Taylor and I decided to go to the Bahamas solely because we heard they had swimming pigs. Seriously. When we first found it we posted it on our facebooks to see if anyone had done it, but it seemed like this was still a somewhat uncharted territory.. but I think everyone that saw pictures of these floating piggies wanted to do it. After a bit of research and planning we discovered there were pigs on two islands in the Exumas – a group of small islands in the Bahamas.
Bahamas broken down is baha mer, meaning shallow seas which is why there are so many stunning sand bars and crystal clear waters. We booked our swimming pig tour through Exuma Watersports, and showed up at a completely abandoned restaurant. Aside from the wasp nest and the washrooms out of a horror film it was a pretty un-remarkable starting point – although if you do choose to book with Exuma Watersports keep in mind that unless you’re at Sandals it’s on the furthest point of Exuma.. and in true Bahamian fashion there may or may not be restaurants open nearby, so plan ahead with some snacks.
We set out on the Exuma Watersports 007 Thunderball, stocked with water, beer, and coconut cookies. We made a couple of quick stops around some islands, our Captain Justin pointed out some popular drug-running islands, and then we were off to visit the pigs.
There are lots of theories about how the pigs ended up on the island, but Justin told us the truth… he bought them from Nassau, and his Mom picked them up in her car, put them in a boat and brought them to the island. I can only picture this being the funniest thing either of them had ever done. They feed them twice a day (chicken hot dogs, veggie scaps, rice.. all kinds of nutrient goodies), and bring visitors by to swim. There’s another island in Staniel Cay that has been doing swimming pig tours for years, but it’s a full day tour and most people don’t have that much time to dedicate to piggies.
Before we had even gotten to the island the pigs came running out, just from hearing the sound of the motors. They splashed into the water, and it still seems unbelievable that they swam right out to the boat. We all jumped off the side of the boat to meet them, and soon realized there were PIGLETS running out to meet us! There were about 28 piglets born on the island a couple weeks before, and although they couldn’t swim yet they were still cool with being picked up and played with. I can’t make this stuff up.
After the pigs we trekked out to a few different stunning islands, found a few natural pools in the middle of islands, another island filled with dinosaurs (iguanas), and had an overall incredible day. It was by far one of the highlights of our trip and can’t wait to go back and visit our piglets all grown up.
We feel like through a couple of pig selfies we’ve already inspired hundreds of people to visit. It’s absolutely something everyone should do once in their lifetime.. like a much cooler version of swimming with the dolphins.
What you should know: Pigs are awesome. There’s not much to know other than you should do this as soon as possible.
What you should bring: Sunscreen, a hat, and a shirt - you’re out in the sun the majority of the day.