If you’re wondering where you can swim with pigs and how to get to Pig Beach, Bahamas, wonder no more. Below you will find all the information you need 😉
We all know the saying “If pigs could fly” but did you know they could swim? I remember when I saw the first pictures and videos of pigs swimming in the crystal-clear turquoise water of Exuma, an archipelago comprising more than 365 islands, in the Bahamas.
These world-famous and super cute swimming pigs of Exuma live at Big Major Cay, also known as Pig Beach, an island entirely uninhabited by humans, located around 132 Km (82mi) southeast of Nassau, Bahama’s capital, and 80 Km (50 mi) northwest of George Town, Exuma’s capital.
How the pigs got to Big Major Cay nobody knows, but the fact is that they live in a piece of paradise.
I had the opportunity to visit the Bahamas and went swimming not only with pigs but also with sharks in Exuma and had an unforgettable time!
If you want to know how to get to Pig Island to have one of the most unique experiences in the Caribbean, how to book a Pig Beach tour, how much the tours cost, and also the cheapest way to swim with pigs in the Bahamas, do not worry because I’m covering everything in this post.
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How to get to Pig Beach, Bahamas
You can get to Pig Island, Bahamas, by powerboat or plane.
If you’re traveling from Nassau you can fly directly to Staniel Cay, just a 30min ride, or to Exuma island, and book a tour from there. Another option is to book a swim with pigs tour from Nassau.
You can also travel to Pig Beach from Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Below you find the details about all the options available and many tips to plan your trip.
To get to Pig Beach from Nassau you have three different options:
1 – Book a flight to Staniel Cay + Pig Beach Tour
The closest airport to Pig Beach is in Staniel Cay, a small island located approximately 120Km (74.5mi) south of Nassau and 100Km (62mi) from George Town.
The only airline that takes you directly to the swimming pigs within the Bahamas is Flamingo Air.
There are daily flights with Flamingo Air from Nassau to Staniel Cay in the morning, departing at 8:30 AM and returning in the afternoon at 5:20 PM.
The flight takes around 40min each way and costs approximately US$ 250 the round-trip.
From Staniel Cay you can take a Pig Beach tour with Island Rentals at a cost of US$ 400 + 12% VAT/person for up to 3 people or US$ 300 + 12 % VAT for 4 or more guests.
They’ll pick you up and drop you off at the airport and take you to several islands in Exuma.
2 – Book a Pig Beach Tour with Flight included
If you’ve been dreaming about swimming with pigs in the original Pig Beach in the Bahamas, my recommendation is to book a day trip from Nassau with everything included. It’s much easier, cheaper and stress-free.
If you book this Intimate Pig Beach Excursion to Exuma Swimming Pigs & Flight Options with Viator, a Trip Advisor company, you’ll pay US$ 715/per person (US$ 465 for the tour + US$ 250 for the airfare on Flamingo Air). Including roundtrip to the airport.
The tour has seven stops and apart from swimming with the pigs, you’ll also get the chance to feed iguanas, pet the sharks and snorkel in one of the best snorkelling spots in the world, Thunderball Grotto (where the James Bond homonym movie was filmed).
The flight has only a few seats, so booking your ticket in advance is highly recommendable. Check out the reviews and tour details here.
Another seven-stops tour with flights included that might interest you, it’s this one that departs at 8:00 AM from a private and hassle-free airport in Nassau, which can be much more convenient. The tour includes roundtrip airport transfers, soft drinks, light snacks and lunch.
P.S.1: These tours are currently available only for two or more travelers. If you are travelling alone or put only one person, it’ll say that the tour is unavailable.
P.S.2: You can reserve any of these two tours now, pay it later and get a full refund up to 24h before the activity starts in case you need to cancel it.
3 – Book a Pig Beach Tour from Nassau by Powerboat
The cheapest way to visit Pig Beach and swim with the famous swimming pigs of Exuma is to book a Pig Beach tour from Nassau by powerboat.
You can book this day trip from Nassau to Pig Island by Powerboat for approximately US$ 438 or this Exuma full-day Experience, which includes a stop at Pablo Escobar’s plane crash, pick up & drop off, food and beverage for US$ 475.
Both tours have really good reviews, friendly local guides and great service. You can reserve it now and pay later.
The tours take up to 8-9h and are subject to weather conditions.
P.S: Please note that the boat ride from Nassau to Pig Beach takes an average of 3h, and is not suitable for children under three years old, pregnant women or persons with recent back injuries or major surgery.
To get to Pig Beach from Miami you have the option to fly directly to George Town with American Airlines or fly to Nassau and then take another flight to Exuma or a Pig Beach Excursion.
Note that with both options you won’t be able to take the tour on the same day that you arrive.
For more options on how to get to Pig Beach from the Miami area check the Fort Lauderdale options below.
From Fort Lauderdale
To get to Pig Beach from Fort Lauderdale the easiest option is to fly direct to Staniel Cay with Makes Air (Watermakers Air), average price: US$ 675 per round-trip.
Bahamas Air Tours offers a day trip to Staniel Cay on a private aircraft. The tour departs at 7:30 AM and the average cost is US$ 897.40 for the round-trip tickets + tour + taxes.
You can also take a non-stop flight to George Town with Silver Airways, which can be much cheaper.
And there is also a ferry from Fort Lauderdale to Bimini, but you’ll need to take a flight to Nassau first, then get to Pig Beach following one of the options above.
My Experience getting to Pig Island
While planning my Three-day trip to the Bahamas, one of the places that I really wanted to see was Exuma Island, which features some of the clearest and most beautiful sapphire-blue water on the planet.
When I discovered that I could go swimming with pigs and sharks in Exuma, I hesitated a bit at first, because I was scared of sharks, but then decided to do it no matter how much money I would have to spend.
