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7 Highest Rated Exuma boat tours & excursions in 2023

Swimming pigs in Exuma

Exuma is an archipelago in the Bahamas and its crown jewel. The crystal clear turquoise waters of The Exumas are world renown and rival that of The Maldives and French Polynesia. From turquoise waters to coral reefs, incredible sea life and sandbars, Exumas has it all. Exuma is also home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs and offers great snorkeling including sightings of sea turtles. Once you see the beauty of the Exuma islands, you will want to live there forever. A boat tour of the Exuma cays and islands is a must when you visit the Bahamas!

No time to read the full article? Here are our TOP PICKS!

TOP PICK
Girl feeding pigs at a beach with boat in the background

Exuma Full-Day Experience

  • Highest rated with 700+ 5-star reviews
  • Full day tour with best stops
best private tour
kids snorkeling in water

Exuma Be your own captain

  • Highest rated private tour
  • Customizable to your needs
4 day CATAMARAN tour
catamaran parked in water

exuma 4 day sailing experience

  • Spend 4 days on a catamaran
  • Unique sailing experience at your own pace

Most of the stunning islands and cays in Exuma like the famous pig beach, Compass Cay, thunderball grotto are only accessible by boat. We took a boat tour of The Exumas and it was the highlight of our Bahamas trip. If you visit The Bahamas, I highly recommend taking time to visit The Exumas. We traveled with our two year old so I did a lot of research on the best boat tours available that are kid friendly as well. This is a round up of THE BEST Exuma boat tours and excursions. Do check out the list of frequently asked questions about Exuma boat tours and excursions as well as the top spots to visit on your Exuma powerboat adventures at the end.

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Highest Rated Exuma Boat Tours and Excursions

Exuma Full-day Experience by Shore Thing Escapes

Duration: 8 hrs | 700+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | BOOK NOW

Girl feeding pigs on a beach with boat in the background

Best selling tour with Badge of Excellence

This is the best selling tour of Exuma with stops at all the popular islands and cays. Lunch is offered at Black Point with stunning views of water and end the tour at a private beach or a beautiful sandbar.

Tour Highlights

  • Authentic Bahamanian lunch with water views
  • Start the tour at Allen’s Cay to meet Exuma Rock Iguanas
  • Snorkel at plane crash site in Norman’s Cay and stop at a second snorkel site
  • Next stop will be Big Major Cay to swim and feed the pigs
  • Feed the nurse sharks at Compass Cay
  • End the tour at a private beach or a sandbar

✅Snorkeling equipment❌Not wheelchair accessible
✅Breakfast, lunch, snacks❌Not recommended for pregnant travelers
✅Water, soft drinks❌Not recommended for travelers with serious medical conditions
✅Alcoholic beverages❌Not a private tour
✅Stroller accessible. Infants on lap
✅Pick up offered from Nassau hotels

“SO FUN! The rum punch, the boat ride, the music on the boat, the men working on the boat made our experience so much more incredible. All the stops we made were absolutely breathtaking. The WATER is unbelievably blue and crystal clear. This was the highlight of our trip.”

Danielle_L

Read more about Exuma Full-day Experience

“This was such an amazing day! After reading a couple reviews about the short stops I was worried but the timing on everything couldn’t have been better. There was enough time spent at each stop to enjoy the activity but not get bored! The crew was PERFECT! Kel, Jo Jo, and Captain Ricardo were top tier…. So fun, watched out for us at every point, and kept the drinks flowing. Highly recommend. Absolutely worth every penny…wear way more sunscreen that you think!!!”

Abby_H

Read more about Exuma Full-day Experience

Exuma Powerboat Tour from Nassau by Aqua Shores

Duration: 8 hrs | 250+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | BOOK NOW

pig swimming in the beach in Exuma with people in boat watching in the background

Best selling tour with Badge of Excellence

Another best selling full day tour that stops at all the popular islands and cays. This tour includes lunch at Staniel Cay Yatch Club and stops at popular attractions like pig beach, Compass Cay, Norman’s Cay and Iguana beach.

