My oldest daughter loves to travel, so for her 16th birthday, she wanted nothing more than to go on a vacation. Considering her birthday was right around a mini fall break for school, we decided to get away and celebrate! We decided to make this trip a special girl's getaway which included myself, my mom, and my two teenage daughter's. I have begun to realize how quickly these last few High School years are going to fly by. Any excuse to spend time with them and I'm going to do it!
We spent quite a bit of time researching where to go for this trip. I follow another blogger who visited Exuma last year, so it was a location that peeked my interest. It was an amazing adventure and one that you definitely have to add to your bucket list.
One thing I learned while there was that The Bahamas consist of over 700 islands and Exuma is just one of 30 inhabited. Thankfully for us, Hurricane Dorian missed Exuma and it was not in any way harmed.
We read that having a car was the best way to get around the island, so I took the plunge, rented a car, and we made our way off from the small airport driving on the left side of the road. Our hotel for the week was about a 10-15 minute drive. The roads are littered with potholes to look out for, but the driving was easy to navigate with little traffic and only 2 lane roads (no expressways). If I can do it, you can too! Definitely rent a car because taxis on the island are expensive.
We stayed at the Grand Isle Resort. It is a beautiful property with 2 or 3 bedroom villas, two restaurants, a pool and the most beautiful stretch of white sandy beaches. We arrived mid afternoon and spent the rest of that day and he next enjoying the resort and the beach!
The resort had complimentary paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkeling gear for all the guests.
Day 3, we decided to venture out and visit some more of the island. We had heard rumors of an amazing beach called Coco Plum. This elusive beach was not easy to find, but after a couple of pit stops, we figured out our way and it was well worth the run around. We were literally the only ones there and it was truly spectacular. Definitely Insta worthy photos with a fun swing over the water.
In the morning, we headed to another part of the island to hopefully see the local sea turtles. We were so excited when we spotted them swimming right along the shore. The girls literally ran into the water and the turtles were not shy. After lots of one on one with our new friends, we drove downtown and hopped on a water taxi to go to another close island. This island is home to the famous Chat & Chill restaurant, gift shop, and beach. They also have fresh conch salad and a place to feed the stingrays.
Day 5 was the day we had been waiting for! We booked a full day excursion to see the famous Exuma swimming pigs! The biggest draw to Exuma was the pigs. They are a staple of the islands. There are a couple of different stories that explain the pigs but however it goes, they are not native to the island, but have adapted well to island life! Learning to swim and attracting tourists from around the world.
With the full day excursion, we also had an opportunity to swim with nurse sharks, hang out with iguanas, and snorkel in a cave nicknamed, Thunderball Grotto.
Day 6 was more beach time and Day 7 we headed home. It was such an amazing place. Nothing commercialized. More authentic and natural. I loved the island. It's beautiful beaches, wildlife, and people!
We enjoyed our family time and all the precious moments and laughter will be remembered for years to come!
If you are on Instagram, you can see all our adventures under my Highlights “Exuma.”