I am craving a walk on a tropical beach.
The sun warming my back, the surf drawing white-edged curtains of foam over my bare feet before gently receding. Wisps of clouds in a water color blue sky. No work to do, no decisions to make, no wondering what might happen tomorrow.
If you’ve been dreaming of tropical beach walks too, we’re on the same wavelength as a lot of people. In Canada, tropical destinations top the list of vacation types people are planning when the world opens up again. And no wonder. Research says that beaches have a calming effect on our brains. After the year we’ve lived through, we could all use a little more of that.
My own beach dreams have reached back to last February when I was discovering Exuma, a sweet little necklace of Bahamian islands where you’re never more than few kilometres from the ocean.
The water surrounding Exuma is so clear and spectacularly aquamarine that astronauts have reported seeing it from space. The sand is icing sugar fine and white. Best of all, you won’t need to pick your way between coconut oil-slathered tourists lying on beach blankets. Exuma is still relatively under-explored so there’s a good chance you’ll have whatever beach you visit mostly or all to yourself.
If you visit Exuma, you’ll find your own favorite beaches. In the meantime, here are a few of mine:
1. Tropic of Cancer Beach, Little Exuma
We visited here on our island tour with Kendal “Dr. K” Nixon. As we descended the wooden stairwell, it was fun to think of standing on the latitude line whose location I recall memorizing for an elementary school geography test. A couple of people were wandering the beach, but as was common anywhere in Exuma, it was mostly deserted.
2. Stocking Island
After a 5-minute trip by water taxi from our hotel, the Augusta Bay on Great Exuma, we crossed the rise in the middle of Stocking Island to find the most stunning deserted beach. Enough said. Enjoy the video.
If you’d like to enjoy a conch salad and a little swing out over the water with your beach time, you can head over to the Chat and Chill, Stocking Island’s only restaurant, where you’ll find both:
3) A sandbar near Staniel Cay
Partway through our full day water excursion with Aquaquest Escapes, the captain let us off for a little wander on a sandbar near Staniel Cay, favorite of the yachting crowd who like to call Exuma home for at least part of the year. For half an hour, we pretended to be one of them.
4. Augusta Bay Hotel Beach
I started to think of this as my home beach, because for seven days, I opened our hotel curtains to it every morning, and fell asleep feet from it every night. I usually walked it twice a day, looking for sea shells and wondering if I should quit my job in Canada and open a business to rival the one I saw advertising on a quiet section of the beach.