Have you ever heard of among the most well-known residents of the Bahamas, the swimming pigs of Large Main Cay, AKA pig seashore?

That is a type of touristy actions that, for me, actually did reside as much as the hype. The pigs actually swim proper out to your boat, and I liked each minute of this tour. However not each swimming pig expertise is made equal. These are my greatest suggestions for getting probably the most out of your day swimming with the pigs:

Decide a Native Tour Operator

Large Main Cay is an uninhabited island within the Exumas and until you are taking your personal personal boat, most individuals take a tour both from Nassau, Staniel Cay, or elsewhere within the Exumas to get there. It’s a part of a day tour that usually includes just a few different stops as effectively, together with the nurse sharks and sand bar.

There are numerous corporations that supply the swimming pig expertise, however going with 3N’s Exuma Holidays out of Staniel Cay (ebook it right here), the closest populated island to the pigs, provides a pleasant perception into the historical past. Our captain, Dave, clearly had a particular relationship with the pigs, as he has been round ever since they moved out to Large Main Cay. Even if you happen to’re not staying in Staniel Cay, you possibly can nonetheless go together with this operator out of Nassau (ebook that right here).

I additionally favored that their boats are smaller. Generally whenever you take a ship from Nassau, you possibly can find yourself with 20 to 50 individuals simply in your boat alone! The 3N excursions make extra stops, provide you with extra time at every cease, and have fewer individuals per boat.

So how did the pigs get on Pig Seashore? As Captain Dave tells the story, they moved the pigs off of Staniel Cay as a result of, effectively, they smelled. It appeared like a good suggestion on the time to have a pig farm that wasn’t sharing house with the already tiny inhabited islands.

Different lore includes pirates, or sailors dropping them off and hoping to return later to show them right into a meal, and even the pigs being survivors of a shipwreck. Between you and me, Dave’s account appears probably the most sensible.

Nonetheless they ended up there, little did anybody know that the pigs might, and would, truly swim, turning them into one of many greatest points of interest within the Bahamas!

There have been a number of copycat pig seashores created since, however the pigs on Large Main Cay are the OGs.

Get within the Water

After I first noticed the pigs swimming in the direction of the boat hoping for treats, I might hardly comprise my delight. Captain Dave inspired me to leap within the water and I didn’t have to be informed twice. The pigs are cute, huffing as they swim. They’re agile, too, and might swim out a lot farther than I anticipated.

I extremely encourage you to get within the water and swim with them! Don’t wait till you get to the seashore, which is likely to be crowded, to have your interplay. Since they arrive proper as much as the boat, that is certainly one of your greatest alternatives to get just a few moments with all of them to your self.

I liked the way in which the photographs turned out, too. Captain Dave was nice about taking photographs for me, ensuring that he saved giving them treats in order that they’d stick round and swim for some time.

Go When it’s Low Season

I visited the Bahamas in mid November, which continues to be throughout the wet season, however it did give me a novel alternative to be at Pig Seashore with out tons of different vacationers. From what I’ve heard, throughout the highest seasons together with July, March, and the week between Christmas and New Yr’s, there could be lots of of individuals!

I notice you could’t all the time choose your trip instances, however if you happen to do have some flexibility, attempt to go throughout the low season. Sure, you do threat having some wet days, which I did throughout my journey, however that may occur anytime whenever you’re within the tropics whatever the season.

Keep Close by

In case you’re basing out of Nassau and it’s too late to vary it, no worries, you possibly can nonetheless get to Pig Seashore on a day journey. BUT, if you happen to’re staying on Staniel Cay that’ll provide you with an opportunity to get to the pigs earlier within the day, doubtlessly beating the crowds and getting an opportunity to work together with the pigs earlier than their bellies are full and so they’re feeling lazy.

I liked my time on Staniel Cay, just a little island close by with beautiful seashores, a laid-back vibe, and an area, female-founded, owned, and run resort referred to as EMBRACE. There aren’t many completely locally-owned and run choices within the space, and if you happen to stick with them, you get a reduction off of your tour, too!

Learn extra about what to do in and round Staniel Cay right here.

Don’t Carry Meals to the Seashore

All the feeding that was carried out we did from the boat beneath the supervision of the captain. Above you’ll see Oliver, a pig that can stand on his haunches to get treats!

The hazard of bringing meals on the seashore is twofold: the pigs are animals and will nip at you to get the meals, plus it’s not good for them to eat meals dropped within the sand. There have been conditions the place vacationers have been bitten previously by doing silly issues like holding meals behind their backs, not being attentive to the actual fact that there have been pigs behind them. Pigs are nonetheless animals, and good ones at that. A couple of of them have discovered that in the event that they nip, individuals are more likely to drop their meals, giving them the proper alternative to nom.

I truly most well-liked swimming within the water with them whereas the captain tossed out treats. The one pig I fed myself was Oliver, as a result of, effectively, he can stand!

Although you’re not supposed to choose up the infants, generally the captain will convey a bottle and choose one as much as feed him, and in order for you, he’ll allow you to maintain it too.

Give Them Rubs

I don’t know if in case you have interacted with pigs previously, however I’ve discovered that they’re often not receptive to pets, particularly the younger ones. These pigs are totally different, and so they LOVE stomach rubs.

Some guests appeared terrified of them however they’re like hoofed puppies. Work together with them, pet them, and benefit from the expertise of swimming with pigs dwelling their greatest lives.

A couple of different suggestions embody bringing a lot of sunscreen, water, and snacks with you on the boat. I used to be glad to have my wide-brimmed hat as effectively, because the solar is powerful and many of the boats don’t actually have covers, leaving you uncovered.

I’ve additionally heard that the pigs usually tend to be lazy and lounging on the sand by the afternoon, and are extra lively within the morning. In case you do take your personal boat, head out to the island earlier than 8 AM when the excursions begin and also you simply would possibly get all of it to your self.

However if you happen to’re taking a tour like the remainder of us, try this one departing from Staniel Cay (learn extra on one of the best issues to do on Staniel Cay right here), and this one departing from Nassau, together with a scenic flight into the Exumas.

Joyful swimming with pigs. I hope you adore it as a lot as I did!

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By Sarah

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