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cays and islands in the exumas itinerary

Want to escape the frustrations & monotony of every day life? There’s no better place to do that than in the Exumas, an archipelago of 365 cays and islands starting just 35 miles south of Nassau. With stunningly blue waters, untouched nature preserves, all types of marine wildlife, and five-star restaurants, to boot, you’ll find your piece of paradise here. There’s a reason that so many people visit the Exumas and then never return home…it’s simply too alluring to let go.

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Day 1 - The Atlantis

Spending the night at the Atlantis Marina, before heading out for the Exumas, is a terrific way to start your trip. There are more things to do at this world-class resort than you could imagine! Their marine exhibit alone, featuring over 250 marine species, is well worth the overnight stay. Seeing dolphins, sharks, and rays up-close-and-personal is a wonderful way to get warmed up for your charter. But are you more of an adrenaline junkie? Then perhaps Atlantis’ 141-acre Aquaventure water park is more up your alley.

After a fun day at the resort, you can head on over to Atlantis Casino for blackjack, poker, or whatever your game of choice happens to be.  And we highly recommend stopping by one of the many high-octane nightclubs that dot the Atlantis.

Day 2 - Highbourne Cay & Allen Cay

You’ll depart for the Exumas at first light – but don’t worry, the captain & crew will be doing all of the heavy lifting. All you need to do is enjoy sleeping and then a delectable breakfast. The first stop is Allan Cay, where you’ll find the cay’s legendary iguanas. Just remember to bring some fruit with you along with you, as the iguanas like nothing more than to be fed by hand.

The next stop is the tiny fishing village of Highbourne Cay, a privately-owned island with gorgeous beaches, hiking trails, and world-class snorkeling. Not far from the dock, you can see nurse sharks just below the surface of the water, eagerly awaiting a few scraps from local fishermen. The marina is famed for its fresh-baked Bahama bread and other local delicacies. Try not to over do it though! A luxurious five-star dinner awaits you on board your yacht.

Day 3 - Staniel Cay

There’s a reason Staniel Cay takes up two days on the itinerary – there are too many fun things to do for just one day! Here’s a sampling…

  • Compass Cay – this cay features two miles of pristine beaches, lush vegetation, dramatic cliffs, and walking trails to explore. The ocean beach is literally life-changing.
  • Big Majors’ iconic swimming pigs. As soon as the pigs hear your tender’s motors, they come running out of the thicket into the water. You’ve got to see it.
  • Thunderball Cave – Named for the legendary James Bond film that was shot there, Thunderball cave is one of the world’s best snorkeling spots. Hands down.

Day 4 - Staniel Cay

  • Staniel Cay Yacht Club – There’s delicious drinks, high-end entertainment, and golf carts to tool around in. The yacht club is famous for being THE social center of the Exumas. What’s not to like?
  • Rachel Falls – accessible only by tender, and well-worth the trip. Truly remarkable!
  • Samson Cay – accessible only by tender – weather permitting, you simply don’t want to miss out on this stunning island.

Day 5 - Shroud Cay

How does an all-day private beach picnic sound? Great, the crew will take care of every aspect of it for you. Shroud Cay is the perfect place to enjoy your yacht’s water toys – so time to get out and have some fun! And when you feel like relaxing, kick back and marvel at the wildlife that inhabits this island. There are conch, fish, too many species of birds to mention, and millions of crawfish. The river on this cay is best explored by kayak – fortunately, you’ve got plenty of those. If you have time, we highly recommend snorkeling at the “Sea Aquarium” – for many guests, this is their favorite part of the day! On your way out of Shroud Cay, you’ll stop by Hawksbill Cay, which is well-known throughout the Bahamas for its half-moon beaches.

Day 6 - Warderick Wells

The Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park, a “marine sanctuary”, is headquartered here. The snorkeling is flat-out extraordinary. Even if you’ve explored the most beautiful coral reefs in the world, just wait to see what’s in store for you – as far as we’re concerned, it doesn’t get any better than right here! Reefs of every imaginable shade, gorgeous reef fish, massive lobsters, and conch await.

One particularly notable attraction is the skeleton of a 53-foot sperm whale, which remains, to this very day, on the beach at Warderick Wells.

Day 7 - Norman’s Cay

Norman’s Cay is an unforgettable island with a “colorful” history. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, it was the headquarters of Carlos Lehder’s drug trafficking ring. Fortunately, the ring has long been since broken up – but you can at least appreciate their location selection.


There’s a sunken DC3 airplane just offshore that is great for snorkeling. You’ll see thousands of fish swimming in and around the wreckage. After that, we’ll recommend that you explore Cocaine Cave (we told you Norman’s Cay had an interesting history) as well as the slightly-less provocatively-named Conch Cave.

Day 8 - Back to Nassau

You’ll part from Norman’s Cay first thing in the morning, and start the journey back to Nassau, where you’ll ultimate destination will, most likely, be the airport there. The goal will be to get you back to Nassau in time to visit the city’s famous Straw Market, where you can find all sorts of handmade jewelry, toys, apparel, artwork, and pretty much everything else you can think of.

If there are children on board, they might not be as excited about Nassau Straw Market as the adults – fortunately the Pirates of Nassau Museum is right up their alley. There’s a pirate ship replica and “pirate hosts” walking around greeting the kids. Granted, these pirate hosts are actors – but even the adults might be fooled!

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