One of the most unique experiences you can have in the Bahamas is swimming with pigs in the Exumas. Head to Pig Beach on Big Mayor Cay and you’ll find a group of over 20 pigs that love to frolic in the clear waters off the island. Even better, the pigs are docile, curious and not afraid to interact with humans. But where can you swim with the pigs and what is the experience actually like? If you want to spend some time with these adorable swimmers, here’s what you need to know about this extraordinary adventure.
Where Can I Go Swimming with Pigs?
The main island to swim with pigs in the Bahamas is Big Mayor Cay, which features a gorgeous swathe of white sand on the west side of the island called Pig Beach. The island is part of the Exuma Cays chain, which is about 80 miles southeast of Nassau. Pig Beach can only be reached by boat, so you’ll have to arrive by water to see the pigs paddling in the turquoise waters and roaming freely on the beach.
The Pigs of Pig Beach
When you hear of an island with swimming pigs, your first thought might be that the animals might be native to the island. However, this isn’t the case. Some people believe that sailors or locals brought the pigs to the island with the intention of eating them, but then for some reason never did. Others think that the pigs might have been on a ship that sank, so they swam to the nearest land mass. However they got there, the pigs have adapted to their environment and are now taking full advantage of their tropical island paradise.
What is the Experience Like?
What makes the Pig Beach experience really special is just how comfortable the pigs are in the water and how much fun they seem to have interacting with visitors. The pigs will often swim out to boats approaching the shore and greet visitors playfully. As you wade into the shallow waters, the pigs may also paddle out to you, which can be a truly magical moment. This is a rare opportunity that you won’t find in many other places on the planet.
Remember to be Respectful
Even though these pigs are some of the friendliest swine you’re likely to come across, it’s still important to treat them with care and respect. Yes, they’re used to humans and have very docile personalities, but at the end of the day, they’re still wild animals. Be sure to read the signs on the island explaining rules for interacting with the pigs and take note of any advice your tour guide gives.
Tips for the Perfect Pig Swimming with Pigs Experience
- Respect the Environment: When visiting these incredible creatures, remember to maintain a respectful distance and avoid feeding them foods that could be harmful to their health. Signs on the island will tell you what foods are acceptable to feed them.
- Capture the Moment: It goes without saying that you’re going to want some memories of the moments you get to spend swimming with the pigs, so don’t forget your camera or smartphone.
- Plan Ahead: Not surprisingly, the island with swimming pigs is a huge tourist attraction in the Bahamas, so it can get pretty busy, especially during high season. Book your boat tour well in advance to make sure you can secure a spot on this highly sought-after adventure.
- Bring Snacks: You’re allowed to feed the pigs certain fruits and vegetables, and they absolutely love handouts, so you might want to consider bringing some pig-approved treats. Check with your tour operator to see which snacks are the pigs’ favorites.
How do I get to the Exumas?
The Exuma Cays are relatively easy to get to either by plane or by boat. Keep in mind though that Big Mayor Cay can only be reached by boat, so even if you fly into the Exumas, you’ll still have to take a private or chartered boat to the island to get to Pig Beach where you can swim with the pigs.
The easiest way to get to the Exumas is to fly into Exuma International Airport (George Town Airport, IATA code: GGT). Several airlines operate flights to Exuma from major cities in the US and other international locations including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Bahamasair, and Silver Airways. Flights may connect through Nassau or other nearby islands.
If you’re already in Nassau, you can take a domestic flight from Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) to Exuma International Airport. Flights are relatively short and frequent, making it a convenient option. Private charter flights are also available from various locations, including Nassau.
If you’re in the vicinity of the Bahamas and prefer a maritime adventure, you can reach Exuma by boat. There are ferry services that operate between Nassau and George Town, Exuma’s main settlement. The ferry journey offers scenic views of the surrounding waters.
Keep in mind that travel options and availability may change, so we recommend checking with airlines, ferry operators, and local travel agencies for the most up-to-date information before you travel.
Guided Tours For Swimming with Pigs in The Bahamas
Most people who visit Pig Beach join guided boat tours from nearby islands like Great Exuma or Staniel Cay. The tours are a great way to explore the islands, do some snorkeling, and of course, see the main attraction—the swimming pigs of the Bahamas. Guided tours are great because the guides can offer interesting insights about the pigs and the area. They will also make sure the experience is respectful and safe for both people and the pigs.