About 6 weeks ago my husband and I decided we needed to get away. He had been to Great Guana Cay (pronounced ‘key’) in the Bahamas in college and had always wanted to take me there. Doesn’t really take much to convince me to go on a trip to a beach (I think about it practically daily), so I was obviously up for it. As much as it’s usually a good thing to book trips in advance for cost purposes, sometimes I like to book them a little last minute because then the wait time is much shorter. By the time you book it, do some research, get your work in order, do a little shopping and get a mani/pedi — it’s time to go!
Six weeks in this case was perfect. I convinced Joanna (didn’t take much convincing) and her husband to come with us, and we basically couldn’t text each other without palm tree and cocktail emojis until we actually got to the Bahamas.
I rented this adorable cottage right on the beach. It was seriously the perfect house and the perfect beach getaway. Exactly what I needed. Lots of sun on my pale pale skin, sand between my toes, crashing waves as I dozed off each night, laughter over multiple games of cards, beer and frozen drinks a plenty, and tuna. Lots and lots of tuna. I’ll explain later.
My Mr. and I got in one night early and stayed one night at the Conch Inn. We had drinks (Bahama Mama, Goombay Smash, Mango Daiquiri, Rum Punch) and a fresh fish sandwich (it was fried) at Curly Tails, which sits up above so you have a great view of the marina. They have a little pool which was nice. I needed to slowly expose my pale legs to a little sun before the mega beach time I had planned for the week. In retrospect I would have rather just gone right over to Guana Cay, but for this trip it worked. The next day we had a few drinks and conch fritters at Snappa’s, lunch at Wally’s, and went to the grocery store to get as much food as we could think of for the week (something I read online to do, and our caretaker told us to do that in advance). Once Joanna and her husband arrived we had a few more mango daiquiris (can you see where this trip is going) before we got on the ferry to head over to Great Guana Cay where we were staying for the week.
Travel Tip: Carry your bag on if possible when traveling internationally. Our bag did not make it on our second flight. We got it the next day, and it wasn’t a big deal, but just a little annoying and is on your mind until it arrives.
We easily got to our rental cottage (the island isn’t that big) via our caretakers golf cart. I was so eager to see the beach we’d be gazing at all week, and boy was I impressed. I love beaches, and have been to some amazing ones, but this one was beyond amazing. Maybe I just haven’t been to this good of a beach in a while but WOW. The water was all shades of light light mint/aqua/turquoise blue to deep turquoise. It was breathtaking (see top photo).
This photo (above) was from the top deck of our rental cottage where our bedroom was. The view was stunning. The sun came up over the water every morning. I naturally woke up every morning to get a glimpse of the sunrise, then fell back to sleep to the sound of the waves. Heaven? Paradise? All of the above. Seriously the top photo has not been enhanced or filtered at all. The water was just that clear and beautiful. And did I mention the sand? Fine light tan powder. The best.
Our cottage was perfect. Just enough Caribbean inspiration without the cheese. Mostly white, navy and wood. The photos online don’t really do it justice.
Our cottage was in the perfect spot. Nestled between two other cottages (although we never saw anyone in them), right on the gorgeous beach, and just a short walk from the famous Nipper’s Bar. I’d seen Nipper’s in photos, but the colors in person up against the blue sky and turquoise waters intensified the visual experience.
The video you’ll probably see of Nipper’s shows it completely full, but it was super chill both times we had a few drinks there. They have a pool if you get really hot between drinks, you can take a dip. There’s also a full restaurant inside. We didn’t end up eating there for dinner because of the exorbitant amount of fresh tuna we had, but we wish we would have been in town on a Sunday to go to their famous pig roast.
Once we got all settled in our rental house the first night, we headed down to Grabber’s for dinner and drinks. We watched the sunset there as we ate more conch fritters and had dinner. I had to have a fried grouper sandwich (again). Hey, when in the Bahamas, it’s almost anti-vacation if you don’t eat the fresh fish! This night ended up being a long long night. Cornhole was played, silly videos were taken (that have now been deleted), basically it was a blast. And being the troopers that we are — we had to get up at 6am for our deep sea fishing trip the next morning…
Deep sea fishing was an adventure. We went with the same guy my husband had been with a decade ago, Henry of Back Breaker Charters. I haven’t been on a boat for a while, and I’m not a huge fan of being on boats, on the ocean, when land is really far away. I mean, I don’t get seasick, and I don’t have an actual fear of it or anything but I did have a death grip on anything around me for the first 30 minutes while we were going fast out to sea, and might have been holding my breath as we went over some large waves — but I was fine. Luckily I didn’t partake in any shots that were drank the night before so I was pretty good shape (can’t say that for everyone on the boat).
