5 Days on Staniel Cay, Part 1 – The Beaches

Staniel Cay, a small island in the middle of the Exuma Cays, a chain of beautiful islands and cays in the Bahamas, is a hub for the area because of the amenities it offers: a small airstrip, three grocery stores, three restaurants, a clinic, church, marina, gas and a variety of accommodations.

We got to spend 5 days on this lovey island (thanks to Embrace Resort), which is only about a square mile in size and home to about 100 people. What’s it like to stay on a small island, or cay such as Staniel Cay?

Bench on the beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Well, if you like spending lots of time on beautiful deserted beaches, if you like an island where on-island transportation is via golf carts, bicycles or walking, if you don’t mind that there’s really only one nightspot – but it’s a good one, if you enjoy getting to know the locals and other visitors to the island by name, and if you don’t mind “island time”, you would probably love Staniel Cay. We absolutely did.

Flamingo Air - copyright Rum Therapy
Our arrival from Nassau was by Flamingo Air on a very small plane that seated about 8 – less if the passengers have much to carry on. The views over the Exuma Cays were spectacular and we could hardly wait to land and start exploring.

Exumas from the airplane - copyright Rum Therapy
From the moment we set foot on Staniel Cay, we felt welcomed. Smiles and greetings from everyone – even other visitors were abundant and we quickly started to relax and get on island time ourselves.

Welcome to Staniel Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
Our first day or so was spent exploring the island by foot and golf cart. What’s there to see? We’ll show you!

 Exuma is known for its stunning beaches and sandbars and there are secluded ones around every corner in the chain of cays, but if you don’t want to leave Staniel Cay, there are several great ones right on island to explore, such as,

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Ocean Beach.
On the east side of the island, you can access this long expanse of beautiful sand from the bluff above it. We took our golf cart, parked at the top of the bluff and walked down to the beach.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Once on the beach, you can find just the perfect secluded spot to spend the day. As you can see, you won’t be competing for a little space.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The surf was very calm the two days we visited and we spent a lot of time in the water snorkeling and floating, but I imagine it could get rough on stormy or windy days due to its orientation.

Ocean Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Find all of these beaches marked on the Staniel Cay map below.

Another beach that we really enjoyed was Pirate Trap Beach.

Pirate Trap Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
The beach itself is not huge and varies with the tide, but the views from the cove are stunning and the water was calm and great for swimming when we were there.

Pirate Trap Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Although the Ocean Beach and Pirate Trap Beach were our favorites, there were several other beaches on island that are worth exploring.

Ho Tai Cay was a bit hard to find, but had a nice little park with picnic tables, a tire swing and a volleyball net in the water. The beach is located on an inlet on the islands southeast side and gets very low during low tide, but is probably always calm due to its location.

Ho Tai Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
Just over the hill from the park was another beach that we believe was the upper edge of the South Beaches. We couldn’t find a public access path to the South Beaches (beside this little area) as the beach is dotted with private homes, but it looks like another beautiful area.

Ho Tai Cay - copyright Rum Therapy
And last, but certainly not least – the beach next to the Staniel Cay Yacht Club. It was calm and fairly shallow. Looked like a perfect place to kayak or SUP.

SCYC Beach - copyright Rum Therapy
Did we do anything other than visit beaches during our stay on Staniel Cay. Yep.
Check out Part 2 – The Island and Part 3 – Off  the Cay. We’ll let you know the other fun things we got to experience on this beautiful cay!

Find Staniel Cay and its beaches on our Bahamas Map

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

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