Exuma, Bahamas

Vivere a Exuma

Iyna Bort Caruso

Southeast of Nassau begins a 130-mile-long archipelago that is the crown jewel of the Bahamas: The Exumas.

The collection of some 365 islands and cays includes uninhabited Robinson Crusoe-types that can only be reached by boat. The main airport is on Great Exuma, the largest island in the chain, where several international airlines offer regular service. Expanded air links and more, albeit measured development has resulted in an influx over the last 15 years.

The Exumas were settled by American loyalists to the British crown who fled after the American Revolution. They named the main settlement Georgetown after King George III. Those early expats brought their architectural preferences with them but styles evolved with less formality as homes adapted for the tropics with large windows and high ceilings to manage airflow.

Exuma is a quiet escape where attractions are centered on all things aquatic. Just across the bridge from Great Exuma is the island of Little Exuma where Tropic of Cancer Beach (aka Pelican Beach) is considered one of the best white powder beaches around. Throughout the region, yachting, snorkeling and kayaking are popular pursuits. In scuba-diving circles, Exuma’s exotic undersea creatures, coral reefs and blue holes are well known. Anglers take to shallow waters to track bonefish, a notoriously difficult-to-spot fish. Other rarities include the chance to spot an elusive iguana or swim with pigs off uninhabited Big Major Cay.

For wealthy Americans interested in luxury real estate abroad, the area has been prime hunting grounds. The Exumas are protected, private and unpretentious with a cache of condominiums, beachfront compounds and private island inventory that attracts high net worth individuals. Villas in gated communities offer turnkey living, some with rental programs. The Bahamas’ tax-neutral status is an additional incentive. The country has no income, inheritance or capital gains taxes.

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