The Bahamas is an archipelago of 700 islands set in the clearest waters of the Atlantic Ocean, only 30 of which are inhabited. There are also over 2,000 cays (coral reefs) in the Bahamas chain, making it difficult to choose which island to visit. Each has its own distinctive charm and personality, whether it be a lively spot with its own water park, pool parties and nightlife galore, an elegant all-inclusive resort experience full of romance and pampering, or a mooring off your own private stretch of sand. There is something for every taste in the Bahamas.
I recently visited Long Island, aptly named by a seafarer who felt it took too long to sail past. The island is 80 miles long and 4 miles wide and offers a surprising variety of landscapes, activities, and the most stunning sugar sand beaches you will ever see. Here are my top 5 reasons to visit this perfect piece of paradise.
Dean’s Blue Hole
Dean’s Blue Hole is a spectacular pool of cerulean blue water surrounded by a natural rock amphitheater on 3 sides and a white sand beach on the other. It is the second largest blue hole in the world after the Dragon Hole in the South China Sea. Plunging to a depth of over 600 feet, it is also the site of the Vertical Blue Free Diving International Competition held in July. Ready to take the plunge?
The Swimming Swine
Although the neighboring island of Exuma has grown a huge tourist and social media following for its swimming pigs on nearby Big Major Cay, many of the Bahamian Islands, including Long Island, offer the same experience without the crowds. Just a quick boat ride from the area of the island known as Deadman’s Cay, Long Island’s swimming pigs are every bit as friendly and adorable if you want an up close and personal experience with them. Bring Food!
There is a reason Long Island is known as the most scenic island in the Bahamas – its varied landscapes. Home to spectacular cliffs, shimmering coral reefs, and pristine beaches, the Eastern shore features a rugged coastline, strong breezes, and deep blue water. It is a favorites spot for sailors, divers, and deep-sea fishermen. The Western shore is more relaxed with miles of talcum beaches and crystal clear, calm water, a perfect spot for beach lovers and mermaids like myself.
I have seen many a beach and Long Island’s are among the best. My favorite is Cape Santa Maria Beach for its soft white sands gently sloping into a sea of aqua blues. It is heaven on earth. The best part? You may be the only person on it. There are at least 16 other beaches on the island and they are as varied as the island’s landscape itself. Stella Maris Beach, for example, is small and rocky with craggy black ironshore formations, while the Love Beaches are a collection of 4 pink sand beaches highlighted by a large natural swimming pool; which brings me to my final reason for visiting Long Island…
Cape Santa Maria Resort and Suites
Set on 4 miles of a private beach recognized as one of the top 10 in the world, Cape Santa Maria is a hidden gem for those seeking privacy and pampering. Each of the 4o cottage units has its own private porch as well as a covered gazebo for relaxing and gazing out at the turquoise sea. The rooms are tastefully decorated in white and aqua blues and are stocked with all the necessities. During my stay the food was sumptuous, the in-room massage decadent, and the sunsets epic. Non-motorized water sports were included in the room rate and the resort offered everything from snorkeling adventure cruises to iguana tours. Cape Santa Maria is an ideal spot to do everything or nothing at all.