If you’re looking for paradise on earth, you’ll find it in the Exumas. The Exuma Cays are a chain of 360+ islands in the Bahamas just southeast of Nassau. They’re famous for their white sand beaches and having some of the bluest water in the world. They’re also famous for those adorable swimming pigs! The Exumas are becoming a popular Caribbean vacation spot and are attracting quite a few visitors (read up on 15 Things to Do in the Exumas and 20 Things to Know Before You Go to the Exumas). If you’re in the beginning stages of planning a trip, here’s a breakdown of where to stay in the Exumas:
While the Exumas are made up of a lot of islands, not many of them are inhabited (the majority are private) and there are even fewer places to stay.
Great Exuma: Great Exuma is the main island of the Exumas and home to Georgetown (where the airport is). You’ll find the most options of places to stay here. You’ll also have the biggest variety of restaurants and shopping (although still limited). There are a couple of resorts on Great Exuma but it’s mostly small inns and vacation rentals.
If you want the ultimate resort experience and you’re willing to shell out the big bucks, Sandals Emerald Bay is pretty incredible. If you want some of the resort amenities (pool and restaurant) at a better bargain, Grand Isle Resort and Spa offers one, two, and three bedroom villa style options. For condo style accommodations, keep your eye on February Pointe. It was still under construction when I was there but it looks like it’s going to be a nice place. If a more local style inn sounds up your alley, try Hideaways at Palm Bay in Georgetown. For a vacation rental right on the beach, I really loved staying at the Jimmy Hill Edition. It’s a collection of about 6 vacation homes/condos and they even have a shared pool. For more vacation rentals, search here.
Little Exuma: Connected to Great Exuma by bridge, Little Exuma is its smaller and quieter neighbor. You won’t find any resorts here but there are plenty of vacation rentals that front its idyllic beaches. Little Exuma is perhaps the best of both worlds. You have quiet, beautiful Caribbean style beaches but the restaurants on Great Exuma are still accessible by car.
You won’t find any resorts or hotels on Little Exuma, but you can search for vacation rentals either here or on VRBO. If you want to stay on one of the world’ most epic (and uncrowded beaches) look for something on the Tropic of Cancer beach. It’s not quite finished yet (opening October 2016), but the Salt House looks like the perfect island getaway.
Staniel Cay: Staniel Cay is quite a ways northwest from Great Exuma and it’s the boating capital of the Exumas. If you’re chartering, this is the place where you’ll pick up your boat. This small island has less of a local feel than Great and Little Exuma and feels more like a resort community. There are no cars on the island and only a couple of places to stay but it feels pretty perfect. It’s also close to Big Farmer’s Cay (where the swimming pigs are), Thunderball Grotto, and an incredible sand bar.
The most convenient place to stay on the island is the Staniel Cay Yacht Club (it’s the only resort/inn) and it’s pretty adorable. There are also a few vacation rentals. If you can go ALL OUT, check out Staniel Rents. They have some ah-mazing places. Otherwise, you can search here or on VRBO for even more options.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Interested in staying on your own private island? (Hey, a girl can dream). Search her for vacation rentals. You can search by size, budget, location, etc. so you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. The great thing about the Exumas are all of the beachfront options. Even if you go with a vacation rental, you’ll easily be able to find on right on the beach.
Well, I’m so jealous…here you are planning a trip to the Exumas! You’re going to love it. When you get back, come tell me all about it on Facebook!
P.S. This post contains some affiliate links.