We spent a week this past December in Exuma, Bahamas. Last year we discovered that there was a direct Delta flight straight out of Atlanta to Exuma on Sundays, and we quickly booked our tickets. We had such a wonderful time that we are already planning another week in Exuma this year. From the first glimpse of the islands from the airplane, we knew we were arriving in paradise! The first few photographs below are from the rental house we stayed at on Stocking Island. You can read more about it below.
About Exuma, Bahamas
The Exumas consists of over 360 islands. The largest of the cays is Great Exuma, which is about 37 miles in length and connected to another island, Little Exuma by a small bridge. We stayed on Stocking Island, a short water taxi ride off the coast of Great Exuma. You can also read more about the islands from the Bahamas website.
What To Do
This was truly an adventure vacation for us. Stocking Island is sparsely populated and has no motorized vehicles. We hiked about 3-5 miles a day and explored nearly empty, pristine beaches. We snorkeled, swam and enjoyed hunting for sea shells. We woke early to watch the sunrise, and relaxed in the evenings while watching the sunset. Lily found a live conch while snorkeling and Adam and I came face to face with a barracuda. We also found many live sea cucumbers. I was constantly surprised how secluded and empty the beaches were. There were days where we only saw 2-3 people the entire day on the Atlantic side. Pictured below is the Atlantic side where we enjoyed exploring the rocky shores.
There are two dining options on Stocking Island. St. Francis is a “hotel” of about 8-10 rooms and a half mile walk down the beach from where we were staying. Lily loved the grouper fingers at their restaurant. Chat N Chill was a 10 minute kayak ride away and a place where many boats drop anchor to chill for the day. It is the place to visit even if you are staying on the main island of Exuma. They made fresh conch salad and had sting rays near the beach that we got to feed. Tourists and locals are laid back and no one looks at you funny for entering a dining establishment barefoot and in your bathing suit. Except for our more tropical jungle/forest hikes, we were barefoot the whole week!
Where To Stay
We have had success renting condos or houses through vrbo.com and used the site for finding a beautiful house on Stocking Island. We stayed at Kevalli House, and would very much recommend it to all. There are two rental homes on the property, and the owner, Bob, was very helpful in making plans for our stay.
We loved the map Bob had of all of the different hiking trails on Stocking Island and made it a point to explore every single path. Lily really was a trooper on some of the longer walks! Our rental house was situated perfectly with access to a dock on the calm natural harbor, and private beach access to the more turbulent ocean side with crashing waves and beautiful views. The property has two pavilions where we enjoyed watching the sun rise and set.
What travel destinations are in your plans for 2014?