Ever get the feeling you just need to escape? Grab an open-ticket for a Great Exuma flight and you can visit a different inlet of sandy shores every day for a year in the Exumas, a chain of the Out Islands of the Bahamas. Home to 365 cays, the Exumas have been a tropical refuge for foreigners since the early 18th century, when Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution settled on Great Exuma, the biggest of the islands, and Little Exuma, which is linked to the larger of the two by a narrow bridge.
Today, when you book your flight to Great Exuma, you’ll find impeccable beaches, pristine nature reserves and plenty of opportunity to hide away. Great Exuma has something for every traveler. Whether you’re looking for a party on in George Town, the island’s capital city, or hoping to relax on one of the beaches that stretch for miles, you won’t be disappointed. However, it’s the flourishing underwater activities that make Great Exuma a thriving destination for ecotourism and water sport connoisseurs.
Between snorkeling in the unusual blue stromatolite reefs of the Exumas Cay Land and Sea Park, or swimming alongside the teeming schools of sea creatures in the haunting grottos of the Angelfish Blue Cave, Great Exuma offers as many undersea adventures as it does activities for the land lovers booking Great Exuma flights in droves.
Peak Season: Flights to Great Exuma fill up between the months of December and March, when European and North American tourists trade the cold winter weather for Great Exuma’s sun-drenched shores. The temperate breezes wafting off the ocean keep the island at a comfortable 83 degrees on average between the months of May and September.
Off-peak Season: Cheap flights to Great Exuma are easy to come by in the transitional seasons of spring and fall, when the sun isn’t quite so hot and Great Exuma flights and hotel prices drop to accommodate the lull in season. An ideal time to book your Great Exuma cheap flight is during the month of April, when boating buffs from around the world are drawn to the island to check out the promenade of impressive yachts in Elizabeth Harbor. Hurricane season in the Caribbean lasts from June to September and should be considered when booking your Great Exuma travel, but the Exumas rarely feel the brunt of tropical storms and hurricanes in comparison with the other Caribbean islands.
- One thing’s for sure: You can’t board your return Great Exuma flight without spending some quality time on the beach. Great Exuma’s cays offer up some of the best beaches in the Bahamas, but some of the most favorite sandy stretches are found just a short boat ride away from Great Exuma. Stocking Island, across from George Town’s Elizabeth Harbor, is the perfect place for beach combers looking to avoid seaside crowds. The beaches here are practically deserted, making them exceptional shell-scouring, diving, swimming and skinny-dipping territory.
- The Exumas Cays Land and Sea Park is one of the most impressive wildlife reserves in the Bahamas and is a must-see for divers booking flights to Exuma. The 100,000 acres of the park include the unusual blue stromatolite reefs, which are unique to the region and are estimated to be a whopping 2,000 years old. Access to the park is limited thanks to the protective nature of the park’s location, so make arrangements for boat travel or guided tours to the park in advance.
- The clear turquoise waters surrounding the island have divers and snorkeling enthusiasts snapping up seats on Great Exuma flights throughout the year. Go on an underwater excursion in Crab Cay, the final resting place of the Exuma Pride: This shipwrecked vessel is one of the best sites for diving excursions in the Exumas. The Angelfish Blue Hole is perfect for divers particularly interested in getting a close-up look at the finny friends of Great Exuma. The tidal marine cave opens up into a meandering maze of underwater caves and grottos, making it the perfect nesting spot for sponges, barracuda and the cave’s namesake, angelfish.
- See a famous face or two on your flight to Great Exuma? Several celebrities have spent their fortunes in the Exumas and now call one of islands in the 27 square-mile Exumas archipelago home. Jackie O was a regular visitor to Great Exuma, and movie stars such as Nicolas Cage, Eddie Murphy and Johnny Depp all retreat to their personal Exuma islands, located just a boat ride away from George Town.
- Great Exuma may not be home to many nightclubs, but the nightlife on the island is far from lacking: Those booking flights to Great Exuma for a weeklong stay should attend the famous Exuma barbeques – a Great Exuma tradition. Barbeques are held at a number of hotels on the island, but the most popular barbeque bash takes place at Stocking Island’s Chat n’ Chill Bar.
- Golf enthusiasts will want to pack their clubs on the flight to Great Exuma – the island is home to one of the most famous, and most difficult, golf courses in North America. Thanks to its peninsula location, causing varying sea winds and hidden coves along the green, the Emerald Bay golf course at the Four Seasons Resort is a challenge for even the most expert golfer.