If you’ve decided to make a trip to Great Exuma, congrats, as you’ve just made one of your best vacation choices ever! Great Exuma is the largest of the 365 chain of islands and cays known as “The Exumas”. It is the perfect mix of an “out island” experience combined with all the great amenities you would need to have a relaxing, seamless vacation.
The Exumas have gotten most of their publicity from being home to the swimming pigs and the Fyre Festival disaster; however they are much more than that. From having the most beautiful turquoise waters and untouched beaches you'll ever see, to literally being a boaters paradise, The Exumas are the perfect location for ocean lovers.
Getting to Great Exuma
No matter where you’re traveling from, you are in luck as Great Exuma is one of the easiest places to travel to in the Bahamas. It is one of the most southern islands of the 700 Islands & Cays in the Bahamas, located about 300 miles south of Miami. Hop on a quick 40 minute direct flight and you’ll find yourself in paradise before you know it! Direct flights are offered daily/weekly from many origins such as Miami, Atlanta,
Charlotte, Ft. Lauderdale, Toronto & Nassau.
Here's some of the flights offered:
Daily from Miami to Georgetown Via American Air.
Daily from Atlanta to Georgetown Via Delta Air.
From Charlotte direct to Georgetown Via American Air (Saturday’s).
From Fort Lauderdale direct to Georgetown Via Silver Air (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday)
From Toronto to Georgetown Via Air Canada (Saturdays)
Daily from Nassau to Georgetown via Western Air & Bahamas Air.
Transportation in Great Exuma
No matter what island you’re visiting in The Bahamas, unless you have the funds to hire a chauffeur to drive you all around, I HIGHLY suggest renting a car. It’s a simple process, usually affordable (anywhere from $50-$100 a day) and allows you to really explore the island. Great Exuma is only 37 miles long, you can drive the whole island in 1.5 hours or less, and I suggest exploring the whole thing!
Before arriving in Great Exuma, book your car with Airport Car Rental, and swoop up your car just outside the airport. You’ll pay upon arrival and be on your way to explore the beautiful island in minutes!
Airport Car Rental (just to the left and across the street when you walk out of the airport)
Where to Stay in Great Exuma
Booking your accommodations is an important part of your travels. My suggestion is no matter what, book on the beach. There are tons of options in different price ranges, sure to fit anyone’s budget. The beach is the selling point of The Exumas, and I think you should take advantage of that by waking up every morning to the beautiful turquoise water and the crashing sound of waves.
There are a ton of Airbnb options, and it really doesn’t matter too much where you book on the island, as everything is relatively close. However, it's important to note that Georgetown is the main town where you can find your grocery store, liquor store, shopping, restaurants, all that. There are other options for shopping and eating around the island, however this is the main hub, and this is where you will find the most variety to fit your needs.
Whether you’re a hotel person or a vacation rental person, there are plenty of options to choose from. The nicest and most popular of the Hotels are Sandals & Grand Isle Resort. These will be more of your large resort feel hotels. I also suggest Peace & Plenty for a cute locally ran hotel in the heart of Georgetown. As far as vacation rentals, we stayed here , a cute house in a community called February Point and we absolutely loved it. The home was stocked with everything we needed, it was clean and comfy, situated right on the water with the most amazing views! The community it was in felt super safe, we went on morning walks/runs, and there was a gym/tennis court on property. I felt like I got the best of both the worlds of a hotel community + comfort of a vacation rental. We cooked many meals at our house but also had the option to eat at the famous Rusty Anchor, which was located inside the community. I highly suggest renting in February Point.
Best restaurants in Great Exuma
Eating is almost always everyone’s favorite thing to do on vacation. An excuse to eat as much as you want with no repercussions, until you get home of course 😉 There are tons of dining options in Great Exuma, from cute coffee shops and local dining, to a fancy meal, there will plenty of options for you to enjoy.
Coffee & Breakfast
There were two cute places located right in Georgetown that we really enjoyed on our travels for coffee and breakfast. Great environment, good food, cute, homey and local feel.
Lunch & Drinks
I tend to do Bahamian food for lunch when I’m traveling to the out islands. Mainly because it's usually the most convenient, but also the heaviest meal as most Bahamian food is fried or more “bar food” style. We had a couple great lunch meals, they usually consisted of the same things, fish burger, grouper fingers, fried snapper, something of that sort. Whenever I’m traveling to the out islands I try to order the local fish as much as I can, so I know that it’s the most local and fresh thing on the menu, hence my meals mentioned above.
