The Bahamas is a beautiful archipelago of over 700 islands and cays located in the Atlantic Ocean. The islands are known for their white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, lush vegetation, & swimming with the pigs! And in this travel blog, we do a deep dive on one very specific island (so far), Great Exuma Bahamas!
If you are potentially planning a Destination Wedding, I would strongly urge you to consider booking with Sandals.
In this travel blog, I break down our destination wedding cost, the location (Exuma Bahamas), the pros & cons of a destination wedding, and much more!
If you are looking for more tropical travel destinations & travel blogs, consider looking at the following locations we have traveled to:
We do our best to point out some of the most important travel tips about each ltravel destination and will be adding many more tropical destinations in the near future!
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For those of you who don't know Nate and I personally, February is a very special month for us. February 5th was our wedding anniversary (2014)... and yes, we got hitched in the Bahamas! If you want to see a quick snap shot of our wedding, check it out here on our Facebook page or here our Instagram page. Here is our travel blog about our wedding that took place at the Sandals Resort in Exuma Bahamas (Sandals Emerald Bay).
Ok, ok, enough mushy stuff and let's get on with the adventure stuff! So, we were on the tiny little island of Great Exuma for a total of 9 days. You better believe exploring Exuma (all 37 miles 😉) was one of our 'must do's' while here!
⬇Here are some ideas for you on things to do in the Bahamas (Exuma specifically)⬇
**Our #1 pick on our list of things to do in Exuma, Bahamas**
"OH. MY. GOSH".... said EVERYONE on board the boat as we pulled up to a tiny little cay (aka Pig Beach), and on cue, a Sounder of Swine came swimming up to the boat 🤯
Honestly, this was the funniest and most incredible thing we have ever experienced. I never thought we would live to see the day of swimming pigs... let alone in one of the most tropical areas we have ever been.
When we went on this excursion, only one tour company, Exuma Water Sports, was running the show (see their website here). Nowadays, you can find multiple tour companies doing this same excursion.
On our tour with Exuma Water Sports, not only did we get to hang out with the pigs, we did some island hopping, fed some massive iguanas, did some snorkeling, experienced our first blow hole, dove down to catch and hold some of the most enormous starfish we have ever seen and learned about numerous cays owned by the rich and famous! Here are Our Pictures if you want the proof 😉
QUICK TIP: Book in advance... these spots go SUPER fast! And make sure to take a dry bag (like this one) to put your dry clothes in, and anything else that you don't want to get wet!
Ok, I'll be honest, Golf is not our strong suit... but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to gaze at the incredible Bahamas waters at nearly every hole (6 holes to be exact, but it seemed like WAY more). It was more like, 'Hey, let's buy a few baskets of balls and see how many we come back with' type situation oh, and my Dad is a golfer as well, so we just joined him in a game.
Our resort, Sandals Emerald Bay Exuma, has one of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL golf courses we have ever seen. Designed by the golf legend Greg Norman, it's known to be one of the Caribbean's most scenic 18-hole courses, and yes, it's definitely a challenging course (especially for us non-golfers)! See the price breakdown HERE.
QUICK TIP: A golf cart is MANDATORY on this course & they do have rental clubs and other necessities if needed (for purchase/rental)
**Our #2 pick for things to do in Exuma Bahamas**
If you feel comfortable enough to do so - rent your own boat, and explore the surrounding cays! We had no clue what to expect, and it was a 'Hold-The-Phone-This-Is-INCREDIBLE' type moment! We rented a boat from Minns Water Sports for 1 day (you can do more days - the longer you have a rental, the rates get cheaper). See the price breakdown HERE.
If you don't feel comfortable to drive your own boat, here is a list of charters & guides that you can utilize instead. When you check in with Minns, they will give you a small little map with places to stop.
We HIGHLY recommend boating over to Stocking Island and grabbing a bite to eat at Chat N Chill and maybe you will be lucky enough to swim with a wild dolphin like we did in the little cove (see the post here on our Instagram page). You might even be lucky enough to watch the Stingrays come up and feed off the newly emptied Conch shells for the afternoon lunch rush (rush = about 15-20 people), that also occurs at Chat N Chill.
QUICK TIP: Make sure to bring a day bag with you (we used this large dry bag)... trust me, you will be happy you did!! Click HERE to see what we packed in our day bag. Not mentioned in that list, were: a few bottles of water & gatoraid, some protein bars, hat, & towels .
Because Nate and I were getting married in the Bahamas (read about that travel blog HERE), technically, we had to reside in the Bahamas for three days (this has changed to 24 hours). We also had to get approval from the Registrar General in what we would consider downtown Exuma at the local Police Station. This was such a neat experience and forced us to meet some of the nicest people we have ever met.
Every Bahamian we met was genuinely excited and appreciative that we chose their home to visit and get married in! Do make a point to check out the tiny city and strike up a conversation with some of the locals.
Not only will they tell you where the best 'anything' is (beach, food, sunsets, snorkel locations, etc.), especially things to do in Exuma, but they have some of the BEST stories... especially Mama D and her family at Santanna's (we are getting to them next ⬇⬇⬇)!
**Our #3 pick on our list of things to do in Exuma Bahamas**
YES... you MUST make this a priority, and YES... this is where Johnny Depp and the film crew came and ate for a few days while filming Pirates Of The Caribbean (ask to see their photo album, hopefully, they still have it)!
Imagine this... sitting ocean side, on a tiny stool at a tiny beach shack with shudders as the doors & windows - wide open for a fresh salty breeze, eating two Lobster Tails (caught earlier that morning), and washing them down with an ice cold Goombay Smash (a traditional Bahamian beverage)... all the while, listening to the stories from Mama D (the cook/owner) and her husband, about how they free dive every day to get the fresh catch of the day... and HOW they warn the other diver about incoming sharks trying to steal their fresh catch.
