What do you think of when someone says The Bahamas; idyllic white sands, crystal blue water and swaying palm trees? Well, you’re not wrong but there’s also so much more to these amazing islands…
Swim with the Exumas Pigs
Have you heard of the swimming pigs of The Bahamas? If you haven’t you may be slightly surprised to read ‘swimming, pigs and Bahamas’ all in the same sentence! Believe it or not though, this exclusive Bahaman activity is a big favourite with tourists and undoubtedly will be with you too.
Across the aquamarine water from Nassau are the beautiful islands of The Exumas, which once there, will make you feel as though you’ve just stepped into a picture-perfect postcard! It’s only on one of these picture-perfect postcard islands, Big Major Cay, that the adorable pigs and piglets live.
It isn’t really known how the pigs came to be on Big Major Cay, some say they were deserted on the island by sailors, others believe they’re survivors of a shipwreck. Regardless, these cute mammals have become a major tourist attraction to The Bahamas, even bringing Hollywood A-listers like Jennifer Lawrence and Johnny Depp to the island.
Once on the island you can expect these happy hogs to run/swim up to you. They are incredibly friendly, especially if you have a snack to give! Visitors are allowed to feed the pigs but make sure you keep it healthy, fruit and veg only, plus you must make sure snacks are given in the water as too much ingestion of sand can be harmful.
This is 100% a unique and charming experience you’ll want to enjoy when visiting the Bahamas. If you want to know more about swimming with the Bahamas pigs have a look at another one of our articles.
Find the Pink Beach
On the less-trodden east coast of Harbour Island is the amazing spectacle of The Pink Beach. Renowned for its unusual blush coloured sand, the Pink Beach is a remarkable sight to behold and attracts many adventurous sightseers every year.
Its distinct rosy hue is caused by microscopic creatures called Foraminifera whose bodies and shells are bright pink and red, so as the sea washes them onto the shore they lend their colour to the sand. The pretty colour is most concentrated at the shoreline where the waves break.
If you can, the best time to see The Pink Beach is at sunrise or sunset due to the fantastic contrast in colours; the turquoise water, the orange sky and pink sand is natural beauty at its very best.
Other than simply marvelling at the beautiful Bahamas beach, there are also palm topped umbrellas with sunbeds to relax on while visiting, plus, the water is crystal clear and makes for fantastic snorkelling.
Sample the Fish Fry
The fish fry at Arawak Cay is one of the best, authentic, culinary experiences in The Bahamas. Arawak Cay, on the north coast of Nassau, is the hub for fish fry, it’s a seaside stretch of hand-painted stands, food trucks and rustic restaurants all dedicated to the dish.
For those unfamiliar with fish fry, it consists of a medley of seafood that’s either fried, steamed or cracked (a cross between breading, like on fish and chips, and tempura) then cooked in a variety of seasonings. Shrimp and lobster are staples on every menu, while snapper, conch and grouper are typical fish used too. All are delicious and should be sampled!
The bustling hub of Arawak Cay is a true example of Caribbean history and culture, where all the variations of fish fry from across the 700 islands of The Bahamas gather. Plus, on Sundays, local bands play traditional music, providing the ultimate Bahaman experience.
Sightsee the History
Despite being a largely beach destination, don’t overlook The Bahamas rich and fascinating history. From the piracy and buccaneering period to the British colonisation, there’s plenty of exciting past to get your teeth stuck into.
Meandering the streets of 330 year old Nassau is an interesting and enlightening experience. Nassau’s varied heritage is evident all around you. Its British Colonial heritage influences are abundantly clear in the crisply clad, white-gloved policemen and the changing of the guard at Government House.
Greycliff heritage village is a great place to explore for visitors looking to immerse themselves in Bahaman history and culture. The local area around West Hill street has been redeveloped for tourists, including the former Mountbatten House which has been repurposed into the Heritage Museum of the Bahamas.
Explore the Lucayan National Park
The Lucayan National Park is a wild landscape bursting with nature, wildlife and exotic beauty. Visitors can channel their inner Indiana Jones exploring underwater caves, mangrove creeks, pine forests, coral reefs and the famous Gold Rock Beach.
The world’s longest underwater cave systems are a fascinating aspect of the park. Tourists can peer into the caverns via a network of wooden walkways and spy sleeping bats and other jungle creatures. It’s also a bird lovers paradise with an array of species to spot and listen to their calls!
There is a wealth of information to learn and discover at the park, like its unique ecosystems supported by the environment and the ancient remains of the indigenous Lucayans, the original inhabitants of the Bahamas.
Lucayan National Park is a real feast for the eyes and will excite even the least adventurous type, so don’t miss it!
If this has made you want to try these experiences yourself and you can already feel the sand between your toes, take a look at our resorts in The Bahamas. Many of these trips can also be booked through Island Routes, you can go online or call 0800 742 742 before you arrive, or simply book at the Islands Routes desk once checked in in resort, it’s that easy.