The Exumas offer friendly locals, rolling green hills, the remains of once-majestic plantations, gorgeous beaches, coral gardens offering perfect snorkelling and diving in crystal clear water, and easy-to-reach cays that are ideal for secluded picnics.
It's the perfect honeymoon destination for a memorable romantic holiday.
The Exumas are also regarded as one of the world’s great cruising destinations (along with the islands of the Abacos and the Grenadines).
If you can’t arrive on your own vessel, simply hire a bare-boat or skippered yacht to explore these picture-perfect islands.
The Elizabeth Harbour's annual regatta in April typically attracts yachting greats as well as celebrities and European royalty.
Favourite spots on the Exumas include Staniel Cay, home to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club and nearby Thunderball Grotto and Thunderball Cave – seen in the James Bond film of the same name – where you can snorkel with friendly fish accustomed to being hand fed.
Other favourite sights are the laid-back capital of Georgetown and the barrier cay of Stocking Island, which features panoramic views from atop its high bluff and a series of gorgeous white-sand beaches separated by limestone headlands.
Spend a day snorkelling or scuba diving the magnificent coral reefs, blue holes, drop-offs and caves of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, a vast 45,000ha land and sea preserve and wildlife refuge that lies just 35km northwest of Staniel Cay and is only accessible by boat.
While there, relax on unspoiled white-sand beaches and look out for the endangered Bahamian iguanas. Or head to nearby Stocking Island, which features crystal clear waters above coral gardens, perfect for snorkelling and exploring blue holes and underwater caves.
Fishing aficionados are spoilt for choice between bottom-fishing and deep-sea fishing. Hook up a charter to catch bonefish or chase white and blue marlin, kingfish, dolphin fish, sailfish, bonito and wahoo on both sides of Exuma Sound.
Surrounded by glistening blue and turquoise waters, the Exumas offer a stunning array of white-sand beaches that encircle tiny cays and fringe the larger islands.
Relax at a beachfront resort with all the creature comforts at hand or take a day trip by boat or kayak and play Robinson Crusoe on the pristine and secluded shores of a distant cay.
Exuma is the place to savour total seclusion or enjoy multiple beach activities. The best beaches in the Exumas, include …
Unwind on the shimmering sugar-white sands of this idyllic beach, which lies on Stocking Island, a 5km-long island just a short boat ride away from George Town in Elizabeth Harbour on Great Exuma.
Pick your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this uncrowded beach, snorkel or dive the clear turquoise waters and coral gardens teeming with rainbow-hued fish, then explore underwater blue holes and caves.
Later, go kayaking in the Turtle Lagoon then enjoy tasty fish dishes and cold drinks at the beachfront Chat & Chill restaurant.
Stocking Island has some of the best beaches in The Bahamas, including Hamburger Beach (or Volleyball Beach), which is just a 10-minute boat ride from George Town, as well as Silver Palms Beach, offering good snorkelling among the offshore reefs.
Sunbathe on the gorgeous white sands of this idyllic palm-fringed beach that shelves into clear turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Bring a picnic or enjoy tasty seafood and cold drinks at the beachfront Coco Plum beach bar.
Coco Plum Beach is located at the northern end of Great Exuma.
Relax on the soft white sand of this stunning 2.5km-long palm-fringed beach (also known as Pelican Beach) that shelves into crystalline waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Go beachcombing on the longest beach on Little Exuma or hire a kayak and explore the shoreline and small offshore cays.
A beachside kiosk serves snacks and cold drinks; other than this there are no facilities on this secluded beach.
The Tropic of Cancer, the invisible line that delineates the northern sector of the tropics, runs right through Pelican Beach, which is located near Williams Town on Little Exuma.
Play Robinson Crusoe for a day and dig your toes into the soft white sand of this idyllic and secluded beach backed by bush-covered sand dunes and facing the crystal clear turquoise waters of a horseshoe-shaped bay that’s ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
Saddle Cay is an island within Exuma and is south of Long Cay, southeast of Lobster Cay and north of Norman’s Cay Island, and is accessible only by boat. There are no facilities here apart from a shady lookout.
Choose from two gorgeous white-sand beaches – Ho Tai Beach and Pirate's Trap Beach (photo) – that shelve into crystalline waters and offshore reefs perfect for snorkelling and diving.
Choose from a range of beachfront hotels and exclusive private-island resorts, most of which are found around the capital of George Town on Great Exuma, Staniel Cay and Sampson Cay.
Sandals Emerald Bay Golf Resort and Spa
Location: Emerald Bay
Prices: from AUD829 per room
Description: Set along a pristine, white-sand beach, among 500 acres of tropical gardens, this all-inclusive resort makes the most of its stunning location in Exuma, Bahamas. Sandals Emerald Bay Great Exuma - All Inclusive offers a range of ocean view and beachfront rooms, suites and villas, with balconies or patios that open to beach, ocean or garden views. Rooms have complimentary WiFi, iPod docks, DVD players, cable TV, minibars, and deep soaking bathtubs. Seven restaurants and 6 bars offer unlimited fine dining and premium beverages, while an exhaustive selection of watersports and Greg Norman-designed golf course keep guests entertained.
Grand Isle Resort and Spa
Location: Emerald Bay
Prices: from AUD520 per room
Description: Located in Emerald Bay, this beachfront resort is next to a golf course, 1.9 km from Emerald Bay Beach, and within 20 km (12 mi) of Hoopers Bay and Exuma Beach. Palm Bay Beach and Rolletown Tombs are also within 40 km (25 mi). All 78 rooms boast jetted tubs and offer free WiFi and kitchens. Washers/dryers and furnished balconies or patios are standard, as are flat-screen TVs with cable channels. Spend the day relaxing on the beach or pampering yourself at Grand Isle Resort and Spa's full-service spa.
The Exumas are a year-round destination. For the best weather visit the Exumas during winter, from November to April, when temperatures average a balmy 24°C (75°F) with fairly constant and cooling easterly trade winds.
Temperatures average 28°C (82°F) during the rest of the year, with the temperature dropping about 5°C after dark.
Summer, from May to October, is the rainy season. June through to November marks the official hurricane season (probably best avoided).
More information about Exumas weather…
The Exuma Islands are a – mainly undeveloped – 209km (130mi) long chain of 360 picturesque islands and cays that stretch south of New Providence Island in the Bahamas.
Great Exuma is the largest island, at around 60km (37mi) in length, and is joined by a small bridge to Little Exuma. The capital, George Town is located on Great Exuma.
The most convenient route to the Exumas is by air to Exuma International Airport (GGT), located near Moss Town and around 14km (8.6mi) northwest of George Town on Great Exuma.
The airport receives daily nonstop flights from Nassau, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Atlanta. Staniel Cay also has a small airstrip.
By boat, a fast catamaran makes the eight-hour trip from Nassau.
More information about how to get to the Exumas…
Latest update: The Exumas, Bahamas: 3 June, 2023