One of the biggest attractions to visiting the Bahamas on vacation is getting the opportunity to swim with pigs. The white, sandy beaches of the Exumas, which consist of hundreds of tiny islands, can make you feel as though you are in literal paradise. Big Major Cay, in particular, is extremely popular thanks to the famous pigs who enjoy swimming alongside human visitors in the ocean. This area is also fondly known as “Pig Beach” and is a must if you are visiting the Bahamas. There are six things to remember if you go swimming with the pigs.
Staniel Cay Should be Your Destination
If you are planning on swimming with the pigs, Staniel Cay should be your destination spot. It is a tiny area that includes a number of small hotels, a marina and an airstrip. You can choose to either stay there or simply book a tour for the day. Either way, you can rent a boat or local guide to take you to Pig Beach, which is only 10 minutes away from the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
There are Imitation Pigs
Because Pig Beach is such a huge draw that can make money for tour organizers, it’s important to be aware that there are “imitation” pigs. These are not the famous swimming pigs of Big Major Cay but pigs that have been planted to scam visitors.
You Can Only Get to Pig Beach Via Boat
You can only get to Pig Beach via boat, which means you will either have to take a guided tour or charter a boat to take you there. One of the most popular tour companies for visiting the beach is 4C’s Adventures. It offers a full day tour that includes not only visiting with the pigs and swimming with them but also a picnic, swimming with nurse sharks, interacting with iguanas and snorkeling in Thunderball Grotto, which has been featured in two James Bond movies. The entire package costs $160 per person.
You Can Take Photos, But Not Selfies
Remember that the swimming pigs are wild animals. As a result, you can take photos of them, but you should avoid trying to snap selfies. Pigs also don’t have the best eyesight, which means they might mistake your smartphone or digital camera for food. If you attempt to take a selfie and have your gadget next to your face, you could be in for a disaster. Don’t turn your back on the pigs and be aware of them at all times while taking pictures of them.
The Best Time for Visiting the Pigs
Generally, the best time for of year for visiting with the swimming pigs is from December through May. June to November is known in the Bahamas to be hurricane season, which means that if a storm is on the horizon, the pigs will be taken to a shelter for safety. While it’s possible to see them during those months, your best bet is the rest of the year when it is not hurricane season.
As for the time, in general, when it is best to visit the pigs, morning tends to be preferable whether you are going on a tour with a group or if you want to go solo with your own boat. By the time late afternoon arrives, the pigs have usually already eaten and are tired, which makes them more likely to be relaxing on the sand than swimming in the ocean.
There May be Crowds of Tourists
Unfortunately, due to the huge popularity of Pig Beach and the chance to swim with the pigs, you should expect large crowds of tourist to be around. Depending on the day or time of day, you may have the beach and pigs all to yourself, but other days, you may have more than 50 people around. There may be a bit of frustration due to the crowds, but if you are patient and follow the pigs who aren’t swimming among multiple tourists, you can have a good time and get lots of great pictures of those pigs. They may also go into the water in less crowded areas, which means you can swim with them privately as well.
Pig Beach is a hugely popular tourist spot for a reason. Remember these six things to get the most out of your trip while swimming with the pigs.