Compass Cay Yacht Charters

The Exumas are home to some of the Bahamas’ most spectacular islands, each with its own unique claim to fame. Compass Cay – located just south of Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park – is one of the Exumas must-visit islands. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but here, visitors are also treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience: Swimming with sharks.

At the Compass Cay Marina, a naturally protected harbor, you’ll find a resident population of nurse sharks, weighing up to 300 pounds and measuring up to 10 feet. Spend some time in the water swimming and feeding them. There’s nothing quite like being brushed up against by one of these gentle giants.

Ready to plan your trip to Compass Cay? Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Compass Cay, including how to swim with the sharks, what to do, and how to get there.

Compass Cay: Getting There

You’ll find Compass Cay in the middle of the Exumas, about 70 miles south of Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

Compass Cay can only be reached by boat. Therefore, the best way to visit the island is by a private yacht charter. Most Exumas yacht charters do originate in Nassau, and island hop down to Compass Cay.

Snorkeling with nurse sharks

How to Swim with Sharks at Compass Cay

The sharks of Compass Cay are world-famous. In fact, they’ve appeared on Shark Week, the Discovery Channel, and many more TV shows. Originally, the sharks were brought to the marina as pets. But now the marina is known as a sanctuary, and the population of nurse and reef sharks has grown.

Today, the sharks have a private lagoon at Compass Cay Marina, and for just about $10, you can swim with them. There are about 30-40 animals living there these days.

The experience of swimming with these majestic beasts is truly incredible. Swimmers can get surrounded by the sharks, sometimes by as many as 20 of them, as they feed. And the sharks will swim and bump into you. Don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt. Some of the sharks will also jump from the water onto the dock, which is great if you don’t feel like swimming.

  • Cost: $10
  • Where: Compass Cay Marina
  • When: Open daily; best to book through a tour operator

What Else to Do at Compass Cay

Of course, a trip to Compass Cay wouldn’t be complete without swimming with the sharks. But whether you plan on staying for overnight, or just an afternoon, there are many things to do and see at Compass Cay:

  • Explore the Beaches – The island is home to 13 beaches, including some of the best shelling beaches in the Exumas. At many of the beaches, the waters are protected, providing calm swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding conditions.
  • Relax in Rachel’s Bubble Bath – This natural phenomenon is created as water from the sound froths over the lava rocks into the lagoon. The result is a fizzling, frothy “Bubble Bath” like experience, that’s especially spectacular at high tide.
  • Hike the Island’s Trails – A network of trails bisect Compass Cay, and you’ll find a variety of experiences, including the “jungle route,” which leads to some secluded beaches on the west side; and Compass Peak, which at 92 feet, is the tallest point on the island and offers great views of Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
  • Dive the Conch Cut Drift – Just northeast of the island, you’ll find the Conch Cut. This beginner drift dive spot in about 30 feet of water, features a cut that is home to nurse sharks and reef fish. Thanks to its proximity to the Exuma Cays park, the area is rich in biodiversity.
  • Hang at the Marina – Although the café at the marina only serves burgers, hot dogs and beers, it’s the perfect place to relax and recharge after a day in the sun. Compass Cay Marina also offers a gift shop and villas for hire.

What’s Nearby: Visiting Compass Cay’s Neighbors

This region of the Exumas offers some of the liveliest itineraries for a Bahamas yacht charter, thanks to its location near Staniel Cay. There’s just so much to do and see. From swimming with pigs at Pig Beach, to snorkeling Thunderball Grotto, here are some can’t-miss attractions:

  • Staniel Cay Yacht Club – One of the Exumas top yachting destinations, the SCYC features shops, a restaurant, private beaches and a boutique hotel.
  • Underwater Plane Wreck – A premier snorkeling destination, explore this plane that was ditched here by drug smugglers in the 1980s. This is a great, beginner shallow-water wreck site.
  • Thunderball Grotto – A featured location in the James Bond classic Thunderball, this natural grotto is an amazing snorkeling spot, located just north of Staniel Cay.
  • Swim with the Pigs at Pig Beach – Big Major Cay’s swimming pigs are world-famous. And a trip to Compass Cay wouldn’t be complete without stopping off nearby and seeing these lovable porkers.
  • Find the Disappearing Beach – The lagoon at Pipe Cay is home to a number of sand bars, and at low tide, beaches magically appear. Spend an afternoon playing at the beach (while the beach is still there!).
  • Visit the Iguanas of Bitter Guana Cay – Just south of Staniel Cay, on Bitter Guana, you’ll find a population of Northern Bahamian iguanas. Stop here to feet and see them; just don’t get too close!

Make sure you stop at Compass Cay on your Exumas yacht charter. Ready to start planning your itinerary? Contact your broker with Worldwide Boat. We offer a range of Exumas private yacht charter options. Learn more.