If you read my post on how to travel to The Bahamas on a budget, you know that I took two different tours to see the swimming pigs. It’s certainly not necessary to take both, so I thought that I would do a review and comparison to help you decide which one is best for you.
The swimming pigs are a main tourist attraction in The Bahamas and I recommend taking the time to see them. I won’t lie, it’s a little hectic chasing the pigs around, especially with a beach full of people trying to do the same thing. You can definitely pick the little ones up, but be prepared for the squeal-tantrum that will follow. These guys actually do swim, so you can take it to the water and feed them a snack (because you can’t feed them on the beach), just make sure you avoid the floating pig poops.
So, here it goes, this is what you can expect on each tour.
There were definitely pros and cons to each tour. Here are my thoughts on various aspects:
Which tour provided better beverages? This is not make or break, but still worth mentioning. The beverages included on the half day tour were nice and cold. The cooler was stocked full with ice, bottled water, pop and beer. I almost felt tricked on the full day tour. Picture this, it’s 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), you’re out in the middle of the ocean for hours, with the sun beating down on your face, and suddenly you’re thirsty. You see a nice cooler, which you know are full of free drinks. You approach the cooler, open the lid and find that there is no ice… whaaatt?? Now try and enjoy your very warm drink. Good thing there was no beer… I’m sure the warm, salty ocean water would have been more refreshing. Drinks offered on the full day tour included bottled water and pop only.
Which tour had the better boat? We spent the half day tour on a speed boat with comfortable padded seats. The boat was a little smaller than the full day, so it forced you to get up close and personal with your fellow tour mates. Coming from someone who is a little shy, it was actually pretty nice getting to know people from around the world. The boat on the full day tour was more of a large passenger carrier. I believe it was still technically a speed boat, but didn’t have the speed boat vibes. With row seating made out of aluminum, it made it harder to interact with others and get the party started. I should also add that the boat was ready and waiting for us on the half day tour. We showed up, hopped on and off we went. Not so much on the full day tour. We spent 45 minutes waiting for the guide to fuel it up, put it into the water, and give it a good through cleaning.
Which pig beach was better? The pig beach from the half day tour was better. I really wish I could remember the name of the Cay where they are, sorry friends. We were the only tour group on the island and the pigs were a lot more fun! The seemed more energetic and rambunctious, which added to the experience. We also fed them hot dogs (don’t worry, they were made of chicken) which the pigs seemed to enjoy much more than the bread we fed them during the full day tour. The pig beach on Big Major Cay was super busy with other tours. The one thing that I did love though, was watching the brand new, two day old babies fall asleep standing up. Too cute! Overall, the experience from the half day tour takes the win.
Was it the same iguana island? Yes. We visited the same iguana island on both tours. I actually enjoyed the iguanas more than the pigs, so it was a bonus to do it twice! On the half day tour, we visited them first thing in the morning and we fed them grapes. On the full day tour, this was our very last stop. We got to enjoy the iguanas while the sun began to set. We also fed them lettuce, which I liked more than the grapes because they could take small bites from your hand versus devouring the entire grape in one bite. Not going to lie, it looked like they were going to bite you when feeding them the grapes. Don’t let this scare you, they are super friendly and won’t actually bite.
Which tour is the better value? For about $53 USD more, the full day tour is the better deal. You get to see twice as much, enjoy a buffet lunch and swim with the nurse sharks. I personally think that the sand bar we visited on the full day tour was also nicer… so nice, that I didn’t want to leave!
Overall, if you’re looking for a quality tour and are primarily interested in seeing the swimming pigs, than I would 100% recommend going with the Exuma Water Sports half day tour. If you don’t care as much about the pigs, and the nurse sharks are more of your thing, than the Exuma Water Tours: Four C’s Adventure full day is the way to go. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Both tours provide a super fun, relaxed day on the water. And if you’re like me, than heck, do both and see for yourself which one is best.
Things to keep in mind
- Both tours are weather dependent
- Tours each day may not be identical
- You can pack your own snacks and beverages (beer)
- Wear your swimsuit, pack a towel, sunscreen, a hat, sun glasses, and your camera
- Ladies, if you paint your toenails any shade of purple or red, the iguanas will bite your toes (they mistake them for grapes)
I really enjoyed writing this review for you and reliving those moments back on the crystal clear waters of The Bahamas. I hope you find this makes your decision easier when picking the perfect tour to see the swimming pigs.