World Wide Nate in the Bahamas

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“Welcome to the Bahamas; we are glad you came,” are of few of the lyrics to the welcome song you receive from the people of the Bahamas when you arrive. The official name is the “Island of the Bahamas,” because the country consists of more than 700 islands, cays and islets in the Atlantic Ocean.

The typical traveler will visit the bigger, well-known islands such as Nassau and Paradise Island and Grand Bahama Island, but that is the just the tip. The true experience is located within the outer islands consisting of The Abacos, Bimini, Eleuthera and Harbour Island, to name a few. My recommendation to start your outer island adventure is The Exumas.

The Exumas is 35 miles southeast of Nassau, which equals a 43-minute flight, and once you land, paradise awaits you! The island is laid back and surround by sapphire-blue water. Remember to switch gears and move slow, because you’re here to relax. Luxury hotels and resorts like the Sandals Emerald Bay Golf, Tennis and Spa Resort or Grand Isle Resort & Spa will spoil you rotten. Which is why you shouldn’t worry; the Bahamas is first class when it comes to making you feel comfortable. Once you get settled into your lodging, the real adventure starts when you explore the island.

Chat ’N’ Chill is a beachside bar and grill, located on Stocking Island, which opened in 1998 by owner Kenneth “KB” Bowe. The Fisk University alumni retired from his 9-5 grind to move back to The Exumas and enjoy the simple life. Chat ’N’ Chill is the perfect place to enjoy conch salad that is made right on the beach. After grabbing a bite to eat and a drink from the bar, jump into the activities such as sun bathing on the powder-fine white sand beach or snorkeling in the crystal clear shoreline. You can also swim with the stingrays and play beach volleyball. If you’re not into the activities, during your visit, you can simply chat and chill while enjoying the idyllic view.

The Exumas features a quirky phenomenon with their swimming pigs. You can take an excursion to Big Major Cay and jump in the water with a group of pigs. You will be entertained as the friendly pigs get up close and personal swimming in the water. The pigs don’t take tips, but they will gladly receive your snacks in exchange for their aquatic display.

All visitors will enjoy the beauty of The Exumas, but some travelers might want to gain a deeper connection with the country they’re visiting. Luckily, the Bahamas understands the value of those desires, and the Ministry of Tourism sponsors a program called People-to-People. You can contact the Ministry of Tourism, and they will pair you with a Bahamian ambassador who will show you the culture and way of life. You have the option of staying with a Bahamian in his or her home and have an ambassador immerse you in Bahamian lifestyle or simply participate in a house party with other People-to-People guests. No matter which island you visit, the Bahamians have figured out how to make you feel welcome and help you understand their culture. As the saying goes, “It’s always better in the Bahamas!”

Here’s some video of the swimming pigs: