Widely regarded as the most stunning destination in the Bahamas, the resplendent Exumas are a haven of tranquility, luxury and outstanding ecological diversity. Close enough to the US to make them exceptionally convenient for short stints on luxury yacht charters, the Exumas float in a world of their own, one that’s teeming with pristine reefs, sensational palm-fringed beaches and some of the most turquoise seas you’ll ever see.
A much-coveted playground for VIPs seeking privacy and relaxation (many of the islands are privately owned), this idyllic chain stretches for more than 100 miles and boasts 365 dreamy cays you can explore at leisure. Sapphire seas, a wealth of underwater treasures, and a splash of funky beach bars, offer something for everyone. The Exumas are the quintessential Bahamas haven and offer world class diving and sport fishing.
Remote and peaceful anchorages, magnificent sunsets, an abundance of snorkeling and diving sites, all part of some of the most protected tropical waters on the planet.
Exumas Yacht Charter Highlights
Casting off from Nassau on New Providence Island in the north and sailing all the way south to Great Exuma, our Exumas yacht charter itineraries are ideal if you only have a week up your sleeve and are craving some serious R&R. The highlights? Nearly endless! The Exumas comprise a 176-mile-long protected land and sea park– the world’s first and most comprehensive marine replenishment reserve.
Here’s just a taste of the islands that await you:
Nassau, New Providence Island
The main springboard for Exumas yacht charters, Nassau is revered for its luxury ocean-themed resort, the Atlantis Resort Marina. This extraordinary place boasts an aquarium that is home to more than 50,000 marine creatures, an exclusive golf course, sea-themed rides, dolphin encounters, great shopping, a gorgeous Balinese spa and fantastic culinary delights.
Your Exumas yacht can pick you up right from this amazing resort yet if you have a few extra days to spare, there’s actually a lot to do in Nassau. Visit the Ardastra Gardens Zoo, a lush tropical estate brimming with exotic animals, mingle with friendly locals and feast on cracked conch on West Bay Street and retrace the steps of famous outlaws at the Pirates of Nassau Museum, which is entertaining for both adults and children. An awesome destination of its own accord, Nassau is a brilliant place to start your Exumas yacht charter adventure, especially if traveling on a family charter trip!
Just 35 miles southeast of Nassau, privately-owned Highbourne is said to hide some of the most breath-taking beaches in the Exumas although you may have to wait until the end of your weeklong Exumas yacht charter to see if you’ll agree. The luscious island is postcard-pretty and its waters crystalline and totally inviting. There’s fabulous fishing to be had here as well as snorkeling straight off the sandy shores.
© Ocean Getaways
Resident Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas, curious, harmless and ever-peckish creatures, wait patiently for yacht charter guests on Allen’s Cay. They’ll even pose for selfies if it means a treat might come their way! These beautiful and fierce-looking animals are one of several species of iguanas in the Exumas and they are considered among the most endangered. They’re only found on three cays in the region and Allen’s Cay – home to the largest colony – is by far the best place to meet them.
Famously home to a sunken plane once used to smuggle cocaine out of Colombia, Norman’s Cay is a fantastic spot to explore. In the late 70s, this was the illicit headquarters of the Caribbean operation of the infamous Medellin cartel and was even featured in the Netflix hit-show, Narcos. Nowadays, however, Norman’s is a highlight for Exumas yacht charter guests, who enjoy snorkeling the plane-reef (now inhabited by turtles and a myriad of colorful tropical fish), discovering unspoilt beaches and enjoying a day out in paradise, blissfully disconnected from all modernity. Shoreside libations can be found at MacDuffs.
Big Major Cay
Dubbed Pig Beach because of its famed swimming pigs that piggy paddle their way to your tender, snouts in the air in search of a handheld treat. The mere sight of a bevy of barnyard pig in a secluded cove off a deserted island is a curiosity that delights and will undoubtedly having you rolling with laughter. If you are chartering a motor yacht or superyacht, your crew can set up a private beachside cabana and barbecue for you – for a leisurely afternoon of basking in paradise.
James Bond may have pinned Staniel Cay on the worldwide map but, in truth, this cay has always been among the most outstanding in the Exumas. Lapped by turquoise waters which attract reef sharks and a profusion of tropical fish, Staniel cay offer out-of-this-world cave snorkeling. The Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a favorite “belly up to the bar” outpost.
© Ocean Getaways
The beating heart of the Exumas marine sanctuary, Warderick Wells offers magical diving and snorkeling, as well as fantastic kayaking and hiking. The great Exumas all-rounder, this island boasts over four miles of walking trails, which guide you past the remnants of an old plantation, stunning blowholes and amazing viewpoints. Dramatic rocky shores, crystalline waters and plenty of opportunities for water-based sports make this an unmissable stop-over in the Exumas.
The chance to enjoy a thrilling swim with reef sharks is the primary reason every Exuma yacht charter guest has Compass Cay firmly on their sights. Stop by the Compass Cay Marina to feed and swim with these gentle giants and then chillax with a burger and a beer at the lovely beach bar. Heavenly days on Exumas yacht charters don’t get much better than this!
With its deep-water harbor and historic capital of Georgetown brimming with sightseeing, dining and shopping options, Great Exuma is a fabulous reason to include a few extra days at the end of your yacht charter vacation. The southernmost island in the archipelago has a lot to offer: from quaint little markets to stunning art galleries and craft boutiques, luxury spas and trendy cafés of its city center, to exclusive beach resorts, a great golf course and plenty of amazing snorkeling right off the beach.