A cave, a cay and a sandbar: Things we love about the Exuma Cays
Mar 06, 2017
Island hopping is too sweet in the northern Exuma Cays
The northern Exuma Cays were made for island hopping, and three stops we love the most include an underwater cave, an isolated cay, and a low tide beach.
Thunderball Grotto is an underwater cave inside the hollowed out rock of a small northern Exuma cay. There is a small ledge you duck beneath to enter the cave. It sits just below sea level, but at low tide, there is an entry point where you don't have to submerge yourself underwater. From the outside, it is difficult to imagine what to expect.
When you emerge on the inside there are high cathedral walls that create a natural dome. We love how the jagged circular hole at the peaklets natural light pour in and illuminate the cavern. It creates a spectacle of light above and below the water. It can be intimidating for novice snorkelers, but with a guide, it is a safe and highly rewarding experience where you are likely to see large schools of fish and possibly other adrenalin-spiking sea life.
Shroud Cay is a secluded island in the Exuma Land and Sea Park that captures our affection because it is home to the “Washing Machine”, a natural lazy river that washes you in a spin cycle from one side of a vast and beautiful Shroud Cay beach to another side. We love it because it is an authentic Bahamian toy built naturally by the environment that delivers wildly fun entertainment. Shroud Cay truly shows off the flawless natural beauty of Exuma’s white coastlines and radiant blue shallow waters. On a large boat, we enter Shroud Cay from the ocean side. On a low drag boat, we enter from the Exuma Bankside and snake our way through a river like network of mangrove canals to find the Washing Machine.
Saddleback Cay Sandbar
There are so many sandbars in the Exuma Cays; Saddleback is one of our favorites because of its location. A sandbar is a low-tide beach that forms naturally in the middle of the sea. It is a beach oasis that rises like an island only to disappear like an aberration. The Saddleback Cay Sandbar sits in close proximity to prime snorkeling and fishing grounds; and very near to Compass Cay, a private island with an incredible nurse shark encounter that you can experience from the comfort of the dock or swim directly in the island’s natural harbor.