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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Staniel Cay

Written By A Local

Hey there, welcome to Staniel Cay, my slice of paradise in the Exuma Cays of the Bahamas! I’m thrilled to share with you all the insider tips, local secrets, and must-see spots on this beautiful island. Whether you’re planning your first visit or coming back for more, this guide has everything you need to know. As someone born and raised here, and the owner of 3Ns Exuma Vacations and Embrace Resort, I promise you an unforgettable experience. So, let’s dive in!

Getting Here

By Air: The easiest way to get to our lovely island is by air. You can catch a flight from Nassau to Staniel Cay Airport (TYM) with Flamingo Air or Titan Air. The flight is a quick 30 minutes. If you’re coming from the States, Makers Air offers flights from Fort Lauderdale directly to Staniel Cay. Private charters are also available for those looking for a more exclusive trip via Graceful Wings charter.

By Sea: If you’re sailing in, the Staniel Cay Yacht Club has docking facilities as well as Isles General.

Where to Stay

Embrace Resort: Looking for seclusion and rest? Embrace Resort is your best bet. Our resort offers spacious villas with modern amenities and top-notch service. Whether it’s a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, you’ll feel right at home.

Staniel Cay Yacht Club: A classic choice, the Yacht Club is known for its charming bungalows and lively social scene. Perfect for boating enthusiasts and those who enjoy meeting fellow travelers.

 

Two yacht docked near a villa

 

Chamberlain Cottages: For a cozy, homey stay, check out Chamberlain Cottages. They offer all the comforts you need in a friendly, intimate setting. Also strategically located near the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.

 

small beach cottage in the Bahamas

 

Isles Inn: Budget-conscious? Isles Inn provides comfort and convenience without breaking the bank.

Airbnbs and VRBOs: Want something more personalized? There are plenty of Airbnb and VRBO options ranging from luxurious villas such as Runaway, Lazy Bay and Temptress House to quaint cottages

Things to Do

1. Swim with the Pigs: Visiting the swimming pigs at Big Major Cay is a must! These friendly pigs love to swim and greet visitors. Trust me, it’s as fun and unique as it sounds.

 

couple on the beach taking a photo with a pig

 

2. Thunderball Grotto: Snorkeling here is like stepping into a scene from a James Bond movie (because it is!). The grotto is packed with colorful fish and stunning coral. Bring an underwater camera! Insider Tip: Go at low slack tide.

3. Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park: This protected marine reserve is a haven for snorkelers, divers, and kayakers. The marine life is incredible, and the beaches are pristine.

4. Staniel Cay Tours: Let 3Ns take you on unforgettable tours. From snorkeling trips to island hopping adventures, we’ve got you covered with our local knowledge.

5. Fishing: If you love fishing, Staniel Cay is the place to be. Book a charter and try your luck catching bonefish, snapper, and even marlins.

6. Swimming with Sharks at Compass Cay: Ready for a thrill? Head to Compass Cay to swim with nurse sharks. They’re friendly and used to human interaction, making it an exhilarating yet safe adventure.

7. Visiting a Sandbar: During low tide, sandbars emerge around Staniel Cay. These are perfect for picnics, sunbathing, and taking those envy-inducing Instagram photos.

 

couple walking on private island

 

8. Rent a Boat: Renting a boat is one of the best ways to explore the surrounding waters. Sandcrab Charters and Isles General offers great options. Discover hidden beaches and untouched nature at your own pace.

9. Jet Skiing: Feel the adrenaline rush as you zip around on a jet ski. It’s a fun and exciting way to see the island from the water.

Interesting Facts

  • Celebrity Spotting: Keep your eyes peeled! Staniel Cay is a favorite hideaway for celebrities. You never know who you might bump into. From Pitbull to Serena Williams and Justin Timberlake to Taylor Swift.
  • Marine Life: Being part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park means our waters are teeming with marine life. Spot sea turtles, rays, and a rainbow of tropical fish.

