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Exuma

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North America : Caribbean : Bahamas : Exuma
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Half Moon Beach, Saddleback Cay

Exuma is a district of the Bahamas, consisting of over 360 islands (or cays). The largest of the cays, and the only one with any significant population, is Great Exuma, which is 37 mi (60 km) in length.

Islands

Many of the islands in the Exumas are privately owned. Only inhabited islands open to the public (or at least paying guests) are listed here.

Cities

Understand

Get in

The Exuma island chain is 130 mi (209 km) long. The northernmost islands are under an hour away from Nassau by speedboat and many tour operators offer day trips. Great Exuma has the only airport in the islands, which receives flights from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Nassau. This airport is approximately 10 mi (16 km) north of the main settlement of George Town. Visiting any of the other islands more or less requires your own boat.

Get around

Great Exuma can be seen via car. The other islands are accessible only by tour charter or boat.

Car and boat rental is available in George Town, Great Exuma and at the airport. Must have international or US driver's license.

Note that Exuma - like all the Bahamas - drives on the left side of the road. Rental cars can typically be specified as left/right wheel configurations subject to availability.

Water Taxi To Stocking Island

Leaves twice daily from Peace and Plenty Restaurant in Georgetown Harbour to the neighboring Cay of Stocking Island.

See

Rock iguana, Leaf Cay
  • Saddleback Cay. A private island owned by Island World Adventures [1], which runs one-day trips from Nassau daily ($190/pp). The island has seven beaches, including the gorgeous Half Moon Beach, shallow reefs in the vicinity and a spot where giant nurse sharks gather daily to be fed.
  • Thunderball Grotto, where the James Bond film Thunderball was filmed.

Itineraries

Do

Boating

Snorkeling

Diving

Fishing

Golfing

The Four Season's Hotel closed and is in process of conversion to a Sandal's Resort scheduled to open in late January 2010. It has an 18 hole golf course that may or may not be open to non-Sandal's guests in the future. The course was closed as of December 2009.

Eat

  • Chat and Chill, The Point, Stocking Island, Exuma (A water taxi is available from Great Exuma), 242.336.2700, [2]. Wonderful local restaurant famous for its Garlic Coleslaw is an excellent place to have a beer and relax or have a nice beach side dinner.

Drink

  • Thunderball Club on Staniel Cay
  • Splash! Beach Bar & Grill, Palm Bay Beach Club (Great Exuma, Bahamas), 242.336.2787. Famous Conch Chowder

Sleep

  • Fowl Cay - Private Island Resort, 305-284-1300 ext 4800 (), [3]. $7,945-$14,588/week.
  • Palm Bay Beach Club, Great Exuma, Bahamas (Just 7 miles from Georgetown Airport), 242.336.2787 (), [4]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12 Noon. The resort has over 70 beachside cottages and hillside villas. There is a choice of studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom villas all with either a full or partial kitchen.
  • Staniel Cay Yacht Club, (242) 355-2024 (, fax: (242) 355-2044), [5]. $145-$255.

Stay safe

Nurse shark, off Saddleback Cay

The crossing from Nassau to the northern end of the Exumas is only 40 miles, but it's across open water and can get choppy if it's windy. Bring along a warm, ideally waterproof coat, and try to get a seat near the middle of the boat to minimize both bumpiness and sea spray.

There are nurse sharks and lemon sharks in the waters around the islands. They don't usually bother humans, but it's best to ask for local advice on where to swim — shallow water is usually fine.

Get out


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