The Exuma Islands
The Exuma islands are a string of islands and cays that form a pearl necklace of long forgotten hideaways, natural harbors and secluded beaches, that span over a hundred miles of clear blue water–a new island for every day of the year. The Exuma chain comprises about 360 or more cays, that stretch for about 130 miles beginning 30 miles southeast of New Providence.
Home to the Bahamas National Trust’s Exuma National Land and Sea Park–one of the largest underwater and land preserves, Exuma is a nature lover’s paradise kept in its original pristine setting.
The Park consists of underwater limestone and coral reefs, drop-offs, blue holes, caves and marine life, and is home to the Bahamian iguana, a giant lizard-like creature.
Exuma was settled after the American Revolutionary War when many Loyalists and their slaves migrated to the island, setting up cotton plantations which flourished for a brief time.
Exuma’s capital, Georgetown was once suggested to be the capital of The Bahamas because of its Elizabeth Harbour, which has a draft of 16 feet and made Exuma a favourite haunt for pirates. Since the 1950s, the harbour has been the site of the Family Island Regatta -– the race of Bahamian-made sailboats.
Popular historical sites include the remains of the plantations at Williams Town, the ancient tombs at Rolle Town and at Moss Town.