Top 10 Exuma Beaches | Must See Spots in the Bahamas

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by Kristin Young | Updated On: September 29, 2021 | Bahamas

The Exumas are an enchanting collection of islands, or cays, found in the Bahamas. With over 365 cays, the district features a variety of beaches for every type of traveler. 

For those looking to snorkel, there’s no better place than the shallow aquamarine waters dotted with colorful coral reefs just off the coast. You’ll most likely be greeted by nurse sharks, friendly rays, the occasional green turtle. 

If you’re more of a beachgoer than a snorkeler, Exuma offers miles and miles of white-sand beaches perfect for sunbathing or feasting on fresh conch. 

Because there are many cays, the adventure to the shores is half of the fun. Embark on a speedboat to jet over the crystal clear waters, or take things slower with a chartered boat trip. Some of the beaches on this list can even be driven to from the main islands.

With this guide, you’ll find the best Exuma beaches, along with how you can access them, whether there are amenities, and where you can spend the night.

MAP OF EXUMA BEACHES

Click on the map of Exuma beaches below for more details.

BEST BEACHES IN EXUMA

From pigs paddling in warm waters to stingrays swimming beneath you, the beaches in Exuma, Bahamas are full of adventure. While some of the beaches, like the World Famous Pig Beach are popular for day trippers, there are plenty of spectacular ones that are almost completely untouched, and discovering them is all part of the fun! 

Pig Beach 

pigs swimming at Major Cay Pig Beach Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Big Major Cay
  • Access: Powerboat
  • Amenities: There are no amenities on the uninhabited island
  • Where to Stay: There are no accommodation options on the tiny island, but Embrace Resort on nearby Staniel Cay is a charming seaside hotel offering easy access to snorkeling and diving spots

As soon as your boat starts to approach the white shores of the uninhabited Big Major Cay, you’ll be greeted by the snorts and squeals of feral pigs. While the idea of feral pigs might seem a little bizarre, the pigs here are friendly creatures, making it completely safe to interact with them. Whether that be swimming in the waters with them or feeding them handouts of fresh fruits or vegetables.

Since it’s humans that are keeping the pigs full and happy, they tend to gather along the shores, instead of venturing into the jungle to forage for treats. Over time, they’ve come to associate humans with food; you’ll often find them paddling alongside your boat anticipating your arrival. 

Swaying palm streets, turquoise waters, a plethora of fish life, and a number of iguanas also call Pig Beach home.

Tropic of Cancer Beach 

Tropic of Cancer Beach Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Little Exuma Bahamas
  • Access: Road
  • Amenities: No amenities, so be sure to bring your own picnic supplies
  • Where to Stay: The dreamy Tropical Views Villas are a mere 2-minute walk from the Tropic of Cancer beach

Part of the adventure when visiting the Tropic of Cancer Beach, also known as Pelican Beach, is that it’s tricky to find. It not only makes the discovery exciting, but it also means that the crystal white shores are free from crowds of people.

As the longest beach on the island, the shores stretch to around 1km, making it ideal for gentle strolls and days spent soaking up the sun. One thing to keep in mind is that there’s very little shade on the beach. It’s best to come prepared with umbrellas, snorkeling gear, beach chairs, and plenty of water. 

Water babies couldn’t find better waters for swimming and snorkeling. The protected cove lends to calm waters that are alive with schools of colorful fish that can be discovered in clear conditions.

Sandy Cay/ White Cay 

White Cay aka Sandy Cay Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Little Exuma – Offshore
  • Access: Boat
  • Amenities: No amenities, but most tours to the island provide you with lunch or drinks 
  • Where to Stay: Sandal’s Emerald Bay is located on an incredible beach of it’s own, and is just a short boat trip away from White Cay.

If you’re in the Bahamas, it’s often not the beaches on the main islands that leave you in awe. Exuma has dozens of islands scattered throughout the enchanting waters, with each island home to foot-printless beaches and unimaginably sparkling seas.

Once you arrive at Sandy Cay, you might notice that you’re not the only one on the beach. Sandy Cay is home to local iguanas, who love bathing on the soft shores and exploring the coral cays.

The waters here are particularly shallow, so it’s not the ideal place for discovering marine life. But appreciating the beauty and paddling in the waters is enough of an adventure for some – plus zipping through the waters on a speedboat to get there gives you a magical experience of the waters. 

This little gem is also the island where parts of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” were filmed.  

Crescent Beach 

  • Location: Compass Cay
  • Access: Boat or road if you stay on the island
  • Amenities: A full-service marina that has a store that stores ice, water, food, and clothing items
  • Where to Stay: The Northern Cays are best explored by boat, so we recommend looking into a multi day charter with The Moorings.

Compass Cay is an idyllic secluded island that is home to curious nurse sharks that live in these shallow waters. It’s these friendly little nurse sharks that attract thousands of tourists to the quaint crescent beach.

Nurse sharks are indigenous to the Bahamas, and these particular ones actually live at the harbor. This means you’re always guaranteed the chance to swim alongside these harmless sharks. Float above the waters as they swim beneath you or interact with the sharks on the jetty, which is their favorite place to explore. 

Top Tip: The nurse sharks aren’t going to give you any trouble, but if you put your finger near their mouth, you might get your finger bitten. This is because their eyes sit right above their mouth – which makes catching prey easier for these small creatures.

Big Farmer’s Cay Sandbar 

Sandbar Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Big Farmer’s Cay – Offshore
  • Access: Boat 
  • Amenities: There are no amenities on the beach, so be sure to pack a picnic to keep on your speedboat
  • Where to Stay: Big Farmer’s Cay is isolated from the mainlands, so we recommend a multi day charter from the Moorings.

