THE EXUMAS, BAHAMAS
Exhausted after travel but oh, so happy :)
Exuma woke up like this. . . Seriously, STUNNING!
We were seriously blessed on this trip. . .The first night, we walked the beach of our resort to this quaint little bar. We ended up making friends with this gal from the states who had lived there for three years. When we told her what our plans were, what type of folks we were (adventure or not–definitely adventurous) & how long we were there for, she gave us allllll her recommendations & mapped out the entire island (the good and the bad) for us.
Seriously, I wanted to kiss her! What a god send. It was awesome to have a local’s perspective that wasn’t affiliated with any tour company, etc. She was just honest. And helpful. And rad.
So, with that. . . Here’s what came of our trip!
SUNDAY–”You must go out to Chat N’ Chill for the pig roast!” She said. So, we found ourselves boarding a little water taxi out to this tiny little island. How awesome!
Of course I made a cat friend. . . Along with many other travelers, locals, the owner of Chat N’ Chill (she was lovely) and some stingrays.
The following day we decided to take a tour down towards the south end of the island. We stopped to ask for directions & ended up stumbling upon the most gorgeous & private resort we’ve ever seen. It’s a little boutique hotel called Turquoise Cay. As we walked in, both of our mouths wide open, we took in the views of that turquoise ocean & an entirely empty back patio area. It was out of this world. So we stayed!
It was hard to top our relaxing day at Turquoise Cay, although I wanted to try. Aaron was probably most excited about going deep sea fishing while we were down in the Caribbean–meaning, that’s exactly what we did!
It was an awesome experience. Even though it wasn’t my idea to go, I ended up catching just as much fish as he did! We were out in the most beautiful of water, hanging out with some hilarious fisherman & caught enough fish for dinner for the rest of the trip! Loved it.
After a full day out on the water, we decided that for the next day, we would chill out near our resort at a beach called Jolly Hall. We were the only ones on the beach. All. Day. No joke. It was gorgeous & private.
I have to mention that this entire trip, the island was so quiet. I think with it being the week before Christmas, people had either just left to go home or the big crowds coming in for the holiday hadn’t quite hit. Either way, we certainly weren’t complaining.
Mid-week we finally made it out to the south tip of the island (where we were headed before we got distracted by Turquoise Cay) to Santana’s. We had heard everyone on the island RAVE about how amazing this place was! It was a hole in the wall. This little, brightly colored joint right on the ocean. Just perfect.
We chatted with the locals, made friends with the sweetest little boy & flipped through their photo albums–filled with photos of interesting travelers & celebrities alike. The women cooking were so sweet. This place made you feel right at home although we were on a tiny little island in the Caribbean.
We scarfed down the food–yep, it was as good as they raved. Slipped our photo in the book & headed back north, stopping at Tropic Of Cancer beach for sunset.
We knew we also wanted to check out some of the beaches on the north part of the island. They were equally as beautiful & peaceful!
Man, vacation looks good on him!
#PalmTreeChristmas – The Staniel Cay Yacht Club decorated so beautifully for the holidays!
Loves, island life is the life for me. I just look back at these photos & beam! We are so happy. So excited. So in awe.
We had the time of our lives!
I think our most favorite day was when we went out on a boat tour with our captain, Smiley, and toured some of the most beautiful cays (pronounced “key”). We were able to see incredible homes, be out on the refreshingly blue waters + see some of the most amazing sites the Exumas have to offer!
Here’s Iguana Cay. Previously owned by Nicholas Cage, until he found out the island was infested with iguanas that are endangered (therefore, you cannot harm them). So crazy to see them all rushing at you! There were probably 50+ right on the beach with us ready to be fed!
Here’s the incredible sandbar. My WORD it’s so breathtaking down there I can’t handle it.
Here’s the “PET SHARKS” we got to swim with. . . Well, more like Aaron got to swim with & I was forced to swim with! This was scary, y’all. Especially since our Captain Smiley kept throwing chum by me + telling me to kiss them–knowing that I was fearful! Yikes.
Then. . .
GUYS! THE SWIMMING PIGS!
This was the reason The Exumas caught my eye initially. I had read about the pigs & thought it was so interesting & different! I mean, native pigs? On an island? AHHH!
I cannot express my excitement to see the pigs! You can kind of see it on my face–although it’s masked a bit by the fear of actually seeing how large (& aggressive) they adult ones were. That aside, my goodness this was a sight to see!
These guys were HUGE. Seriously. I didn’t dare touch the adults since some lady had her bummed nipped recently. Although, you know I loved the baby ones! Every inch from their curly little tail to their adorable baby snout. I couldn’t stop petting them. . . Aaron & I were devising a plan to bring one home!
It was truly amazing & I only posted a fraction of the photos on my Instagram. Even @instagram itself liked the photo of this cutie–seriously, I’m obsessed! *all the heart eyes*
So, there you have it!
When in The Exumas, Bahamas–YOU MUST:
Eat lobster at Santana’s (I mean, even Johnny Depp loves it there!)
Take a trip out to Chat N’ Chill
Visit the Swimming Pigs + Iguana Island + Sharks + Sand Bar
Indulge yourself in a day at Turquoise Cay
Go out Deep Sea Fishing
If you are planning a trip to The Exumas–feel free to reach out to me for more details on where we stayed, what to see, when to go & all of our island tips!
It’s truly surreal how much can change in a year; how each day is a page turned in this new chapter of your life. Last year this time we were in The Exumas, Bahamas –soaking up the sunshine, embarking on an exciting adventure, celebrating such a special time in my life.
& here we are, exactly a year later–living in Hawaii. It blows my mind but I am beyond thankful for the opportunities that have arose this year to make one of my greatest dreams a reality.
Hawaii is treating us well! It has brought on a lot of changes in my routine, my mindset + my everyday. I will share more on that soon. . .
Until then, happy wanderlusting xoxo
My husband and I are working on planning a trip to the Bahamas and your vacation looks like an absolute dream! Can you please send me the details of your trip? Where you guys stayed, what airport you flew into and the approximate cost to do everything you did? That would be so incredibly helpful. Thank you so much!
And I now am super jealous of all that sunshine! These are such gorgeous photos and I just added this place to list of must see. :)
I love your posts ! I am from Montreal, Canada (Qc)..!
Do you have any hotel(s) recommandation? We are planning a trip for this summer.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Maxeene, we enjoyed our stay at Hideaways at Palm Bay and have also heard great things about The Grand Isle Resort! I hope you LOVE your time there! If you post on IG, tag me! I’d love to see your adventures xoxo
I am going in 2.5 weeks and loved reading your post!
The pigs are what prompted me to want to go here but everything else that I have read makes the whole place seem amazing! I can’t wait to go and use some of your tips.
Marcy, this makes me so happy to read! I stumbled upon the Exumas in the exact same way you described and we ended up falling IN LOVE! Enjoy every moment & if you post any of your trip on IG – tag me !! xoxox
My husband I ONLY go to Exuma, I love that you all love it too, but Shhhh! if we tell the world our favorite place will disappear.
We have a friend who owns a house just off Jolly Hall Beach, My husband an dI are moving to Florida so that we can weekend on Exuma each month its too good to pass up
Which islands in the Exumas did you visit/stay at? I did notice one was Staniel Cay. How about the others, Compass , Highbourne, Normans? And any others? Visited there almos 40 years ago and want to go back soon.
Hey Kat! We stayed on the Great Exuma Island and took a boat to the other cays. We loved it!