Harbor View Vacation Rental in Exuma

Coolest Beaches in Exuma

Moriah Harbour Cay

After living in Exuma for many years I am convinced the coolest beaches in Exuma are to be found on Moriah Harbour Cay.

Why do I make that claim?   Well the beaches on this deserted island are so pristine, so varied and so many, that whatever your tastes, be it exploring, be it observing the unspoiled beauty, or just laying on the soft powder sand and listening to the Ocean lapping at the shore, it’s all there on Moriah Harbour Cay.

Harbor View Exuma kayak

There is one more factor that adds to the islands charm. The difficulty of getting there. Rental boats are not permitted to travel that far. Privately owned boats either have to access the open Ocean or know how to navigate the shallows in the area known as “The Haulover”. So few visitors get to reach Moriah Harbour Cay. Consequently guests from the nearby rentals, such as Harbour View, who can paddle a kayak across the sheltered waters from Hartswell, almost always have the entire 16,800 acres to themselves.

If I have had a stressful day my favorite way to unwind is to get in a kayak, paddle for ten minutes across the flat calm Ocean on my way to Moriah Cay. Then I have tons of options;
I can walk in a clockwise direction along the edge of the water until I come to the gap between Man O War Cay and Moriah Cay and here I can float in the crystal clear blue waters and let the current take me for some distance parallel to the shore.

sandbar Exuma

Then we reach the North shore which is one long pristine soft sand beach. Here is where you unwind and forget the stresses of modern living as you watch a Ray lazily glide through the Ocean, or a tiny crab building a new nest. Now its decision time, I can either cut back across the island and return to the kayak (about a one hour total trip) or I can continue following the beach for a mile or more then head South and come to the lagoon in the center of the island. As you then walk back to the kayak you will almost certainly attract the attention of one or more of the baby sharks. Usually about 9 inches long, they are drawn by the noise you make as you walk the shallows and these inquisitive creatures will follow in the hope that you disturb a meal..
Can you imagine any better way to commune with nature?

Extract from our Guest Book

View from Harbour View Exuma
“We certainly hit the jackpot when we found you guys at Harbour View Exuma
We were very impressed with the degree of detail given in the correspondence.
Your willingness to aid with wedding plans was over the top helpful. It was the reason why we decided to get married in Exuma.
You both have a welcoming personality, always able to answer questions or provide suggestions.
Moriah Cay is an ideal spot, it is fabulous and we have enjoyed it greatly”.

Our Favourite Beach in Exuma

coastline adventures

Here are our top ten reasons to visit Exuma. 

Here are the top 10 reasons why you should visit the island of Exuma in The Bahamas. Some are well know, some not so well known. Have a look around as we have included photos, videos, information and links. They are in no particular order:

1. Explore Exuma’s Best Beaches

When was the last time you had the opportunity to explore a deserted island?  To travel there under your own power and not see another soul. To walk through warm clear water and see fish of  all sizes.
To walk the powder soft sandy coastline and find one of many sheltered bays each with the gentle waves lapping at your feet.  Of course Moriah Cay is just one of the many beaches we recommend, follow this link to see more Exuma Beaches

2. Day Trip to See Swimming Pigs

We have recommended to almost all of our previous guest that they devote one day to the trip to see the swimming Pigs and without exception they have returned saying it was a trip to treasure for a long time (just check our guest reviews to see their words).

Your all day trip will include passing the Cays bought by the stars, stops to see wild Iguanas, Swim with Nurse Sharks, visit the swimming pigs, and explore Thunderball Cave, but rather than me go on about it, watch the video and see for yourself. want to see more of swimming pigs? Just click on this link

3. Rent A Boat

Minns Water Sports based on Lake Victoria in George Town will rent you a self-drive boat for a day or half day. Enabling you to build your own adventure and explore Elizabeth Harbour. you have many beaches to visit, snorkel areas to explore, and a choice of Restaurants to visit….check out the video.

Or maybe you want to travel outside of Elizabeth Harbour, or just want to rent a boat with a knowledgeable skipper for the day. No problem contact  Coastline Adventures.  Whichever you desire, click here for more information.

coastline adventures
photo by Nelson Ranger of ibababahamas.com

4. Dining Out

One of our favorite ways to spend a day is to lunch out at one of the many beachside restaurants, get a Kalik (local beer) and enjoy a meal such as lobster  at Santanna’s.

On the way there we visit one of the beaches, and if we have the energy, another beach on the way home…heaven!

