Weird Experience Find: Swimming with Pigs in the Caribbean

The "domesticated" swimming pigs of The Exuma Cays
The “domesticated” swimming pigs of The Exuma Cays

The Bahamas, consisting of more than 700 islands, cays, and islets, is located in the Atlantic Ocean, north of Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, northwest of the Turks and Caicos Islands and southeast of Florida.

The bustling capital city of The Bahamas, Nassau, the population of which consisted almost exclusively of pirates until 1718, is on the 21-mile-long island of New Providence, between Andros Island and Eleuthera.

To the north of Nassau, visitors can find 685 acres of pure euphoria under the name Paradise Island. Nassau and Paradise Island combine the lure of a large city and the comfort of a tropical wonderland.

Apart from the beautiful powdery white beaches, pristine turquoise waters, colorful local markets, high-end boutiques, and one of the largest and fanciest casinos in the Caribbean, this travel destination has something super cool to offer.

Just 35 miles southeast of Nassau, you can now swim with pigs at the tiny, uninhabited and thickly forested island of Big Major Cay. Follow our guide below to make the most of your time in New Providence island!

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

Atlantis Paradise Island Resort
Atlantis Paradise Island Resort

Atlantis resort, located in Paradise Island, pays homage to the rich history, culture, tradition, cuisine and breathtaking ocean views of The Bahamas. Atlantis Paradise Island Resort features five distinct hotels, The Royal, The Beach, The Coral, The Cove and The Reef, and 11 different swimming pools. Visit the Ocean Club Golf Course, which is designed by renowned architect Tom Weiskopf and the Atlantis Casino, one of the Caribbean’s largest casinos. The resort, also, hosts a spectacular water-themed park, while it showcases one of the most sophisticated marine habitats and animal rescue facilities in the world.

Marina Village

Marina Village
Marina Village

Marina Village, with over 20 retail and design shops, such as Atlantis Signatures, and Columbian Emeralds International, fine and casual restaurants and coffee shops, is spread over 65,000 square feet next to the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort. In this vibrant outdoor marketplace of Marina Village in Paradise Island, you can grab an ice-cold Ben & Jerry’s shake while you enjoy the sea breeze in one of the sweetest and most colorful places in the world.

Cable Beach

Cable Beach, The Bahamas
Cable Beach, The Bahamas, Photo by Katerina Papathanasiou

Cable Beach, lined with two and one-half miles of white sand with crystal-clear turquoise waters and upscale beachfront establishments, is positioned just a few minutes west of Nassau. In this stunning beach, you can enjoy water sports, scout for souvenirs sold by local vendors or just sunbathe listening to tropical beats coming from the local bars.

Junkanoo

junkanoo_carnival_costumes
Junkanoo dancers in action, Rawson Square

Junkanoo is a cultural carnival which includes elaborate costumes and choreographed dancing, as well as goatskin drums, horns, whistles, and cowbells. The Bahamas Junkanoo Tradition established either by John Canoe, a West African Prince, who managed to outwit the English becoming a local hero or from the French “gens inconnus” is said to have developed during the days of slavery.

Bay Street

Bay Street, The Bahamas
Bay Street, Nassau

Bay Street, the neighborhood that hosts the world-famous Straw Market, is the ideal destination for those who are looking to buy T-shirts, jewelry, perfume and handmade gifts and souvenirs. Bay Street reflects the architecture of the country’s history as a British Colony. In this area, which is full of shops, restaurants and street hawkers, you can take a photo next to local police officers that are wearing their distinctive Bahamian uniforms.

The Exuma Cays

The "domesticated" swimming pigs of The Exuma Cays
The “domesticated” swimming pigs of The Exuma Cays

Book a day boat trip through The Exuma Cays to interact with the “domesticated” swimming pigs that live on Big Mayor Cay, also known as Pig Beach, about 82 miles southeast of Nassau. During this exciting trip, you’ll, also, have the opportunity to feed Bahamian rock iguanas, pet stingrays and hold starfish.

Other Local Attractions

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Pirates of Nassau Museum is a must-see destination to dig into the turbulent past of Nassau’s infamous pirates, exploring a replica of the pirate ship Revenge and the beachside shanty town of Nassau, as well as several pirate paraphernalia dating back to the Golden Age of Piracy, while interacting with theatrical pirate hosts.

Do not leave the Bahamas without climbing the Queen’s Staircase, named after Queen Victoria to honor her crucial role in abolishing slavery in the region. The 66-step staircase was constructed in the late 18th century by slaves to provide a direct route from Fort Fincastle to Nassau City.

History buffs can head to Rawson Square in downtown Nassau to admire several historic buildings as well the bronze bust of Sir Milo Butler, the first Governor-General of the Bahamas after the country’s independence in 1973.

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