The word ‘paradise’ is loosely used these days but the Exumas, comprising 365 cays and islands in the Bahamas, are truly worthy of the term.
Blissful beaches and turquoise waters await the discerning traveller on what many call 'a rich person’s playground’. The islands host a large number of private homes, luxury resorts and were featured in the films Thunderball, Never Say Never Again and Pirates of the Caribbean.
The crystalline ocean attracts divers and snorkelers from around the world. The underwater landscape is home to tropical fish, sea turtles, colourful reef and the oldest known macrofossils on the planet.
For sailors and yachters, there are clusters of unnamed beaches and coves speckled along the coastline just waiting to be discovered.
On land, you’ll spot an abundance of exciting wildlife including iguanas and flamingos, not to mention a drift of adorable swimming pigs inhabiting a beach on Big Major Cay.
There is plenty to keep the keen explorer occupied too, with an extensive network of stunning hiking trails and historic ruins spread across the archipelago, such as the Hermitage Tombs on Little Exuma which date back to the 1700s.
The Moria Harbour Cay National Park comprises 13,440 acres of sand dunes, beaches, mangroves and seagrass beds which are all vital to the islands’ ecosystem and well worth seeing.
Also, beautiful architecture can be found in George Town on Great Exuma, including a 150-year-old church and a strikingly pink government administration building.
There is an overnight ferry from Nassau, the Bahamas’ capital on the island of New Providence, departing each week and arriving in George Town.