What to Know Before Visiting Pig Beach in the Bahamas
You've seen pigs roll around in the mud, but have you ever seen a pig swim at the beach? If not, you may want to book a flight to the Bahamas.
In this beautiful island chain, there is a little islet known as Pig Beach. Its name isn't an exaggeration or a cute pun, it is literally a beach filled with pigs who spend the day swimming in the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Ready for one of the most adorable experiences in your life? Here's everything you need to know about the Bahamas' Pig Beach.
Where Is the Bahamas' Pig Beach?
Pig Beach is located on Big Major Cay, one of the 360 cays that make up the district of Exuma.
The island is uninhabited by people. Its only residents are pigs and other once-domesticated animals like a few goats. You'll find nothing but sand, trees and pigs here.
Of course, the pigs are the main draw, but the alluring color and shallowness of the water would've made this a visit-worthy island anyways. The peaceful beach is an example of what makes the Bahamas an incredible Caribbean country.
How Did the Pigs Get to the Island?
No one really knows how on Earth a bunch of pigs came to inhabit an island in a relatively unpopulated part of the Caribbean.
Several theories get bounced around. Some say they were left there by sailors who planned to return to roast the pigs but never made it. Others say that the pigs are the lucky survivors of a shipwreck and managed to swim ashore. More cynical people believe it's just a cheap ploy to boost tourism.
We highly doubt that the latter conspiracy theory is true for this beach. After all, the island was inhabited by pigs long before it became social-media famous. That being said, it's certainly true for the numerous copycat pig beaches that have since popped up. Seeing the success of this one, people have started populating other uninhabited islands with pigs in an attempt to rack in tourist dollars.
If you do visit a pig beach, we urge you to come to this one. It's one thing for animals to get to an island by chance. And it's a whole different thing to purposefully bring animals to a habitat where they have no natural food sources.
How to Get to Pig Beach
Most people who visit Pig Beach come from Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. The only two ways to get here are by boat or plane.
Boating trips are usually cheaper (though only by about $100-$200). You'll depart from Nassau and sail for three hours each way. Enjoying the Caribbean for six hours sounds alluring, but it also means less time in the water.
If you can afford the extra money, arrive by plane instead. You'll take a 40-minute flight into Staniel Cay Airport and then hop on a boat to reach the beach. Because you'll spend less than two hours in transit, you'll have more time to explore the beautiful Exuma islands.
Usually, day trips by air also include stops to swim with sharks, snorkel in reefs and grottos, and see the Bahamas rock iguanas.
Pig Beach Pro Tips
As with any wildlife encounter, a Pig Beach experience necessitates some considerations.
First of all, you should be aware that these are feral animals and that pigs can and do bite. Their bite is much stronger than you'd think and can even cause serious harm. Take this into consideration when deciding whether you want to get into the water. Though most of the pigs at the beach are friendly, they can become aggressive when triggered or stressed.
That leads us to our second point: Be mindful of your interaction. These are living beings, not props for your social media pictures. Some tourists can be incredibly insensitive, forcing the pigs into uncomfortable poses, placing children on their back or tantalizing them with food. We know our readers are better than this, but it's always worth a reminder.
Finally, feeding the pigs in Pig Beach is necessary because they have no reliable food sources. So you can do so without any guilt. However, don't trust any tour that lets you feed sharks or other animals.
Feeding wild animals disrupts their hunting patterns, which can disrupt the food chain. It can also cause them to become more aggressive toward humans as they start associating us with food.
Where to Stay When Visiting Pig Beach
If you only plan on making a day trip to Pig Beach, you'll probably want to stay in Nassau. If this is the case, stay at The Island House, a small boutique hotel with only 30 rooms and a private beach.
Intrepid travelers who want more time in the Exumas can stay in Staniel Cay. Here, the best hotel is Embrace Resort, the first on the island to have pushed for eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
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