One place that has been on my bucket list for quite some time is the Bahamas, mainly because yes, you guessed it, the swimming pigs are there! But there’s so much more to the Bahamas than just that tiny Cay named Pig Island.
Me and my husband went to celebrate my birthday as well as our fourth wedding anniversary, which was the perfect fun and romantic trip. We did so much in that short week we were there. One way I can tell whether or not I really love a place is if I’m already planning to return while I’m still there and this place was definitely one of them. If you’re curious about how to visit the swimming pigs, what else the Bahamas has to offer, where to stay, and where to eat please keep reading!
The first place we went it in the Bahamas is the island of Nassau. Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas, it isn’t the biggest island but it is the most populated. We did two different layovers in Nassau which were pretty much all day, so we were able to do things while we were there.
The first layover we spent exploring the island of Nassau; some things I suggest:
Check out Parliament Square
Have you ever seen a parliament square that is flamingo pink? Only in the Bahamas will you find government buildings in pastel colors! Walk around old town Nassau, take a visit here and appreciate the colonial architecture.
Location: E Bay St, Nassau, The Bahamas
Walk up the Queen’s Staircase
Also known as the 66 steps. It is a major landmark that provides a direct route from Fort Fincastle to the city. It is significant because it was sculpted out of solid limestone by slaves during the year of 1793! The Queen’s staircase got its name to honor Queen Victoria who reigned Britain for 64 years, which was during the time when the Bahamas were under British control.
Location: Elisabeth Ave, Nassau, The Bahamas
Visit the Pirates Museum
This place may look like a tourist trap from the outside but was actually a really fun, interactive experience and it had a lot of good historical facts inside. The museum transports you to the year 1716 when pirates ran The Bahamian islands. Literally the true story of Pirates of the Caribbean.
Location: King and George St., Nassau, The Bahamas
Eat/ Drink at Junkanoo Beach
This is a good spot if you’re on a cruise or just there for a layover like we were because its just a short walking distance from the port and it’s free. There is a strip of different little bar shacks and restaurants along the beach. Grab some food or drink and relax.
Spend the day at an All Inclusive
On our return layover we wanted to just chill, so we decided to spend the day at an all inclusive and one available resort was sandals. It was so nice to not do anything and just lay around, eat as much as we could, and take advantage of the water sporting equipment. The day pass was $115 per person and it includes unlimited food/drink, access to all the pools, and water equipment such as kayaks, paddle boards, snorkeling gear, etc.
Phone number to inquire about day passes: (242) 327-6400
Location: Sandals Royal Bahamian Balmoral Tower, W Bay St, Nassau, The Bahamas
There certainly is no comparison to the island of Exuma to Nassau. Both are beautiful but The Exumas definitely take the cake. I highly recommend staying on Exuma rather than Nassau. Seriously, it left me speechless. The water is an unbelievably light blue color that looks like Gatorade. The sand is white and fluffy and if you’re lucky you can find some pinkish colored sand beaches too. Exuma is also one of the closest islands you can stay to be able to do the swimming pigs tour.
Boat Tour- 4 C’s Adventures
I suggest taking a boat tour so you can do multiple different things in one day. We decided to take our tour with 4 C’s Adventures and they were amazing. Such a friendly staff! You can choose to do a half day with him or a full day. We chose to do a full day since this was going to be the highlight of our trip. It costs $160 per person and does not include lunch. The boat tour stops at a restaurant that is Buffet style and I believe that it costs $20 per person.
So we accidentally messed up the timing of when we had to leave and we woke up when when the tour bus left instead! And because we were in such a rush we even forgot our wallet this day and couldn’t pay for our lunch and a couple other things touring that day and they covered us! Seriously, the nicest!
In this tour, transportation is provided if you are on Great Exuma Island. The main attraction is obviously the swimming pigs but it also includes seeing iguanas, nurse sharks, the sandbar, and thunder ball grotto (a few different movies have been filmed here! Including the James Bond movie- Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, Splash, and Into the Blue!)
Some things I suggest you bring with you on this tour:
- extra food
- to feed the animals (bread/carrots for the pigs, and grapes/lettuce for the iguanas)
- extra water
- The tour includes unlimited drink, which is a cooler full of sodas and water but by the end the cooler was pretty much empty
- it costs $20 for lunch and then if you want to get out at compass cay to swim with the nurse sharks it costs $10 per person to dock.
Location: Queen’s Highway Barraterre, Great Exuma
Rent a Car and Explore the Island
There was few places I wanted to see that were little bit out of the way that we wouldn’t be able to walk to. Taking a cab was double the cost of renting for the day and so much easier if you are wanting to go to multiple different spots. It cost us about $60 for a full day rental. We went to Coco plum beach and then drove down to little Exuma island. There are some amazing beaches down there. I suggest checking out Tropic of Cancer or even finding your own secluded beach, which is what we did!
Location: rented through hotel
This is why you come to the Bahamas. There’s nothing quite like the beaches here, when you think of a tropical paradise the Bahamas is that mental image you have in your head. Crystal clear water and pristine white sand with palm trees all around.
The beaches we visited while we were here:
- Coco Plum beach (this is where the ocean swing is)
- Tropic of Cancer (down in little Exuma island)
- Jolly Hall and Harper’s Bay (close to Georgetown, Peace & Plenty hotel)
Chat N’ Chill Restaurant
You have to take a water taxi to get to this restaurant , which was only a short walk from our hotel. We only went for dinner and didn’t realize that the last water taxi coming back was at 6 PM. It really didn’t leave us much time to relax and explore. If you can make it on Sunday they do pig roast and are also known for their conch salad. If I could do it over again I definitely would spend the entire day here because not only is it a restaurant they actually have quite a lot to do, which I obviously wasn’t prepared for because I decided to dress up lol. Only after the fact were we told you could walk around to the other part of the little island which has a pretty good view. Also be sure to feed the stingrays! I honestly could’ve spent hours doing this, it was so fun to have these guys come up and grab conch right out of my hand!
Location: 1 Stocking Island | Volleyball Beach, Stocking Island, The Bahamas
Where to Eat
Food in the Bahamas is kind of expensive. Some restaurants that were close enough by our hotel we could walk to were fish fry Charles and latitudes. Both of these restaurants are very relaxed and not too pricey. We also ate at our hotel at least one meal per day, which was a little pricey but had amazing food.
- Fish Fry Charles
- Peace & Plenty
- Chat N’ Chill
Where to Stay
We stayed at a small boutique hotel called Peace & Plenty and had a really lovely stay. The hotel is newly renovated and had such a cozy feel to it. It has a small little pool overlooking the water and has an amazing restaurant which was newly opened. The chef was previously working in a Michelin Star restaurant from Italy, so definitely order a pasta dish at least once! There isn’t a beach at this hotel but like I stated previously you can walk to one of the nearby beaches, Jolly hall or Hoppers Bay beach; only about a 10-15 min walk. This hotel is also a perfect spot if you are wanting to take the 4 C’s tour.
Location: Queen’s Highway Ex 29055 George Town, Exuma Bahamas