All you need is a boat, a picnic basket and some flippers to explore the amazing ecosystems that make up the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park!
This marine wonderland was the first park of its kind in the world when it was established in 1958. Since then, this farsighted move to protect the area has helped the Exuma Cays remain pristine, beautiful and filled to the brim with awesome wildlife.
THINGS TO DO IN THE EXUMA CAYS LAND AND SEA PARK
The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park covers 176 square miles and includes 18 cays within its boundaries. Just like the other Bahamian national parks, the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park offers tours with experienced local guides. The best way to learn more about this natural wonder of the world is by joining a kayaking tour and following your guide.
The sandy cays and islets offer excellent anchorages for boats. The beautiful white sandy beaches are favored by nesting sea turtles and iguanas, as well as many types of terns and sea birds. You may even see a white-tailed Tropicbird or a rare mammal called a Bahamian Hutia, the only native terrestrial mammal in the Bahamas.
Sunbathing, kayaking, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling and more can all be enjoyed around the Exuma Cays.
THINGS TO DO BENEATH THE SEA AT THE PARK
Although the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park is stunningly beautiful for sailing around, it truly dazzles once you put your head beneath the aquamarine water. Divers and snorkelers will enter an amazing world inhabited by turtles, barracudas, spotted eagle rays, spiny lobsters, queen conch and thousands of colorful fish in all shapes and sizes. Sponges, corals and anemones all make up a beautiful underwater garden along with underwater caverns, blue holes and shallow reefs.
Anchoring should be done only where there is a sandy bottom. It is not allowed on coral reefs, among sea grasses or around hard-bottom areas where the coral is likely to be permanently damaged.
Visitors are free to swim and dive in this natural wonder, but the marine life is protected. The park operates a no-take fishing policy to ensure that the many species of marine life found here will be safe for many generations to come.
One way to take home some special memories of your visit is by investing in an underwater camera to capture some of the amazing natural sights.
FEES FOR VISITING THE EXUMA CAYS LAND AND SEA PARK
In order pay for staff and maintain the infrastructure in this natural paradise, fees are charged for users and visitors. All boats exceeding 90 feet in length must pay anchorage fees, which start at $120 per night, depending on the size of boat.
Mooring fees are also charged at Shroud Cay, Hawksbill Cay and Cambridge Cay. Fees range from $20 to $150, according to boat size.
Charges are also made for those conducting research or commercially filming within the park boundaries. Visitors can prepay their fees by logging onto the official Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park website.
Remember the ecologist’s guidelines: take only pictures, leave only footprints!
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