The Bahamas is an island located in the Atlantic Ocean, including more than 700 large and small islands with many of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, a clear blue sea and brilliant coral reefs. Pig Island is an interesting destination on this beautiful island. And one of the most popular activities here is swimming with pigs Bahamas.
Overview about pig beach
Big Major Cay is a popular small island in Exuma, Bahamas. It is a small uninhabited island that derives its local name (pig yard) from a group of feral pigs.
Pigs swimming on Pig Beach of Big Major Cay is considered one of the most representative tourist ‘symbols’ of the Bahamas. In 2018, an estimated 6.62 million visitors came to this island to join the lovely pigs in the turquoise blue waters of the tropical Caribbean. Let’s find out more information about this prime island.
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What are swimming pigs?
When it comes to pigs, you only think of the image of a herd of pigs crammed together in cages at livestock farms with their characteristic odor or images of delicious pork cuts. However, do you know the image of swimming with pigs in the Bahamas or not?
At Big Major Cay, you will see a whole new image of pigs. On this island, only big and small pigs with different coat colors live freely on the island. The pigs on the island are full of sizes, from small to large. The very special thing is that the pigs here can all swim. Their survival instincts have turned them into true swimmers. They love to sunbathe on the beach and play with tourists.
Although wild pigs are considered wild animals with fierce personalities, the pigs here are very bold and hospitable. They always “snort” their noses, happily surrounding to welcome visitors to play. In particular, tourists who come here also work hard to feed pigs, so their life on this deserted island is quite easy and comfortable.
The island is home to about 20 wild pigs, which roam freely around the sea every day. No one knows when the pigs living on this island originated, but they are extremely popular here.
Where is pig beach?
Pig Island, Pig Beach or Pigs in Paradise are other names for a small, remote island with an area of 5.6 km long, nearly 1 km wide, located in Exuma, about 65 km from the Bahamas’ capital Nassau. Big Major Island is an uninhabited island in the Gulf of Exumas, Bahamas. The main inhabitants here are about 20-25 large and small semi-wild pigs.
In addition to the original and the most famous Pig Beach in the Exumas, there are the other number of Pig Beach including Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, Abacos, Rose and Grand Bahamas.
How to get there?
The only means of transport for tourists to visit the island is by boat. You can choose from resorts in the archipelago, including a full-service visit to the pig swimming beach. November and December are the best times to visit, as the weather is nice and the island is less crowded than in April.
The most popular route to visit the archipelago is through the capital Nassau and the town of George. From here, you can easily access the bays by boat, ferry or short flight. If the sole purpose of your trip is to Pig Island, you can fly from Nassau to Staniel Cay or Farmer’s Cay, two nearest islands. Flamingo Air flights depart daily at 8 am and return at 4 pm.
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History of this Swimming Pigs Island
When visitors arrive at Big Major Cay, they can disembark from the boat and interact with the pigs in the warm water or on the island’s white sand beach. Visitors come from all over the world, just to watch and swim with pigs. The pigs have become the official ambassadors of Bahamas tourism. A book about them, “Pigs of Heaven”, has also been released. The pigs have become so popular that they have even inspired a children’s book and written songs about them.
There’s even a feature-length documentary slated for release in late 2018. “These animals have certainly captured the human imagination,” says author TR Todd. “Swimming with pigs on a beautiful beach is not something you do every day.”
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There are many theories about how the first pigs appeared in Big Major Cay. Although they are believed to have been on the island since the 1800s, no one really knows the pigs that came to live on Big Major Cay Island, where they now roam in an area that locals call squirrels. I love Pig Pig Beach. Some believe the pigs were on a ship of European explorers hit by an unexpected storm and sunk.
The crew failed to make it to shore, but the pigs survived and managed to swim to the mainland, where they became the island’s sole inhabitants. Yet, as Todd explains in his book, most of these stories are of folk origin. Residents of neighboring islands put pigs on the island for a purpose.
At first, there were only a handful of pigs on the Big Major. Over time they gradually increase. Until the near 1990s, locals used the Big Major as a farm, harvesting animals and slaughtering them as needed. However, the subsistence aspect has disappeared in recent years, although there are no formal laws protecting pigs from harm.
