Whoever hears "Bahamas" first thinks of fantastic beaches, crystal-clear water, and, of course, vacations. The whole thing is paired with Caribbean weather and the feeling of joie de vivre and serenity that seems to be inherent in the people in this part of the world.
However, the Bahamas offers more than that. They have one attraction that has slowly but surely come into the public eye in recent months and is about to win people's hearts from afar - swimming pigs. Unbelievable? As a matter of fact. It is true nonetheless. And these "swimming pigs " now attract a large number of tourists who do not want to miss the spectacle of pigs frolicking in the water.
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When you think of a vacation in the Bahamas, images of dreamy beaches stretching for miles, crystal-clear and bathtub-warm water, but above all unforgettable vacation moments will certainly come to mind. However, the Caribbean has more to offer than a romantic postcard idyll, there is a small island where numerous pigs cavort. Oh what frolicking, they swim in the turquoise-blue water and seem to enjoy it like a pig. This experience is sure to rank high on your best moments list!
The so-called Pig Beach attracts tons of tourists every year to photograph the pigs and go swimming with them. There are countless myths about the origin of the swimming pigs. Some believe the pigs are the remains of a shipwreck, while others believe that a few pets were simply abandoned here. Whichever story may be true, one thing is certain: the pigs frolicking wildly in the water are truly a feast for the eyes.
Most tourists treat the animals with respect, but there are always exceptions that make you shake your head.
Do not give the animals any alcoholic beverages or soft drinks.
Do not feed spoiled feed.
Do not throw food in the sand or in the water, but directly into the mouths of the animals. Otherwise, the pigs will accidentally eat sand or drink salt water.
Don't sit or ride on the pigs.
It is best to use the feeding troughs instead of feeding them by hand.
Don't harass the pigs.
Do not leave plastic waste at the stand.
The four-legged swimming attraction can only be found on the island of Big Mayor Cay. This is quite a bit south of the capital of the Bahamas, Nassau. So if you're spending your Bahamas vacation in the capital or on one of the surrounding islands, it's not easy to get to the swimming pigs. However, there are quite a few boats that make the journey to Pig Beach, so no traveler needs to go home without this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
From Nassau: Once you land in Nassau, you can take a smaller flight to Staniel Cay from here. Once here, you will be taken to the swimming pigs in smaller boats. A boat tour from Staniel Cay costs around $22. From there you can then take a day trip to see the swimming pigs. The same applies to the main island of the Exumas, Great Exuma.
Great Exuma: From here you can reach "Pig Beach" in just 3 hours by boat. Group trips are often offered, sometimes even with meals. A day trip is really worth it.
If you spend your Bahamas vacation here, it is easy to take a day trip to see the pigs in the Bahamas. Boats leave for Pig Beach daily from here. The fascinating thing is that the animals, which actually live wild here, seem just waiting for the tourists to come and spoil them with all kinds of delicacies.
There are as many fantastically beautiful beaches in the Bahamas as there is sand on the sea. Every single island has picture-perfect beaches. You can find a small selection of our favorite beaches here:
Pink Sand Beach: On the small one you will find one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. If not worldwide. The pink color of the beach comes from microscopic organisms washed ashore by the coral reef offshore.
Gold Rock Beach: This unforgettable white sandy beach is found in Lucayan National Park. Although the word has spread about how stunning this beach is, and even parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed here, it's not overly crowded and you can take it all in without the crowds.
Rose Island: The beaches around Nassau and on Paradise Island are well known and therefore often quite crowded. You don't have to worry about that on Rose Island. Just off the coast of Paradise Island lies the long, uninhabited island of Rose Island, which you can almost have to yourself. Anyone who simply wants to enjoy the idyll and tranquility under a palm tree should not miss this spot of heaven on earth.
Dean's Blue Hole: Long Island is home to the world's second-largest 'Blue Hole'. This underwater cave is a whopping 660 feet deep and has a radius of 328 feet in parts. Surrounded by a gorgeous beach, it is easy and safe to snorkel directly from the shore to this natural wonder. Dive professionals can even dive down and explore the sinkhole underwater.
