Swimming with Pigs in the Bahamas; My First Wedding Anniversary gift to my wife!
When you travel the world for job, you’re under a lot of pressure when it comes to landmark occasions. And I was feeling the pressure this time! Swimming with the pigs in the bahamas was a lucky escape, here’s why.
10 years ago, when I first met Jaa, I was broke. I was a bum-backpacker living on $20 a day with a dream of dragging myself to every country in the world. We both loved travel and often discussed our travel bucket lists. Jaa had a top 3:
- 3: Santorini: I took Jaa here on our first Euro trip together.
- 2: The Maldives: We celebrated my 100th country here.
- 1: Bora Bora, French Polynesia: Jaa’s number 1 travel dream, so this is where I proposed to here
Table of contents
- Swimming with Pigs in the Bahamas; My First Wedding Anniversary gift to my wife!
- 1st Wedding Anniversary Ideas
- Swimming with the pigs in Exuma, Bahamas. Wait, what?
- Where can you swim with pigs exactly?
- Can you day-trip from Nassau to swim with the pigs?
- Do I need to book a tour to swim with the pigs?
- Is it safe?
- Where do you stay if you want to swim with the pigs?
- Best Time to Visit the Swimming Pigs
- Is swimming with the pigs ethical?
- Final thoughts on swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas
1st Wedding Anniversary Ideas
I had managed to tick off Jaa’s top 3 travel dreams, so with our first wedding anniversary approaching, I had to think of something pretty special to match the previous 3. We had spent our honeymoon through Italy and France, so that was out too.
I thought about Iceland, a road trip around Scotland, maybe a romantic Euro-break around Prague, Bucharest etc, and although I really want to take her to those places, they lacked the oooomph I was looking for. Then I remember about swimming with the pigs in Exuma, in the Bahamas. PERFECT!
Swimming with the pigs in Exuma, Bahamas. Wait, what?
Yup, real pigs. Wild pigs. Swimming. On the beach. In the Bahamas. That’s basically it!
The pigs are a group of domesticated pigs that live on a small island in the Exumas, a chain of islands located in the central Bahamas. These pigs have become famous for their love of the water, and they are known for swimming out to greet boats that come to the island.
Why are there pigs on an island in the Bahamas?
The existence of pigs on tropical beaches is rare, making them a popular attraction and a frequently asked question. There are several legends surrounding the presence of these pigs, but the true story can be traced back to Staniel Cay.
The pigs in Staniel Cay were originally kept in pens but due to the small size of the island, their smell became a nuisance. The solution was to move them to a nearby deserted island, Big Major Cay. The pigs soon learned that the sound of boats meant food and started swimming towards them when they heard the boat motor.
The unique sight of pigs swimming towards boats was noticed by sailors and yachters, who took photos and shared them online. This sparked a viral sensation and turned the swimming pigs into a popular attraction in the Exumas.
So, there you have it, the real story behind the swimming pigs in The Bahamas!
Where can you swim with pigs exactly?
On Pig beach (the real island name is Big Major Cay, in the Exumas, right next to Staniel Cay), in the Bahamas. You can day-trip from Nassau, or you can base yourself in and around the Exumas and do a shorter (and cheaper) day trip from there.
Can you day-trip from Nassau to swim with the pigs?
Yes, but it’s quite a pricey way to do it.
How much does it cost to swim with the pigs in the Bahamas?
You can book an all-day tour from Nassau to Pig island and back, which will fly you into the Exumas, take you to Pig Beach where you can swim and feed the pigs etc. It’s $675 per person. You can check it out here. That was my original plan too. But there is a cheaper way too.
The best way to visit Pig Beach? From Staniel Cay.
Then I found a better way. I would base myself in Staniel Cay for a few days, and take a trip from there. Via boat, rather than airplane. It’s $300 per person, you can see that here. This is the one I’ve signed up to do with Jaa!
NOTE: On both tours, you also gey a chance to swim with sharks, check out indigenous iguanas, check out a sunken airplane and chill on a remote beach.
Do I need to book a tour to swim with the pigs?
Yes you do.
The pigs are located on a remote island, and reaching them requires a boat or water taxi. Booking a tour also helps support local businesses and the local economy, and can help ensure that the pigs are treated humanely and their habitat is protected. Additionally, tours provide additional activities and attractions, such as snorkeling, beach hopping, and exploring the Exuma Cays.
It is important to choose a reputable tour operator that prioritizes animal welfare and has a good reputation for responsible tourism. And even better if you can choose a locally owned operator, like the guys I’m going with: Staniel Cay Vacations.
Can I actually SWIM (and feed) the pigs?
You better believe it! In fact, expect them to come chasing you for food!
Is it safe?
Yes, but they’re wild animals, so we must respect that too. The roam freely, so we musn’t agitate them.
Where do you stay if you want to swim with the pigs?
There are a million and one places to stay in Nassau, and then day trip to the pigs. Or, for a more authentic Bahamian experience, stay next door to the pigs on Staniel Cay. That’s my plan. We’ll be staying at the Embrace Resort, it’s the same local owners as the company which runs the pig tours, so it’s perfect (and very affordable by Bahamas standards, at $250 for a one bed for me and my mrs).
Best Time to Visit the Swimming Pigs
The best time to visit the swimming pigs of the Bahamas is from December to April, when the water is warm and the pigs are most active. During the summer months, the water can get quite choppy, making it difficult to get close to the pigs.
Is swimming with the pigs ethical?
I’ve been a vegetarian, screaming about animal rights, for years. So this is something I’ve done a lot of research into. And I feel comfortable swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas. Here are my thoughts.
Swimming with the pigs in The Bahamas has sparked a debate about its ethical implications. Some people argue that it can be harmful to the pigs’ well-being as it can lead to changes in their natural diet and behavior, and increase their dependence on humans for food.
On the other hand, proponents of the activity argue that it can be a sustainable source of income for local communities and that the pigs are well taken care of.
It can also help with:
- Economic Development: The activity provides a source of income for local communities, helping to boost the local economy.
- Tourist Attraction: The unique experience of swimming with pigs has become a popular tourist attraction, bringing visitors to The Bahamas and promoting the destination to a wider audience.
- Conservation: By creating a sustainable source of income, the swimming with pigs activity can provide a strong incentive for the conservation of the pigs and their habitat.
- Education: The activity can also be an educational opportunity, teaching visitors about the local culture, history, and wildlife.
- Community Involvement: The activity can also bring together local communities and visitors, fostering a sense of community and promoting cultural exchange.
Final thoughts on swimming with the pigs in the Bahamas
SO, i’m going in June. Right after my Mount Everest expedition. It was both a surprise for Jaa and a belated wedding anniversary, but also a way for me to unwind after nearly 2 months in the Himalayas. I can’t wait to get there, sit and chill, drink a beer or 10, get fat then go play with these gorgeous pigs. Sign me, and see you in June!
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