One of the most amazing places we have visited in the Caribbean is Great Exuma in the Bahamas.
Imagine a quiet island that is surrounded by the clearest waters in every shade of blue and light green, with the softest white sand that feels like flour. Add hot sunny days and cool breezes, and this is the description of paradise…which is the only way to put into words how amazing this small island truly is!
The Bahamas (known as the “Commonwealth of the Bahamas”) is part of the British Monarchy (an “independent realm”) and consists of 700 islands, cays (pronounced “keys”) and islets in the Caribbean Sea, just north of Cuba. Exuma is a district within the Bahamas that claims to have 365 cays, one for every day of the year! The largest of these cays is Great Exuma. Great Exuma is small island that is only about 60km in length and has a population of around 2,000. More than half of the residents live in the capital city of George Town, located on the southern part of the island.
Most of the island is protected by the Bahamas National trust which considers both the land and sea area a national treasure. As you explore the area, you will understand why. Close to shore, there are many beautiful reefs which have been well kept over the years, teeming with amazing aquatic life. The beaches feel as though they are untouched, which has attracted Hollywood to film some scenes from James Bond (Thunderball) and Pirates of the Caribbean.
If you are lucky enough to visit this amazing little island, we recommend renting a car to take you around the island. You can easily navigate the island and there are many untouched beaches and historic caves waiting to be discovered. Word of warning — the island isn’t heavily touristed so there aren’t the same amenities that you would find in a larger, touristy island (for instance — the main grocery store in George Town will have a couple of brands of different products, enough to get you by, but don’t expect a large selection!). But, that’s what makes this place so special. There were days that went by where we didn’t see another tourist, which made us feel as though we had found our own private retreat!
Here are three amazing things we did when visiting Exuma.
1. Visit CocoPlum Beach – Located between Steventon and Rolleville, CocoPlum Beach is one of the most fun places of discovery if you like shelling! The beach has a large stretch of very shallow water that looked almost baby blue in color when we visited. We recommend going at low tide. There are some amazing sand bars that stretch out into the middle of the ocean on the south side of the beach. Follow them out and you will feel one of the most surreal experiences, surrounded by so much ocean! They are also the spot where hundreds of sand dollars can be found!
2. Snorkel on Three Sisters Beach – If you drive past Mount Thompson, you will see three rock formations jutting out from the beautiful turquoise sea. This is Three Sisters Beach. It is an ideal spot for snorkeling. We saw a few snorkeling boats drop anchor here and let their snorkelers out for an afternoon dip. There are some shallow reefs just off the shore, which are teeming with beautiful fish. The waters are so clear here that they glisten like glass. It is a beautiful setting for an afternoon stroll down the beach or a picnic lunch!
3. Stocking Island – If you want to find the perfect day excursion, take a water taxi from the Government Docks in George Town to Stocking Island. Stocking Island is about 5km long and protects George Town from the ocean waves, creating a kind of bay for the main city center. There are many sailboats that are anchored near the island — the perfect stop for many sailors to relax and enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches. The island also is known for the “Chat N Chill” Beach Bar. We recommend avoiding the restaurant if you can (pack yourself a lunch instead!) and going for a bowl of freshly made conch ceviche instead! There is a shack on the beach that serves conch fresh from the water, and you can sit and feed the sting rays the remnants of your meal as you watch the boats go by.
If you are looking for some of the most amazing beaches in the world, Great Exuma definitely has to be on your destination list. Very seldom do we have our breath taken away by our surroundings, but this is definitely one island that has left us wanting more.
Until the next time, from a place with beauty that is unmatched…we wish you safe and happy travels!
The Road Warrior
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