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Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

MA
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Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

I'm torn. We're due to arrive in Exuma in just over a week and while I've inquired regarding Cays tours, I have not yet booked. Going with one of the less expensive outfits, it is still $800 for our family of two adults and two children, all inclusive. Now I do understand why the cost is what it is, that it does take time, lots of fuel, etc, and I'm not suggesting that the tour operator should not be compensated fairly. I'm just saying in a rough economic time, it's hard to justify coughing up $800 for a one-day tour.

Having said all that, I don't want to travel all the way to Exuma only to not experience what it uniquely has to offer.

I saw one post reference a half-day tour that encompassed most of what the full-day tour offers, but I think it was with one of the more expensive operators and therefore was not a huge savings over the full-day tour with other operators.

I think what we would most want to see would be the pigs and iguanas, as that is something you can't see elsewhere, and stopping at the sandbar and to hold starfish would be cool. Snorkeling in the grotto would be fun, but we've done lots of snorkeling, including cenotes (caves) in Mexico, so if this is similar this would probably not be a deal breatker, especially if we can snorkel offshore in Exuma.

Are there more affordable ways to do this trip? Recommendations for half-day tours which encompass key points? Or for the time and money, are we better served just renting from Minn's and exploring more locally?

We are only there for three full-days, planning to rent from Minn's one day, maybe do the Cays tour another, drive around a third day, and since we depart late maybe do Sunday Stocking Island before we fly to Nassau.

I will say too that I am the one in the family that plans these things and doesn't want to miss anything, but the husband would generally be most happy just laying on a beach somewhere and the kids might not love sitting in a boat all day. We've gone on whale and sea lion tours before when they were younger, and they do start to zone out and not have fun when it's long periods of sitting in a boat.

I'm sure ultimately I just have a tough decision to make, but I would be happy to hear feedback from those of you who have done this tour, particularly feedback on how kids have responded or would respond. And if you only had three full days on island, would you still choose to do the Cays tour or would you tend to relax more locally? Thank you for any feedback.

Houston
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11. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

We have seen turtles and dolphines in the harbour many times before. It is hit or miss though! You should be fine skipping even a half day tour to explore on your own as there is lots to see, do and enjoy that won't cost anything!

MA
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12. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

Haha, littlejohn, there's not a scheduled turtle and dolphin crossing? Well, it's great to know there is a lot to explore and discover. Now I'm wondering if one day of Minn's is enough, or if we should try for two?

Oh, and is the smallest boat ok/perfectly stable and safe in the harbor? Thanks!

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13. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

The smallest boat from Minns will be pefectly fine.

Really though if i had as much time as youve described id still do he halfday tour too. you sull see the pigs and tons of islands and skip a lot of the necessary time spent in the boat on the full day tour. remember youre not just paying for he trip but also experience and insight and knowlege. They will better be able to tell you where to take your rental boaf too. I can tell youve done some thorough research and like quality and value. believe me my career in the travel industry dictates I focus on that too. For value its really the best option!

Houston
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14. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

I wish there was a schedule! We have gotten lucky though. The turtles are probably harder to see as they aren't used to being around humans like they are in Mexico.

For the boat, I wouldn't do the 'small' one. Even in the harbor, the water can get choppy and the boat can feel unstable. With the small kids, I would do the 17 for sure (it's like $30 more) or would go with the 19 (about $100 more). The 19 have a V hull providing better stability. Cruising around the harbor and visiting the beaches, snorkeling spots, Chan N Chill and just having the boys explore will be more enjoyable especially if you skip the whole day of half day tour.

Nashville, TN
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15. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

exumawatertours.com/excursions-bahamas-exuma…

http://www.exumawatersports.com/index.htm

I would contact both of these folks and see what they offer. We did the Thunmderball with 4C's (top one) and it was great -- they offer a few other tours that may work.

Maybe something out of the south side of GE or from Little Exuma toward Sandy Cay (where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean)? It wouldn't use as much fuel, so maybe the cost could come down. If neither of these folks offer his tour, ask them if they can recommend someone.

Edited: 1:50 pm, April 05, 2013
Kingston, Jamaica
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16. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

I really found the information here very helpful. I too am planning a trip to a Caribbean island and reading about theses wonderful activities that I can do in exuma Is making me really consider visiting here for my next vacation. Thanks guys :)

17. Re: Cays Tour Necessary to the Exuma Experience?

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