I'm Canadian and been living on Great Exuma for five years and when we have visitors we always bring them to Stocking Island. I've been more times than I can count so I will give you an unbiased list of what you can expect and what not to.
Keep in mind that this is a small island accessed by another small island in a tiny country.
You simply can't expect to find things to the quality and standard you can in The UK, or Canada.
If you can realise this you can embrace most of your experiences here.
If you feel a lot of things that fall short of your expectations you need to assess why it is you travel. if you want it to be like home? Stay home.
Stocking island is well worth a day over. Simplest access is by water Taxi which is $12 per person for return trip. it doesn't really run on schedule but more just when people turn up. you may have to wait for a bit if it is already doing a run.
Don't just stay at the Chat n' chill, walk to Higgins landing and around to other beaches, take the path over to the Atlantic side. The surf here can be very rough but you can certainly body surf! Walk a bit and explore.
You can expect a white sand beach and clear water and because it has many sides you can usually find a place to get out of the wind.
You can expect to find people to chat to. Most of them friendly tourists from around the globe
You can expect to get up close and personal with Stingrays. This is really a highlight and shouldn't be missed.
You can expect the freshest of conch salads. (they harvest the conch right there and then)
You can expect as the day goes on several drunks
You can expect people to take part in beach volley ball.
You can expect a moderate crowd, but compared to most beaches around the world, it will seem empty.
What you should NOT expect,
Don't expect beach chairs, at least not until the owner finds a more reliable quality chair. He has not replaced the chairs for a while. A bit of a disappointment.
Don't expect Fast food. it will take a while. They don't advertise it as fast, and they don't make it until it's ordered. Order your food up to an hour before you think you might really be needing it. you may get it faster, but expect to wait.
Don't expect GOOD food. But...at $4.50 a hamburger what do you want? it's edible. and there's something about a burger on a beach that adds more to it than the flavour could ever deliver. it's typical Bahamian fare. No more, no less.
Don't expect great or happy service. Depends on the staff and depends on the day. It can be great and it can be abysmal.
Do not expect a play park for children. I've seen a few reviews saying there was nothing for children to do...but honestly it is a perfect beach for children as the water is calm and there are no steep drop offs. MOST children are more than happy to play on a beach all day.
This is really based on doing what most people do and heading over to Chat'N Chill for the day, there are other options for Stocking Island though. Peace and Plenty has a water taxi and that will take you over to Hamburger beach, or Elvis may take you if he's not too busy (and yes they do have a restaurant there with the same fare as Chat n' Chill) which then is far easier to access the other side of the island. You can also walk to Starfish beach which is named that for a reason.
All in all, if you are on Great Exuma, plan a trip to Stocking Island near to the start of your trip as you will quite likely want to spend another day there before you go.
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