ITS BETTER IN THE BAHAMAS
THE ANDROS BARRIER REEF
You can dive right in at the third-largest barrier reef in the world, the Andros Barrier Reef, or snorkel alongside the colorful fish. You can choose to snorkel shallow reefs around ten feet deep. If you’re a more seasoned pro, you can opt to dive deeper and explore canyons of coral, glowing blue holes and fault line caves.
Also, a good thing to know is that the ocean here drops as deep as 6,000 feet in the Tongue of the Ocean, so you’ll have plenty to see, including schools of red snappers and deep-water sponges.
Never experienced Junkanoo? It’s the Bahamas version of Mardi Gras. You will hear brass bands, cow bells, whistles and drums storming through the streets as dancers whirl in brightly colored costumes, which they’ve been making for months.
Mardi Gras is a country-wide tradition held on Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, and during the Junkanoo Summer Festival. If you decide to show up, dress up in bright colors and get ready to let loose and enjoy the music!
SWIMMING WITH THE PIGS
Where are the swimming pigs? The pigs live on Big Major Cay, one of the over 365 islands in Exuma, a district of the Bahamas. Also known as Pig Beach (for obvious reasons), the island is about 82 miles southeast of Nassau, and about 50 miles northwest of George Town. It is entirely uninhabited by humans.
Step onto the white-sand beaches of the Exumas — a chain of more than 365 tiny Bahamian islands and sleepy cays — and you’ll be struck with the feeling that you’re the first to discover this remarkable corner of the planet.
Here it’s iguana tails, not human footprints, that leave marks in the sand, and stumbling upon a gleaming pink conch shell the size of your head is as common as having a new shade of blue catch your eye each time you survey the surrounding waters.
The locals at Big Major’s “Pig Beach” are transplants rather than native islanders, just like many of the people you’ll meet in the area. And though they’ve clearly taken to their tropical digs and rising popularity — spurred in part by a dramatic appearance on “The Bachelor” and more than a few well-liked Instagram posts.
BAHAMAS IMPORTANT FACTS
Eastern Standard Time
Drink only bottled water
120 volts AC; American appliances are fully compatible
November to May
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from the Bahamas.