The Bahamas is a great travel destination for those considering a social distancing yacht charter vacation as a result of the Coronavirus, as it's home to countless cays and secluded beaches. Here's our pick of the best.
If you're looking for an escape on the sea for your next vacation, you might be considering a social distancing yacht charter as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The Bahamas is one of the best destinations for getting away from the crowds and discovering peace and serenity on the water, particularly around the unspoilt paradise of the Exumas.
A private yacht charter will give you the flexibility to visit any of these places and avoid large groups of people, meaning you can continue practicing social distancing while still making the most out of what the Bahamas has to offer.
Located in close proximity to Staniel Cay is Big Major Cay, a small islet that's home to the famous swimming pigs. You can spend the night at anchor opposite Pig Beach, and pay the pigs a visit first thing in the morning before the crowds start to arrive. Then, spend the afternoon playing with water toys and enjoying the clear blue sea.
While the west side of the island is popular among tour-operators visiting Pig Beach, the east side is quiet and tranquil. There's a long strip of pristine white sandy beach which you can visit- ask your yacht crew to set up a beach picnic and enjoy a sunset meal on the sand.
Shroud Cay is the perfect destination for yacht-goers in search of serenity and social distancing. Completely uninhabited and made up of lots of little islets and cays, the island's unique formation is caused by low-lying land that allows rivers to form and swirls of white sand to rise up from the sea, creating sandbars at low tide.
There's plenty of remote beaches to explore on your yacht charter and plenty of shallow water where you can enjoy paddle boarding or kayaking; but by far the most popular attraction is the Waterslide. This natural phenomenon is caused by tidal currents passing through two outcrops of land and creating a waterslide-like ride. It's perfect if your yacht has inflatable toys on board.
Set in the heart of the Exumas National Park, Waderick Wells is home to crystal-blue sea, long swathes of sandy beaches and protected wildlife. It's a marine reserve area, so your yacht will not be able to anchor everywhere, but there are mooring balls available if you're looking to spend a night here.
The island is widely considered one of the most beautiful in the Bahamas, and it's the perfect spot to lie back on your yacht and soak up the serene surroundings. It's also a lovely destination for scuba and snorkeling, so be sure to jump in and discover the colorful world below the surface of the sea.
A short tender ride from Big Major May lies Thunderball Grotto. This semi-submerged network of caves borrows its name from the Jame Bond movie, and it's a great spot to escape the crowds and explore. Once inside, you'll be rewarded with the sights of stunning natural rock formations and kaleidoscopic shoals of fish.
Most of this secluded area is protected, but if you travel to the ocean-facing side of the grotto, you can try your hand at spearfishing.
Spanning just a few hundred acres, Norman's Cay is a small island with a fascinating history. It was once the headquarters of an international drug-smuggling ring operated by the notorious Pablo Escobar; and he left his mark on the island in the form of a sunken plane lying in shallow water off the coast of the island. The plane is thought to have landed short of the runway that Escobar set up himself.
Now, the skeleton of the plane has become a thriving artificial reef. Grab your scuba gear and enjoy the unique experience of swimming through the plane- if you have a Go-Pro on board your yacht, this makes a great video opportunity!
If you're looking for a true escape from the crowds, set course for Hawksbill Cay. This uninhabited island is often overlooked in favor of sister islands Shroud Cay and Waderick Wells, but its rustic character means it feels a world away from anywhere else.
Hike to the interior for a chance to see some ancient cairns and marvel at the blue sea stretching out around you. Then, spend some time walking the footprint-free beaches and enjoying the feeling of complete peace and privacy. There's a huge sandbar which you can visit, and you can even experience a beach picnic here if you time the tides right.