5 Days on Staniel Cay, Part 3 – Off the Cay

In 5 Days on Staniel Cay, Part 1, we talked about the beaches on Staniel Cay and in Part 2, we highlighted some of the other attractions on island that we were lucky enough  to experience. In this last part, we’re going to feature the area surrounding Staniel Cay – which are just a short boat ride from Staniel Cay and definitely worth exploring!


Exuma, a long chain of stunningly beautiful islands, or cays – 365 of them, that start about 35 miles south of Nassau, Bahamas. The Exuma Cays are the northernmost part of this chain and much of it is easily accessible from Staniel Cay.

Map of Exuma Cays
If you have boating experience, you can rent a boat for the day or the week from Coral at Staniel Rentals, or 1/2 day and daily rentals from Nicole at 3N’s Vacation Services. If you’re not comfortable navigating your own boat, Nicole can also arrange a guided tour of the surrounding cays for you.

During our all too short stay, we first took a guided tour of the surrounding area, which included snorkeling at Thunderball Grotto,

Thunderball Grotto - copyright Rum Therapy
Swimming with the pigs at Big Major Cay,

Pig Beach - copyright Rum Therapy

Swimming with the nurse sharks on Compass Cay,

Compass Cay - copyright Rum Therapy

And a fun afternoon playing on the sandbar near Little Pipe Cay.

Beach Walk - copyright Rum Therapy Exuma Cays - copyright Rum Therapy
We enjoyed the day so much that several days later, we decided to rent a boat of our own to explore more of the incredible area. We swam with the pigs again, then headed north for more time on Compass Cay, where we spent time chatting with Tucker, the proprietor of Compass Cay Marina,

Compass-Cay-copyright Rum Therapy
Exploring the stunning Crescent Beach on Compass Cay,


Boating through some of the clearest, bluest water we’ve ever seen,


Then spending the last several hours of our day on Sandy Cay, exploring the tiny uninhabited island and the long arc of white sand sandbar that appears during low tide.

Exuma Cay Sandbar - copyright Rum Therapy
Have you spent time on Staniel Cay or in the Exuma Cays? Tell us about it!

Find these cays on the map above, or on our Bahamas Map

To see more posts on the Bahamas and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Swimming Pigs of the Exuma Cays

Big Major Cay, an uninhabited cay north of Staniel Cay in the chain of islands known as the Exuma Cays is famous for one unusual thing. Pigs. Not just any regular pig mind you, but pigs that swim.

These cute little oinkers have become rather famous in the last few years as evidenced by the number of boats moored in the beautiful bay in front of what is now appropriately known as Pig Beach.

We were invited to go and swim with the piggies recently during our stay at Embrace Resort on Staniel Cay. The view of Pig Beach coming in is spectacular. No wonder the pigs enjoy living there!

We could spot a few pigs as our boat got closer, but by the time we got to the beach, there were several more making their way out of the bushes to greet us.

They were a bit bigger than we had imagined and were not shy about coming right up to us to see if we had brought them any scraps.

I mean, right up to us.

A few adorable piglets made their way out to greet us as well, but were a little more timid.

Wondering how the pigs got here in the first place, we asked our guide who said that there are quite a few (pig) tales about their arrival on Big Major Cay, but that truthfully they were simply transported over from Staniel Cay a number of years ago by their owners who had gotten tired of complaints from neighbors who were fed up with the pungent porkers.

After giving them what little we had (they also seem to like it when you pour cold water from a water bottle in their mouth!) we got in the water to watch them swim.

They seemed content to wade in the crystal blue water that looked more like a clean swimming pool than an ocean until another boat approached.

They then “hog-tailed” it out to the newcomers to see what treats they might have in store.

If you get to go to Pig Beach, be careful if you’re bringing food. We saw a guy who brought in a large bag of scraps get instantly surrounded by the large and hungry pigs and sustained a nip to the stomach when he didn’t dole it out fast enough!

Have you been to Pig Beach? Tell us about it!

Find Pig Beach on our Bahamas Map

To see more posts on the Exuma Cays and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 Copyright©Rum Therapy
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC