Exumas Yacht Charters
An Exumas yacht charter is the ideal sailing vacation for those who enjoy solitude, unspoiled natural beauty and quaint, low-key beach settlements.What’s on this page
Bahamas yacht charter, the Exumas
Our base is located at Palm Cay Marina in Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas on the island of New Providence. Less than 30 miles south-east of here, you can discover the Exumas island chain with its 365 cays.
The cays of the Exumas in the Out Islands of the Bahamas offer amazing diving, and snorkeling. Visit Highbourne Cay to snorkel the Octopus Garden reef at Horseshoe Bay, or dive the 3.5 billion year old stromatolite reefs on the east coast.
Any animal lovers on your Exuma yacht charter can swim with nurse sharks at Compass Cay, encounter swimming with pigs at Big Major Cay and feed the iguanas at Allen Cays.
When sailing the Exumas, we’d recommend anchoring at Highbourne Cay Marina, from where you can relax on the beach, hike the island trails and unwind during happy hour at the marina restaurant overlooking the gorgeous bay.
Staniel Cay, where you’ll find the beautiful grotto seen in the James Bond movie Thunderball, is another highlight of any Exuma yacht charter. Or why not visit Warderick Wells Cay, the perfect jumping off point for exploring the area of outstanding natural beauty that is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
Available charter types
Things to do in the Exumas
Head to Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park
This 176 square-mile park can only be reached by boat or seaplane. The park is a great find for divers, with its underwater world of limestone, reefs and caves. Animal lovers will marvel at the numerous tropical birds, iguanas and hawksbill turtles.
See the famous swimming pigs
Vacationers from around the world have flocked to Big Major Cay to see the famous Bahamas swimming pigs. It’s one of the most popular things to do in the Exumas. Wade into the clear waters and feed these friendly hogs pitted fruits and vegetables.
Swim with nurse sharks
Make for Compass Cay during your Exuma yacht charter and swim with friendly nurse sharks. You can also feed the sharks fish, if you have any to spare.
Snorkel at Thunderball Grotto
Head to Staniel Cay and, just across the water from the yacht club, you’ll find the amazing Thunderball Grotto where the James Bond movie Thunderball was filmed. Snorkel this marine cave at low tide and marvel at the shafts of sunlight that illuminate the cavern.
See the rare Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas
Sail to Allen’s Cays to see the rare Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas, which are only found in the Exumas. You can feed these gentle creatures with grapes, but beware because these iguanas can grow quite big and jump pretty high.
When is the best time to go to the Exumas?
Temperatures in the Exumas cool very slightly to between 82-88ºF in the high season between December and April, which is the best time to visit. The hottest months in the Bahamas are July and August and the wettest months are May and June.
What are the sailing conditions in the Exumas?
Sailing conditions in the Bahamas include easterly winds between 10-15 knots and care is needed as the water can have very shallow depths. The tidal range is up to 3.5ft.
Sailing the Exumas with Dream Yacht Charter
Exumas yacht charter
Sail the Exumas and enjoy one of the world’s most unspoiled sailing destinations. Choose from our bareboat yacht charters and cutting-edge catamarans and monohulls.
Exumas skippered charters
Can’t sail? Hire a skipper and make the most of your vacation by sailing the islands of the Exumas. Your skipper will sail you and your guests while you relax.
Exumas by the cabin charters
Enjoy the Exumas without any planning, sailing or cooking with our by the cabin charters. We do everything, so you don’t have to. Just reserve your own private cabin and bathroom.
Exumas crewed charters
Take your vacation to a new level of luxury with our personalized Exumas crewed charters. Hire your own private luxury yacht and relax while our captain and chef look after you and your guests.
Exumas sailing itinerary
Take a look at our Bahamas sailing vacation suggestions
Arrive at Nassau and head to Palm Cay Marina in the afternoon to provision and acquaint yourself with the boat. The marina has five-star facilities and is a great base to start your charter.
Sail to Allen Cays to see the rare Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas, which are only found in the Exumas. You can feed these gentle creatures with grapes but beware that the iguanas can grow to a large size and can jump! Sail onwards to Highbourne Cay to snorkel the Octopus Garden reef at Horseshoe Bay. You can see stromatolite reefs on the east coast, dating back 3.5 billion years, and if the weather is calm, you can also snorkel the Elkhorn and Staghorn reefs. Also spend the night at the Highborne Cay Marina, where you can enjoy the beach, hike the island path and trails and relax during happy hour at the marina restaurant overlooking the gorgeous bay
Explore the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park at Warderick Wells Cay, an area of outstanding beauty with sand dunes, mangroves and wonderful beaches. Hike the seven miles of trails ashore, wander among the remains of 18th-century loyalist settlements and enjoy bird watching. Walk up Boo Boo Hill and leave your boat’s name on a piece of driftwood at the top as an offering to Neptune, taking care to avoid the blowholes. Or you can relax on white-sand beaches, snorkel the coral reefs and spot hawksbill turtles, lemon sharks and vibrant fish. There’s even a sperm whale skeleton to examine on Powerful Beach and stromatolites to the south-west of the island, the world’s oldest living reefs. There are three mooring fields, which can be found at the natural harbor, Emerald Rock south of the visitor center and Hog Cay in the south-west. Tune to VHF Channel 16 at 9am for updates and to request a mooring. For mooring fees, take a look at the guide. Please respect that the park forbids removal of any coral, shells or plants.
