Swim with Wild Pigs at Pig Beach

BY: Jorie Larsen | Feb 4, 2015

To the 20 wild pot-belly pigs who live on the uninhabited Bahamas island of Big Major Cay, the sound of a running boat motor is like a dinner bell, inviting them to storm down the beach and swim vigorously toward any idling vessels. Welcome to Pig Beach, where the venn diagram circles of “untouched tropical scenery”, “close encounters with adorable creatures”, and “one-of-a-kind photo ops” all intersect for one of the most unique bucket-list cross-offs ever.

Ok, Back Up...Why Are There Pigs on This Island?

No one is quite sure how or why the swimming pigs got here. One popular theory is that a group of sailors stashed them on the island as a potential food source, and then never came back. Others believe they’re the descendants of shipwreck survivors. Either way, these oinkers are here to stay and happily greet visitors.

So Is This a Petting—Er, Swimming—Zoo?

Not exactly—Pig Beach resides completely in Mother Nature’s domain. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get up close and personal with the residents. In fact, the pigs’ survival hinges completely on a clever skill they’ve honed over the years: swimming out to passing yachts for a free meal. You can toss food scraps overboard and, of course, get in the water to swim and take photos with them.

How Do I Get There?

Big Major Cay’s Pig Beach is only accessible by boat or seaplane, so you’ll have to hire a charter or sign up for a tour, which can be arranged through your Caribbean resort. Fowl Cay Resort, the closest hotel to Pig Beach, routinely organizes boat excursions to Big Major Cay.

When Should I Go?

Weatherwise, there’s no bad time—temperatures in the Bahamas stay in the 60s, 70s, and 80s all year round. But if you want to enjoy relative seclusion, go in the off-season: May–November.

What Should I Bring?

Definitely make sure to pack plenty of food scraps to toss the pigs. Also, wear a bathing suit and bring a camera for your Instagram feed.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

Remember that however cute the swimming pigs may be, they’re still wild animals and their behavior can be unpredictable. Though the danger level is low, you should stay vigilant and adhere to the instructions of your guide.

Guide Staff Writer
BY: Jorie Larsen
Guide Staff Writer