As mentioned in the last post, it wasn’t easy to find information about the Exumas before our trip. Now as we’ve finally been there (dreaming about it for years), we can provide you with lots of information.
We spent seven heavenly days in paradise and became witnesses of the clearest water in the world in all kinds of blue shades – they don’t advertise their boat tours with ’50 shades of blue’ for nothing.
The Exuma Cays include 365 islands – each for every day of the year. They make up half of the Bahamian islands. Some celebrities own a few of the islands here, but many of them are inhabited.
The largest of the Exuma Cays is Great Exuma with its capital Georgetown and the smallest and cutest airport we’ve ever seen. But go see it yourself quickly. They’re planning to build new infrastructure the next few years.
The city itself is actually a little village with a port which provides the locals with goods three times a week. Therefore luxury is rare to find and only available in large resorts.
Furthermore, Georgetown is the place to take a taxi boat to Stocking Island or to rent any kind of boat. At the Bahamas, you don’t need a boat license to rent a small boat. For us, it was just too difficult to organize in our itinerary.
How to get to Exuma
From Frankfurt, we departed with Delta Airlines via Atlanta, Georgia. They offer this trip for a year now. There are also options via Miami via Nassau.
If you’re coming from Canada: Air Canada offers a direct flight from Toronto to Georgetown.
You can also travel by ship, but it’s exhausting. We wouldn’t recommend it.
ATMs in Great Exuma
There are three ATMs in Georgetown where you can get money. Unfortunately, we had problems with two out of three and would recommend you to bring US Dollars with you, if possible. It’s equally accepted to the local currency. As mentioned before, we had a stopover in Atlanta where we withdrew money.
Great Exuma is expensive
Life on the island is expensive. Not only for tourists, the locals have to deal with the prices as well, as everything is imported from Nassau or the USA.
There are only a few small supermarkets, where you possibly can’t find everything we’re used to for example in Europe. If you have some space left in your baggage, bring some basics with you.
Just for you to have an idea about the prices: toast is around 6$, a Kalik beer 4$, Conch Burger with fries in a restaurant around 15$.
Hotels in Exuma are really really expensive. Thanks to Airbnb there are a few cheaper options, so normal people like us can make it to the Bahamas, too.
Specialities of the Bahamas
The island’s speciality is definitely conch. It’s basically everywhere. Usually, they serve it fried which is bad for your body but good for the eye. There’s conch in all variations. Usually, they serve it in a burger or a wrap, but Conch Salad is also served everywhere.
As mentioned above you should try the Bahamian Kalik beer (‘Bahamian pride’). It’s delicious and you should at least give it a try.
We can recommend you to rent a car in Great Exuma. Unfortunately, it’s really expensive. Therefore we didn’t rent one for the whole week. Our host gave us one of her cars for 60$ a day, so we could explore the island. Making 2 day trips is more than enough on this little island.
There’s no drinking water coming out of the tap. Buy gallons of water at the beginning. Water is not too expensive here.
For this kind of information always look at the homepage of the Foreign Department of your country. We don’t want to tell you anything that might not be true!
Wildlife at the Exuma Cays
The Bahamas are the place for all the animals you expect to see: Stingrays, sharks, dolphins, iguanas, starfish.
But also for those you wouldn’t expect to. For example the Swimming Pigs. There are different stories about how they came to Big Major Caye. They were probably brought there to reproduce and be eaten later.
They became famous later and to the pleasure of everybody, they are now just too profitable to eat them. The Swimming Pigs were one of the main reason for us to travel to the Bahamas.
For dog lovers, Exuma is a dream: they’re everywhere. The locals treat them well but we would recommend you to wash your hands every time you touch them. They’re probably not wormed but they’re just too cute to not cuddle with them.
Lonely beaches everywhere
There are many endless long beaches that invite you to go sunbathing and swimming. Usually, you won’t find other persons here. We were in Great Exuma at the beginning of peak season and despite the boom in the last years, the island is still largely unspoilt.
We stayed in the Bay Inn in Rolleville, which is located in the north-west of the island. It’s a homestay led by the two sisters Betty and Margret. They’re both adorable and the accommodation is directly at the beach. Next to it there’s a cabana with a bar.
There wasn’t any kind of luxury but it was all we needed there. Furthermore, Betty and Margret were helpful whenever needed and we could talk for hours. It gave us a nice insight into their daily lives.
Bugs and other plagues
Just take the best insect repellent with you. Mosquitoes weren’t the problem there. The Bahamas’ nightmare has a name and they’re either called stable flies or sand fleas – we actually don’t know exactly what it was but they ate us alive.
Especially women are on their menu. I had many unpleasant stitches all over my body. And at the end of the week I was done and it made the goodbye from this dreamy island definitely easier.
Another plague here are moths. But not the moths we’re used to in Germany. The moths at the Bahamas are huge, like bats and really aggressive at least towards me. It wasn’t a pleasure.
All in all our time at the Exumas was a dream. I still dream of all the different shades of blue. The tour guide on our boat cruise described this piece of paradise as ‘Bahamazing’ – and how right he is!
If you have any further questions, just ask. We’re looking forward to helping you.