Big Farmers Cay Sandbar is another beach you might just have all to yourself. And it’s not because it’s not utterly beautiful, it’s simply a hidden gem that many travelers don’t know about. It’s best to visit the utterly deserted beach at low tide, which makes it easy to wander along the soft sand paths that travel through the warm shallow waters. 

The beach oozes with luxury and most tourists book a yacht to take them to their own private island. If you choose to charter a yacht, you can set up a feast along the shores before sailing back to the island at sunset.

While the waters are shallow, there’s still the option to pop on your fins and take yourself for a gentle snorkel in the crystal waters. It’s also not uncommon to be joined by a green turtle or two.

Cocoplum Beach

Swings at Cocoplum Beach Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Great Exuma Island
  • Access: Road
  • Amenities: The beach has no amenities, but it’s not far from nearby shops – so be sure to stop along the way
  • Where to Stay: You won’t find anywhere to stay within walking distance, so we recommend checking out one Paradise Bay B&B or Sandals Resort.

Travelers from all around the world make their way to Cocoplum Beach in Exuma not for the snorkeling experience, but rather the dreamy shores that are incredible for long walks and shell finding. Even though snorkeling isn’t ideal, the shallow waters are magical for cooling off or kitesurfing during the windy season.

With palm trees nestled against the shores, there’s the chance to tuck yourself away from the sun to set up a lunch made up of island delights. When the waters are shallow, you can even wander to uninhabited islands which will feel like your own private paradise.

Three Sisters Beach 

Three Sisters Beach Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Great Exuma Island
  • Access: Road
  • Amenities: Coffee stalls and small snack shops occasionally frequent the beach. Alternatively, there are a number of restaurants within walking distance from the beach – such as ‘The Original Three Sisters Restaurant’ and ‘Club YOLO Grill.’ 
  • Where to Stay: There are a number of charming guest houses nestled along the shore. 

The Three Sisters Beach isn’t a beach that attracts travelers with its calm and tranquil waters. Instead, adventure seekers can make their way to the beach to marvel at the three incredible rock formations that make this beach so famous – the Three Sisters.

The beach isn’t only exquisite, but it holds deep history and tales of fascinating legends. It’s believed that a sailor once fell in love with three sisters who called Exuma home. Once the sisters found out they were all in love with the sailor, and unable to all marry him, they threw themselves into the waves. Three rocks then erupted out of the ocean to mark their tragic death.

The rocks can be viewed from the shores or if you’re feeling brave, put your goggles on and make your way to the formations for a more spectacular view.

Stocking Island Beach

sign and entrance to Stocking Island Beach Exuma Bahamas
  • Location: Stocking Island
  • Access: Boat 
  • Amenities: No amenities, but if you take a powerboat, you can make your way to Chat N Chill Grill
  • Where to Stay: St Francis Resort is located just a short walk from Stocking Island Beach.

This long, white-sand beach is a dream for beach bums, especially those who love discovering marine life. The waters are surrounded by a natural barrier, which presents the perfect conditions for snorkeling. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself swimming alongside the friendly rays. 

Stocking Island is also one of the only places in the world where you can find rare stromatolites that once formed in the shallow waters.  

Stocking Island Beach is found on a bank, but if you venture a few feet inland, you’ll find yourself at Blue Ade Underwater Cave. Plenty of yachts dock here, but the protected waters are incredible for newbie snorkeling enthusiasts.

Hamburger Beach 

  • Location: Stocking Island
  • Access: Boat 
  • Amenities: No amenities
  • Where to Stay: Kahari Resort is our favorite spot on Stocking Island.

If you’re island hopping in Exuma, the small crescent-shaped bay of Hamburger Beach is the perfect stop to sneak away from the crowds. Chances are, you won’t bump into any other beach bums and the waters are all yours to explore.

A couple of minutes walk from Hamburger Beach is the Stocking Island Monument. It’s surrounded by the island’s flora and fauna, and while there’s not much else there, it’s still an awesome photo opportunity.

Chat N Chill 

  • Location: Stocking Island
  • Access: Boat or water taxi
  • Amenities: The Chat N Chill grills serve up all the food you could desire, plus there are restrooms. There’s also a gift shop and wedding venue.
  • Where to Stay: Check out one of our two top picks for Stocking Island stays, Kahari Resort or St. Francis Resort.

Chill N Chat is probably the best beach in Exuma to spend the entire day at, given that it’s got a vibey beach bar sitting right along the shores. The bar is always creating some kind of chilled-out island atmosphere, whether that be from the volleyball competitions, Sunday pig roasts, or beach walks.

What makes Chat N Chill extra special are the local residents – the friendly rays. The string-rays have been gathering in the shallow shores for years after they realized that the locals feed them conch scraps. As they glide along the shallow waters, don’t be afraid to ask the locals to try and feed them yourself, the rays are gentle enough to eat straight out of your palm.

Start Planning An Adventure to An Exuma Beach

Exuma offers a haven for all kinds of travelers. If you’re an adventure-seeker, you’ll have no trouble bouncing between the cays and exploring hidden caves. If relaxation is what you’re after, private beaches are at your fingertips. Otherwise, those looking to meet some friendly people, or creatures, can spend their vacation at Chat N Chill.

The Exuma, Bahamas villas are just as wonderful as the shores themselves. Plus, the collection of cays is so small, that no matter where you choose to stay, you’ll still be in perfect reach of your favorite beach.

Profile Kristin and Andrew with palm tree background

Hi!  We’re Kristin & Andrew, lovers of everything tropical.  We spend as much time as possible searching for the best beaches, snorkeling, hiking, and fun in the sun!