Tour Highlights

  • Lunch at Staniel Cay Yatch Club
  • Start the tour at Allen’s Cay
  • Snorkel at plane crash site in Norman’s Cay
  • Stop to see and feed the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay and nurse sharks at Compass Cay

✅Snorkeling equipment❌Not wheelchair accessible
✅Lunch, snacks❌Not recommended for pregnant travelers
✅Water❌Not recommended for travelers with serious medical conditions
✅Alcoholic beverages❌Not a private tour
✅Stroller accessible. Infants on lap❌No pick-up offered

“This day trip was fantastic! The tour guides Rico and Emelio were friendly, helpful, kind, funny and well versed on the islands and history. They kept us entertained but also made sure drinks were at hand, snacks, checked in frequently to make sure everyone was okay. They were generous and made us feel very special! You spend a lot of time on the boat travelling from one spot to another but it’s worth it seeing all the beautiful water and islands! It’s a trip worth making! Thank you Aqua Shores for your professionalism and great service!”

Sonia_C

Read more about Exuma Powerboat Tour from Nassau

Be Your Own Captain Adventure: Bimini, Nassau, Exuma or Eleuthera  By 700 adventures

Duration: 4+ hrs | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | BOOK NOW

kids snorkeling with fish

Private customizable tour

This is an incredible private guided tour that is designed based on your flexibility. Swim in the turquoise waters of Bimini, snorkel with the sea turtles of Nassau and explore the many cays of Exuma. Even though this private tour is expensive, it is worth it and would be similar price if you are a group of four or more. And the best part is the it is completely customizable.

Tour Highlights

  • Swim in the turquoise waters of Bimini
  • Snorkel with sea turtles of Nassau
  • Explore the amazing cays of Exuma

✅Snorkeling equipment❌Not wheelchair accessible
✅Photos and videos❌Not recommended for pregnant travelers
✅Bottled water❌Not recommended for travelers with serious medical conditions
✅Infants on lap

Excellent adventure! The day went extremely smoothly from beginning to end. We boarded at Senor Frogs which was a short walk from the port and they had snacks and drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. We were able to swim with HUGE turtles and at a small reef with plenty of fish. They provided snorkel gear and noodles for our use and fitted the masks. One of our party had never snorkeled and they showed great patience with my niece. Swimming with the pigs was also alot of fun! They took a ton of pictures which they drop boxed and e-mailed to us.”

Scott_A

Read more about Be Your Own Captain Adventure: Bimini, Nassau, Exuma or Eleuthera

4 Days, 3 Nights Sailing Catamaran Experience in the Exumas By Out Islands

Duration: Varies – 4/5/6 day tours | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | BOOK NOW

Catamaran in blue waters

A trip of a lifetime! Spend 4, 5 or 6 days sailing in the Exumas on a Catamaran

If you would like a once-in-a-lifetime experience sailing the crystal clear turquoise waters of the Exuma on a luxurious catamaran, this is it! This is an incredible alternative to spending $$$ on a hotel room. The yacht comes with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, fridge and an outside BBQ. Snorkel, sail, kayak or swim around Exuma cays at your own pace!

Tour Highlights

  • Private sailing experience in your own luxury yacht with 3 bedrooms
  • Explore private beaches, hikes and sail through mangrove rivers
  • Relax, paddle, kayak, fish or snorkel as you wish
  • Excellent reviews and once-in-a-lifetime experience!

✅Private sailing tour❌Not wheelchair accessible
✅Snorkeling, scuba equipment❌Not recommended for pregnant travelers
✅Water sports equipment❌Not recommended for travelers with serious medical conditions
✅Yacht comes with full kitchen, fridge and BBQ❌Food and drink at extra cost

“Captain Glenn is very knowledgeable and a skilled sailor. We went to some remote amazing locations for snorkeling, island hiking, SUP, swimming with sharks, rays and just observing the beauty of the Bahamas and it’s beautiful white beaches! The boat is very clean and super comfortable with many little spots to relax in. It was a vacation I will not soon forget, I felt totally rejuvenated!”

Read more about 4 Days, 3 Nights Sailing Catamaran Experience in the Exumas, Bahamas

The same tour company also offers 5 days, 4 nights and 6 days, 5 nights tours that are more popular than the shorter one!

