Our epic guide to the Exuma Islands covers everything you need to know to explore Great Exuma & Little Exuma Islands in the Bahamas. Including where to stay, best foodie spots, most incredible beaches, how to get around & all the not-to-be-missed experiences!
The Bahamas consists of 16 major islands and thousands of cays – it is one of the most beautiful places on earth! If you’re wondering where to visit in the Bahamas, The Exumas is the place to be!
We decided to stay on Great Exuma island for one week and be perfectly positioned to visit nearby Little Exuma and Stocking Island. As an addition, you can also choose to charter your own luxury catamaran & island hop your way through paradise to see everything the region has to offer!
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HOW TO GET TO GREAT EXUMA
Access to the Exumas is straight forward! Various airlines offer direct flights to the Bahamas capital of Nassau. The flight from Miami takes less than an hour!
Great Exuma island is another 40min scenic domestic flight onwards from Nassau. Flights operate daily.
GETTING AROUND GREAT EXUMA
There’s a lot to see on Great Exuma. The island is big & untouched by mass tourism. Public transport is almost non existent, so you’ll definitely need a car!
You can easily rent a car in central Georgetown for around $60 per day (& most guest houses will even help you organise this).
WHERE TO STAY ON GREAT EXUMA
I would highly recommend staying in a guest house or Airbnb. Although there are a few hotel options in central Georgetown & scattered throughout the island, there are loads of stunning Airbnb’s & rentals for different budgets that will have you feeling like a local!
All the best sites are spread out, so you can stay anywhere you like. We knew we would be moving around a lot, so we chose Sea Star villas in Moss Town, an extremely little village 20 mins outside the main town known for its powdery white sand beach & empty stretches of coastline.
The property is simple and clean, with 3 seperate villas to choose from. We had amazing sunsets and dips in the ocean between our travels around the island.
FOOD ON GREAT EXUMA
It’s important to know that down here (like most of the country) there’s basic food & not a lot in the way of good vegan / vegetarian options. You can make it work for a short time & it helps if you cook from home! There are a few supermarkets in Georgetown that have reasonable fruit & veg + all your rum needs.
The must-try dishes are conch (a sea snail pronounced ‘konk’), grouper, and rum cake. Expect steamed veggies and rice or simple salads if you are vegetarian (like me) when eating out, otherwise seafood is fresh and abundant.
GREAT EXUMA HIGHLIGHTS
Stocking Island (Chat n Chill & Starfish Beach)
Little Exuma Island (Tropic of Cancer Beach & Santanas)
This beautiful island is just a 5 min boat ride from Georgetown marina. Here you’ll find the famous Chat n Chill beach bar and the ultra stunning Starfish Beach. This is a not-to-be-missed experience & was one of the best days of our trip! We organised a round trip ($20 per person) with a local skipper, exploring Starfish Beach on our own before heading over to Chat n Chill for a conch burger and a few local beers. There’s so many stingrays hanging out in the shallows, so don’t miss that! Boats go all day, so you can come & go as you please!
Little Exuma island
Accessible by car via a small bridge from Great Exuma. This was our favourite area & where we believe are The Exuma’s best beaches! Here you’ll find many pristine unnamed beaches, as well as the famous Tropic of Cancer Beach and Santana’s restaurant. We spent a full day beach hopping (make sure you have a cocktail at the Tropic of Cancer Beach Bar), before having lunch at Santanas. Make sure you grab a rum cake to-go from Mums Bakery next door too.
An empty, shallow bay just below Georgetown. Come for the stunning blue hues, but stay for the Haulover Bay Bar & Grill, a little restaurant shack serving up delicious fresh seafood with a view. Foodie tip: make sure you try a mango daiquiri here. I still dream of it.
Just off the main road on Great Exuma. A quiet spot to get out of East winds & you’re almost guaranteed to be able to swim in the shallows with turtles!
We didn’t love the North end of Great Exuma but there’s some big resorts up there to check out too if you are craving some nicer restaurants and pools.
This is the main city on New Providence island that you will likely fly into the Bahamas. Personally we’d recommend limiting time here as it’s very busy and expensive even by Bahamas standards for basic food and accomodation.
If you do need to stay for a layover or a night before/after sailing, we stayed at the very reasonably priced and small Bell Town Hotel, right near the airport (with airport pickups).
Why not see the Exuma Islands on a luxury catamaran? If you want to see how, check out our recent blog here. Or you can read our other Salty Luxe blogs here.
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