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“The must do tour in Exuma”
Review of Exuma Water Tours

Exuma Water Tours
Ranked #4 of 27 Tours in Great Exuma
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed May 6, 2013

I wanted to do the Sandals Thunderball tour, but at $375/person, it was just too much. On the way out to the taxi at the airport, I was handed a brochure. Normally I never take brochures from people, but I am very glad I did. At $160/person, it was less than half of the price and I was sold. It is essentially the exact same tour as Sandals, only it is done by a third party. The operator even used to work at Sandals.

The Sandals trip doesn't make stops at other hotels to pick up guests. This tour does, although it only takes a few minutes. The tour bus for the 4 C's isn't allowed on the Sandals property and you have to meet them out front at the security gate. The tour isn't run every day. We wanted to go on Monday, but they said no one had signed up for that day, so we were moved up to Saturday. I'm glad I called when I did or we would have missed out. Also, lunch is not included. The brochure says "enjoy a Bahamian lunch", but you have to pay for it. You also have to pay $20/couple at the shark place, which no one was informed about. This was mildly irritating, especially since the woman next to us specifically asked if there were hidden charges and was told no. Lastly, there is no tipping on the Sandals tour. It is obviously allowed on this one. So we paid $320 for the trip, $40 for lunch (it's expensive!), $20 for the shark tour, and $60 in total gratuity for Andrew and Smiley. $440 total. Still a great deal overall.

The office where you pay is very small and run down. It seems sketchy, but I actually appreciate low overhead businesses and there appears to be little overhead here. We made a few stops during the the trip for Andrew to pick up "envelopes", which was fine, except we sat waiting for one for 5-10 minutes that never showed up.

The snorkeling in the grotto is fantastic. We went on the Sandals free snorkeling trip a couple of days after we did this tour and got back on the boat in 10 minutes because we were underwhelmed.

Only one swimming pig came out, which was a bummer, but he kept us pretty well entertained. The sandbar was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life.

If you have a bad back, the water is choppy and the ride is long. I brought Advil and I was fine. It was sore on the way out, but good on the way back.

Tips:
1. Bring grapes and bread. The iguanas LOVE grapes. The pigs love bread. It would have been nice if the tour had provided us these, but I planned ahead.
2. You can drink on the tour. Bring a bottle of wine and some beers from your room and ask to toss them in their cooler.
3. Bring towels.
4. Bring an underwater camera and a regular camera.
5. Bring a blanket/bath robe/extra towel/shirt for the ride back.
6. I am vegan and there wasn't anything for me to eat at the restaurant for lunch. Bring snacks if you desire. My wife had a great lunch, however.

2  Thank Andy85032
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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336 - 340 of 443 reviews

Reviewed April 26, 2013

We hired Exuma Water Tours (aka 4 C's adventures) for a full day tour of Exuma. It was fantastic. There were 8 of us, we decided to charter our own boat and Captain Andrew delivered a fantastic day.
We visited iguana island, sunken drug plane, snorkeled in the thunderball grotto, fed swimming pigs, stopped at a sandbar that was heavenly, swam with sharks and even caught a couple barracuda which made for a tasty dinner when we got home. We saw numerous incredible private islands, some stingrays, some eagle rays, ospreys, learned some celebrity trivia and just had a fantastic day.
Captain Andrew was awesome. He gave us lots of background on the area and various islands. He jumped in and helped some of our group with the snorkeling, taking pictures, etc. He even cleaned our fish when we got back to the dock. It was great.
For those planning to do a "thunderball" type tour of the area, here are some tips:
1. Pay the extra money, charter your own boat. We were able to tailor the trip a bit and it was way more comfortable. Plus we were able to do a bit of fishing too!
2. You could eat at Staniel Kay as part of the trip, you will have to eat there if you go on the group tour. But if you charter, pack a picnic. Andrew took us to a private sandbar and we had a fantastic picnic
3. Bring a windbreaker, you will need it as the boat goes really fast and gets windy.
4. Bring rain gear. The weather changes and rolls in while we had 7.5 hrs of sunshine, we also had 15 min of rain and you will get soaked if it rains
5. Things are not close to each other, you will be on the boat moving for a lot of the time. Take gravol before heading out if you are at all prone to sea sickness.
6. There is no washroom on the boat. You have washrooms at Staniel Kay, about 2.5hrs in and then about 2 hrs later at the swim with the sharks. And at the dock where you meet the boat. But otherwise, you have to hold it. So do what you have to do to hold it.
7. If you take the group tour, they vote on doing the shark swim (it is an extra $10 per person) and you might not get to go. You should go, it is really fun. Charter, it is a non issue, you can go.

But doing the tour is a must do. I thought that area was gorgeous before doing the tour. But then we were all literally blown away. I have never seen such beautiful waters and beaches in my life.

2  Thank Zane V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2013

While visiting Exuma, we had the pleasure of going on a full day Four C's water tour with Captain Andrew and Smiley. What a great time!!!!! There were 6 of us, including 3 children. You could not get the smiles off their faces. We swam with the pigs and sharks. We fed iguanas and had a great lunch at Staniel Cay. We went to a beautiful sand bar and finished the tour by snorkeling at Thunderball Grotto. It was an Awesome Adventure for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank kmb4571
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We had a wonderful time on the full-day tour with Four C's. Thunderball Grotto, Swimming Pigs, Swimming with Nurse Sharks, Looking for Sand Dollars on the Sand Bar. It had everything we were looking for and made for a wonderful day off our resort.

Only drawbacks....limited restroom stops at beginning of day, additional fee for lunch and nurse shark swimming (because they're at a private dock).

Other than that....all the experience at nearly half the price our resort wanted to charge.

1  Thank Nina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

We really enjoyed this trip but it could have been so much better and perhaps a different operator would have delivered a better experience.

We were staying in Georgetown and got picked up at 7:30 for the ride to Barraterre. It took a very long time for us to get to the boat as as we had to stop and pick up every other passenger along the way. We had our own transport so if we could have met the boat at Barraterre it would have saved us so much time.

Those who have young kids will know that you don't move fast when you have to go from point A to point B and not surprisingly all the families were last to get to the boat. As a result, all the kids were sitting in the back of the boat with no view or shade from the sun. Also we were right next to the fuel tank and the smell of the fumes was so strong my eyes were watering. Incredibly only one very nice couple who were on honeymoon offered up their seats (thanks Tony and Stacey) and although we asked Andrew for help he was of no assistance.

Honestly I think we had too many people on the boat and there did not seem to be enough life vests. I love the laid back atmosphere of island life but a short safety talk at the beginning of the journey would be a good idea.

Incredibly 30 minutes into the trip we had to stop for fuel which seemed really bad planning and the stench of the gas only got worse. 45 mins later we lost an engine and had to have an impromptu stop while a rescue boat came with spare parts. Because we were so far behind our schedule we had to skip swimming with the nurse sharks and so missed a big highlight for us.

Smiley was great. He was extremely helpful to all the people who battled the current in and out of Thunderball grotto. Really liked the sandbar, it was a treat to see the pigs and fortunately we did get to interact with some nurse sharks at Staniel Cay.

2  Thank AgileScottie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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