Make for Compass Cay, where you can get into the water with friendly nurse sharks and swim with them. You can also feed the sharks with fish if you have any to spare. On the north coast you’ll find the famous natural whirlpool called “Rachel’s Bubble Bath”, which is at its best at high tide. Take care of the sea urchins nearby and wear good quality sea shoes. Or, you can head to Staniel Cay and provision from the local grocery stores. Near the yacht club, you’ll find the amazing Thunderball Grotto on a nearby outcrop, where the James Bond film Thunderball was filmed. Snorkel this marine cave at low tide and marvel at the shafts of sunlight that illuminate the cavern. Opposite is Big Major Cay, where you can swim with the Exumas pigs on Pig Beach.
Sail onwards towards Shroud Cay, which is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Don’t forget your paddleboard or kayaks so you can explore the shallow mangroves and creeks that meander across the island. You’ll be able to spot turtles, rays and nurse sharks. Once you reach the east side of the island, you will enter a vibrant blue lagoon and set foot on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Bahamas. If you want to stroll Driftwood Beach and take the steep walk to Camp Driftwood, be aware that you can no longer leave mementos, only rocks. It was from this lookout point that the US authorities spied on Norman’s Cay and its drug trafficking activities.
Norman’s Cay is an abandoned former drug trafficking island run by Carlos Lehder, which explains its runway. You can snorkel the smuggler’s plane wreck, which rests in just 10ft of water on the south-west coast of the island. Or how about a barefoot walk on Twinkie Beach to forage among the seashells and then dine at Norman’s Cay Beach Club to watch the sunset.
Snorkel around Wax Cay and bring your Hawaiian sling to catch lobsters or Nassau groupers. Late in the morning, head back to Nassau and enjoy the pool, beach and restaurants on the marina site.
Check out of the boat. Depending on your return flight, you are welcome to leave your luggage at our welcome center and enjoy the site all day. Don’t forget to get back in touch to book your next Dream Yacht Charter.
Useful information for an Exumas boat charter
Where are the Exumas located?
The Exumas is an archipelago that is part of the Bahamas and starts southwest of Nassau.
How to get to the Exumas from the US?
To get to the Exumas you can fly direct to Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) in Nassau with Delta, United, American and Air Canada airlines.
We can arrange airport transfers on request and the airport is a 30-minute taxi ride away from our base.
What is the language spoken in the Exumas?
The language spoken in the Exumas is English.
What is the currency for the Exumas?
The currency in the Exumas is the Bahamian dollar (BSD). US dollars (USD) are also widely accepted.
What documents do I need to sail the Exumas?
To enter the Bahamas you will need a US passport valid for the duration of stay.
Talk to us to make sure you have the correct documents before you travel for your Exuma yacht charter.
How do I get around the Exumas?
Major car rental companies operate their offices at all airports, so please refer to airport websites for working hours and contact details. We can arrange airport transfers on your behalf.
Taxis are regularly available in front of the airport buildings and at most marinas, but make sure you have some cash as they don’t take credit cards. On the Out Islands, taxis aren’t metered and fares should be agreed in advance. They can also be shared with residents in carpool arrangements.
What is the Wi-Fi like in the Exumas?
There is free Wi-Fi in our marina to use on your Exuma yacht charter. You’ll also find free Wi-Fi in downtown Nassau and Freeport if you visit cafes and restaurants. The access is intermittent in the Exuma Park.
What regulations are there in the Exumas?
Spearfishing is illegal in the Bahamas.
Where can I find weather forecasts in the Exumas?
You can find Exumas weather forecasts on WindGuru.com website. The Cruisers Net broadcasts weather forecasts and tides each day on VHF channel 68 at 8.15am.
What provisioning is there in the Exumas?
There is plenty of choice and you can stock up at the local supermarkets. Please refer to the base guide.
You can also arrange provisioning in advance by ordering from Nassau Grocery online.
What baggage can I take on my Exumas sailing vacation?
Please only take soft bags and not suitcases as they are too cumbersome on board.
What is the electrical current in the Exumas?
The electrical current in the Exumas is 110V.
What is the dialing code for the Exumas?
The dialing code for the Exumas is +1 242.
FAQSee all our FAQs
Why should I book with Dream Yacht Charter?
Dream Yacht Charter is now the world’s leading yacht charter company and offers you:
- A diverse fleet of yachts with a wide variety of models and manufacturers to suit every type of sailor.
- We have +60 exciting destinations and we’re a pioneer in finding new sailing grounds.
- You can be assured of our commitment to customer service excellence.
- You’ll receive a warm and friendly welcome from our base teams who will share regional tips, recommendations and advice.
- We’re a trusted seller of new and used boats and an innovator in charter management options – sailing is our business.
What licenses do I need to hire a yacht and sail myself?
The skipper of a yacht has primary responsibility for the safety of the crew and yacht at all times. Many destinations require just relevant experience demonstrated by a sailing resume.
To charter in the Mediterranean, it is mandatory that you hold a sailing license recognized by the local port authorities for bareboat charters in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Malta, Montenegro and Turkey. Other destinations that require a license include Madagascar, Seychelles, Thailand, Brazil and Sweden. For Belize, the port authority will issue a certificate of competency and an application is made on arrival.
You must take your proof of competency and original certificate with you on your charter. We advise you to contact our team about your qualifications and the destination requirements before booking.
By accepting the yacht contract you are confirming that you and/or members of your crew are capable and competent to sail the yacht in the conditions and cruising area of charter. We reserve the right not to hand over the yacht if, after inspection, it is the opinion that the charterer is not, or may not be competent to be in charge of the vessel.
What is a skippered yacht charter?
A skippered yacht charter is when you rent one of our boats for you and your guests and a professional skipper sails it for you. No sailing experience is needed.
You will need to choose a yacht with a cabin for your skipper to sleep in as they are responsible for your yacht for the duration of your charter. We will find the skipper for you once you have found your perfect destination and yacht.
You will need to pay for your skipper’s food. You can invite the skipper to dine with you on board or out at a local restaurant.
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