Nassau and Paradise Island offer a variety of fantastic activities
to suit all ages and preferences. For families, Paradise Island
Resort has the largest waterpark in the world, dolphins to swim
with, and an amazing aquarium. Downtown, culture buffs will find
colonial architecture and pirate museums. Shoppers have straw
markets and duty–free, upscale boutiques. Nightlife includes
Vegas–style casinos and vibrant nightclubs. Fly into Nassau,
transfer to your luxury charter yacht, be welcomed by the crew and
relax on deck to plan the remainder of the day.
The following day, begin your cruise south to the Exuma Island
chain. Each island is unique and together they offer unsurpassed
cruising grounds and anchorages. Each land has its own charm,
people, beauty, friendliness, and harbors. Embark on a vacation
where giant starfish, wild iguanas, swimming pigs, dolphins,
turtles and sharks are far more numerous than people.
Allen Cay is the first cay of interest in the Exumas chain. It is
uninhabited except for a rare and endangered species of iguanas not
found anywhere else in the world. The prisitne beach is perfect for
a liesurely walk and optimal for nature photographers, especially
those fond of iguanas. The anchorage here is lovely and protected.
Highborne Cay is a privately owned island. Stop by the marina to
sample some fresh Bahama bread, walk along pristine beaches or
snorkel offshore. The anchorage, which is close to the cut, is
ideal for deep water fishing. Neighboring Saddle Cay is fun to
explore by tender.
Norman's Cay has a dramatic recent history as the headquarters for
Carlos Lehder's drug-smuggling operation from 1978 to 1982. Lehder
purchased most of the island, including an airstrip, used as a
strategic stopping point for Colombian drug flights bound for the
United States. With the Bahamian authorities looking the other way
and the local inhabitants scared off, the island became a private
haven of debauchery for Lehder and his associates. In 1982, the
Bahamian government cracked down on the activities on Norman's Cay,
ultimately confiscating Lehder's land. It is now a tourist
destination where visitors can snorkel the wreckage of a drug
running Douglas DC-3 plane that crashed in shallow water.
Shroud Cay, an uninhabited cay owned by Exumas Land and Sea Park,
is an archipelago of cays and rocks surrounding a shallow tidal
mangrove salina which serves as a unique nursery for conch,
crawfish, sea turtles, birds and many varieties of fish. The beach
on its eastern side, accessible from the western anchorages through
a mangrove river, is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in
the world. Unspoiled with crystal clear waters, the colors are
simply magnificient. Providing there is wind, this is an amazing
place for kitesurfing and the Shroud river is interesting to
explore by tender or kayak. If you boat around to the back of the
Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, you can climb up to one of its
highest points. To do so, you need to wade through shoulder deep
water and climb up a rocky path, but the 360 view is so worth
This island was selected to be the headquarters for the Exumas Park
due to the wide variety of naturally occurring ecosystems, and it’s
centrally located geographical position within the park. From rocky
bluffs to sand dunes, mangrove creeks and sand flats, this island
has it all. Hike across the island on more than seven miles of
trails. Vist the skeleton of a 53’ Sperm Whale (died after
swallowing a plastic bag) that watches guard over Powerful Beach.
The southwest end of the island is the pirates hangout.
Stromatolites, an ancient and very rare form of early life on
earth, line the sand bank. A short trail leads from the beach to
the Pirates Lair on Warderick Wells. Numerous snorkeling and
exploring opportunities abound in this area. On Saturday nights,
cruisers frequently gather around the small tiki hut on the beach
for a happy hour.
Cambridge Cay, also known as Little Bell Cay, is privately owned
but visitors are welcome ashore. Here visitors find a very nice
anchorage off a beautiful beach. The rock wall on the cay is
believed to have been some kind of holding pen for animals. Conch
Cut has a stand of pillar coral over four feet high - one of the
largest remaining stands of pillar coral in the region.
A magnificent crescent shaped half mile beach, voted one of the
best in the Bahamas, is just one of 13 on Compass Cay where
visitors enjoy swimming and shell collecting. Snorkel the many
shallow reefs surrounding the island or swim with Tucker's pet
nurse sharks. There is also a batcave and Rachael's Bubble Bath", a
large natural pool full of bubbles formed from ocean waves that
crash over the edge of the lagoon. Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy
bonefishing in the creek. Yachtsmen can stretch their sealegs
hiking trails to the Low Tide Airport, Hester's House, the old
Haitian shipwreck, or circumnavigating the island. In the evening,
meet other boaters at the marina for sundowners and watch for the
elusive green flash.
Dock at the marina or at anchor. Fowl Cay, a private 50-acre
island, features a lovely resort with amenities that include an
excellent bar and restaurant, tennis court, swimming pool and beach
games. Spend the day relaxing on shore or explore the surrounding
islands by tender.
Staniel Cay is one of the few inhabited islands inthe Exumas and
home to the renowned Staniel Cay Yacht Club, the only full service
marina in the cays. Staniel Cay is located just a few hundred yards
from Fowl Cay, Musha Cay, Iguana Cay and Thunderball Grotto, this
latter is the location of the James Bond film "Thunderball".
Staniel Cay is the activity hub in the cays, and a favorite
destination of yachtsmen. The yacht club restaurant is the place to
be for lunch, dinner, and nightlife. An airstrip, grocery store,
and a few shops round out the island's offerings.
Bitter Guana Cay offers another great anchorage and magnificent
beach. Hike the short path that leads to the far side of the island
where there is a picturesque rocky shoreline and a small grotto
filled with shells and rocks.
The town of Black Point is small and friendly, located near the
northern tip of Great Guana Cay. Take a shore excursion to visit
this charming Bahamian settlement where most of the homes are
cinderblock, stuccoed and painted in pastels, creating pleasing
splashes of color. Chat with the locals, stop in at Lorraines Cafe
and visit Doris' Gift Shop for local souvenirs. Take time to
discover what day to day life in the Bahamas is all about. Later,
hike to the bluff to see the impressive Dotham Cut.
This largly under-developed cay with about 60 congenial residents
boasts a bit of civilization. Ocean Cabin has villa rental,
convenience store, wholesale and retail and other assorted services
including a popular restaurant. The proprietor, Terry Bain with his
wife Ernestine, are a local institution. Stop by for lunch or
dinner, a game of dominos and and a bit of his repartee. The
Farmers Cay Yacht Club has a great bar, waterfront restaurant,
bakes bread to order and operates a small grocery and liquor store.
Today charter guests must bid farewell to the spectacular Exumas,
their wonderful crew and beautiful yacht, and begin to dream about
their next charter adventure with Sunreef Charter Yachts. For those
catching anevening flight or extending their stay, George Town has
plenty to offer. The capital and largest city in the district,
George Town (permanent population 1,000) was founded in 1793 and
boasts a colorful history.
Pirates used Georgetown’s deep water harbor during the 17th century
and the “plantation aristocracy” from Virginia and North and South
Carolina settled here in the 18th century. Elizabeth Harbor became
a refitting base for British vessels and the U.S. Navy used the
port during World War II. Today George Town is a vibrant place with
delightful shops, restaurants and bars.
Two Turtles Inn and Eddie’s Edgewater are spots to try out, as well
as February Point, which includes a great restaurant/bar that has
live music one night per week. Another option, but further out of
town, is the Four Seasons Hotel that has a number of bars both
indoors and out. For those who enjoy a relaxing game of golf, play
18 holes at Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club, designed by
professional golfer Greg Norman.