Take a moment to imagine swimming through crystal clear waters on a day trip to Bahamas from Miami. Imagine the serene sea breeze as it blows through your hair. Imagine the warm sand as your toes dig into the cozy white sand beach. Think about the fresh sea smell which floats through the air from the turquoise-colored Caribbean Sea and the seclusion which awaits you on your family’s Bahamas vacation. Your day trips to Bahamas from Miami can be just like this, conveniently and full of fun.
The Exuma Cays are just part of the 700+ Bahamian islands which make this destination such a good excursion from Florida. The Exumas are a chain of 365 islands, cays, and islets that are set in the southern half of the archipelago, known for their supreme beauty, wildness, and relative seclusion when compared to the northern islands. Here, you won’t find the superficial island non-sense which goes on in Nassau, but rather a more subtle effort at showing off genuine Bahamian culture. It is said the Exumas is the last untouched paradise of the Bahamas. And there are tons of things to see and do!
One of the most popular day trip to Bahamas from Miami options is to fly into Staniel Cay where you can see a plethora of jaw-dropping landscapes and attractions which a good portion of Bahamian tourism never sees. Inside this guide, we will let you in on the Bahamas best kept “secret”; the Exuma Cays specifically around Staniel Cay. We will guide you through some of its most well-known attractions and even some which aren’t as much on tourists’ radars but deserve to.
Here’s what you can do on a day trip to Bahamas from Miami
There is so much to be explored on your day trip to the Bahamas from Miami, so let’s jump right into it. Here are the best things to see on your Staniel Cay day trips:
1. Hangout, have a drink at Staniel Cay Yacht Club
Over the years, the Exumas have developed into a world-class tourism machine. Fancy resorts and beachside restaurants have popped up and thrived. However, there has been one business that has been there through it all; the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
Known as the gateway to the Exuma Cays since 1956, this historic place has seen loads of tourists and even the occasional celebrity appearance such as Sean Connery and cast during the filming of the 1963 film, Thunderball (more on that later).
Stop in for a drink, have a chat with other vacationers, get a taste of local culture, and perhaps even stay for a bit. If anything else, Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a great excuse to take a break from the hot Bahamian sun. Take a break in style on your day trip to Bahamas from Miami.
2. Adventure through James Bond’s Thunderball Grotto
Like mentioned earlier, the 1963 Hollywood hit, Thunderball, starring Sean Connery was filmed in the Exuma Cays at a small grotto in-between Staniel Cay and Pig Island. It later came to be known Thunderball Grotto and, upon its outer appearance, you might not think it looks like much.
However, find its hidden entrances via underwater tunnels to explore this hollowed paradise and swim with the lively marine life which makes its home inside. Its unique colors and natural sunlight make for one of the best stops you will make on your day trip to Bahamas from Miami. Plus, it is in-between two very popular stops on the day trip itinerary so it is very convenient and even within swimming distance.
3. Enjoy your day trip to Bahamas from Miami at Pipe Creek Sand Bar
Hidden near Pipe Creek Cay, just minutes away from Staniel Cay, is one of the Exuma’s most beautiful and underexplored sand bars; the sand bar at Pipe Creek. This one is unlike other sand bars because, without specific instructions, it will be impossible to find.
You have to ask a local; or better yet, find a fisherman at Staniel Cay Yacht Club and ask if he will take you. Negotiate a price and time, and follow the tide schedule to see this gem. If you go too soon or too late, the whole entire sand bar will be swallowed by the pearly Caribbean. You have to go at low tide, so guarantee with your hired “guide” that you are leaving at the appropriate time.
Once you make it, you will see why it is one of the most unreal attractions of your day trip to Bahamas from Miami.
4. Swim with ‘man-eating’ Reef sharks at Compass Cay
OK, so they aren’t actually a threat. These reef and nurse sharks at Compass Cay only feed off bottom-dwelling creatures in the shallows of the Caribbean. And how they got to Compass Cay is an interesting story in and of itself. You will have to figure that out by visiting the marina. No spoilers here!
The Bahamas sharks can grow to a fully-grown length of up to 13-feet! Their brownish appearance and slimy skin as it brushes against you will give you chills of fear but don’t worry, they are truly harmless.
5. Spot endangered iguanas at Bitter Guana Cay
The Northern Bahamian Rock Iguana is in danger of becoming extinct — and it is primarily due to human conflict. They are still being hunted for their meat by locals even though they became a protected species long ago. It is believed they will not be around for much longer and you can only find them on three islands in the world — Bitter Guana Cay having the most prominent population.
They can grow to four feet in length and survive without water for nearly a month. Come check them out on your day trip to Bahamas from Miami before it is too late!
6. Soar through the clouds on your Bahamas day trip from Miami
We’ve written about the unbelievable scenes you will see on your day trip to Bahamas from Miami before, but it needs to be said again; even astronauts have said from space that the Exuma Cays are the most beautiful of regions to see on Earth. See for yourself!
7. Snorkel over a drug cartel’s sunken plane on your day trip to Bahamas
Nearly three decades ago, Carlos Ledher and his gang controlled Norman’s Cay of the Bahamas and used it as a headquarters and stopping point en-route to deliveries from Colombia to Miami.
One night, one of his planes mysteriously went down right off the coast of Staniel Cay and it was said to be loaded with marijuana. When it was found, the plane was abandoned in the shallows, making it one of the most accessible underwater plane wrecks in the world. Discover the Exuma Plane Wreck on your Miami to Bahamas Day Tour!
You have to make time to hear about this story on your day trip to Bahamas from Miami.
8. See the cute Exuma pigs on your Miami to Bahamas day trip
No day trip to Bahamas is complete without a visit to the famous Exuma pigs in the Bahamas. There are tours to Pig Beach to join the fun on Pig Island leaving every day from Fort Lauderdale/ Miami by way of flights to Bahamas. You will land at the airstrip at Staniel Cay and, from there, be boated to Big Major Cay which is about ten minutes away with a private tour guide.
Traveling from Florida to Swimming pigs tours on Exuma day trips has never been simpler. On your Miami to Bahamas day trip, you could be swimming with the pigs before the hoards of tourists arrive if you travel by plane.
Here is what a typical Day Trip Miami to Bahamas Itinerary will look like:
- Swimming Pigs at Pig Beach
- Nurse Sharks at Compass Cay
- Sand Bar at Pipe Cay
- James Bond Thunderball Grotto
- Staniel Cay Yacht Club on Staniel Cay
- Underwater Plane Wreck next to Harvey Cay
- Bahamas Rock Iguana at Bitter Guana Cay
Day Trip Miami to Bahamas: Staniel Cay Tour Map
Book your day trips to Bahamas from Miami today!
The Bahamas air charter which takes you from Florida to Bahamas is the quickest way to day trip to the Bahamas from Miami, giving you the most time to do what you came for which is enjoy the exoticness of a new country.
What are you waiting for? Take the time to book your Bahamas day trip from Miami and start preparing for the time of your life!