Have you ever heard of a number of the most well-known residents of the Bahamas, the swimming pigs of Large Main Cay, AKA pig seashore?
That is a kind of touristy actions that, for me, actually did dwell 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 essentially the most out of your day swimming with the pigs:
Choose a Native Tour Operator
Large Main Cay is an uninhabited island within the Exumas and until you’re taking your individual non-public 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 entails a number of different stops as effectively, together with the nurse sharks and sand bar.
There are various corporations that provide the swimming pig expertise, however going with 3N’s Exuma Holidays out of Staniel Cay (book it 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 for those who’re not staying in Staniel Cay, you’ll be able to nonetheless go together with this operator out of Nassau (book that here).
I additionally favored that their boats are smaller. Generally while you take a ship from Nassau, you’ll be able to find yourself with 20 to 50 individuals simply in your boat alone! The 3N excursions make extra stops, offer you extra time at every cease, and have fewer individuals per boat.
So how did the pigs get on Pig Seaside? 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 entails 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 essentially the most lifelike.
Nevertheless they ended up there, little did anybody know that the pigs may, and would, truly swim, turning them into one of many largest sights 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 direction of the boat hoping for treats, I may hardly include my delight. Captain Dave inspired me to leap within the water and I didn’t must be informed twice. The pigs are lovable, 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 may 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 a number of moments with all of them to your self.
I liked the best way the pictures turned out, too. Captain Dave was nice about taking pictures for me, ensuring that he stored 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 remains to be in the course of the wet season, but it surely did give me a novel alternative to be at Pig Seaside with out tons of different vacationers. From what I’ve heard, in the course of the highest seasons together with July, March, and the week between Christmas and New 12 months’s, there may be a whole bunch of individuals!
I understand you could’t all the time decide your trip instances, however for those who do have some flexibility, attempt to go in the course of the low season. Sure, you do threat having some wet days, which I did throughout my journey, however that may occur anytime while you’re within the tropics whatever the season.
Keep Close by
If you happen to’re basing out of Nassau and it’s too late to vary it, no worries, you’ll be able to nonetheless get to Pig Seaside on a day journey. BUT, for those who’re staying on Staniel Cay that’ll offer you 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 they usually’re feeling lazy.
I liked my time on Staniel Cay, slightly island close by with pretty seashores, a laid-back vibe, and a neighborhood, female-founded, owned, and run resort known as EMBRACE. There aren’t many completely locally-owned and run choices within the space, and for those who stick with them, you get a reduction off of your tour, too!
Don’t Deliver Meals to the Seaside
The entire feeding that was completed we did from the boat beneath the supervision of the captain. Above you’ll see Oliver, a pig that may 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 up to now by doing silly issues like holding meals behind their backs, not listening to the very fact that there have been pigs behind them. Pigs are nonetheless animals, and good ones at that. A number 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 popular 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 select up the infants, typically the captain will convey a bottle and decide one as much as feed him, and if you need, he’ll allow you to maintain it too.
Give Them Rubs
I don’t know when you’ve got interacted with pigs up to now, however I’ve discovered that they’re normally not receptive to pets, particularly the younger ones. These pigs are totally different, they usually LOVE stomach rubs.
Some guests appeared afraid of them however they’re like hoofed puppies. Work together with them, pet them, and benefit from the expertise of swimming with pigs residing their greatest lives.
A number of different suggestions embody bringing a number of sunscreen, water, and snacks with you on the boat. I used to be glad to have my wide-brimmed hat as effectively, for the reason that solar is powerful and a lot 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 energetic within the morning. If you happen to do take your individual boat, head out to the island earlier than 8 AM when the excursions begin and also you simply may get all of it to your self.
However for those who’re taking a tour like the remainder of us, take a look at this one departing from Staniel Cay (learn extra on the perfect issues to do on Staniel Cay right here), and this one departing from Nassau, together with a scenic flight into the Exumas.
Comfortable swimming with pigs. I hope you find it irresistible as a lot as I did!
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*This submit was dropped at you in collaboration with Staniel Cay Holidays. All enthusiasm for the pigs and the tour I took are my very own.