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The Exumas in the Bahamas

Map of Exuma Cays, Bahamas
The Exumas is an Out Island of the Bahamas with the main village of George Town. The Exuma Cays starts southeast of Nassau and stretches in an almost straight line for some 90 miles to the south.

The Exuma islands are well known for their beauty, the amazing colors of sea around them and their interesting people.

The island chain in the Bahamas has today not much more than 4000 people, spread between several cays but with the majority living on Great and Little Exuma.

The largest single land mass of the Exumas is Great Exuma, which is connected to Little Exuma by a bridge across the narrow Ferry Channel.

There is one major airport in the Exumas, just north off George Town, the principal settlement on Great Exuma.

Map of Great Exuma, Bahamas
Of course, one can also arrive by boat, including mailboat. However, swooping down on the Exumas from the air treats travelers to one of the most significant vistas in the Bahamas.

Surrounding the islands, which are strung out like stepping stones, the water shimmers in huge swirls of jade, teal, turquoise, and neon blue, like whimsical abstract art.

Dive with us into this fascinating chain of islands in the Bahamas and discover the many interesting sights like George Town, Stocking Islands, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, the Thunderball Grotto, the wonderful beaches like Emerald Bay and many others. Also, learn more about the most significant event on the islands, the Regatta.

If you plan a visit to the Exumas island you can find accommodation option on the Exumas Hotels website.



Interesting Sights on Great Exuma

Exuma from the Air
Most visitors to the Exumas make their first stop on the Exuma International Airport on Great Exuma, just north off George Town. There are direct flights from some South Florida destinations like Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa or Sarasota. Of course, there are also direct flights from Nassau, the main airport in the Bahamas.

There is also a weekly mailboat service and Bahamas Ferries offers a passenger and car ferry service three times a week from Nassau to George Town and back.

Although George Town is Exuma's main settlement, it's still on the no-need-for-a-traffic-light scale. The most imposing building here is in the town center the colonial-style Government Administration Building and atop a hill the whitewashed St. Andrews Anglican Church, originally built in 1802.

Exuma Islands, Bahamas

A popular hang out for locals and visitors alike is the Fish Fry, 2 miles north of George Town. In the shacks, made-to-order fish and barbecue is served. There's even a sports bar with TV's in every corner. Some shacks are open weekend only, but most are open nightly until midnight.

Slightly more than a mile off George Town's shore lies Stocking Island. The 4 miles long island has only 10 inhabitants, a gorgeous white beach rich in seashells and popular with surfers and plenty of good snorkeling sites.

The Mysterious Cave is very popular with divers and you will find also stromatolites on the island. You can take advantage of this rare opportunity and see living examples of the earth's earliest reef.

Exuma, Stocking Island
At the juncture of Great and Little Exuma, a one-lane bridge crosses the short pass to the Ferry, Little Exuma's earliest settlement. The town has some pretty gardens and holds the island's smallest church - built for one's family use only.

On the Great Exuma side, you can see the remains of the historic ferry landing. The bridge replaced the ferry in 1966 and is a great fishing spot.

There are several little old villages on Little Exuma like Williams Town. You can visit the Hermitage, a hilltop ruin of a former planation house or the Salt Beacon, a 200 feet white obelisk that marks the site of the salt mining operations or you explore the romantic and secluded beach at Pelican's Bay. A small unmarked gravel road north of town leads to the beach.

Exuma Three Sister Beach
A few miles north of George Town, from the top of Mt. Thompson you have a pleasing view of the Three Sisters Rock jutting above the water just offshore and the nice beach with the same name.

Driving further north you will pass Emerald Bay beach with the Sandals Resort at Emerald Bay. The resort offers the island's only golf course. Learn more on the Bahamas Golf website about the excellent golfing possibilities at the Sandals Resort.

The town of Rolleville sits on a hill above a harbor, 20 miles north of George Town. Its old slave quarters have been transformed into livable cottages. On the top of the hill, is a nice seafood restaurant guarded by an ancient cannon.



Interesting Sights on Exuma Cays

Exuma Beaches
A band of cays stretches north from Great Exuma. The many tiny and secluded cays and beaches are a boater's haven. Only a very few are populated.

Staniel Cay is a favorite destination of yachters and makes the perfect home base for visiting the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The island has an airstrip, two hotels, three small grocery stores, a church, a post office and a straw vendor.

Just across the water from Staniel Yacht Club is one of the Bahamas' most unforgettable attractions: Thunderball Grotto, a beautiful marine cave that snorkelers at low tide and experienced scuba divers can explore. In the central cavern, shimmering shafts of sunlight pour through holes in the soaring ceiling and illuminate the glass-clear water.

Exuma Thunderball Grotto
North of Staniel Cay, near Exumas' north end, lies the 176 square-mile Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which spans 22 miles between Conch Cut and Wax Cay Cut.

You must charter a boat or seaplane to reach the park. Hawksbill Cay and Warderick Wells, both with remains of 18th-century Loyalist settlements, have marked hiking trails, as does Hall's Pond.

At Shroud Cay, jump into "Camp Driftwood", where the strong current creates a natural whirlpool that whips you around a rocky outcropping to a powdery beach.

The park appeals in particular to divers, who appreciate the vast underwater world of limestone, reefs, drop-offs, blue holes of freshwater springs, caves and a multitude of exotic marine life, including one of the Bahamas' most impressive stands of rare pillar coral.

Exuma Allen Cay
Animal lovers will be impressed by the tropical birds including osprey, banana quits, terns and wildlife such as iguanas, hawksbill turtles, huge groupers, benign lemon sharks and crawfish.

Strict laws prohibit fishing and removing coral, plants or even shells as souvenirs.

North of the park is Norman's Cay, an island with 10 miles of white sandy beaches, which attracts yachters.

Allen's Cays are at the Exumas' northernmost tip and are home to the rare Bahamian iguana.

If you plan a visit to the Exumas island you can find accommodation option on the Exumas Hotels website.

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Visit the website for more information about the best Dive and Snorkeling sites in Exuma.


Regatta Time in the Exumas, Bahamas

The Exumas hosts three regatta during the year. It starts with the Annual New Year's Day Cruising Regatta at Staniel Cay. Yacht Club, with international yachts taking part in a series of races.

At the beginning of March, the Cruiser's Regatta hosts visiting boats for a week of races, cookouts, and partying in George Town.

The Family Islands Regatta is the Bahamas most important yachting event of the year. It takes place in April. Starting the race in Elizabeth harbor in George Town, island-made wooden sailboats compete for trophies.

Onshore, the town is a three day riot of Junkanoo parades, Goombay music, arts and crafts fairs and much more.




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