Insider Tips

  • Best Time to Visit: The ideal time to visit Staniel Cay is between November and May when the weather is pleasant and the waters are calm and you’ll also avoid the June & July super crowd.
  • Golf Cart Rentals: The best way to get around Staniel Cay is by golf cart.
  • Photography: Golden hour, just after sunrise and before sunset, is when the island is bathed in the best light. Perfect for capturing beautiful memories.
  • Respect the Environment: Help us keep Staniel Cay pristine. Avoid littering and be mindful of marine life.

Best Time to Visit Staniel Cay

The best time to visit Staniel Cay is between November and May. During these months, the weather is warm but not too hot, with average temperatures ranging from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C). The waters are calm, making it ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and other water activities. This period also coincides with the dry season, so you’re less likely to encounter rain.

Getting Around Staniel Cay

The island is small and easy to navigate. Golf carts are the primary mode of transportations. Bicycles and boats are also available for rent. Walking is another great way to explore the island and take in the stunning views. Everything is within a 10-15 minutes’ walk.

Grocery Stores and Amenities

Pink Pearl Grocery Store: Located in the heart of Staniel Cay, Pink Pearl offers a variety of groceries, fresh produce, and essential items. It’s the go-to store for residents and visitors alike.

Blue Store: Another convenient option for groceries and basic supplies. Think of the Blue Store as the local “Whole Foods”. They have a great selection of different types of cheeses and meats.

Isles General Store: This is more of a department store and offers the greatest selection of general items anything from bolts and screws to fishing rods and gas tanks. Located near the airport.

Prefer to have your groceries get there before you do? You can also opt for provisioning.

Liquormat: Located near the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, the Liquormat is a wholesale liquor store offering a wide selection of beverages. It also features a laundromat with both self-service and drop-off laundry options, making it a convenient stop for travelers.

Medical Clinic: Staniel Cay has a small medical clinic to attend to minor health issues.

Best Beaches

 

three iguanas on a beach

 

Pirate Beach: A secluded and pristine beach perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking. The calm waters make it ideal for families.

North Beach: Known for its stunning sunrises, North Beach is a favorite spot for early morning strolls, but not for swimming.

Ho Tai Cay Beach: A hidden gem with crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and enjoying the natural beauty of the island.

The Public Beach : This stretches from the Staniel Cay Yacht club south towards Staniel Cay Adventures office and is the site for several local functions.

Where to Eat & Drink

Flyin’ Pig Café: Located at Embrace Resort, Flyin’ Pig Café offers delicious Bahamian and international cuisine. With fresh ingredients and a menu that caters to all tastes, dining at Flyin’ Pig Café is a delightful experience.

Staniel Cay Yacht Club: A popular dining spot offering a variety of dishes, including fresh seafood and Bahamian specialties. The lively atmosphere and waterfront views add to the charm.

Big Dog’s Bar: Wanna have a beer with the locals? Big Dog’s doesn’t have a set schedule, but if you pass by at night and the lights are on pop in for a beer for a truly local experience.

Shopping

Lindsey’s Boutique: For unique souvenirs and island-inspired gifts, Lindsey’s Boutique is the perfect place to find something special to take home. From handmade jewelry to local crafts, there’s something for everyone.

Travel Bag Gift Shop: Located at the Titan Air office, this mini-mall in Staniel Cay offers a variety of gifts, clothing, and travel essentials. It’s a convenient stop for last-minute shopping.

3Ns Gift Shop: Visit the 3Ns Gift Shop for a wide range of souvenirs, apparel, and local products. It’s a great place to pick up mementos of your trip to Staniel Cay.

NOTE: There are no ATM’s in Staniel Cay and several stores are cash only. AMEX is not accepted anywhere on island so please bring a VISA or Mastercard which can be used at Embrace Resort, 3Ns, The Flyin’ Pig Café, The SC Yacht Club and the local grocery stores.

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