Southern Exuma Cays
Location: The Bahamas
Trip Length: 6 days
The small, mostly uninhabited islands known as cays (pronounced keys) of southern Exuma, a district in the Bahamas, are a true tropical paradise. Warm, shallow, see-straight-to-the-bottom waters encircle these islands, preventing anything larger than a sea kayak from approaching. The white sand beaches are covered in grains so fine they don’t even stick to your feet. Palm trees abound. In the water, you’ll see coral reefs with large, colorful stoplight parrotfish swimming alongside black- and yellow-striped sergeant majors, and a host of other marine life. The cays are home to several different types of mangroves, and if the tide is right, kayakers can paddle through this fascinating ecosystem, which often serves as a nursery for small sharks and sea turtles.
Expert outfitter: Spirit of the West Adventures is perhaps best known for its kayaking expeditions in cold-weather places like Patagonia and British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Seven years ago, co-owner and veteran kayak guide Breanne Quesnel wanted to add a warm-weather destination, and was shocked that no one was guiding in the Bahamas. She and her team have been leading top-notch sea kayaking trips in the Exuma Cays ever since.
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