Ethel Davies/Robert Harding

The Exumas

More than 300 islands and cays scattered across the central Bahamas, the Exumas are renowned for blissfully isolated beaches, world-class diving, and serene resorts that effortlessly dissolve anyone's troubles away. There's Great Exuma and Little Exuma, wonderful in their own right, and then there's the stunning Exuma Cays: a string of mostly uninhabited ocean outposts surrounded by blooming reefs and astonishing ecological bounty. The jewel in that crown is the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, a huge expanse of islands, water and reef founded as the world's first land-and-sea reserve in 1958.

Dry land, especially that of Great and Little Exuma, supports historic ruins, lively settlements, blissful beaches and some exceptional hotels, resorts and restaurants. Whether you visit just the principal islands, sail through the gorgeous reef-fringed Cays, or are lucky enough to combine the two, your time in the Exumas will be a highlight of your Bahamian adventure.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout The Exumas.