The capital, Nassau, oozes Bahamian and British flair. You'll find plenty of shops, restaurants, and attractions here, particularly along bustling Bay Street. Furthermore, you can expect wonderful miles of beaches and lively coral reefs, which are ideal for a snorkeling trip. If you visit the city during the famous Junkanoo festival, you will experience a lively parade with spectacularly dressed dancers up close.
Lucayan National Park is located on the island of Grand Bahama. A perfect place for kayaking and bird watching. Another absolute highlight of the park is the underwater tunnel system. If you have a diving license, you can even take a close look at this spectacle with professional diving instructors. As a small tip, I would like to say that you should watch out for your food when having a picnic in the park. Harmless, but well-rested raccoons like to steal one or the other from the ceiling if you are not careful.
During the '70s and '80s, Eleuthera was still one of the surfing hotspots. In the meantime, it has become a little quieter, but there are still many surfers cavorting here. You can easily rent a board and wetsuit and hit the waves. The best waves are found between October and April.
The Bahamas has a pleasant subtropical climate. In the hot summer months from May to September, the temperature averages 85°F and can easily crack the 90°F mark. The coolest time to vacation in the Bahamas is from September to May with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80°F. It is usually about 10°F colder on the northern islands than on the southern islands. The mild temperatures and pleasant climate make the Bahamas an ideal year-round travel destination. The weather does not have to be taken into account as the conditions are mostly stable.
Although there is a hurricane season in the Bahamas, the risk of hurricanes is rather low. During this time, however, severe storms can occur, so you should take the following months into account when planning your vacation.
These months are potentially part of hurricane season:
Best Travel Months for the Bahamas:
In the Bahamas you pay with the Bahama solar. It is pegged to the US dollar at a ratio of 1:1. For $1 you get about 1.00 BSD. In general, the price level in the Bahamas is consistently very high. However, you can save immensely by getting around like the locals do and eating where they eat.
Small price overview:
Breakfast: around $6
Simple dinner: approx. $25
Upscale dinner: approx. $45
Soft drink: approx. $2
Beer: around $3.50
In the Bahamas you will find a variety of restaurants, bars, beach cafes and elegant eateries.
Bahamas specialties include conch (sea mussels), grouper (brasch), crawfish (lobster), and fish fillets in anchovy sauce. Souse is a popular soup made with onions, water, lime juice, celery, peppers and meat. For dessert, try guava duff (guava pudding), which is served with a rum sauce.
The Fish Fry is a popular dining spot for locals and tourists alike. It is about 1.5 miles north of Georgetown. Fish is freshly prepared and served in the snack bars. There is even a sports bar here. Most stalls are open until midnight every day.
The travel documents must be valid for at least six months beyond the end of the trip. A visa is not required for a tourist stay of up to 90 days. Travelers must be in possession of an onward or return ticket. An airport tax is payable upon departure.
If you want to explore the wonderful scenery and pretty towns of the Bahamas at your own pace, why not rent a bike! Many well-known tourist centers and hotels rent bikes at moderate prices.
You can also easily rent a car on site. Make sure that you choose an offer with fully comprehensive cover (without excess) and the "full/full" fuel tank policy. For a small car you pay about $60 USD per day on site. The minimum rental age for most providers is 25 years. Younger drivers have to pay an extra fee. Comparing prices is definitely worth it! But beware - there is left-hand traffic!
Alternatively, you can also rent a scooter. You can get these in many well-known tourist centers for around $25-35 USD per day. Helmets are compulsory!
A minibus service runs between George Town and Williams Town to the east and Moss Town to the west. For a ticket, you pay about $3 USD. However, many tourists hire a car or hire a taxi with a driver (a half-day tour for 2 people costs around $150 USD). There are bus services in Nassau and Grand Bahama. Buses usually run from early morning until around 7pm. Prices vary depending on the route and must be paid accordingly.
The fast ferry is a convenient way to get from one island to the next. For example, Bahama Ferries operates between Nassau and Great Exuma. Bahamas Fast Ferries offers twice daily sailings from Nassau to Harbor Island and North Eleuthera and twice weekly sailings from Nassau to Governor's Harbour, Eleuthera. Adult tickets cost around $110 and children $70. In addition to daily services, Bahamas Fast Ferries offers visitors the opportunity to discover the islands with exciting day trips.