5 Days, 4 Nights Sailing Catamaran Experience in the Exumas

6 Days, 5 Nights Sailing Catamaran Experience in the Exumas

Exuma Full Day 6 Stop Group Tour by Tour Daddy

Duration: 8 hrs | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | BOOK NOW

Couple swimming with sharks in turquoise waters

Highly rated 6 stop group tour

A highly rated group tour option that take you to the pig beach, sandbars, iguanas and nurse sharks.

Tour Highlights

  • Swimming with the pigs, feed the nurse sharks, watch ancient iguanas
  • Middle of the sea sandbars
  • Lunch at Black Point local cafe.
✅Breakfast, lunch and snacks❌Not wheelchair accessible
✅Snorkeling equipment❌Not recommended for pregnant travelers
✅Water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages❌Not recommended for travelers with serious medical conditions
✅Stroller accessible, infants on lap❌Not a private tour

This trip was awesome,the crew was very attentive,I was afraid at the beginning of the tour but the captain made me so relax that it was so much fun to do all the activities,this was a good experience seeing that I work in the hotel industry I can really and truly tell about my experience,This is a must do.

Read more about Exuma Full Day 6 Stop Group Tour

Must Visit Places On Exuma Boat Tours and Excursions

Big Major Cay or The Pig Beach

Swimming pigs in Exuma

I am sure you must have seen the famous swimming pigs on Instagram or other social media networks. Big Major Cay is an uninhabited island and home to the swimming pigs. This is one of the first places for many boat tours. You will get to see and swim with the famous swimming pigs, feed them milk and bread and enjoy time at the beach. 

Thunderball Grotto

Thunderball Grotto is another famous spot on your full day trip to the Exuma. It is the famous grotto from James Bond movies. No pictures or videos do justice to this place. It is also a great place to snorkel as well.

Nurse sharks at Compass Cay

Compass Cay is a popular place in The Exumas and home to the gentle nurse sharks. You get to feed, hold and swim with the nurse sharks. It is a fun visit for the whole family. 

Staniel Cay

Staniel Cay is one of the popular islands where many hotels and resorts are based. It is usually the base for your powerboat adventures or private charters and go to lunch spot for many boat tours.

Iguana Beach

Iguana on a beach

As the name suggests, Iguana Beach is where Iguanas roam around freely. The crystal clear turquoise waters at the beach are perfect to chill and relax.

Norman’s Cay plane wreck

Snorkel the plane wreck at Norman’s Cay. You can see many sea creatures along with the plane when you snorkel.

Visit A Sandbar

Woman swinging on a swing on a sandbar

Sandbars are one of my favorite places to visit on Exuma boat tours. The tours guides are usually very knowledgeable and know the best sandbars in the cays to stop and relax. We stopped at one sandbar with a swing and most beautiful turquoise waters.

Tips and Recommendations For Exuma Boat Tours and Excursions

  • Be prepared and take all the essentials.
  • Most of your time will be spent on the boat.
  • Take snacks especially if you are traveling with kids.
  • Plan for a bumpy and long boat ride and carry seasickness patches if necessary.
  • There will be many boats at the popular spots.
  • Follow the tour guide’s instructions about feeding and interacting with the pigs, iguanas and nurse sharks.
Still undecided? Here’s our top pick!
Girl feeding pigs at a beach with boat in the background

Exuma Full-Day Experience

  • Highest rated with 700+ 5-star reviews
  • Full day tour with best stops

Exuma Boat Tours And Excursions: FAQs

What are Exuma boat tours?

Exuma is a collection of islands and cays and is divided into Great Exuma, Little Exuma and Exuma Cays. Many of these cays are accessible only by boat and hard to navigate unless you are an experienced tour guide or a local. Exuma boat tours are guided tours offered by several companies to explore the Exumas from Nassau and other cities in The Bahamas. The boat captains come with years of experience on the islands and are also the best tour guides.

Many tours operate as a day trip from Nassau on a powerboat and stop at multiple spots including the famous swimming Pigs Beach (Big Major Cay), Compass Cay to feed the nurse sharks, Thunderball Grotto (famous from the James Bond movies), Iguana beach, sandbars and more. Taking a boat tour is best way to experience the archipelago’s beauty!

Why should I take a private Exuma boat tour?