If I can recall the story, there is one diver and one lookout in the boat. While the diver is spear fishing, the lookout warns the diver of danger - something like this...
• One loud tap on the boat = Keep an open eye
• Two loud taps = sharks nearby
• MULTIPLE LOUD TAPS = Get the heck out of the water!!
You can find Mama D and her family's shack (aka Santanna's Bar & Grill) at the southern tip of Great Exuma on the left!
Known as a world-famous location, the Tropics Of Cancer intersects with Pelican Beach on Little Exuma (the southern part of Great Exuma Bahamas) and is a MUST to seek out. So, we rented a small van and drove the Island for the day, not knowing where we were going or where to stop at, except Santanna's. There is pretty much ONE main road on the entire Island, with MULTIPLE dirt roads broken off the sides.
Honestly, I'm not even going to try to explain how to get to Pelican Beach and the Tropics Of Cancer, and instead am forcing you to chat with the locals about which dirt road to take. 😜🤷♀️ But, what I can tell you, it's absolutely stunning... its the largest stretch of sand on the Island... and you will most likely have it to yourself!
And yes, Great Exuma is safe to travel around, so no worries there!
QUICK TIP: DO take a day bag (see our list here), and be prepared to be lured into stepping into that beautiful clear Kool-Aid colored water... and getting lost in the Bahama's 'island time'.
Whether you're interested in a Cruise, guided tour, group trip, independent international travel or just a weekend get-away, and even that bucket list adventure... we can assist you with that!
Click 'Lets Go!' & lets start this adventure together!
So, our destination wedding took place in February in Exuma, and the weather was perfect!
Technically the high season (aka the busier season for the Bahamas) is from December to May and then shortly to follow is hurricane season (June- November). Now, I was just talking about this in one of my Instagram posts and how the Bahamas generally don't get hurricanes that hit land. But on occasion, they do (sadly). Check out that post HERE.
If you are worried about rainfall, that typically happens from May to October, but they are more like quick tropical downpours vs a continuous wet drizzle, and the sun is back out in short order.
And if you are worried about the 'coldest' months, you will typically find those in January...which when I say 'cold', I mean high 60's to low 70's.
Who's ready for a 'winter vacation' in the Bahamas?! WE ARE!!!!
Check out our Bahamas Packing List and see what we suggest before you depart to this incredible little island (I guess technically there are multiple...but you know what I mean). We hope our insight helps a little bit on your vacation!
Trust us, the higher coverage, the better... especially in the Bahamas!!
Sun Bum has the BEST smell, does NOT give you that 'burning' sensation, water resistant up to 80 minutes and most importantly, OCEAN & REEF FRIENDLY! Before leaving Exuma, we noticed a deeper tan with the higher SPF coverage vs the lower! We also pack these SPF/UPF shirts (THESE for the ladies, & THESE for the guys)
Not sure if its just a me thing, but somehow, something ALWAYS happens to the ONE pair of sunglasses that I bring... and then I end up buying a pair that I don't really like that much... tell me I'm not alone here that this happens too?! And because of this, we LOVE THESE sunglasses, that don't break the bank & scream "I'M ON VACATION TRICK!"
Don't let your accessories make your vacation to the Bahamas, a negative one!
If you DON'T have a waterproof camera on your Bahamas trip... we need to have a serious talk! The GoPro 8 is our MAIN camera for everything, even our YouTube videos. Giving you 4K, amazing photos, incredible stabilization, & its super compact!
Call me a germaphobe, but the idea of utilizing a snorkel set from the resort, that multiple other people have used... nah, I'm good! This one can get tight enough for my small head and larger enough for our son's (bigger) head & of course these water fins that are the perfect size for your carry on!
When you get to Exuma, exploring the Island is not NOT an option.... IT'S A MUST! And yes, you will want a small bag to throw all these items into, plus some waters and snacks! And if you are going ANYWHERE there will be water (which is the entire island lol), take a small dry bag or a larger dry-pack backpack (great to pack towels & bulkier items)! There is nothing worse than wanting to take your cell phone, other electronics, a pair of clothes, maybe some towels, & try to keep them dry!! In all honesty, this was a BIG win on our Bahamas trip and we will forever pack an additional small bag on future vacations!
Do NOT leave home without this! Yes, Exuma will have chapstick, but they may not have SPF specifically & it's double the price. The sun gets hot and since most of the time you will be either in the sun or salty ocean, you will want to keep your lips from getting fried and dried out! Once again Sun Bum SPF 30 is one of our favorites!
We each only brought one of these, but now we know we should have brought at least 3 of these guys on this Bahamas trip! Living in Florida, we are out on the ocean & beach as much a possible and because of that, we now incorporate these SPF/UPF Shirts every vacation and beach trip that we go on. Nate & Blake's SPF preference (men's), and my SPF preference (woman's)
I know this sounds like an odd one, but this was the BEST random item that we brought with us. Since this Bahamas trip was on our bucket-list and it's where we tied the knot, we wanted to take a piece of Exuma home with us. So we brought a small little zip lock baggie of the Bahamas sand back home with us, and put it in a vase with a picture of us standing above it😍
These are also good to put wet swim suits/shorts in, if you decide on a last minute dip in the ocean before you go back home!
I can't tell you how many times this portable solar charger has been a HUGE life saver, especially because we are NOT always conveniently sitting next to a electrical outlet. 'I want to stay inside for an hour to charge my phone, while on vacation in Exuma'... SAID NO ONE EVER!
And this one is pretty rugged, so if it gets a little wet or dusty because you are out exploring, no big deal! Be sure to give it a good charge via an outlet before you use it, the solar charge works, but it is a slow charge.
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