How to Get to Staniel Cay in Exuma, Bahamas
Staniel Cay is one of the 365 Islands & Cays of the Exuma Chain. Staniel Cay specifically, is located about halfway down the chain, 77 miles south of Nassau. It is a beautiful little island, with approximately 1 restaurant, 2 liquor stores, a few convenience stores, and the best vibes you will ever experience. The views of the water will absolutely knock you off your feet.
Here are a couple of options to get to Staniel Cay:
-Fort Lauderdale- Staniel Cay via Makers Air ($630 PP)
-Nassau- Staniel Cay via Flamingo Air ($250 PP)
-Nassau-Staniel Cay via Titan Air ($230 PP)
-Nassau- Staniel Cay via Private Plane or Seaplane (starting at $3,000)
Where to Stay in Staniel Cay, Exuma
There are two hotels to stay in Staniel Cay and they are more like cottages than a typical hotel., the rest of your accommodations can be found on AIRBNB or VRBO, there you find beautiful villas around the island, and some small cottages available too. The price range starts from $250 and goes up to thousands for a nightly stay. Most rentals have a 3-night minimum and in high season, that minimum goes up to 5-7 nights.
The famously known and go-to hotel for most travelers is the Staniel Cay Yacht Club or SCYC. The yacht club sits right on the water, with all cottages having a view of the most beautiful turquoise waters you’ve ever seen. Most of the life in Staniel Cay revolves around the yacht club so you’ll be situated right in the mix of it all.
The yacht club is usually booked a year in advance and rarely has openings, so I highly suggest reserving if this is your place of choice. The nightly rate will start at about $450 with a 3-night minimum.
Another hotel option is Embrace Resort. The cottages at Embrace are newly renovated and simple, starting at around $250 per night. They aren’t located on the water, but they are affordable, convenient, and clean, all you really need if you are traveling on a budget!
Below are the best available rentals on the island.
1 bedroom & Studios
This is the most affordable unit and is run by the best people. Theo & Anita are amazing, the house is spick and span, there is a full kitchen with everything you could need, the AC runs smooth as can be, the bed is super comfortable, and it has an ocean view from the balcony! It’s my go-to spot when my husband and I travel to Staniel Cay, I highly recommend this for groups of 2 looking for simplicity.
This is a brand new rental, perfect for those who want to wake up and see the beach every day. You can’t beat this view!
2 Bedroom Villas
If you are looking for a high-end experience with an attentive host then this is the place for you. Lazy Bay is perfectly situated on a beautiful bay and equipped with boats, jet skis, paddleboards, a pool, and grill all for your use. But the best part about Lazy Bay is their staff. The house is cleaned every morning, and breakfast is served by their amazing crew. Whatever you need you can get with a smile and the service is honestly impeccable.
Serenity Cottage is the only pet-friendly accommodation in Staniel Cay, so if you are traveling with a furry friend, then this is your option! Marty is an amazingly friendly host, and the villa has literally the best view in Staniel Cay. When you stay here you are paying for the view of crystal blue waters that will mesmerize you every time you lookout.
4+ Bedroom Villas
Runaway & Copasetic are the luxury option of choice when traveling to Staniel Cay, Exuma! If you are looking for luxurious accommodations with beautiful views & pools, these will be your best bet. With an option to add full staff and chef, you are sure to be happy with this choice!
Jane runs a great operation and is quick to respond to whatever you may need during your stay. Their villas are new, thoughtfully decorated, and equipped with everything you would need on your trip to Staniel Cay.
You are also able to rent a slip if you are traveling to Staniel Cay by boat. I can honestly say that boating through the Exuma’s is one of the most amazing experiences you can ever do, so if this is an option for you, take advantage and make that happen!
Getting around Staniel Cay, Exuma
Your mode of transportation will be on foot, by bike, or golf cart. But you will want to spend your days exploring all the amazing destinations on the water in your private boat.
Any accommodation you choose will likely offer to pick up/drop off from the airport. They will also offer golf cart rentals, which usually start at $75 per day and go up in price depending on size, and type of cart.
The whole island is walkable, and easy to get around by foot or by bike, however, a golf cart makes everything more convenient. I highly suggest having a golf cart during your stay, however, if you don’t get one, it allows you to be more active and you can always catch rides with locals on the island. Either way, it’s a win-win!
