Home to some of the softest sands and warmest waters in the whole of the Caribbean, The Bahamas are among the area's most popular and renowned vacation destinations. If you're looking to experience a big slice of Caribbean life, planning a trip to The Bahamas is an excellent idea, with this amazing archipelago offering up hundreds of different islands and cays to explore.

More ideas: Best Weekend Getaways, Best Day Trips

Many people traveling to The Bahamas choose to land in Nassau, the capital city of the archipelago, and spend a lot of their time there. Nassau is a vibrant and exciting place, always busy and always offering new things to do. It's the perfect base camp for any Bahamas vacation, giving you lots of different opportunities for shopping, dining, water sports, and more, but in order to make the most of your trip to The Bahamas, planning a few day trips is a great idea.

There are several day trips available from Nassau, and one of the best options takes you over to Exuma. Exuma is a relatively large district of The Bahamas, made up of over 350 cays. The biggest of these cays is Great Exuma, but Exuma is also renowned for Big Major Cay, which is home to a group of swimming pigs, Allen's Cay, where you'll find huge numbers of endangered iguanas, and many other cays, each with their own features. Here’s how to plan the perfect day trip to Exuma from Nassau.

Getting to Exuma from Nassau

There isn't too much distance separating Exuma from Nassau, so it's perfectly possible to plan a day trip to this location, and anyone interested in this kind of trip will have quite a lot of options and factors to think about. Since Exuma is made up of a lot of different cays, you can plan out your day trip in a lot of varied ways, depending on what you want to see and which activities you'd like to enjoy. You’ll be traveling to Exuma from Nassau via plane or boat.

Getting to Exuma from Nassau by Plane

Several flights leave from Lynden Pindling International Airport, which is the main airport for Nassau and the biggest airport in the whole of The Bahamas, to Exuma International Airport, which is located on the island of Great Exuma. The flight only takes 45 minutes in total, so it's the fastest way to get to Exuma from Nassau.

Once you arrive on Great Exuma, you can explore the island itself and visit locations like George Town, or head off for boat trips and excursions to some of the other cays and islands like Big Major Cay. You can also take charter flights to other Exuma airports like Staniel Cay Airport, Black Point Airport, and Farmer's Cay Airport.

Getting to Exuma from Nassau by Boat

There are ferry, powerboat, and private boat charter services connecting Nassau and Exuma. The ferry service is too slow for a day trip, however, so if you want to travel by sea, you’ll need to make use of a powerboat tour or private boat charter in order to get over to the cays of Exuma quickly enough to enjoy your day trip.

Important Information and Things to Do at Exuma

- Getting Around - If you're only staying on Great Exuma or Little Exuma, you can simply rent a car or scooter to get around with ease or rely on the local taxi service. Those wishing to do a little island hopping during their Exuma day trip from Nassau will need to seek out the services of plane and boat charters. Walking is the main way to actually get around the cays themselves, however, or you can rent bikes from certain locations.

- Best Time to Visit Exuma - If you're planning a trip to Exuma, it's important to note that from June through to September is the rainy season, so it's wise to try and avoid this period. There's still a lot of hot and sunny weather during these months, but there's also a constant risk of thunderstorms and clouds, so the best time to travel is in the winter or spring.

- Things to Do - Visiting Big Major Cay to see the swimming pigs is popular with many visitors to Exuma, but it's worth noting that the pigs are wild animals and still need to be treated with a lot of care, as the large numbers of tourists in this area have actually led to the deaths of some pigs in recent years. Staniel Cay is a very beautiful location too, highly popular with boating enthusiasts. Great Exuma itself is a great place to do some shopping and enjoy some delicious Caribbean food, and Allen's Cay is a good place to do some wildlife watching, as this little island plays home to large numbers of indigenous iguanas.