I was searching for tour companies and found Coastline Adventures. They gave me all the information I needed in order to go from Nassau to Exuma for the day trip to see the hilarious swimming pigs.
I took the first flight from Nassau to George Town at 6:00 AM, the driver picked me up at the airport around 7:00 and then the other people who were joining the tour at their hotels.
The Coastline Adventure Swimming Pigs tour was excellent!
We sailed on the crystal clear water of different shades of blue of Exuma Cays, saw some islands owned by celebrities and stopped on a breathtaking sandbank.
We also went to Thunderball Grotto (where two James Bond movies were shot), passed Nicolas Cage’s Island and of course went swimming with pigs at Big Major Cay and with sharks at Compass Cay.
The music on the boat was really good, and the vibe was awesome. We had free drinks and a lot of fun feeding and swimming with the pigs and piglets.
The Swimming Pigs Tour covers a total of over 120 miles. So be prepared to spend a lot of time on the boat and under the sun.
In the end, they dropped me off at the airport on time to catch my flight back to Nassau.
How much does it cost to swim with pigs in the Bahamas?
If you’re in Nassau or Paradise Island you’ll spend at least US$ 438 for a Swimming with Pigs Tour by powerboat, and US$ 715 if you book a tour with a private plane.
In case you’re already on Exuma Island and want to swim with the famous pigs, you’ll spend a minimum of US$ 448 or 336 (if you’re in a group of four) on a Pig Island Tour.
If you’re on a budget, the cheapest way to swim with pigs in the Bahamas is to take a Pig Beach tour from Nassau to Pear Island for US$ 169 or to Rose Island for US$ 195. But note that these are not the original Pig Island.
My recommendation, is, of course, to go to Exuma, because it’s a stunning archipelago, and you will also visit other beautiful islands along the way.
I’m not adding here the costs to get to the Bahamas because they can vary significantly depending on many factors, such as time of the year, distance traveled, etc.
Flying directly to Staniel Cay from Nassau the minimum you’ll spend will be US$ 250, and from Fort Lauderdale (Miami area) around US$ 897.40.
Final considerations & Tips
Some things to take into consideration when you plan your Swimming with Pigs trip are:
– The full-day Swimming with Pigs tours are long (8-9h) and you spend a considerable time on the boat.
– Bear in mind that open sea safari tours are not suitable for expectant mothers, infants and persons with back, knee, neck and heart problems or conditions affected by high-speed travel.
– The tours that depart from Nassau and Paradise Island are subject to cancellation due to weather conditions (wind, rain, hurricane, etc), so make sure to book it for the next day after you arrive, so if it gets cancelled, you may have another chance to do it.
– Flying direct to Staniel Cay is much easier, and faster and you’ll spend less time sailing, but it’ll be more expensive.
– For me the best option is to stay two or three nights in Grand Exuma, take the tour in one day and enjoy the islands/beach in front of the hotel during the others.
– If you have limited time, my recommendation is to book this tour.
– Note that if you’re traveling to the Bahamas on a cruise ship you might not have enough time to take in a Pig Beach Tour.
– Be careful when you feed the pigs and the iguanas too.
– Pack light and don’t forget to bring sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses and your camera, please.
Safe travels and have fun in the Bahamas and swimming with the pigs in Exuma.
More posts about the Bahamas that might interest you:
Watch the pigs swimming on Pig Beach Bahamas
Don’t forget to buy travel insurance, which can literally be your lifeline if something happens to you and if your luggage is lost or stolen.
I always use World Nomads Travel Insurance for independent travellers. It’s easy to buy, extend & claim online, even after you’ve left home.
Get your travel insurance here.
Visiting the Bahamas
Where’s it located?
The Bahamas is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 80Km (50 miles) off the coast of Florida. The country is comprised of 700 islands sprinkled over 100,000 square miles (check the map here).
How to get there
The main airport is the Nassau International Airport, now known as Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is situated 10 miles (16 km) west of Nassau, New Providence Island.
You can book your flights with Skyscanner which is the website that I use and trust.
From the U.S. there’re direct flights with: Delta, United, JetBlue, BahamasAir and Southwest Airlines.
There’re direct flights with Air Canada departing from Canada.
From other countries is easier to fly to the U.S., Miami or Fort Lauderdale, than take another flight from there.
To Exuma, there’s an international airport in Moss town, northwest of George Town, and there’re direct flights from Nassau, Miami, Atlanta and Toronto.
There is also a ferryboat from Nassau to Exuma with Bahamas Ferries, but it’s a very long journey.
Best Time to Visit the Bahamas
The Bahamas can be visited all year round with temperatures ranging from 21C (70F) in the winter and 26-32C (80-90F) during the summer.
But there are two things to consider:
- The hurricane season lasts from June to November.
- The months with the most rain are May and June.
Where to stay
I stayed in Nassau at Coco Plum Resorts Bahamas, (which I don’t recommend) and just flew to Exumas to take the tour.
If you want to stay in the capital area, I recommend:
- Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner. Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
- Rent A Car Rental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
- Book Accommodation Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs.
- Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity.
- Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
- Book Ground Transportation BookaWay offers a stress-free experience with secure payments and no hidden fees. You pay online and receive your itinerary by email.
- Luggage Solutions Rent your luggage with Cargo or if you need to drop off your own luggage and enjoy your time without dragging it all over a city, find a LuggageHero shop here.
- Get a Travel Card Revolut Card is a pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries. I’ve been using my Revolut Card for over a year and never paid foreign-transaction fees again. Get your Revolut Card with free shipping here.
- Packing Guide Check out my How to Pack a Carry-on Luggage For a Five-month Trip to help you start packing for your trip. Don’t forget your camera, chargers and other useful travel accessories.