Swimming with dolphins is exotic. But swimming with pigs? If it wasn’t for the YouTube videos we found online before leaving for the Bahamas, it would have been hard to imagine snorting pigs diving through the turquoise waters of the Caribbean or sunbathing on a beach.
But that’s exactly what we saw on a recent daylong boat trip to the Exumas (a chain of 365 islands and cays in what is referred to as the Out Islands of the Bahamas) with Four C’s Adventures. After several hours with Capt. Smiley at the helm, we laid anchor in front of Big Major Cay to await the pigs’ arrival. Within minutes, five feral pigs—some brown with black spots, some white—left the comfort of the island’s beach and ambled into the water. Fresh-smelling from their frequent bathing, and on the hunt for juicy food scraps, the pigs swam quietly in semi-circles around the boat as we waded up to them. My intrepid seven-year-old threw them bits of bread and tentatively patted their coarse, hairy backs while I watched from a slight distance, laughing, but happy not to touch them.
According to local snorkelling and fishing guide Wayde Nixon, he brought five pigs to Big Major Cay in 1991 during the Gulf War, with plans to supply the locals with fresh pork in the event of import shortages from the U.S. Now, more than 20 years later, you can still find half a dozen pigs roaming the beach, and many more hidden in the bush. While they are a major tourist draw, there’s no need to worry about crowds. In the Exuma Cays, you are surrounded by desert islands and many shades of blue.
Four Spots for an Island Honeymoon
Once the flurry of engagement parties, rehearsal dinners and wedding activities is over, it’s time for the honeymoon. To fit the needs and preferences of newlywed couples, here are four romantic island destinations in the Bahamas, on Prince Edward Island, on Jamaica's South Coast and in Tofino and Ucluelet, B.C.
10 Reasons to Visit the Caribbean this Summer
Escape to a Caribbean island this summer for great deals, fewer crowds and lively festivals. Take the whole family to Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, catch turtle nesting season in Barbados and attend one of the world's largest merengue festivals in Dominican Republic.