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BEST Way to Go Swimming With Pigs in Nassau Bahamas

Caribbean Travel Guides, Cruises

If it’s on your bucket list to go swimming with pigs in Nassau, Bahamas here is the best way to have an unforgettable adventure with these adorable animals. Long gone are the days when you used to have to take a 4-hour boat ride or expensive flight to Exuma. Now you can enjoy a much better experience conveniently from Nassau, Bahamas which is the most popular destination in the Caribbean.


What is Swimming with Pigs?

Swimming with the pigs began on the island of Exuma in the Bahamas. it is believed the original pigs either swam there from a shipwreck or where left there intended to be someones food. Either way, for over 20 years they have lived peacefully on the island of Exuma. There are now over 20+ pigs that are native to the island and visited by tourists each year.

Why I don’t recommend swimming with the pigs in Exuma

Swimming with the pigs had always been on my bucket list, but here is why I recommend NOT doing this fun adventure on the island of Exuma.

  1. Distance: Exuma is an uncomfortable 4-hour boat right away or a $200+ hour and a half flight from Nassau, Bahamas. It is not close and can be a very pricey trip.
  2. Cleanliness: If you ever hear back from those who have visited Exuma to swim with pigs, they will tell you firsthand that the island is covered in Pig feces. You have to be very careful where you step. Better yet, do not go to this island barefoot at any time.
  3. Safety: The reason the island is so messy is because these are wild pigs. They are not domesticated, tamed, or trained. You can feed them some fruit but there is no way to know how they will behave and I would not bring small children around them. They can knock you down or even bite if you’re not careful.


Can You Swim with Pigs in Nassau Bahamas?

Yes, you can now go swimming with pigs in Nassau, Bahamas. Both Rose Island and Pearl Island now offer a swimming with the pigs excursion which is a day trip to their island. Both excursions leave from the Nassau, Bahamas ferry terminal located only 5 minutes from the cruise port and Atlantis Hotel, and about 2 minutes from Paradise Island.

How Far is Swimming with the Pigs from Nassau?

Swimming with the pigs from Nassau, is only a 20-30 minute relaxing boat ride if you are headed to Rose Island or Pearl Island. If you are going to Exuma, a boat ride will be 4 hours, both there and back!


How to Go Swimming With Pigs in Nassau, Bahamas

Luckily, there are more options to go swimming with pigs in Nassau, Bahamas. While there used to be only one pig beach in Exuma, now there are two pig beaches only a short boat ride from Nassau, Bahamas. Both Rose Island and Pearl Island have decided to bring domesticated pigs for tourists to enjoy swimming and interacting with. Below is information on both of these islands. I’m also going to share my personal preference and experience visiting one of these islands.


Rose Island by Sandy Toes

Rose Island is a small private island in the Bahamas run by Sandy Toes. The boat ride from Nassau to pig beach is a quick 25-minute boat ride from the Nassau Island Ferry. Visitors can book a day excursion to the island that includes swimming with the pigs, open bar, extra island activities, and a Caribbean lunch buffet.

Pearl Island

Pearl Island is another small island in the Bahamas that offers the pig beach excursion. It is also only a short 30-minute boat ride from Nassau which offers swimming with the pigs as well as a private beach and other activities. In addition to their swimming with the pigs experience they also offer snorkeling, kayaking, and lunch.


Here’s Why I Chose Rose Island to Swim with the Pigs

After reading a ton of reviews on both Cruise Critic and Reddit, I decided to go with Rose Island for a handful of reasons. Here is why I think Rose Island is the best way to swim with the pigs in Nassau, Bahamas. In fact, all the pictures on this post were taken on Rose Island during my adventure.

Book the Rose Island Swimming with Pigs Excursion.


Both Pearl Island and Rose Island are about the same price for a day trip on their islands which is around $189. However, I think Rose Island Provides a better value for the following reasons.

  • Rose Island includes an open bar with a wide variety of cocktails available, whereas on Pearl Island you have to pay for those same cocktails.
  • Rose Island is much bigger and less crowded. You always have plenty of space. In some areas, you’ll even feel completely alone and secluded.
  • Both islands offer a nice lunch buffet so this is about even.
  • On Rose Island, they bring various pigs out every 30 minutes so you get more time to swim with the pigs and at times there may not even be hardly anyone around.


