Outer islands Bahamas - advice please :)

Old Aug 30th, 2013, 05:30 PM
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Outer islands Bahamas - advice please :)

We (myself , my husband, 3 daughters ages 8, 13, 15) would like to travel to Outer Islands first 9-10 days of Nov. 2013. I am wondering if staying in a VRBO (which we have done before in other places) is less $$ than staying in a hotel?

This is what we are hoping for :

1. We love to venture out and explore...car or golf cart

2. We love boating, so we would like to be on an island where we can rent a boat to go to other close by islands without hitting dangerous water

3. We are looking to maybe split up our stay on 2 different islands ...thoughts??

4. Groceries, wine/drinks not too far off...kids eat all day lol

5. Would love for the kids to experience something unique such as swimming pigs...cultural experiences...maybe snorkling

6. My husband has been to Eleuthera and Harbour island...and loved it

Looking forward to ideas...thanks
Puravida7 is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2013, 04:16 AM
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The only way to know if staying in a VRBO will be less than staying at a hotel is to price out the different options. How much you pay for a villa depends on how big it is, where it might be located, how it's furnished, how well maintained it might be, etc. - lots of variables. Obviously, you can find hotel rates on their respective websites. But, having rented through VRBO you probably already know that. So, do a little homework and then do the math - the answer will become clear.

The Exumas might be a good choice for a destination - lots of nearby islands and cays for you to visit while you are there.

Some of the Out-islands are sparsely populated and have only a few towns and/or villages where you can shop. depending on where you stay on a particular island it may be quite away to the local grocery store. Not sure what you mean by having "wine/drinks" not too far off. Obviously if you stay at a hotel you should be able to get all the wine/drinks you need. If you rent a villa, and stock up on wine/drinks when you first arrive you should be OK. If you meant having a store nearby that you can walk to from your rental villa that could be more difficult unless you choose a villa that's close to or in a town. Regardless, wine selection may be limited on any given island during any given time of the year so you might not be able to find specific "labels".
RoamsAround is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2013, 04:42 AM
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Swimming pigs are only if staying in Exumas, specifically Staniel Cay. Staniel Cay Yatch Club might fit for you, cute colorful bungalows with skiff boat included to explore. Exumas has many little Cays to explore.

Bahamas is funny, in that combining 2 groupings of islands require either backtrack to Nassau ot ft. lauderdale (and sometimes overnight). No ferries, most of the time there's open waters with swells between them.

Each grouping has plenty Cays to explore by boat. I already mentioned Staniel Cay Exumas, you could also try Great Exuma and those Cays. (no swimming pigs though, and to get from 1 to other, unless willing to charter a plane or expensive boat ride)

Abacos also has little Cays to explore with cute little towns.

Eluethera has Harbour Island and Spanish Wells to combine, but hubby already went there.

Sometimes Bahamas Tourism has island hopping packages, but with only 3 nights each not much time to explore. Some of these islands take 4 hours by car from one end to another, and there are many little Cays to explore!

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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Thanks biamona, I was thinking about SCYC but I can't tell if its right on a beach or is it only fronting those docks. Also, there is only availability a few nights. In the Exumas, is there somewhere else besides Staniel Cay you recommend? What about groceries ? How far would we have to go? What about restaurants? If we stay in a condo/cottage I don't want to cook the whole time

What's the difference between Great Exumas and Exumas?

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Old Aug 31st, 2013, 06:56 PM
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Great Exuma is one of many islands in Exumas.

SCYC is where you want to be for the pigs, it's too far from great Exuma.

Don't know about groceries at Staniel, you can get inclusive package.

Great Exuma has a handful of good restaurants, favorite being at Club Peace nd Plenty. Smallish grocery store there too
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Old Sep 3rd, 2013, 03:40 AM
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One possibility in the Exumas -- which also comes with a boat and is in the middle of the cays (as opposed to Great Exuma, which is at the southern end and not as boat-able) -- is the Sampson Cay Club. They have a handful of villas, some on a beach, and close to Big Major's, which is where the pigs are. They also have a restaurant and decently-stocked shop. They have limited availability, so if you have any interest at all, inquire soon. To get there, you fly to Staniel Cay and take a water taxi.

SCYC is very close to beaches, but not directly on a beach. But the fact that a boat comes with your cottage, and the meal plan, make it a very good value.

The Abacos are great for families. Villas and cottages are plentiful; some on beaches and some not. I would suggest Hopetown, on Elbow Cay. Adorable settlement, lots of choices for dining, never far from beach or harbor (where you'd keep your rental boat). In November, the Abacos are just waking up from their drowsy hurricane season.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2013, 06:19 PM
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I think Callalou has a very good suggestion for you here. You might consider flying into Marsh Harbour, Bahamas (MHH) and taking a 5 minute cab ride to the ferry to Hopetown on Elbow Cay where there are so many rentals it will make your head spin- check vrbo and several realty sites which you can find by googling or checking for info on the very active and helpful forum at www.abacoforum.com. There is a wonderful supermarket in Marsh Harbour called Maxwell's where you can stock up before heading to the ferry to Hopetown. There are also several small stores, bakery, liquor stores on Elbow if you need more supplies while you are there. Several boat rental companies and golf cart rental companies can meet your needs and you can find day trips to fish, dive, sightsee or snorkel if you want a guide.
You can ferry back to MHH and, while not cheap, take a taxi for perhaps $100 to Treasure Cay to the ferry to Green Turtle Cay for a completely different experience for the second part of your trip. You can rent a boat, cart, etc. there as well. I suggest looking at Bennett House (on vrbo) for a great place on a beautiful beach for your stay there but, again, many places to choose from. Take a day trip with Lincoln Jones, Or Brendal (Dive Shop at Green Turtle Club) for snorkeling, fishing and beach picnic to remember!
The out islands are great and you can't go wrong. I also love the Exumas but it is very difficult to split a trip between two places due to transportation issues- if you can make it work then a Great Exuma= Staniel Cay trip would be great also.
Happy Travels!
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Old Sep 3rd, 2013, 06:28 PM
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PS Since you are experienced boaters, if the weather is decent, from Hopetown, Abaco you can hit several fun spots for lunch adventures- Pete's Pub in Little Harbour, Cracker P's or Lubber's Landing on Lubber's Quarter's Cay, Man-O-War where it is fun to stroll the streets and check out the sail shop, and Great Guana Cay where Nipper's Beach Bar (don't take the kids there on a Sunday) and Grabber's have great places to use the beach, pools for swimming, paddleboards to rent, great food, music at times, etc.
The good thing about both Elbow Cay (Hopetown) and Green Turtle Cay is that if the weather turns sour there are several places on the same island where you can take a quick boat trip or cart trip to to eat, drink, beach or hang out- some other places don't have as much to offer.
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Old Sep 6th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Hopetown, Abaco.

Greatest place on earth.

Boating in a great big swimming pool, protected from the open ocean with the cheapest rental boats around.

Wildlife everywhere.

Look no further.

Dickie_Gr is offline  
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