After a busy and exhausting NYC summer, it was time to get out of the city for some R&R to celebrate Labor Day, and what better than drinking cocktails on the beach (all to ourselves) and swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas to celebrate. We chose Great Exuma as our Bahamas island of choice for this trip based on a recommendation of a friend of mine.
The Exumas are an archipelago of 365 cays and islands, and Great Exuma is one of the three main areas, which is known for its laid-back vibe and gorgeous sapphire blue waters. We flew from LGA to GGT (LaGuardia, NYC to Georgetown, Great Exuma) with American Airlines (and their sub American Eagle) through Miami. GGT is a 45ish minute flight from Miami.
The view from the plane is outstanding! It gets you so excited about the gorgeousness that is Great Exuma!
The airport is a gorgeously quaint yellow house and customs/immigration is a handful of incredibly friendly Bahamians waiting inside
First stop, a Pina Colada and a local beer poolside. We stayed at the Grand Isle resort (a short ride from GGT airport). It felt a little Floridian, but I am not sure what I expected before I went. It didn’t feel too touristy, but that might be because we visited in the off-season.
Because we visited at the end of the off-season, we got our room ~70% off the peak rate (which helped it fall right in our price range). The weather was mostly gorgeous (maybe 1 or 2 hours of rain each day) but we had NO complaints about it because the off-season meant everything was cheaper, there were exponentially less tourists and we still had sunshine (or warm but overcast) the rest of our stay… As the island basically shuts down for tourism for a month or so over September/October, all the staff were in top spirits knowing they had a month off work about to come up!
We had this entire beach to ourselves our first afternoon
We signed up for a jet ski tour of some nearby islands with Exuma Watersports. They offer jet ski tours, ocean boat tours (including the 007 tour, with a visit to Thunderball Grotto!) and private charters. We chose Exuma Watersports because we wanted to swim with the piggies and these guys take you to the pigs’ island.
Our tour guide was Al, and he is a LEGEND. I rode on the back of Mike’s jet ski, which I often regretted because he rides incredibly fast and sometimes like a mad-man race car driver.
We stopped at one point to check out a big family of starfish, and we also saw a shipwreck
These huge starfish are really spiky, and you could feel their insides moving. This one was literally larger than my face
Al led us over to Pig Island on the jet skis. There were 8 of us in the group including Al and his mate. He told us the story of how the swimming pigs came to be, but I won’t ruin that surprise for you.
The pigs heard the sound of the jet skis pulling up to the island, and they know that boats+jetskis=food so they run and swim out to greet you and start sniffing around. Al brought chicken sausages and other food items so we could feed them. They are greedy little buggers and kept trying to steal each others food.
I took our GoPro, which unfortunately doesn’t always take the greatest photos (compared to a decent camera) but we still got a few good ones. Al warned us to stay away from two big, fat pigs because they were extra greedy and not very friendly
The little ones are so cute. I wasn’t expecting them to be so furry though!
Mike made it on @theswimmingpigs instagram
After the jet ski tour (approx. 3 hours from memory) Mike and I went kayaking around our hotel, which was hard given the strong winds but oh well!
The sunset each night was divine
…. and then it was back to the Big Apple..
This was such a quick, but epic adventure (and also a little relaxation)! For our next visit I want to go to Eleuthera (the Island of Freedom) and stay at The Cove. I hear it is pretty expensive though, so here is to hoping we get there some day!
I can’t wait to head back and do it all again in a few years with my friend Maz who is dying to go!
Any questions, let me know! I hope you get to experience the Bahamas and the pigs one day!
– Love, Boss and the City aka Louise xx