Shirley’s, located at the fish fry is probably the most popular Bahamian restaurant on the Island, and its gotten there for a good reason. The fried snapper was excellent, as were all the sides it came with. It gets pretty busy, so I suggest going early before the crowd hits! Also a great option for dinner.
St. Francis Pub & Grill, located on Stocking Island (a boat ride away) had the best fish burger we had all trip. I must say, all the fish burgers we tried (maybe 4 different ones, LOL) were good, but this one was the best! A simple locally caught fish, mine was Mahi Mahi, served to perfection, highly recommend!
The Rusty Anchor, located inside February Point had some great fish fingers. I think it’s important when traveling to stick to whatever the place is known for. I would never for example order a pasta dish from a Bahamian restaurant and expect to be blown away. Stick to ordering what they are known for and you will not be disappointed. In the case of February Point, everyone ordered something different, and we came to the consensus that the fish burger and fish fingers were definitely the way to go!
Most of our dinners were cooked at home, because after a long day of beaching and boating, it’s usually too tiring to think about going out to dinner! We did however enjoy two spots worthy enough to recommend!
Splash Bar & Grill is a very casual dining experience, which we enjoyed for pizza, beer, wings & Billiards. This was a great spot to hit at the end of the day when you were tired but starving. We had fun playing billiards and listening to music, while enjoying some pretty good pizza & wings!
Peace & Plenty’s restaurant, +39 will probably be your most high end dining option on the island. Whether you go for breakfast, lunch or dinner you will be impressed with their menu. Standard sandwiches and burgers for lunch, with Pastas & Meat/Fish dishes for dinner, this will be your best bet for a fancier meal with a beautiful environment.
The grocery store located in Georgetown will be stocked with basically everything you need. When we travelled from Nassau we brought some essentials with us, however upon arriving we were happily surprised with all the options the grocery store had. From sauces, to organic goods to nice produce, they had everything we needed, which was great for cooking at home! If you are renting a home, I suggest cooking in as much as you can, food is quite pricey, you will find menu’s to be repetitive from restaurant to restaurant and you will be happier if you combine some home cooked meals with your dining out experiences!
Things to do in Great Exuma!
This is by far the most exciting section of this guide. Besides for maxin’ and relaxin’ on the beach, there are a few things that in my opinion are non-optional when traveling to Great Exuma.
You have to rent a boat or charter a boat to cruise around locally. There are a few options for local charters, you can contact me to book either a group tour or private tour. If you have any experience at all in boating, you can also rent a boat and captain it yourself. I would take advantage of this as there are not many places in The Bahamas that offer this! You can cruise all around the harbor, explore stocking Island and the famous Chat & Chill Bar, frolic on sandbars, pet stingrays, swim with turtles and explore the marine park.
Contact Minnis Water Sports to rent a boat for you to captain yourself. Contact me to book a tour for you! The cost to rent a boat will be around $400 for the day. Charters vary.
Go to Cocoplum Beach. Those swings you see with Instagram models and beautiful turquoise water, yes, those are here, and yes, they are as amazing if not more amazing as they look. My suggestion is to pack a cooler, something to eat, and park yourself on that beach all day, I think it’s safe to call it one of my favorites!
Got another beach suggestion for you, Tropic of Cancer Beach. Go there, enjoy the white sand against the bright turquoise water and don’t leave until after the sun sets!
Take an excursion to see the famous swimming pigs. Big Major Cay, home of the Swimming Pigs is approx. 60 miles from Georgetown. Hop on a charter and do the Staniel Cay day excursion, which is my favorite excursion of all time! Swim with the pigs, feed the iguanas, snorkel the Thunderball grotto, frolic on sandbars and swim with the sharks! Contact me to book, pricing starts at $200 per person!
You officially have all the information you need to make your trip a memorable one. There are many amazing things about Great Exuma, and I am positive you will enjoy your experience. As always, I am here to give you more information and answer any questions you may have about things to do in the Bahamas. It is my priority to share all the best parts of the Bahamas and encourage people to continue to visit and explore the beautiful 700 Islands & Cays!