Staniel Cay is a small Bahamas jewel set in the middle of the 365 islands that make up The Exumas.
When I say small, I mean small. The island is just two miles long and one mile wide. Not exactly the perfect travel destination for running Caribbean marathons. But what it lacks in physical size, it more than makes up for with access to the region’s wonders.
How to get to Staniel Cay
Like all the best destinations in the Caribbean, getting here isn’t as easy as hopping a jumbo jet at JFK. Although, it is surprisingly easier than you might think.
The easiest way to get to Staniel Cay island is by air via Nassau. Affordable flights to Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS) are plentiful from many points of origin in the US and beyond. And from there, I’d recommend taking a small Flamingo Air flight to make the final 80-mile hop from New Providence Island to Staniel Cay Airport. They make that flight about three times a day—once in the morning and twice later in the afternoon.
That flight takes about 30 minutes and carries you over a stunning string of idyllic islands set against radiant turquoise seas. Since the number of seats on that little Flamingo Air flight should barely make it into the double digits, securing a window seat shouldn’t be a challenge, but ensure you do. The flight will leave you more excited to land in The Exumas than ever!
While some ferry and outfitter services are available from Nassau, the best way to visit Staniel Cay by sea is with your own boat. Our friends at Sunsail have a new base in New Providence if you’re looking to charter, making them a good option for those looking to sail in The Exumas.
Where to Stay
For us, there are four main ways to stay on tiny Staniel Cay.
There’s a term in science called insular dwarfism. It’s what happens when large animals evolve to become tiny after their population becomes stranded on small islands.
That may seem like a tangent, but Embrace Resort is a resort evolved to fit the diminutive size of Staniel Cay. That is to say; it’s kind of a dwarf resort. And it’s wonderful because of it.
I’ve stayed at Embrace twice. Once by myself and once with my family. Each time it delivered an intimate island experience. And that’s thanks to the homegrown feel cultivated by Grandmother Nellie, Miss Nikki, and daughter Natajia.
Together, 3N’s Vacation Services handle your stay, transportation in the form of golf cart rental, boat rentals, tours, fishing excursions, weddings, or anything else your heart may desire while in and around Staniel Cay.
Staniel Cay Yacht Club
The Yacht Club is an institution on Staniel Cay. It’s the go-to place for yachties, visitors, and locals alike looking for a more upscale experience. And besides having arguably the best restaurant on the island, they also offer accommodations.
Booked often many months in advance, these waterfront bungalows don’t come cheap, though, so expect to pay a bit more to stay here.
You may be forgiven for not expecting there to be much villa inventory on the island for such a small island, but you’d be wrong. A quick search on Virbo or Airbnb will reveal many options for your stay on the island. You’re likely to find something that fits the bill for you and your crew from inexpensive to lux.
As mentioned above, one of the best ways to enjoy Staniel Cay is by chartering a boat out of Nassau and sailing down. Anchoring offshore grants you access to everything the island has to offer. Plus, the Yacht Club can handle any reprovisioning or ground-based activities you might be after.