The Exumas might just be the most underrated islands in the Caribbean. This chain of Bahaman Islets and Cays may not see as many visitors as its neighbors, but that means you’re more likely to have your pick of thousands of beaches, coves and inlets all to yourself. It also means that researching your trip could be a little harder since fewer people know about The Exumas. But don’t worry. We’ve put together a list of the most important things to know before leaving home for our Exumas yacht charters.
The Exumas are a small chain of 365 individual islets and cays spread out over 100 miles of Caribbean Sea. If you look at The Bahamas on Google Earth, you’ll know The Exumas are there only because they make up the edge of a fishhook-shaped line of gorgeous turquoise lagoons along the edge of deeper, bluer water just to the east.
Despite their diminutive size, the Exumas lie just 300 miles southeast of Miami and 300 miles northeast of Cuba, making them some of the most accessible islands in the Caribbean. Still, their deep blue waters and pristine white sand beaches are off the beaten path for many.
The largest island is called Great Exuma, and this is where most visitors begin their visit. In fact, you could spend your whole Exumas trip exploring its beaches, resorts and coves – of which there is an abundance – but then you’d miss out on seeing a side of this archipelago that few do.
When to Go
There’s a season for everything in paradise. Late spring and early summer are the best times to visit when temperatures are perfect, and waters are calm. The Bahamian Music & Heritage Festival and Bahamas Billfish Competition draw crowds in May and June.
In the fall, rising trade winds make windsurfing the best way to spend the day, but they make enjoying an umbrella-clad beverage on the beach more challenging. Water temperatures can get a little chilly in winter, but many vacationers don’t mind the 72 to 75-degree Fahrenheit water enjoy the escape from snowy climates anyway.
How Long to Stay
Many vacationers wonder how many days they should spend in The Exumas. And the answer is, as many as you can! If you visited just one cay each day on your trip, it would still take you a year to see them all. And since each has its own unique beauty and charm, you’ll want to see as many as you can.
We highly recommend staying a minimum of one week to get a real taste for these untouched islands because a long weekend really isn’t enough. Ideally, you’d stay a month or more to fully enjoy them.
Can’t stay that long? Customize your Exumas yacht charter to enjoy classic Exumas destinations as well as explore exclusive locations and deserted beaches instead.
The best way to get to The Exumas is to book a flight to Nassau (NAS). Delta, American, United, JetBlue, Southwest and Bahamasair all have direct flights from large US cities such as Dallas, Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington DC and more. If you can’t find a direct flight from your city, catch one headed for Miami or Ft. Lauderdale and hop on a Nassau flight from there.
Once you’ve landed in Nassau, you’re just minutes from the start of your dream getaway. We’ll arrange transportation to your floating luxury yacht; then it’s anchors aweigh!
Health, Passports and Currency
One of the best reasons to visit The Exumas is that unlike some tropical destinations, there are no health risks associated with visiting. We do recommend bringing mosquito protection, however, especially for those sensitive to their bites.
Because The Exumas are so close, many travelers wonder if they need a passport to visit. The answer is yes; you will need a passport. Plan to get one early if you don’t already have yours, because it may take several months to complete the process. The good news is, US passports last for 10 years. Think of how many times you’ll be able to visit before renewing!
Guess what’s even better? You won’t need to exchange any currency because local merchants are happy to take American dollars. In fact, the Bahaman government works very hard to ensure the Bahaman dollar (written with the symbol B$) is worth the same as a US dollar to make travel here as breezy as possible. If that’s not island hospitality, we don’t know what is.
Most Popular Sites to Visit
With so many islands to choose from, lining up your Exumas yacht charter itinerary can be a real nail-biting experience. Don’t sweat it. Instead, check out these tried-and-true ports of call:
With an amenity-packed yacht club and turquoise lagoons, Staniel Cay is one of our most-requested destinations. Lounge at Town Beach with a cocktail in-hand, or venture to Pirate Trap Beach by golf cart and on foot.
This uninhabited Cay is owned by Exuma Park and accessible only by boat. Mangroves, cays and rocks make it uniquely beautiful. Many visitors find they have its powdery beaches all to themselves.
Known as the Gateway to the Exumas, this privately-owned island is located in the northern part of the archipelago. A first-class marina is located within walking distance of eight stunning beaches, welcoming yachtsman from all over The Bahamas to enjoy them.
This cay serves as the headquarter of Exumas Park. Offering everything from rocky bluffs to mangrove creeks to sand flats and dunes, it’s the best place to start exploring the park’s pristine islands. Walk beneath the skeleton of a 53-foot sperm whale and watch natural blow holes from Boo Boo Hill.
As with many island destinations, getting a variety of great meals can be challenging. Since much of the food here is imported, costs are high. Luckily, our charter guests have their own private onboard chef who handles all provisions, preparation and cooking. You’ll get delicious meals, just how you like them, without having to worry about the details.
What time is it? A little while after sunrise and still hours from sunset. Here on The Exumas, time works differently. Things happen slower. Boaters lose track of it while sailing through ocean spray to the next hidden cove. Mimosas and Mai Tais bend the hands of the clock toward 4 pm. And midday hammock naps are a national pastime.
Here in The Exumas, you’re on island time. Sure, the WIFI’s a little spotty, but that just gives you the perfect excuse to unplug and enjoy your time off the grid.
How to Get to the Most Beautiful Places
While it’s true that the Exumas are a mostly-undiscovered treasure in the Bahamas, vacationers do tend to visit the same places. If solitude and adventure are what you seek, however, there’s no better way to get truly away than by booking your own private luxury yacht.
Snorkel or dive to explore rarely-seen colorful fish and coral reefs. Drop anchor where the only locals are a tribe of friendly swimming pigs who paddle out to welcome you to their home. Lounge on untouched cays and beaches only accessible by boat and far away from popular ports of call.
It’s the easiest way to get the most out of your visit, all without having to worry about the details. Create your custom trip with our Exumas yacht charters today!