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Exuma: a long chain of islands and sandbanks

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The Exuma islands are a group of islands and sandbanks – in total it is estimated that they are over 365 for a total area of about 250 sq km – which are located south-east of the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau. These islands extend for about 200 km in a southeast direction. The two largest islands – those of Great and Little Exuma – are located in the southern part of the chain of islands. The hundreds of islands and islets of the Cays extend to the northwest of Great Exuma.

The islands are a very popular destination. There are exclusive resorts, pristine beaches, private islands of famous people and they have often been used as a film set. Famous movie locations include: Sandy Cay east of Little Exuma, where the sea scenes of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” were shot (Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Phantom Chest). While in Thunderball Grotto, near Staniel Cay, filming of the James Bond film “Thunderball” (Agent 007 – Thunderball) was filmed.


Great and Little Exuma, which are joined together by a bridge, are known for their relaxed environment and beautiful beaches. Among these, one of the most beautiful of the islands is Tropic Of Cancer Beach or Pelican Beach on the island of Little Exuma. A graceful crescent of fine white sand like dust.

Great Exuma was colonized starting in 1783 by a group of American loyalists who settled here after fleeing the United States during the American War of Independence. Today the islands have a population of just over seven thousand inhabitants. Much of which reside on the two main islands of Great and Little Exuma. The most important village and administrative center of the islands is George Town on the island of Great Exuma.

For tourists in general and also for those who travel with children, the Exumas have a lot to offer: in these islands you can observe the land iguanas in Sandy Cay, or swim with the pigs in the sea at Major’s Spot Cay.


There are numerous natural and historical reserves that can offer interesting educational opportunities for adults and children. Among these the Moria Harbor Cay National Park which is located between Great and Little Exuma it includes sand dunes, beaches, mangroves and seaweed beds. The park is also a breeding place for seabirds and a nursery for marine life.

Another natural reserve of the islands is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park which extends for 176 square miles of sea in the Exuma Cays. The park’s headquarters are located on the Isle of Warderick Wells. The park also houses the Stromatolites, which are among the oldest and rarest living creatures on the planet. These organisms have been among the major causes for the presence of oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere and have dominated the earth for nearly three billion years. Currently they are present only in some areas of Australia (such as at Hamelin Pool in Shark Bay in Western Australia), Florida, the Bahamas, Argentina and the Persian Gulf. Modern stromatolites thrive in the Cays.


The islands have an international airport, the Exuma International Airport located on the island of Great Exuma northwest of George Town. The island is connected by direct flights to Nassau and to some cities in the United States and Canada. Other small airports where small rental or private planes can land are those of Staniel Cay Airport, Black Point Airport and Farmer’s Cay Airport. By sea you can use the Bahamas Ferry Services ferries that connect George Town on Great Exuma with Nassau.

The climate of the Bahamas.

The official website of the Bahamas Tourism.

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