Exuma Islands Luxury Yachting Guide

Boasting some of the most jaw-droppingly beautiful turquoise waters on earth, The Exumas are one of the jewels in the Bahamas crown.

An archipelago of 365 cays and islands, starting just 35 miles southeast of Nassau, it is divided into three major areas – Great Exuma, Little Exuma and The Exuma Cays, each offering its own unique Bahamian experience.

Great Exuma and Little Exuma are known for their laid-back surroundings, while The Exuma Cays are a magnet for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private islands, luxury resorts and beachside condos.

Actor Johnny Depp (Little Hall's Pond Cay), illusionist David Copperfield (Musha Cay) and the Aga Khan (Bell Island) are just three prominent figures to have purchased stunning private islands here down the years. Of equal beauty, if lacking such a grand proprietor, is the eco-friendly Over Yonder Cay, which can be rented by the week and comes complete with wind turbines that make the island recognisable from miles away.

The Exumas are also a precious and highly protected area, so much so that the Bahamian government set aside a 176-square-mile section as the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, which has grown to become one of the world’s most highly regarded marine parks.

Another focal point of the Exumas is Staniel Cay, where boaters gather at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club’s bar and restaurant, and where a landing strip serves as the gateway to the northern stretch of Cays. Within sight of the Club is the famous Thunderball Cave – seen in the James Bond film of the same name – where visitors can don a mask and snorkel and enter a small hollow cay filled with friendly fish accustomed to being hand fed.

The anchor of the Exumas archipelago, meanwhile, is Great Exuma, featuring the relaxed capital of Georgetown and an impressive selection of Bahamian restaurants and hotels, from mid-range to high-end.

A short hop from Great Exuma is a barrier cay that protects the main island from the Atlantic. Stocking Island features spectacular views from atop its high bluff and several idyllic beaches separated by limestone promontories.