The Exuma Cay Archipelago has so many destinations to choose from but here is one that travelers should be sure not to miss. Staniel Cay, located right in the middle of Exuma is not only conveniently located but also the home of the accommodating Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
Visiting Staniel Cay is an excellent way to soak up the sun on stunning white-sand beaches, take a dive beneath the waves, and experience the sights that influenced two Bond movies. Don’t miss out on Staniel Cay.
What to Know About Visiting Staniel Cay
Staniel Cay is small, but it is inhabited on the western side by a Bahamian village. The population of this town is quite small, but they do have the commodities of a post office, police station, library, three small retail and marine supply shops, and a church. This Cay is a protected location for being a place of historical interest and natural beauty. The Bahamas National Trust manages the Cay and helps to protect it.
Staniel Cay was settled at about the same time as the entirety of the archipelago of Exuma was settled in 1783. The island of Staniel Cay would grow in popularity with the establishment of the Staniel Cay Yacht Club in 1956. The club was founded by Bob Chamberlain and Joe Hocher.
Businesses began to pop up throughout the Cay to organize activities for and to accommodate the visitors that the yacht club began to bring to the island.
The stunning aesthetic of Staniel Cay would catch the attention of Hollywood with movies such as 1965’s Bond film, Thunderball, which would be shot in the since named Thunderball Grotto. This limestone cave would be used as one of the settings for the film. Bond would eventually return to Staniel Cay in 1983 for the film Never Say Never Again.
- Size - 2 square miles
- Settled - 1783
- Hollywood - James Bond (Thunderball and Never Say Never Again)
Where It Is, How to Get There
Staniel Cay is about 120 km (75 miles) south of Nassau and 400 km (250 miles) southeast of Florida. The island is home to very few full-year residents, with just 118 calling the five square kilometers (2 square miles) island home.
Staniel Cay is conveniently located at about the center of Exuma making it a great home base for visiting the surrounding area. Big Major Cat and Bitter Guana Cay surround Staniel Cay, however, Staniel Cay is still one of the larger islands in Exuma. The Island, like much of Exuma Cay, consists of stunning white sand beaches, tropical vegetation, and an abundance of coral reefs off the shore.
Travelers can reach the island by boat and is a common destination for those traveling by yacht. The Copasetic Villa offers 120-foot and 50-foot dock rentals. There are also ferry options from Nassau, though the trip can be expected to take over five hours.
The island’s airport reopened in 2015 once again allowing for access by air. There ate scheduled flights, charter airplanes, and private planes that make use of the island's 3,000-foot airstrip. Daily flights arrive and depart from Fort Lauderdale and Nassau.
Staniel Cay is Known for the Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Its Premiere Resort
Staniel Cay Yacht Club (SCYC) offers travelers exquisite bungalow accommodations, as well as a marina with the full array of expected services and amenities for their bout and yacht visitors. The location of Staniel Cy and the SCYC makes it the premier destination for those traveling by Yacht as they will have easy access to the entirety of Exuma Cay. Even travelers lacking yachts can enjoy the accommodations of SCYC and the beauty of the waters around the island.
Travelers visiting the island will be welcomed with a variety of activities for passing their day. There are snorkeling, Kayaking, and paddleboarding options available and for travelers looking for something specific the staff of SCYC will be able to help them find what they are looking for. They will be able to set travelers up with private island retreats as well as charter yachts to take advantage of.
- Contact - (954) 467-6658
Beaches / Sandbarring
Travelers should obviously take advantage of the beaches during their time at Staniel Cay. A popular activity at Staniel Cay is Sandbarring essentially just lounging on a sandbar while enjoying lunch and perhaps a beverage. It is important for travelers to remember when high tide arrives though, so they can make sure to be off the sandbar in time!
Visit Nearby Cays
Being located so conveniently in the middle of Exuma, it is a great idea for travelers to take advantage of the other nearby Cays and what they have to offer. Here are the surrounding Cays and destinations to check out.
- Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park - the world’s first land and sea park
- Thunderball Grotto - Site for filming the 1965 James Bond film
- Big Major’s Spot (Pig Beach) - Bring a treat for the swimming pigs
- Compass Cay - Famous for its nurse shark and human interactions
- Allan’s Cay - See the critically endangered Northern Bahamian Rock Iguanas
- Elbo Cay - The 200-year-old Elbow Reef Lighthouse is a historic feature