The main mode of transportation you will want while staying in Staniel Cay is a boat. You have the option to rent your own (starting at $300 for the day) or you can have a captained boat (starting at $450 for the day). We have little skiffs up to large luxurious options, contact me to book something for you!
Things To Do in Staniel Cay, Exuma
Explore Beaches in Staniel Cay
Ho Tai Beach
Head toward the airport, you will see a wooden bridge called “bonefish creek bridge”, cross over the bridge and take your first left down the dirt road. You will see the airstrip, this means you are on the right path. Follow the airstrip the way down the end, turn left where the airstrip ends, and follow it around to the other side of the airstrip. There will be a yellow and orange house called mango to your right, keep following the road and you will see a rusty tractor. Head straight (west) and you will land on Ho Tai Beach.
You will want to get on to the road closest to the airport that runs through the middle of the island. From the yacht club you go up the hill past the Liquormat (yes a laundry mat & liquor store combo, LOL), down the hill, and turn left. You head towards the DUMP (yes, where the trash is dumped). You will pass the dump and to your right will be a trail, follow the trail all the way up, and when it ends go left, and head down the hill to Ocean Beach.
Pirates Trap Beach
Take that same road from Ocean beach all the way past the dump, past the pond, and you will come upon a road that turns to the right. Take the first right past the pond and you will see pirates trap beach on your left.
Rent Jet skis
Especially if the water is flat, this is a must-do! Jetski rentals start at $150 per hour. You can contact the below to enquire.
Jong- +1 (242) 802-3090
Carl- +1 (242) 467-2364
Do a few boat excursions to these destinations. My recommendation is to get a captain on your first day and then get your own boat if you’re comfortable. It’s such a fun experience! Contact me to book 🙂
-The Bubble Bath
-Compass Cay Sharks
-Pipe Cay Sandbars
-Snorkel the plane wreck
Go to Fowl Cay for dinner
This is a little complicated but 1,000% worth it. You’ll have to hire a captain to take you to fowl cay, it’s around $200 for a round trip drop-off. Once you’ve confirmed you got a ride, call Fowl Cay (make sure to call before noon on the day you want to have dinner) and make your reservation in advance. The more notice you give, the better.
Upon arrival in Fowl Cay, you will get to enjoy cocktail hour over the beautiful turquoise water, with unlimited cocktails. After that amazing experience, you will sit down to a 3-course meal with your group, where you can continue to enjoy more cocktails, views, and great vibes.
The dining experience at Fowl Cay will be about $150 per person, that’s inclusive of all drinks, food & service fees.
Where to eat in Staniel Cay, Exuma
Staniel Cay Yacht Club is your only restaurant option (for now!). Within the Yacht Club, they have two different restaurants with different menus, the bar menu and the formal menu at Sea Level. You are required to have a reservation confirmed before 4 pm on the day with your menu choice for Sea Level, however for the rest of the restaurant you can just walk in.
The menu in the bar area is extensive, they have bar food, pizzas, fresh fish, Bahamian dishes, lots to choose from! The vibes are great, I love sitting at the bar, there is a pool table and always lots of people coming in and out. Never a dull moment at the yacht club!
Because there is only one restaurant and the convivence stores are limited in what they sell, I highly, highly suggest hiring a chef for your stay or provisioning your own food and bringing it in with you. You can bring a soft cooler on the plane and pack it with a few options for meals. Eating at the Yacht Club for every meal does become overkill. So, I highly suggest bringing your own food, especially if you are staying for more than 2 nights.
Most rentals will have a connection for a chef for you to hire. This is probably the most convenient and best way to go if your budget will allow it.
There are a few local cooks in the area that I recommend reaching out to!
Bernadette +1 (242) 357-0986 – Delicious Pastries, Donuts, Cakes
Tamicka- +1 (242) 468-0389 – Chef
Tips for Staniel Cay, Exuma
- There are no ATMS so bring cash with you
- The yacht club takes VISA/Mastercard
- Everything else is basically cash, including your boat rentals
- Once you’re there, you’re on island time, just relax, enjoy the simplicity of the island life and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
- Rent a boat, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get out on the water once you are there, it is truly a magical experience
- Be open to new experiences, blend in with the locals and get everything out of the Bahamian culture.
- Expect everything to be at least double the price as your used to. (i.e. a case of beer is $64, no matter which beer you choose)
Staniel Cay is one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world. I don’t think there is anywhere else that has water as clear and blue. This is a trip of a lifetime and you won’t be disappointed in your trip to Staniel. Cheers, enjoy!