The Bahamas Bucket List – Swimming With Pigs

The Bahamas Bucket list - Swimming with the pigs
Swimming with the pigs in The Bahamas
Swimming with the pigs is one of the many major attractions tourists flock to when they’re visiting the islands. (Photo Credit: Laurent Gilli/Flickr)

 

When you think of The Bahamas, crystal, clear waters and beaches come to mind.

However, swimming with the pigs is one of the most popular and known attractions for tourists.

You can find these cute, four-legged creatures on Big Major Cay (Pig Beach) in The Exumas.

The Exumas comprise of over 365 cays & islands and known for diving explorations, private islands and pristine clear waters you can see from outer space.

Where did the pigs come from?

Swimming with the Pifs
Yes … pigs can swim (Photo Credit Mouzo_ /Flickr)

 

Big Major Cay (Pig Beach) only inhabitants are the swine, goats and other small reptiles.

But how did the pigs arrive on the island?

There are a few legends regarding the pigs on the island. Some locals said it was pirates, and they left their livestock when they travelled. Other locals say it was the Spainards, the French or local businessmen fearing their supply of food would diminish during the “Y2K millennium” fiasco.

Regardless of the urban legends, the feral pigs on Big Major Cay are the go-to attraction for anyone visiting.

Traveling to Pig Island

arriving on pig island
Charter flights, ferries and boat yours can take you to the island. (Photo credit: cdorobek/Flickr)

 

Since the island is secluded, there are ferry’s boat rides and chartered flights that came take you to the island. The boat ride is roughly ten minutes and the closest airport is in Staniel Cay.

It’s advised to find a reputable tour group to take you to the island unless you have relatives or know locals that live in The Bahamas.

Can you feed the pigs?

Pitted fruits and vegetables are the suggested snacks, if you’re planning to feed the pigs. (Photo credit: flyingandtravel.com)

Yes … you can! However, it is strongly advised that the pigs are fed in the water and not on land. By doing this, the pigs are less likely to ingest sand, which can be harmful.

Pitted fruit and vegetables are suggested if you decide to feed the pigs.

The Bahamian in recent years are developing new regulations to protect these “national treasures.” There have been some recent cases where some pigs were found deceased because of ingestion of sand and non-healthy snacks.

Are the pigs harmful to humans?

Make sure you keep food out of your hands when you’re around the pigs. (Photo credit: Y Nakanishi/Flickr)

Just make sure you don’t have any food in your hands. The pigs chase after those who decide not to “share” their food.

But there quite meek creatures and very much to themselves.

When you’re swimming with them in the water, they may come around you because they are curious.

.

Best times to visit Pig Island

The pigs normally come out in the afternoon but, can be seen chilling on the beach shores. (Photo credit: Bahamas Air Tours)

The Bahamas is relatively sunny throughout the entire year. Tours normally start in the early, which gives you enough time to enjoy the beach and the sun rays. The pigs normally roam around late afternoon and they’re attracted to the visitors.

However, hurricane season roughly starts in June and ends in November. If you’re wondering about the safety of the pigs, no need to worry because they’re taken to a local shelter.

Stay in touch with us on our Instagram for the latest inspiration and information regarding all your Bahamian travel needs.

Check out my previous post on the Top Five diving spots in The Bahamas.

Syd Rey

Freelance journalist x forever chasing sunsets.

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