The Exumas Travel Guide
When to Go
High season is December through April, when weather is in the 70s (although lows can dip into the 60s). Be warned that hotels will sell out for events such as the George Town Cruising Regatta and the Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival in March, and the National Family Islands Regatta in April.
Summer room rates are cheaper than the winter high season, but fall (late August through November) offers the best deals. That's because it's hurricane season (June–November), with the most chance of a storm from August to November. Weather during this time can be rainy and hot. Some inns close for September and October.
Junkanoo. The Exumas' Junkanoo Parade on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) starts around 3 pm in George Town, ending at Regatta Park. Dancing, barbecues, and music happen before and after the parade.
Annual New Year's Day Cruising Regatta. The Annual New Year's Day Cruising Regatta at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club marks the finale of a five-day celebration.
George Town Cruising Regatta. The George Town Cruising Regatta in March is 12 days of festivities including sailing, a conch-blowing contest, dance, food and entertainment, and sports competitions.
Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival. March's Bahamian Music and Heritage Festival brings local and nationally known musicians to George Town, along with arts and crafts, Bahamas sloop exhibitions, storytelling, singing, poetry reading, and gospel music.
National Family Islands Regatta. In April the National Family Islands Regatta is the Bahamas' most important yachting event. Starting the race in Elizabeth Harbour in George Town, island-made wooden sloops compete for trophies. Onshore, the town is a weeklong riot of Junkanoo parades, Goombay music, and arts-and-crafts fairs.
Junkanoo Summer Festival. The Junkanoo Summer Festival in June and July is held beachside at the Fish Fry in George Town, and features local and visiting bands, kids' sunfish sailing, arts and crafts, and boatbuilding displays. It takes place Saturdays at noon.
Bahamas Sunfish Festival. The annual Bahamas Sunfish Festival in October at Little Farmer's Cay features exciting races to prepare young sailors for international competition.
If You Have 3 Days
Fly into George Town, relax on the beach or at the pool, and if it's a Friday night drive to the Fish Fry, a collection of outdoor fish shacks and bars just north of George Town; eat your dinner on a picnic table next to the beach. Finish the night at Club Peace and Plenty, the heart of George Town for more than 50 years. On Day 2, pick an activity: golfing at Sandals Emerald Bay; diving, snorkeling, or kayaking (make arrangements the night before at your resort); bonefishing; or drive to a beautiful secluded beach. Get gussied up (sun dresses and linen shirts) for a nice dinner in town. On Day 3, head out to Stocking Island for some beach volleyball and that it's-five-o'clock-somewhere cocktail. Stay for dinner and sunset. If it's Sunday, a pig roast at noon brings all the islanders over.
If You Have 5 Days
On Day 4, head to the Exuma Cays for some island-hopping: snorkel in Thunderball Grotto, feed swimming pigs and the rare Bahamian iguanas, or find your own secluded sand bar. Spend the night at Staniel Cay Yacht Club, and enjoy a festive dinner at the bar. On Day 5, head to the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, and spend the day snorkeling, hiking, and beach snoozing.
If You Have 7 Days
For the last two days, on your way back from the cays, relocate to Grand Isle or Sandals Emerald Bay for a luxurious end to your vacation. Relax on the beach, go to the spa, and enjoy that gorgeous blue water one last time. Eat at some of the finer restaurants on the island, or at beach shacks off the resort property.