These fishing trips are completely hit or miss. You can’t force fish to bite, but after two hours of trolling around we found some hungry fish. In a whirlwind we caught 8 tuna in about an hour. They were all around 10-12 pounds, which might seem small but I can assure you, reeling them in is NOT easy. I mean it’s doable, but you do have to use a lot of arm muscle (ha! arm muscle) to reel them all the way in. I can’t imagine if we would have gotten a huge fish on the line. Would have loved to see the boys try to reel that in. Guess that just means we’ll have to go back out on another deep sea fishing trip!
At one point there were two lines with fish on them, so I had to use the belt to stabilize my pole (pictured on right), which was pretty hilarious, and actually a lot harder then doing it in the chair.
After all the action it calmed down again, and we went back to the marina where Henry gutted and cleaned the fish and gave us half of the meat. Which was a lot of tuna. We had more tuna then we could eat for the rest of the week, but believe me we tried. We had fish tacos, fish stir-fry, fish pizzas, fish everything. Fresh tuna doesn’t taste nearly as fishy as tuna in a can so everything we made was delicious, but I don’t think I’ll be eating tuna for a while…
It was great that we planned the fishing trip at the beginning of the week (besides the hungover factor) because then we had meat for the entire week! However, sometimes you don’t catch anything, so we were lucky. It was fun, and I look forward to doing it again sometime — although I hope we can catch a variety of fish (and maybe a big one) next time.
We booked a half day trip (5 hours), and I think any longer would have been too much for me. Maybe a bunch of guys could handle an all day trip but I was ready for land and beach time.
When you leave to go deep sea fishing with Henry, you leave from the Orchid Bay Marina (above). Which also has a restaurant and little pool. Everywhere you turned there were bright colors and lush greens.
After all of the deep sea fishing excitement, Joanna and I were ready to just chill on the beach for a day. Over the course of the trip I was able to finish two issues of Marie Claire, two issues of Vanity Fair, and a good chunk of The Goldfinch. Beach reading is probably up there with top five favorite things to do.
After a full day of beach we needed another adventure day. We rented a small boat from Dive Guana and decided to check out Hope Town. Again the tiny boat made me a little nervous but the boys (who don’t regularly drive boats on the ocean) did a great job. We made it to Hope Town where we stopped to eat what we had packed in our cooler, and then have a few drinks and conch fritters (of course) at Harbour’s Edge. More delicious margaritas and piña coladas. We decided not to go over to see the famous lighthouse up close with all the other tourists. Seeing it from the water was good enough for us.
On our way back to Guana Cay we drove close to the islands so we could get a glimpse of the gorgeous houses. We also drove into the marina at the exclusive Baker’s Bay where there was yacht after yacht after yacht. Supposedly people like Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney have homes there, and we were also told that Beyonce and Jay-Z frequent Nipper’s. The only possible celeb sightings we had were a few players for the Panthers.
After we took our tiny boat back to see all the gorgeous yachts in Baker’s Bay we were trolling around the coast of Guana in the Baker’s Bay area looking at all the houses, and as we were talking about how the 1% live, when I kid you not, a small plane flew right over us and landed on the water to meet a boat that was waiting for it. We were convinced it was Oprah or Leo (for no reason).
Once we were done with the boat for the day, we fixed tuna for dinner (again), and played lots of card games. The next day (our last full day) was another chill beach day. We had to get one last drink in at colorful Nipper’s. How can you not love a pink picnic table?!
Overall the trip was amazing. We had a great time, and I highly recommend everything we did. I will have a few more posts coming up with lots of details and tips about taking this trip, but to be honest, it was a very easy trip to plan and book.
Photos by Meg Biram, please do not use without permission