The Perfect Day in Paradise
The Bahamas don’t need an introduction. If you are planning your tropical holiday there, then you are already daydreaming about the crystalline waters, glistening white sands, and Caribbean Sea breeze gently tickling your skin. But you may be wondering, what else is there to do in the Bahamas besides working on your tan.
After testing out all water activities possible on Paradise Island, Nassau, we decided to venture out with our family and stumbled upon true paradise on a day trip to Rose Island, Bahamas. The pristine rose-shaped island makes you feel like Robinson Crusoe, except surrounded by excellent amenities. But the real draw of the island is the local stars – nine friendly pigs that you can swim with. Incredibly adorable and entertaining, the pigs make wonderful company for visitors of all ages. Whether you want to pet them, feed them, swim with them, or admire their intelligence, it’s a fun experience for the entire family.
Swimming with pigs is one of the best things to do during your stay in Nassau, Bahamas, and there are two contestants for the best place to do it. Let us tell you why swimming with the Rose Island pigs should be your choice.
Rose Island vs Exuma Pig Swimming Excursion
You have most likely seen photos of the swimming pigs as it is a popular tourist activity in the Bahamas. There are a few places you can meet them, the most common being Exuma. It used to be the only place to swim with pigs. Exuma is located roughly 82 miles from Nassau. Now, there is a new kid on the block located only 8.6 miles away. It is a much smaller population of sweet pigs living there and it is called Rose Island.
Here are some major differences to be aware of that will make or break your experience.
The Distance from Nassau
You may have already noticed the first, the significant distance from Nassau. The boat ride to Exuma takes a whopping two to three hours one way. Rose Island is conveniently located only 25 minutes away. That is the perfect length, especially if you have children or grandchildren accompanying you. A day trip excursion to Rose Island is the ideal destination to swim with pigs without having to make the arduous boat ride to Exuma from Nassau. And because of the long journey, your stay on Exuma island is limited.
Value for Money
Not only is swimming with pigs more convenient at Rose Island, but it is also a much cheaper experience. By skipping the long boat ride or an even more expensive flight to get to Exuma, you are cutting the cost of your trip in half. And on top of that, the tour to Rose Island usually includes unlimited drinks, lunch, and more comforts not found on Exuma.
Treatment of Pigs
The Exuma pigs were allegedly placed on the island by sailors or pirates who planned to return and feast on them. But there are also rumors saying the pigs escaped a shipwreck nearby. Either way, the Exuma pigs are wild, and while they are accustomed to tourists, they are not cared for, hungry and unpredictable. Unfortunately, their main source of food is whatever the tourists happen to bring with them, and there are reports of an occasional bite if the tourist is not willing to give up their food. The pigs at Rose Island, however, have been raised and trained by the owners, are well-fed, provided with sun care, and vet checkups, and are pretty much the kings of the island. The island is also thoroughly cleaned after the pigs, so tourists of all ages can pet away without any concern and enjoy pristine beach conditions.
How to Swim with Pigs at Rose Island
The pigs are taken care of by Sandy Toes Bahamas, a beach club on Rose Island offering many facilities and activities. Once you book your tour, which includes the boat ride to and from the island, you can enjoy access to all of the comforts, drinks, and a meal for the entire six hours of fun! If you are a last-minute planner, your hotel concierge can help you organize the booking. We recommend booking in advance as the experience is likely to sell out.
What to Expect from Your Day Trip to Rose Island
Pretty much as soon as the boat docks on the island, the sweet pigs and the staff give you a warm welcome. The first thing you’ll want to do is swim with the island stars, feed them, and take plenty of photos. The beach on Rose Island is not crowded, so you’ll enjoy having the pigs all to yourselves, which is a real bonus if you are doing the day trip with kids – they will love interacting with the pigs uninterrupted.
The beach has plenty of seating, and the restaurant on Rose Island has a beautiful view. You can rock in a hammock or lounge by the water as you take advantage of the open bar. The restaurant staff served us a meal that was included in the price of the tour. The hearty plate of Bahamian lunch fueled more rounds of swimming with pigs, but that’s not all you can do on the island.
Rose Island Snorkeling
Rose Island the best place to swim pigs in the Bahamas. It is also one of the best places to go snorkeling. The thriving Rose Island Reef is bountiful with marine life. Before you dive in to explore the underwater world, you get fitted for fins. You will also be given a life jacket and a mask. You’ll likely spot stingrays, unique coral, and an array of colorful fish, but if you prefer to stay above the surface, there are also kayaks available. And if the drinks have mellowed you out, go into deep relaxation mode by getting a massage on the island. Now, if that doesn’t sound like paradise to you, check your pulse!
Swimming with pigs at Rose Island Bahamas, in our books, is one of the best Nassau day trips. It is the perfect respite from the big island.
When visiting, swimming with the famous pigs is a must-do activity. There will be plenty of time for playing on the beach, eating at great restaurants, and going down water slides. We recommend taking the time to go visit these intelligent animals and enjoy their playful activity. They were so gentle and made many trips around us during our visit. Our grandkids couldn’t stop talking about swimming with the pigs for months after their trip. The swimming pigs of the Bahamas were, without a doubt, their favorite activity during our trip to this beautiful tropical paradise. The adults of the group loved it too.
Other Retirement Travelers Videos
We’ve enjoyed making short videos as well for our channel. Here is another short, involving an animal, where a swan landed near us on a canal in the Netherlands. It was mesmerizing to watch this beautiful animal guide the for us on a cold and windy day in a whisper boat. We hope you enjoy this video short.
More information to plan your trip
More information about the Rose Island pig adventures.