You float slowly into the beach of the island with pigs. You are gracing the turquoise waters surrounding Pig Island and the morning light is making the shades of blue sparkle. The first Exuma pig of your swimming pig tours piggy-paddles out to your water taxi. He’s waiting for his breakfast and has learned a few tricks to earn it. You gently toss the vegetables in the water beside him and he takes no time to gobble it down. Of all your experiences in the Bahamas, nothing compares to the wild Exuma Cays.
The Exumas, home of the island with pigs, is a chain of 365 islands, cays, and islets known best for their seclusion at the southern end of the Bahamian archipelago. Known also as the Out Islands of this exotic country, the Exuma Cays are a new level of exoticness. Here, you can find real Bahamian culture mixed in with luxuries you desire while on vacation. Here, you can witness wild, wild scenery side-by-side luxury resorts. You will be amazed at all the unexplored secrets still to be discovered in the Exuma Cays of the beautiful Bahamas.
But its most popular attraction, the island with pigs, Big Major Cay, is not one of those places left to be discovered. It was visited over six million times in 2019 and this year seems it will be no different. However, swimming with pigs at Pig Beach is 100% worth the hassle amongst tourists. Though, there are some things you need to know about the Bahamas pigs which we are about to share to make your trip better.
Here’s what you need to know about the Island with Pigs
The Exuma pigs are the Bahamas top attraction and for good reason. These pigs, with their fun back story, picturesque appearance in the turquoise water, and cuddly personalities are deservedly visited by most visitors to the Out Islands. But here are some things you need to know before you go on your swimming pigs Exuma tour.
Where is Pig Island Bahamas?
The island with pigs is Big Major Cay which later became known as Pig Island. The tiny island sits nearly in the middle of the long string of southern Bahamian islands known as the Exuma Cays. It is just five to ten minutes north (by boat) of the Gateway to the Exumas, Staniel Cay, and 82 miles southeast of the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau. The fact that it is less than 260 miles southeast of Miami makes the swimming pigs Exuma tours well within the distance of a Bahamas day trip to Bahamas.
Getting to Pig Beach Bahamas
Exuma day trips become much more accessible year after year. Let’s see your swimming pigs tour options and which one best fits you and your family.
Bahamas Day Trips by plane
Flights to Bahamas have become more and more convenient in recent years. Now, you can take a Bahamas air charter straight from Florida to Bahamas in under one hour — including a visit to immigration! That makes a Bahamas vacation — or at least Staniel Cay day trips — even more appealing. Flights leave from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport early in the morning and will return to Florida after sunset.
Ferry to Bahamas
A one day cruise to Bahamas Exuma pigs has always been available — at least since the pigs were realized as a tourist attraction. The problem is this option has become increasingly popular since it is the most affordable. Nowadays, the huge ferries that transport you to the island with pigs are more like a circus show rather than the relaxing getaway that the company promises.
Balearia’s website (the most popular ferry service) says that the boats from Miami to Bahamas leave around 9AM every morning. There are two routes — one which stops in Bimini and one that goes directly to Grand Bahama where there is a faux Pig Beach. They promise you will arrive by noon, but we’ve heard horror stories about the frequent delays.
If you want to get to the original Swimming pigs Bahamas, you will be hard-pressed to find a ferry service to Big Major Cay. Read more about the Miami to Bahamas Ferry service
How did the island with pigs come to be?
Swimming with pigs Bahamas tours came to be years ago, however, how they got there is largely up for debate. You will hear different stories about how the island with pigs came to be while on your Miami to Bahamas day trip. You will have to choose which folk tale to believe.
We believe the pigs arrived on Pig Island after villagers in Staniel Cay complained about the pigs’ stench and farmers were forced to relocate them to the nearest island, Big Major Cay. From then on, the farmers visited the pigs once a day, always bringing with them on a tiny boat the pigs’ daily feed.
Sooner or later, the pigs caught onto this pattern and began swimming to the boat as it rowed into what later became known as Pig Beach (where the pigs often hung out) so they could be the first fed. Thus, the Bahamas most popular tourist attraction was born.
Swimming with pigs etiquette
The island with pigs can get a little hectic depending on what time you visit. Make sure you do your duty of behaving in a way that is healthy and respectful to the pigs. That means:
1. Only feed the pigs approved foods.
Most tours will provide approved foods to feed but, if not, veggies, fruits, and bread are normally OK.)
2. Never feed the Exuma pigs directly from your hand.
Toss the food in the water politely next to the pig — these are still semi-wild animals with terrible coordination. Your fingers could become their food in an instant.
3. Only feed pigs in the water, never on the beach.
You can help keep Pig Beach clean by training the pigs to eat from the sea so that the beach stays clean of rubbish and leftovers.
4. Treat the pigs respectfully.
Remember, the pigs are animals and have feelings too. Don’t mock the pigs or try to fool them in any way. Be respectful visitors to their home.
What else to do on a Bahamas pigs tour
The island with pigs is not the only thing to do on your Bahamas pigs tour. Here is a list of things to do in Exuma — or at least nearby and within distance for the rest of your day:
- Swim with sharks at Compass Cay
- Find endangered iguanas at Bitter Guana Cay
- Find a hidden oasis at Pipe Creek
- Mingle with locals at Staniel Cay Yacht Club
- Go on a deep-sea fishing tour with an expert
- Play with the turtles at Farmer’s Cay
- Dive down to a sunken cartel plane wreck
- Adventure into James Bond’s Thunderball Grotto
. . . and much more!
Book your swimming with pigs tours to Pig Beach today!
What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot on the Bahamas air charter to the island with pigs and ensure your family’s experience of a lifetime. A Florida to swimming pigs day trip will escalate your vacation to a memorable one.
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