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Bahamas History and Stops for Your Exuma Sightseeing Tour

November 21, 2018

Are you looking for your next place to vacation? The Exumas should be at the top of your list! This impeccable part of the Earth is home to sparkling water, untouched land, and white sandy beaches. There is much to learn about, so be sure to book an Exuma sightseeing tour. To get started, check out a brief overview of the area’s history as you make your plans to visit.  

Basics of these Islands

The Exumas are known as an archipelago, which is a group of islands. This archipelago has a total of 365 islands spanning more than 100 miles. The areas are broken up into Great Exuma, Little Exuma, and the Exuma Cays. A majority of travelers frequent Great Exuma and Little Exuma. What is so wonderful about many parts of these islands is that they are untouched. As nature preserves, you can see nature (both on land and underwater) in their original state. 

History of the Exumas

Colonization of the Exumas dates back to the 1400s by the Lucayan Indians. It is said they first found the land after leaving Africa. A century later, the Spanish discovered the land and establish salt mining. Sadly, as they colonized, they enslaved the Lucayan Indians. During the mid-1600s, the British also found the chain of islands, as well as some people in America who were escaping from the Revolutionary War. The land housed several cotton plantations. 

Also, somewhere in this timeframe, the area was frequented by pirates. It’s rumored that Blackbeard and James Kidd were some of the many pirates that made it to this part of the Earth. 

During the late 1600s and into the 1700s, tensions were high between the Spanish and British. But that changed after the Treaty of Versailles in the late 1780s, which gave rights of the Exumas to the British. The islands were then primarily used for cotton and salt mining. However, things began to change in the early 1800s. After a loss during the Revolutionary War, many British landowners lost their property. Then when slavery was abolished in the late 1830s, the slaves were free and able to set their own roots in this beautiful part of the world. 

Sights to See

When traveling to the Exumas, here are a few sites to tell your tour guide that you would like to see: 
  • Swimming pigs: Major’s Spot Cay is home to the swimming pigs. No one is quite sure how they got there but they love to meet new people and enjoy swimming in the crystal-clear ocean. 
  • Thunderball Grotto: Go snorkeling in this underwater cavern. You’ll see the beautiful coral reef and colorful tropical fish. It was also used during the filming of the two James Bond films “Thunderball” and “Never Say Never Again.”
  • Salt Beacon: Explore some of this area’s history at the Salt Beacon in William’s Town, Little Exuma. The area houses a large Roman Tuscan Column erected in the late 1600s to help those at sea see where to go to access salt pans. 

When traveling to the Exumas, Bonefish Drex will help you plan your trip. We know the top landmarks to add to your Exuma sightseeing trip and make it memorable. Schedule your tour today by calling 242-357-0243.