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  • Writer's pictureBrieanna Stamper

Virtual Vacations - Great Exuma, Bahamas

Author - Carla Brecke, Advisor - Email

Great Exuma is one of the 365 islands that make up the Exuma Cays. Located just 35 miles south of Nassau this island couldn’t be any more different. Here you will not find any casinos, chain restaurants, or even stoplights. Instead you will find a beautiful, unspoiled, quaint, friendly island. With crystal clear turquoise blue water and powdery white sand beaches of which most you are welcome to stop and explore. The island is only 37 miles long and 4 ½ miles wide at its widest point with one main, paved road called Queen’s Highway. The Bahamas are British islands so here you drive on the left. Great Exuma is connected to Little Exuma by a small, one lane bridge.


Where to Stay

Sandals Emerald Bay is our personal choice every time! It is a true all-inclusive, luxury, resort for couples/adults only. It is about a 10 - 15 minute drive from the airport. Located on 500 acres Sandals Emerald Bay is a lush, tropical paradise. Featuring 11 restaurants including seafood, French, Italian, Indian, English pub food, sushi, and more, 6 bars, 3 pools, spa, tennis and pickle ball courts, a championship 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman, and a stunning one mile long beach with the most beautiful water you may ever see. There are 245 suites with locations in beachfront villas or in charming beach houses. Indulge in the ultimate pampering and reserve a room that includes personal butler service. Sandals Emerald Bay is an elegant and quiet, laid back resort which is very fitting to the island.


Where to Eat

Head down the road and across the one lane bridge on to Little Exuma to find Santanna’s Bar and Grill. This locally owned, open-air restaurant has some of the best food on the island. Santanna’s sits right on the ocean so grab a seat around the bar or at one of the tables on the deck to take in the salty air and breathtaking water view. On the menu are freshly caught lobster and grouper, shrimp, conch, crack chicken, and bbq ribs. All meals are served with 2 sides. Fun fact: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and crew ate at Santanna’s many times while filming in the area for the Pirates Of The Caribbean movies. For a little dessert be sure to stop next door and pick up a freshly baked rum cake or some other tasty baked goods at Mom’s Bakery. The rum cakes are to die for!


What to Do

George Town is the capital of Great Exuma and here is where you will find the Straw Market. Please try to make a stop here and meet some of the friendly islanders selling handmade goods such as baskets and jewelry. While you are in town take a stroll around to browse in the small shops and sight see


Top 2 MUST-SEE Beaches

A visit to the Exuma Cays is all about the ocean and beaches and both Great Exuma and Little Exuma have no shortage of options. First let’s make a stop at Coco Plum Beach on Great Exuma. This beach is gorgeous any time you go however the best time to go is during low tide when the sandbars are visible. During this time you will be able to walk way out in to the ocean and have an amazing 360 degree view of the water. This is also a prime time to see sand dollars and starfish. The water here is crystal clear and typically pretty calm with white, powdery sand. Second stop will be back to Little Exuma to the Tropic of Cancer Beach. Original name Pelican Beach, is called Tropic of Cancer Beach as it sits where the Tropic of Cancer comes through Little Exuma. The water here is that amazing turquoise blue and the beach soft white, powdery sand. Side note: take in a sunset. They can be stunning here.


Must Do Excursion

The hot, must-do excursion is swimming with the pigs when you visit the island. One popular package includes cruising in and out of 75 cays with several stops, snorkeling, visiting the endangered Bahamian rock iguanas, and swimming with the pigs (and feeding them) at Big Major Cay.


If you are interested in learning more about the Exumas, other places to stay, etc. please contact me! I would love to personalize an Exuma vacation for you and your family

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