We all deserve a vacation, probably more often than we actually allow ourselves to take. Vacations are an adventure, an amazing experience, but also a great tool for nourishing your mental health. We all need downtime, and going somewhere new, experiencing a culture different from our own is a gratifying way to enrich our lives. Perhaps we might gain a new perspective as well.
Whether as a solo traveler, with a significant other, or with your family, getting out of the house and out of the city—and even out of the country— for a while is a great way to recharge your battery and bring you back better than before.
So, you’ve decided to start cashing in those much-needed vacation days and have planned a whole week-long trip to the Bahamas!
You’re excited to try every experience you can find, and you’ve added swimming with pigs to the top of your list.
You’ve discovered the Bahamas’ unique pig swimming attraction, and want to experience it for yourself. What sounds better than treading water with little piggies in crystal clear waters?
However, regardless of the paid vacation time, you’re still an employee and money may not be flowing out of your pockets. Perhaps you’re stretching yourself a little thin here on this trip, but you know how much you and your family need it. Hence fulfilling your dream: pig swimming!
Swimming With Pigs in the Bahamas: A Brief Geek-Out and History
It’s a little unexpected I admit, but is it possible to swim with pigs?
Yes, in the Bahamas you can swim with pigs!
You can swim with dolphins or manta rays in Hawaii, or sharks in Fiji, but the Bahamas has pigs! Honestly, if I had to choose, I’d choose pigs. Hands down.
During your summer (or winter) beach vacation in the Bahamas, you want to see all of the sights and experience all there is to see while you’re there. You’ve planned surfing lessons, a parasailing adventure, scuba diving expeditions, and even found the best food places around where you’ll be staying.
You thought you had this vacation all planned out until you stumbled across a website titled something like: “Swimming With Pigs in the Bahamas” or “Pig Swim” or “Pig Beach.” And you thought… what?? With further research, you discover off the shore of the Bahamas’ Big Major Cay, there is something called Pig Beach.
Sometime in the past, pigs gathered on this beach, and they live there now, foraging and raising young and most adorably, swimming in the tropical turquoise waters.
No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but the general consensus is that no one wanted the pigs around town because, well, pigs stink. So, they moved the pigs to an uninhabited beach, and naturally, the pigs stayed. Because who would choose to live in a lame human town when they could party and make their own little pig community on a gorgeous beach in the Bahamas?
Generations later, pigs are still there. Farmers would come back by boat to feed the pigs, and by classical conditioning, the pigs began to associate boats with being fed, making them friendly and kind towards human strangers cruising up to their shores.
Unfortunately, hardly anyone minds the idea, so tourism, where the pigs are concerned, is heavy and prices skyrocket due to demand. People have recognized the tourism value of this beach and made it inaccessible unless paying admission, so fulfilling your new dream is gonna be more complicated.
But c’mon, it’s the pigs’ beach, shouldn’t they be the ones that decide if people can hang out there rather than pigs? We’ll pay the pigs with food! And cuddles! And with swimming buddies!
How to Swim With Pigs for Cheap
The easiest way to swim at Pig Beach is to be taken there by boat. You can’t access Pig Beach directly from the land, you have to be taken there.
Pig Beach is in the Bahamas’ Exumas, which are much more remote and without places tourists can stay during their trip. Tourists can stay in places like Nassau and Staniel Cay, which are relatively close to the Exumas.
Boat tours can be found departing from both of these cities. Some tours have packages that include swimming with the pigs, and also Compass Cay, where you can find a whole school of nurse sharks, sandbars, and Thunderball Grotto, an underwater cave complex you can scuba dive through and see all sorts of exotic sea life and corals.
Now that you know you need a boat tour, you can easily research them by looking up ‘Exumas Cays boat tours,’ or ‘Pig Beach Exuma boat tours.’ You can find offers on websites such as Island Routes, which have boat tours for $185 per person, or the 3N’s Exuma Excursions, which have a half-day tour of the Exumas from $249 per adult, and $100 per child. If these prices are still a little steep, keep researching and you may be able to find a deal. Or, ask any friends you know that have visited Pig Beach what they used!
Another way to get to Pig Beach is by plane. Some may say that this method is the cheapest between sea and sky, the only two ways to access the Exuma islands.
As you can’t stay overnight, trips to the Exumas can only be day trips, so time is of the essence. To get your money’s worth, you need to be able to stay on the island for as long as possible, or at least for as long as you need to be satisfied with your trip.
Boat tours can take a few hours to get out to the island, and including time traveling back, this may make you lose precious opportunities on the island. Boat tours usually have a specific time limit, half-day trips or seven-hour tours. This may be appealing to some who can’t last longer than that out and about, but to others, this may seem highly limiting.
To those individuals, we offer air travel as an option. A plane ride to the Exumas only takes about half an hour, which gives you tons of time to explore all of the Exumas or just swim with pigs all day!
These flights cost around $400 per person according to our research, but the price may very well be worth it to be able to spend an entire day out with the pigs!
Can We Feed the Pigs?
Yes, you can feed the pigs on the island, but you have to be careful.
A number of the Exuma pigs died recently, and experts discovered it to be an excess of sand indigestion. Sand indigestion from eating food that was in or covered in sand.
With that being said, it’s important to make sure that when you are feeding the pigs, you aren’t dropping the food into the sand, or they’ll consume just as much sand as food. Try to feed them in the water, or opt not to feed them at all, choosing to rather do a lap with them around the beach.