Today, despite declining numbers, there are only about 30 to 40 animals on the island at any given time. Piglets roam freely with large, young and old pigs. The animals differ in color. Some are all black, while others are black, pink and white. They also have different personalities. Some are eager to interact with people, while others are shy.
Most pigs have names. Some, such as Cinnamon and Ginger, are named for their colors. Other pigs, such as Raleigh, Roosevelt and Shirley, are named after friends and ancestors.
The capital Big Major Cay is an uninhabited island surrounded by forests and is famous for its beautiful natural scenery that captivates people, still retaining its charming wild beauty with blue sea and extremely romantic white sand. Big Major Cay has a natural spring and nearby islets that shelter it from the strong waves generated by the tropical storm, thus creating a peaceful environment.
It has a mild and humid climate. The average temperature in winter is 21°C, and in summer is 27°C. Because there is almost no chance of the four seasons, the Bahamas is called the country forever in June. On the island, the trees are green all year round.
Although it has a charming landscape and captivates tourists with the scenery of Big Major Cay, the main focus of this island is still the pigs, which are the plus points that help attract many famous stars and tourists to the Bahamas.
Because this is an unspoiled island, there has been no technological intervention. However, the number of tourists visiting the island has caused some serious problems and may affect the future and development of this island.
After a handful of pigs died in early 2017, volunteers created signs designed to raise awareness about pig health. Signs remind visitors that “pigs are not a place for waste” and that it is best to feed them in the water so they don’t eat the sand.
If anyone around Exuma knew about pigs, it was Chamberlain. The team ensures the pigs always have fresh water stored in three 150-gallon buckets in the island’s center. A veterinarian from Nassau cares for and monitors them. Perhaps the most important work for volunteers is monitoring the pigs’ diets.
Of course, the pigs also eat what tourists feed them. This is why they swim until they hear the boat. For years, the process went unchecked, and tourists would supply pigs with everything from lettuce and lobster tails to raw meat and beer.
Currently, the island is also chosen to live for some people in other places to develop tourism services. In particular, to protect the pigs, visitors are also asked to only feed them fruit, vegetables or bread.
In addition, to avoid the case of pigs biting people or affecting visitors, it is not recommended to use hand feeding. Instead, visitors should drop food into the water for them to swim in to enjoy.
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Marine Life Around Pig Beach
When coming to Big Major Cay, visitors will enjoy the unspoiled natural scenery, swim in the turquoise water and sunbathe on the white sand beach. In addition, tours to the island will take visitors to visit rock lizards, scuba diving, swim with sharks or visit sunken ships.
Because the wildness has not passed human hands, this is the ideal habitat for many species other than pigs. The waters of the Bahamas are very beautiful, with clear blue water an ideal environment for those who love to swim to explore the underwater landscape.
Thick coral reefs are placed with an abundance of marine life. Expand your horizons and understanding. A new experience is when you can swim with small sharks without a protective cage.
Other Attractions close to the Swimming Pigs
However, the Bahamas is not only famous for Swimming Pigs. The surrounding places are still equally attractive to tourists. If you’ve been to Swimming Pigs, why not visit other places in the Bahamas? Let’s take a look at some of the attractions near Swimming Pigs.
Exumas: If you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean, Into the Blue and James Bond, you will definitely want to visit this place, because this is where the footage of the films above was filmed. This place has a great resort to choose for your family to have the most comfortable moments.
Thunderball Cave: Thunderball Grotto is the home of famous scenes from James Bond’s Thunderball. You can swim through short caves at low tide and enter this beautiful cave in the middle of an unspoiled island. Once you’re inside, it’s breathtakingly beautiful above the water and below! The rocks are lit up when the sun shines through, and the bright colors of the fish sparkle in the rays of the sun.
Staniel Cay YACHT CLUB: This is where everyone gathers, and there are pictures of past stars stopping for a drink. Although the patrons are likely millionaires, you should feel no fear as they are comfortable and dressed casually.
Exumas Regatta: boat races and fishing trips take place continuously in Exumas.
Through the above article, we can summarize, at Big Major Cay island, in addition to having fun with this “lovely” pig, small cafes, landmarks around the island, or adventures to discover also attracts many tourists. Sitting, resting and swimming with pigs Bahamas with the blue sea, white sand, and sunshine will make many people fall in love. Try going to Big Major Cay to enjoy these great things.