar, which means ‘shallow water’ in Spanish. There are plenty of yachts available for charter with accommodating shallow drafts, view some here.
This map is an example of a custom charter itinerary. Our team will customize your itinerary based upon your preferences, contact us today to learn more.
Highbourne Cay is a must-stop on journeys through the Exumas and points south. Cruising guides consistently describe Highbourne as “excellent” and a “favorite outpost” of seasoned yachtsmen. The prime reason: Highbourne Cay Marina, located within a beautiful, naturally-sheltered harbour and managed and maintained impeccably by professional, friendly staff.
Upon arrival, take the tender to Allen’s Cay, home to the welcoming Rock Iguanas that wait on the beach for treats from visitors. This is also a calm spot ideal for a day on the yacht’s jet skis and toys. Afterwards, you can stroll along the beautiful beaches of Horseshoe Bay or snorkel the Octopus Garden reefs.
Cambridge Cay and Compass Cay
For the adventure seekers, swim with wild nurse sharks at Compass Cay. Stand in 4’-5′ water as the gentle nurse sharks swim leisurely through the water. Don’t worry, these gentle giants will not hurt you. Simply float adrift into the bright blue water as you’re graced by the presence of docile nurse sharks. If the thought of swimming with sharks is unsettling, head over to Rachel’s Bubble Bath. The deep crystal-clear azure water in the lagoon is a favorite to all who visit. At mid to high tide the waves crash over the surrounding rocks in a way that creates a natural jacuzzi. You’ll feel as though you are swimming in an ocean of champagne.
Ease into the day as your make your way over to Warderick Wells, known for it’s beautiful coastal trails. Take a hike to Boo Boo Hill, the tallest hill on the cay. Here you can experience a spectacular panoramic view of the island, the anchorage, and Exuma Sound. The underwater views are pristine and an ideal day for snorkeling. On shore, you can take a lovely walk across the island through a national park where you will find a 53ft. whale skeleton on the beach. Warderick Wells deserves its place as the “most popular cay”, and you will remember it as the one harbor that you’ll long to return to. Spend the rest of the day in the water enjoying all the toys onboard!
Bitter Guana Cay
Today our destination is Bitter Guana Cay. There are numerous beaches on the island and snorkeling is a very popular activity among guests. The pools here are filled with beautiful coral and marine life, so be sure to take the paddleboards for a whirl, or hop on your jet skis to the shore. Take a beach walk, collect a few seashells here on the white sandy beaches, or take a dip in the shallow pools of water off the coast.
Harvey’s Cay & Big Major’s Spot
Wake up anchored out at Harvey Cay and enjoy a nice breakfast on the aft deck. From the moment you approach the shoreline, you will be greeted by the island’s salty four-legged inhabitants. A popular destination for visitors, Big Major Cay is home to the world-famous pig beach. Since the early 1990s, these four-legged celebrities have grown in numbers. Gracing the presence of visitors with their curly tails and wiggly noses, the pigs love peeping their heads through the water as they swim, most likely looking for a tasty treat. If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Pig Beach is a must-see.
Enjoy the festive atmosphere around the Staniel Cay Yacht Club sharing stories with other yacht guests, meet the locals, and enjoy a local meal at the club. Anchor outside the “Thunderball Grotto” where the underwater scenes in the James Bond movie by the same name were filmed. The site is naturally a very popular location for diving and snorkeling, and the amazing heads of colorful coral and reef fish will make you feel like you are in an aquarium. Explore the beautiful surrounding coves and beaches of Staniel Cay.
Experience Shroud Cay, and it’s crystalline waters. The vast waters here are a snorkeler’s dream: crystal clear, abundant with fish, and deemed by many to be the bluest of all the waters in the world. Home to the Exumas Land and Sea Park, enjoy an adventure through the mangrove rivers, explore the breathtaking climb to the top of “Camp Driftwood”, or tender over to Hawksbill Cay, a great place to anchor and experience the serene, sugar-sand beaches.
Cruise on the Exuma Sound, fishing along the way, to the Southern end of Norman’s Cay where you can explore a sunken plane that makes a colorful and exciting snorkel with colorful fish and coral. Explore the island’s ruins and visit “Twinkie Beach” with its lone palm tree, charming beach, and loads of seashells to collect.
Rose Island is one of the more popular yacht destinations and is located only 3 miles east of Paradise Island. Rose Island does not have any roads or residential dwellings, in fact it is said that centuries ago the island was home to a pineapple plantation. The center of the island is made up of a shallow inland lagoon and the highest point of the island measures roughly 52ft in elevation. This is a great location to anchor up, take out the wave runners, floats, and inflate the slide…you are still on island time.
A staple in Bahamian cuisine, conch, is used in just about every dish cooked in the Bahamas. Whether it’s conch burgers, blackened conch, cracked conch, grilled conch, or conch fritters, the island cuisine is sure to satisfy your taste buds. On the healthier side, conch salad is made with just lemon juice, conch, fresh tomatoes, onion, green pepper, and cucumber. Devouring these fresh fruits and vegetables on the sundeck of your yacht is truly an unforgettable experience. There’s nothing quite like a view of the bright blue ocean as you dig into a freshly prepared local Bahamian lunch.