Boat parked on a beach in Exuma

The Exuma boat tours and excursions can be private or semi-private. Depending on the company and size of the boat, semi-private tours have a limit of about 6-30 people. If you prefer not to be limited by others’ schedule and explore the islands on your own time and itinerary, choose a private Exuma boat tour. Be aware that private tours are more expensive than semi-private tours depending on your group. Most tours come with a knowledgeable guide who knows the perfect places to see sea life, sandbars and reefs. With a private tour, you will get a more intimate experience versus a semi-private one. 

How long do Exuma boat tours and excursions last?

The duration of Exuma boat tours varies depending on the specific itinerary and tour operator. Most tours range from half a day (4-5 hours) to full day (8-10 hours). It’s essential to check the tour details beforehand to understand the duration and plan your day accordingly. Some tours listed below also offer 4-7 day exculsive tours on a catamaran. We took the full day tour and thought it was perfect to see all the best places in Exuma.

What should I bring on an Exuma boat tour?

It is best to overpack and be prepared for your Exuma boat adventure. Consider bringing essentials such as sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, a towel, swimwear, a waterproof camera, waterproof phone case, change of clothes and  personal items that you may need. I also recommend packing snacks, drinks (especially if you are traveling with kids) and cash for additional purchases or gratuities. 

Are Exuma boat tours suitable for all ages? 

Exuma boat tours can be enjoyed by individuals of various ages. However, it is important to check with the tour operator if they have any specific age restrictions or guidelines. Some tours may not be suitable for very young children or individuals with mobility issues, while others cater to families and offer activities suitable for all ages.

We traveled with our toddler on the week of her second birthday and she enjoyed many activities. One thing to consider is that it can get windy and the power boat rides can be bumpy.

Is swimming experience necessary for Exuma boat tours?

While swimming experience is not always required, It is beneficial to have basic swimming skills, especially if you plan on snorkeling or swimming. Many Exuma boat tours offer options for non-swimmers, including opportunities to observe marine life from the boat or enjoy the beautiful beaches. They also provide life vests if you prefer to use one.

Which Exuma boat tour is the best?

The best Exuma boat tour depends on your preference for duration and itinerary. If you have a full day to spare we highly recommend this Exuma full day adventure tour.

our top pick!
Girl feeding pigs at a beach with boat in the background

Exuma Full-Day Experience

  • Highest rated with 700+ 5-star reviews
  • Full day tour with best stops

Do the boat tours pick up from hotels in Nassau?

Some of them do pick up from hotels in Nassau and Paradise Island where The Atlantis and Four Seasons are located. Several others provide a meeting point at the marina or elsewhere to start the tour.

What is the best time to go on Exuma boat tours?

The peak season typically runs from December to April when the weather is dry and temperatures are pleasant. However, these months also tend to be busier and more expensive. The shoulder seasons, from May to June and September to November, offer a good balance of pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and potentially better deals. We took the boat tour end of March and it was perfect in terms of weather.

Are food and drinks served on Exuma boat tours?

Yes, most boat tours serve snacks, drinks and most of them stop for lunch at Staniel Cay. Please check with the tour operator beforehand. We recommend taking snacks and drinks especially if you have kids.

Is the boat tour recommended for pregnant women and people with health conditions?

It is generally not recommended as the powerboat ride can get bumpy. Please check with the tour company.

Is there a chance that the tour will get canceled?

The tour company generally communicate beforehand if there is a chance for the tour to get canceled due to bad weather or other reasons.

Can I fly to Exuma instead of boat tour from Nassau?

Yes! Some tours also have private charters that fly you from Nassau to Staniel Cay. Your boat adventure starts and ends in Staniel Cay. It saves time and cuts the total amount of time you will spend on the boat.

Final Thoughts: Exuma boat tours and excursions

Exuma boat tours are the best way to explore the remote Cays and islands of Exuma. The tours take you to the most popular islands like the swimming pigs beach, Compass Cay to feed the nurse sharks, Thunderball grotto, Iguana beach as well as unique sandbars in the Exuma and great lunch spots in Staniel Cay. If you are not sure which one to choose, the Exuma full-day experience is our top pick!

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Hi there!

I am Aswani Kurra. I am an engineer, dreamer and part-time wanderlust, writer and wine lover. I always had an urge to write, create and travel. So I created this space to satisfy my creative itch and combine all my skills to help you plan your Charming Escape.

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