Swimming with Pigs in the Bahamas: Your Ultimate Guide

Pigs walking in Exuma Bay (Bahamas)

2.5min read

Published 31 August 2018


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: this is an island where you can swim with pigs!  

Thousands of tourists flock to see these four-legged residents and to get that winning shot for their photo albums.

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:

Where did the pigs come from?

It's not entirely known how these celebrity pigs came to Exuma Bay but one thing is for certain, they're not native to this island in the Bahamas.

The most widely spread story is that sailors or pirates abandoned them with plans to come back and cook them. Others say that they are survivors of a shipwreck left to fend for themselves.


How to get there

There are over 365 islands in Exuma and the swimming Caribbean 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 nearby Staniel Cay, Farmer’s Cay or Great Exuma. Access from here to Pig Beach is by boat trip only, so to take a day trip to the tiny island you will need to enlist the services of one of the local tour companies or charter your own boat.

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

Bahamas' Pig Island, also known as Big Major Cay, 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, including Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma Bay.

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.

Of course the pigs are wild animals in their natural habitat, so caution is always advised. That said, they are typically friendly and will welcome you in groups. If you go with a tour guide, you will be given food to offer the pigs.

If you're lucky, you may also spot sea turtles, nurse sharks, and a few stray cats here and there on this beautiful, tropical island.

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, and to do so ethically and responsibly.

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 feed pigs if you have special food from your tour guide.

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. 


What is the best time of year to visit the pigs?

You will be able to visit Pig Beach all year round but bear in mind that during high season, December & January, the island will be busier.

Hurricane season runs from June to November, so going earlier in year would be your best bet to get that all-important famous swimming pigs photo.

Chat to your Flight Centre Travel Expert about booking your responsible tour to the island with pigs as part of your tailor-made Bahamas holiday.

Flight Centre

© Flight Centre (UK) Limited, Registered in England No. 02937210.

* 0800 calls are free for landlines and mobiles. 0333 calls are included within inclusive minutes package on mobiles, otherwise standard rates apply. 0844/0845 calls are 7p/pm plus your local carrier charge. Prices are per person twin share, correct as at the date of publication, subject to change and may be higher/unavailable for certain dates. Airfares are economy on specified airlines from London, unless otherwise stated. For full booking conditions visit Booking Conditions. Some of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. We will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but not all the parts of your trip are listed on it, those parts not listed will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk.