The dream of walking along a powder-white beach, with calm turquoise waters, swaying palm trees, and not a soul in sight is a reality only seen in movies. Or is it?
Although, many islands throughout the Caribbean have a number of beaches to enjoy, crowds can sometimes detract from the serenity and peace that relaxing on the beach should provide. Ok really, who wants to sit next to the family of ten whose kids are throwing sand all over you and everything that belongs to you. If that sounds like fun, head to a resort or google Caribbean vacations and go where it tells you. Anyhow, the Exuma Cays, an archipelago of over 300 islands located in the Bahamas, has, literally, hundreds of private beaches throughout its cays. It is rare to see tourists even on the most well known beaches of Great Exuma, the largest and most populated island in the chain. You just have to do a little research and socializing (whaaaa?) to find out where to go.
Unspoiled is an understatement. The beaches in the Exumas appear as if no one has ever set foot on them. And the water…..oh, the water. Don’t even get me started. The term “Exuma Blues” is used to describe the various shades of blue water and is often compared to the color of a swimming pool or window cleaner. You just won’t believe it really exists. It will bring you instant calm and tranquility. Maybe even a few happy tears. Guilty.
Below are just handful of the beaches that are easily accessible where solitude and privacy is as easy to find as a smile on a Bahamian face. There are hundreds of others accessible by boat or kayak.
Jolly Hall Beach – This beach access has limited parking and thus, plenty of privacy. Other than a “potcake” or two (ownerless dogs), it is possible you will have this beach all to yourself. Juvenile sea turtles like to frolic in the sea grass beds just 10 yards from shore.
Hoopers Bay Beach – This beach is reasonably easy to find and easy to park, but a loose gravel path makes for a moderately sketchy walk to the beach. Once your toes hit the sand, enjoy the sounds of the small waves folding onto the shore. (Hint: Friendly sea turtles can be fed at the south end of the beach.) But I didn’t tell you that.
Coco Plum Beach – Head far north of Great Exuma and you will find sandbars, sand dollars, and no one for days. The beach is amazing but my trip to get there was a complete disaster. That makes for an entire blog post on its own. I don’t have a picture of this beach as it was raining when I was there. But it is a must see on the to-do list.
Forbes Hill Beach – A gorgeous beach access with two beach opportunities. To the left, is an area protected by a limestone outcropping with crystal clear water and a long sandy beach that feels like flour under your feet. To the right is a picturesque beach exposed to the waves of the ocean, which allows for amazing views to the north, east, and south. Don’t even attempt to use the tire swing. Just take a picture instead.
Starfish Beach – Across Elizabeth Harbour from Georgetown, Great Exuma, this beach on Stocking Island is known for its bright orange starfish. Hike up to the beacon for amazing views or just relax on your own private beach. Hunting for starfish isn’t as easy as you might think. They hang out in deeper waters and appear black on the bottom of the ocean.
Tropic of Cancer Beach – Although this is the most well known beach on the island, is it so expansive that finding your own privacy is extremely easy. Getting to the beach access is a bit gnarly but you won’t regret the risk. It is well worth it. Just cross your fingers that the tires on your car have been replaced in the last 10 years.
There is literally a beach around every corner in the Exumas. So, as long as you have your toes in the sand and a Kalik in your hand, everything little ‘ting will be all right.