OFF THE CHART!
The Marcos’ Top 10 Spots in Exuma to Explore Life in the Real Bahamas!
1. CHAT N CHILL ON STOCKING ISLAND
A short boat trip across Elizabeth Harbour from Georgetown or February Point Marina, but a world away. White sand, clear shallow water, food, drinks, conch salad, tame sting rays, what more could you want? Stop in at the beginning of your trip to get your head straight. Across a narrow cut is St. Francis Resort where you can enjoy a quiet drink or meal and walk across Stocking Island to an incredibly beautiful but different side of the Island, where there are ancient rock formations, blue water, breaking waves and huge sand dunes. www.chatnchill.com
2. STARFISH BEACH AT STOCKING ISLAND
Calm, shallow sandy beach just across Elizabeth Harbour that’s never crowded except with the abundance of large starfish a few feet offshore. Just down the way is Monument Beach and Big D’s beach bar and grill, world famous for his fresh conch salad. Nature paths lead through the terrain, up to the marker at the highest point in Exuma and over to the wild side of Stocking Island. The view, beach and water on the ocean side are spectacular. Go ahead and make the climb across!
3. MAN O WAR CAY & THE SANDBAR
Catch the tide right and in a few minutes a magical sand bar will appear before your eyes. So many shades of blue water you will not be able to describe them all. At low tide you can walk out for miles on the sand while you are surrounded by water.
4. FOWL CAY BEACH & SNORKELING
Go back across Elizabeth Harbour and you can sun and swim at a ideal small beach and snorkel over the reef. The underwater scene is awesome and it’s all in water only 5 to 10 feet deep.
5. MARIAH CAY & THE MANGROVES
Just offshore from the mainland but completely untouched due to its protected national park status. Pick and choose your own private beach and turquoise pool, explore the solitude of the mangrove cuts or match your wits against the resident bonefish. Around the cut is the south side of Great Exuma, largely ignored but full of nature and marine life.
6. LAZY RIVER
Wind your way around Mariah Cay and through the peaceful tidal channels and you will come to the cut between Great Exuma and Little Exuma. Catch the ebb tide and you can float effortlessly out to the ocean through clear, shallow water. A few minutes past the cut is Love Beach and Le Shante restaurant, a great place to relax, swim and have lunch.
7. PIGEON CAY
Now venture forth a little past the protected waters of Elizabeth Harbour and find the kind of deserted beach that you’ve always dreamed of. An unbelievably large spit of pristine sand is surrounded by clear water and a nature preserve. About 30 minutes by boat from February Point or Georgetown, best visited when the winds are low and the waters are calm.
8. LITTLE EXUMA
Drive across a short bridge called The Ferry and you will leave Great Exuma and enter Little Exuma. Here you’ll find some of the finest beaches in Exuma, still mostly undiscovered. The most well-known but not necessarily the best is Tropic of Cancer Beach, but there are many others hidden along the way. Find your own! Stop by Santana’s Beach Bar & Grill and indulge. If you don’t love the food and scene here, then there’s something wrong with you!
9. SANDY CAY
About a 30 minute boat ride off the eastern end of Little Exuma lies a uninhabited island that is a national treasure. Explore virgin beaches and untouched waters that have been turned into a nature preserve where you can step back in time and find yourself in the Bahamas the way it was ages ago. Several scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed here.
10. EXUMA CAYS, THE LAND & SEA PARK
Put aside at least one day for a trip to the Exuma Cays. This string of small islands are jewels set out in the most awe-inspiring waters anywhere on Earth. The colors will leave you breathless. On the way to the Land & Sea Park you will discover tame iguanas and swimming pigs. Once you reach Staniel Cay, snorkel at Thunderball Grotto, where the James Bond movie, Thunderball was filmed. Continue on to Compass Cay where the sharks are your friends and to the aquarium at the edge of the Land & Sea Park, teeming with marine life.