For me, I think the open bar, more time with the Nassau pigs, and enjoying a less crowded experience with more space to relax on the beach are the things that make Rose Island the better choice.


What is it like to swim with pigs in the Bahamas?

At Rose Island, the Bahamas swimming pigs are trained from babies using clicker training which I use to train my dogs. They are very well cared for and different pigs come out every 30 minutes. While on the island you can take tons of photos as the pigs do cute tricks and pose for pictures with you, even standing up next to you.

You can also call them over by name and feed them various treats. The real fun, however, is getting in the water and swimming with the pigs. At Rose Island, they organize it so everyone gets to do a swimming race with the pigs to see who makes it back to shore first, you or the piggies. Here is a hint, the pigs swim better than you! lol


Are the Pigs Treated Well?

You can tell that on Rose Island the pigs are pampered and well trained. They rotate them every 30 minutes so the pigs are never tired, left out in the hot sun, or overfed. They definitely are not underfed either. All of the staff training the pigs are delightful and you can tell they absolutely love the pigs and treat them the same way I treat my dogs.


More About My Rose Island Experience

In addition to swimming with pigs in the Bahamas, Rose Island also offers guided snorkeling when you arrive and also has kayaks you can rent. There is plenty of space to lounge on the beach or relax next to the bar in a hammock. They even have fun games like cornhole you can play throughout the day.

In addition to pigs, there are also beautiful peacocks all over the island, roosters, and chickens. Rose Island also offers a delicious lunch buffet with BBQ Chicken, Caribbean peas and rice, kale salad, and macaroni salad which is pictured above.


Swim With Pigs Cruise Ship Excursions

I swam with the pigs on my Holland America Caribbean Cruise. Multiple cruise lines stop in Nassau Bahamas, but not all offer this as an excursion. Most cruise ships offer the Pearl Island excursion such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. I recommend purchasing the Rose Island Excursion directly from their site as there are actually many fake excursions that claim to take you to rose island but do not.

In order to swim with the pigs from a Nassau, Bahamas cruise ship port, you need to make sure you are arriving to the port by 8:30am and departing after 4:30pm. This will give you ample time to get to the Nassau Ferry which is a quick 5-minute taxi from the cruise port. Check in time for Rose Island is between 9:15am – 9:30am and the boat leaves prompty at 9:45am.

Once you exit the cruise terminal, there will be men in vests asking if you need a taxi. They will get a group together and you’ll take a $5 van taxi to the ferry. Make sure to remind them several times so they don’t forget. The Nassau Ferry is before Paradise Island!

Once on the island you’ll have the entire day to enjoy yourself. The boat arrived to Rose Island around 10:30am and you will head back to the boat at 3pm.

Rose Island operates very timely and you will be back on shore by 3:45pm. They have taxis waiting right outside. We opted to spend $20 to just take a private taxi back to the cruise port. We were on the ship by 4pm with plenty of time to spare.


Things to Bring When Swimming With The Pigs

Here are a few things you should bring when you head to Rose Island, pictured above, to swim with the pigs.

  • Beach Tote with towels. Most cruise ships provide this complimentary.
  • Reef Safe Sunscreen
  • Waterproof Phone Holder
  • Extra Money for gifts, premium alcohol package, and extra activities available.
  • ID for check-in and printed ticket
  • Hairbrush & hair tie or clip for women
  • Sun Hat
  • Water Shoes are optional (though the beach is very clean and I didn’t need them)

I hope you found this article helpful. Swimming with the pigs is a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience that I loved. If you’ve swam with the pigs, I would love to hear about your personal experience by commenting below. If you have any questions about swimming with pigs in Nassau, Bahamas, feel free to ask.

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About The Author

Sondra Barker is an established travel writer, photographer, and culinary enthusiast. She resides in Newport Beach, California one of the most beautiful beach towns in the country. Her favorite destinations include visiting various wine countries, cruises around the world, and fun theme parks like Disneyland.


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I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

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