The islands of The Bahamas are ripe with possibilities for an unforgettable yacht charter. Yet one chain of 365 islands and cays lying east and south of Nassau can provide plentiful entertainment for your entire trip. The Exumas, set like an arc of gemstones in a field of aquamarine waters, offer over 100 miles of snorkeling, beaches and wildlife. Truly the premiere yachting destination of The Bahamas, the Exumas offer incomparable inspiration and adventure. But where to begin?
Your private Bahamas yacht rental will likely begin from dockage in Nassau. Within 3 to 4 hours, you can reach the northernmost cays of The Exumas, and your tropical experience begins!
One of your first stops could be Allen’s Cay, known for its population of endangered Rock iguanas on the beach. If you’ve never seen one, their size and mobility will surprise you. Bring some grapes or fruit on a stick, and do be careful not to feed them from the sand, which is not digested well.
Is snorkeling next on your list? Satisfy your yearning with a stop at Norman’s Cay, with its outstanding reef developed
from the wreckage of a plane used for drug smuggling during the late 1970’s and early ‘80’s. The Cay’s northern end also offers an idyllic inlet at a sandbar showcasing magazine-worthy clear blue waters and peaceful anchorage.
Continue cruising south along the chain of Exuma islands and soon you will enter the northernmost part of the popular yacht destination, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The uninhabited Shroud Cay and Hawksbill Cay both have plenty to offer with white sand beaches, tidal pools and marine life. The headquarters for the park is Warderick Wells Cay, known for its protected coral reefs, marine sanctuary, hiking trails and kayaking.
Yachting in the Exumas is not complete without a meandering stop at Staniel Cay known for its “Thunderball Grotto” underwater caves filmed in the James Bond movie, Thunderball, where you can snorkel to your heart’s content among brilliant tropical fish. There are plenty of additional places to satisfy your wildlife fix. Big Major Cay is famous for its swimming pigs, while Compass Cay is the place to interact with nurse sharks that are surprisingly docile. Anchor at Stocking Island and play with the stingrays or enjoy the white beach on this island known for its rocky cliffs that rise up to 150 feet above sea level to protect Elizabeth Harbor from the Atlantic.
As your luxury rental yacht makes its way to the more inhabited southern end of the Exumas, stop at Little Exuma to frolic on its white sand Tropic of Cancer Beach, and enjoy some Bahamian cuisine at Great Exuma, which is known for its lodging and restaurants.
For beach lovers, animal lovers, and lovers of both underwater and above-ground exploration, the Bahamian Exumas provides all of the ingredients for a perfect multi-day yachting vacation.