A Guide to Swimming with Pigs in the Bahamas
Exuma Cays in the Bahamas features on many a bucket list. And it's not just the pristine white sands and turquoise waters that are the big draw here, its swimming pigs are a big highlight too! Thousands of tourists make the journey to see these four-legged residents and to get that winning shot for their Instagram feed. Here we've put together the ultimate guide on how to get to Pig Beach, where to stay, what to expect and how to interact with them ethically:
How to get there
There are over 365 islands in Exuma and the swimming pigs can be found on what is fondly known as Pig Beach. You will need to fly to Nassau and, from there, make your way to one of the small airports at either Staniel Cay, Farmer’s Cay or Great Exuma. Access from here to Pig Beach is by boat only, so to get to the island you will need to enlist the services of a local tour company or charter your own vessel. There is an option to suit all budgets and, if you are staying locally, look out for boat tours included in the price of your stay. Chat to your Flight Centre Travel Expert to plan your travel.
Where to stay
Pig Beach is an island that is uninhabited by humans so it’s not possible to stay here, but there are many hotels located close by that offer a simple commute. With reasonable prices, it is possible to establish an affordable base from which to travel to Pig Beach. If money is no object, chat to your Travel Expert about staying in pure five-star luxury.
What to expect
Nothing can prepare you for the beauty of Pig Beach, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure that your trip is the best it can be. Firstly, the time you visit is crucial if you want to avoid the crowds. For uninterrupted one-on-one time with the pigs, it is wise to get there as early as possible – I recommend arriving at 9am as this is when the pigs are the most active and won’t be napping in the afternoon heat. The pigs are friendly and will welcome you in groups and, if you go with a tour guide, you will be given food to offer the pigs.
How to interact with the pigs
There is very little information out there about how to interact with the swimming pigs and, while you are encouraged to swim with them, it is best to use your own judgment when petting or feeding them. Any good tour guide will be able to offer advice on interaction and it goes without saying that you should never tease or taunt them. Only stroke the pigs if they are comfortable with being petted and avoid giving them any beverages. It is also recommended to keep your own selection of snacks to yourself and only use the food that the tour guides provide for the pigs. Tourists have been known to attempt to pick them up in the name of getting a memorable photo but it is important to treat them with respect and above all, kindness.
Chat to your Flight Centre Travel Expert about booking your responsible tour to Pig Beach as part of your tailor-made Bahamas holiday.