Talking of restaurants, I invite you to check our Restaurants page.

dining at tropic breeze

5. A Kayak Trip

My perfect day is to be in Exuma and to take my kayak to explore. It could be a trip through the mangroves, It could be around Moriah Cay to the Ocean or past Man O War Cay to the sandbar. I may see a Turtle, a Dolphin or a Sting Ray. Then home with a smile on my face and some good pictures in my camera,
talking of good pictures take a look at our kayaking page.

kayaking

6. Kiteboarding

Over the last few years the sport of Kiteboarding has blossomed and Exuma is the perfect location. Which ever way the wind is blowing there is a shallow coastline to visit. For more about this sport in Exuma follow this link

7. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Exuma Scuba have been taking divers on thrilling trips for some years now. With their base on the town dock at the edge of Elizabeth Harbour they are ready to take you on your next adventure. They carry PADI certification and have a wide range of locations to take you.

If you are looking for a snorkel spot we have a list of locations for you.

More information if you go to our Scuba & Snorkel page 

8. Jet Skis in Exuma

Jet skis, you love them or hate them ! Whichever, they are a perfect way to explore the many islands that surround Exuma and also the adjacent string of islands called the Exuma Cays. For more information follow this link

9. Beach Weddings in Exuma

Want a wedding that is laidback and off the charts? We can organize your beach wedding free of charge if you stay at Harbour View for at least a week. We know the rules, we know the cost, we know the locations.

10. Bonefishing in Exuma

One of the areas to bonefish favored by the professional guides is directly in front of our home in the shallows by Moriah Cay. You are allowed to fish alone if you wish but you do need a reasonably priced license. For more videos of this difficult sport visit our bonefish page

https://youtu.be/znd-C9Mf1LY

Snorkeling close to home

coastline adventures

Just yards from our home, Harbour View, and in less than 10 foot of water lies one of the best snorkel spots in Exuma. Located just off shore between Hartswell and Moriah Harbour Cay.  While the area of the reef is not large it is well populated with all sorts of fish, from medium sized Grouper and Permit, to the dreaded Lion Fish, and even some lobsters, It’s a rewarding swim.

Moriah Harbour Cay National Park

Moriah Harbour Cay national park

Moriah Harbour Cay national park was first established in 2002 and extends for 16,800 acres. Located North of Exuma off the coast near Hartswell and close to the rental property at Harbour View.

beach scene
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Moriah Harbour Cay national park and its marine environs area a vital part of the ecosystem between the Great and Little Exuma.
It encompasses pristine beaches, sand dunes, mangrove creeks, and sea grass beds. A variety of bird life nests there, including the gull-billed and least terns, nighthawks, plovers, oyster catchers and resident pair of ospreys.
Osprey in flight

The mangroves are a vital nursery in their own right for juvenile crabs, crawfish, conch, gray snappers, yellowtails and groupers.

Landward, palmettos buttonwoods, bay cedar, and sea oats work in concert , providing stability, nutrients and beauty to the ecosystem. Moriah Harbour Cay is an outstanding example of the Bahamian coastal zone and is an important addition to the park system.
Mangroves

Guest Review:

swimming pigs Exuma

As the owner of a rental property I fully understand that when I extoll the benefits of a vacation on our fabulous island, and tell you why you should consider staying at Harbour View; you may question whether my claims are accurate.  So instead take a minute to read what our recent guests have to say:-

“If you are planning on visiting Exuma and are wondering where to stay, save yourself the time and look no further. Book direct with Harbour View.  We explored the majority of the island and many different beaches during our stay and I promise you will not find a more beautiful beach than the one outside your door. Moriah Cay has to be the most beautiful place on earth and they are not lying when they say that your footprints will be the only ones on the beach. Imagine finding one of most beautiful places on earth and then having it all to yourself.

On top of the stunning location, Don and Gail were amazing hosts, never once intruded on our vacation but were always just a moment away if we needed anything at all. It’s like having a personal island guide with knowledge of literally everything that goes on on the island. Don even greeted us at the shore one evening with fresh warm towels when my fiancé and I got caught in small rain storm while over on Moriah.

Definitely plan on renting a car while you’re here. We rented from Thompson’s rental and had zero hassle. The rental place is right across the road from the airport so it’s super convenient! Although you do drive on the left side of the road, there is literally one main road that runs across the entire island so it’s very basic, easy driving and not much traffic! Our preference for groceries was the Exuma market in Georgetown located a few miles from the rental. Of course everything is a little pricey but the market had a much larger selection than the others we saw and with lots of fresh produce .

