The Swimming Pigs of the Exumas

The Swimming Pigs of the Exumas

Imagine a world where instead of fish and shells, pigs filled the seas. In the Exumas, you can load up on cuteness and Instagram photo ops. Here, pigs take to the waters freely, oinking their way across the beaches in merry delight. Once they splash into the turquoise ocean, their little legs paddle them easily across the surface.

Where Are the Swimming Pigs?

The swimming pigs are located in the Exumas, which are an archipelago of 365 islands and cays just southeast of Nassau. In particular, the pigs live on Big Major Cay, a stretch of land that is uninhabited by humans. However, you might know this island better by its unofficial name—Pig Beach.

Because no one lives on the island, the only way to get there is by taking a boat or sea plane. Typically, most people leave from Staniel Cay, as it’s only about a 10 minute boat ride to reach the pigs.

Pig Beach in the Exumas

The swimming pigs of the Exumas interact with guests.

About the Swimming Pigs

If you’re curious about how pigs ended up on a beach island, unfortunately, no one has the answer. Even locals are in the dark about where the pigs came from. However, there are a few legends out there that pose answers, including shipwrecks and pirates who unloaded them as cargo and never returned.

Today, the pig population is hovering around 20, with the colony growing as the years pass. Because the pigs are familiar with people visiting them, they are friendly and happy to see guests. You can even feed them pitted fruits and vegetables while you’re there—just be careful, as some extra hungry pigs will chase you down if they see you holding a treat.

How to Swim with Pigs

The best way to swim with the pigs is to book a tour with a charter company. Usually, the trip will take an entire day and also include a tour of the rest of the Exumas. Most tours begin as early as 9 a.m. and run until sunset. Any time of year is great for visiting the pigs—just avoid hurricane season for any unforeseen delays.

One of the most popular tours to Pig Beach is with 4C’s Adventures, a company that provides a full-day tour where you can visit Starfish Bay, snorkel in Thunderball Grotto, explore a sunken plane wreck, meet iguanas in their natural habitat, have a picnic lunch on a sandbar, and even swim with nurse sharks.

Coastline Adventures Exuma is another tour that takes you along sandbars, caves, reefs, and wrecks after swimming with pigs. If you’re staying in Nassau, try Harbour Safaris, which gives you a full day of all-inclusive fun with pigs, iguanas, and sharks. For all of these trips, try booking through your hotel to simplify the process.

If this all fails, why not just rent your own boat and give it a go? From any point on the Exumas, it’s a short ride to Pig Beach, making it an easy excursion. The Caribbean serves up numerous options for swimming with animals, check out how you can swim with giant Mantas, sharks, humpback whales and even hang out on a beach with flamingos.


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