Staniel Cay is a small island smack in the middle of the 365 islands that make up The Exumas. And while the sun rises and sets here just like anywhere else in the world, you have to experience a day on an island of 110 inhabitants to really get why this most common of daily natural miracles is so uncommonly special here.
For me, much of my Caribbean travel adventures happen under the warm West Indian sun, so I almost never sleep in when I’m in the islands. I don’t set an alarm or anything, my body/mind/spirit just compels me to rise with the sun. (A little weird, I know.) The reward: magnificent sunrises like the ones I’ve been presenting in these virtual pages for years.
To capture the one you see above, I sprung out of my comfy bed at the new Embrace Exuma Resort near the Staniel Cay airstrip, peeped from my window to see a stunning sunrise developing, hopped into my rental golf cart sporting a lucky 7 on the hood, and puttered from the center of the island all the way around to the east coast.
That all took me about 5 minutes.
You see, when I say Staniel Cay is tiny, I mean it’s teeny-tiny at just two miles long and one mile wide! That scale can sometimes be hard to comprehend for many Americans. After all, in the States, you can hop in a car and just drive… For hours! (This was among my earliest fascinations when I first moved to the States.) So, to get a better handle on the diminutive land area of Staniel Cay, after my photo session with the rising sun, I decided to go for a run. Five miles later, I’d zigzagged the entirety of the island… Twice!
But the thing to keep in mind when considering a visit to Staniel Cay, is that bigger isn’t always better.
This tiny island still manages to sport a bustling marina, three retail stores, a dive shop, a library, a post office, an airport, a couple of bars full of visitors from around the world, more than a handful of pristine pearly white sand beaches, and a respectably sized church that plays host to practically the whole island come Sundays. And that’s just what’s on the actual island itself.
What’s easily accessible in the waters around the island are even better!
Yeah, days begin and end here like anywhere else in the world, but it’s what you can do with the hours in-between (whether on land or sea) in the tiny town embrace of Staniel Cay that really sets this unique destination apart.