The hundreds of reviews for this rental are soo positive for a reason. Don’t let this one pass you by. We will most definitely be planning another trip back to this little slice of heaven on earth. Thank you so much Don and Gail for your amazing hospitality and the opportunity to explore such a beautiful place.”

Our Favourite Beach in Exuma

Moriah Harbour Cay Exuma

After 18 years of island living I can safely say that the number ONE tourist spot in Exuma is Moriah Harbour Cay. Why? Well for a variety of reasons. I will explain:

Moriah Harbour Cay is a 13,000 acre deserted island which The Bahamian Government has designated as a “marine park” because of its natural beauty. One of a few in the whole Country.

It is only reachable by boat or kayak, and since it is out of the area for the Minns rental fleet, plus to reach the Cay from the west involves crossing “The Haulover” , which as its name suggests is very shallow at low tide. So few visitors have access to the island (unless you rent from Harbour View or Exuma Vacation Cottages, both of which provide kayaks and are a 10 minute paddle across sheltered waters). So it is rare to see other people on Moriah Harbour Cay.

Once on the island you will find a lagoon in its center and as you walk the perimeter of the blue waters you will be visited by baby sharks, each eager to see what has stirred up the waters, they will approach until about 2 or 3 feet away then turn and disappear leaving a trail of disturbed sand. Wading birds love this  area and as the tide recedes and leaves pools, the birds will dine.

On the northside you have pristine soft sand beaches for a half mile and shallows where you find sand dollars and at low tide offshore sandbars form, allowing you to walk out for several hundred yards.

For the explorers, if you walk east you will come to rocky outcrops, then a half-moon shaped bay, walk further and another rocky outcrop followed by another private bay. This repeats several times till you reach the northern shore where the open Ocean provides an even more beautiful sandy beach.

So Moriah Cay should be high on your to-do list. deserted, soft white sand, turtles, sharks, crabs, sting rays, and exercise…what more could you want?

Kiteboarding In Exuma

Kiteboarding off Moriah Harbour Cay
kiteboarding
kitebording in Exuma

As you can see from the video these crystal blue waters are ideal for Kiteboarding. Whichever direction the wind blows these protected waters are the ideal location with soft sand beaches to relax between trips, easy access to the shallows and some deeper water offshore.

Kiteboarding combines the thrills of paragliding, wake boarding, and windsurfing, and then some. It has its own set of regattas and competitions, with records for height of jumps and speed. Currently the fastest speed verified is 57 kph and the highest jump from is an amazing 28 metres.

Magical Moriah Harbour Cay

Moriah Harbour Cay Exuma

It truly is magical on  Moriah Harbour Cay.  I spent an entire afternoon first kayaking the short distance across mirror calm seas to reach this marine park in front of our home in Hartswell.

I then

walked beside the  lake on the interior of the island as the tide came in and had visits from four baby sharks and one baby ray which I caught on video. I then walked across to the North and checked out one of the many stunning beaches. Although its late April it felt more like July with the temperature climbing into the low nineties.

My entire time on this island amounted to about 3 hours and all that time on Magical Moriah Harbour Cay without seeing another person. I truly had the island to myself.

National Parks Week in Exuma

Moriah Harbour Cay Exuma

National Park Week will be a worldwide event on April 21st.

We have a National Park half a mile from us at Harbour View in Exuma. It is Moriah Harbour Cay National Park. Because it is a Cay, as islands are called in The Bahamas, you need either a boat or a kayak to get there and boats can only arrive around high tide so the number of visitors to this pristine 13,000 acre location is limited, in fact our guests rarely see another soul when they visit.

Moriah Harbour Cay is noted for the many soft sand beaches and bays that extend, some for a mile others as small intimate bays. Some beaches are protected from the Ocean by offshore islands, others are on the Ocean, So you have the options of swimming and snorkeling in shallow, calm waters, or venturing into the open Ocean.

At low tide the whole area is dotted with sand bars, some with sand dollars. Providing ideal conditions for photographers and adventurers alike.

In the center of the Cay is a lagoon and this is where you find the fish. This is a nursery for juvenile fish of all sorts that use the protection of the mangroves as their home as they develop and grow. As you walk through the shallows your noise attracts some fish, including baby sharks, to approach you. You will see them slowly make their way to wards you until at a short distance they realize your size and they turn and shoot off.

Exuma is very proud to have so many national parks and Moriah Harbour Cay is an excellent example of nature conservancy.