Caribbean sunshine, crystal clear water and a bunch of swimming, screaming piggies seem to be the new formula for a dream vacation. The Swimming Pigs of the Exumas have been around for as long as I can remember, with the island always receiving moderate visitation stats.
But after several big name news stations (and the cast of the hit TV show the Bachelor) caught wind of their story, it seems now everyone is packing their bags and booking tours to check out the paddling porkers on Big Major Cay.
I’ve never been and admittedly, since huge crowds of people are now flocking to the island, probably never will. I’ll keep my party at Piggyville.
Piggyville is located on aptly named No Name Cay, in the Abacos of the Bahamas. It’s home to a hoard of hungry hogs and they will totally swim for you in hopes of a snack. The best part? The island is still pretty much a secret.
On our most recent trip, we spent hours at the Piggyville island with no other boats in sight.
How do you get there? All you need is a boat and a cruise guide of the beautiful Abaco waters. It’s only an 8 mi. ride from National Geographic’s Top Ten Beach winner Treasure Cay, where we normally stay.
Remember, a visit to Piggyville isn’t typically a guided tour, so a few things to know before you go:
Pigs are wild animals
Hey – Surprise! Pigs have teeth and they bite. If you have food in your hand, they totally want it, like right now. Don’t stick your hand in their mouths and understand that these can be aggressive animals. If you lead a large hog out to sea, he may want to lean on you for support. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the boarish attention, don’t be afraid to give them a slight shove out of your space.
Pigs have poor eyesight
The sun on the beach can be very harsh during the day and since piggies naturally have very poor eyes, they really rely on their sniffers. One of my close piggy friends gave my sandal a flat tire by walking too close behind me. Promptly after, he smelled food on my leg and gave me a quick nip. It’s NOT the pig’s fault. Be aware of your surroundings and respectful of their disabilities.
Be Gracious to your Piggy Hosts
You’re here to feed the pigs, not chase, stress or scare them. Don’t be mad if you get nipped, bit or stepped on. If there are piglets on the island, Big Momma may not like it if you pick one up so make sure its cool before playing with the little ones. If the little one is a heavy protester, okay, put it down. Don’t get in the middle of a pig fight and don’t try to break it up. They have a pecking order that is none of your business.
Keep the rum and beer for yourself
Recently, several of the famous Exuma swimming pigs have died thanks to the ignorance of tourists. Do not feed the piggies any sort of alcohol. Sure, they’ll take it! They’re blind and conditioned to take anything offered to them. But it’s not good for their systems and the consequences may be fatal.
Bring Water and Food
As the sign suggests on the beach, these pigs are taken care of pretty much exclusively by volunteers. They have a tank of water, food brought to them, shelter and shade thanks to some pretty incredible people. Any sort of healthy food or water offered to the pigs is a really appreciated contribution to their island lifestyle.
Welcome to Piggyville – where you can sip your rum drink, float by the shore and play tag with the piggies in near solitude.