Exuma is known for a lot of things- white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise water, but most of all their famous swimming pigs. These swimming swine have taken off in popularity in the past few years. It’s easy to see why. It’s not every day you get to visit a stunningly beautiful beach where pigs swim up to you. One thing visitors often ask about though, is whether or not this excursion is safe to bring kids on. Well here is everything you need to know about bringing kids to see Exuma’s swimming pigs.
Younger Kids Should Stay Behind
The swimming pigs are a once in a lifetime excursion, but unfortunately, they’re not appropriate for kids of all ages. Younger children and toddlers probably won’t enjoy the trip. The boat rides to Pig Beach can be long and choppy. There aren’t any bathrooms around and the pigs are quite large. Some tours won’t take children under a certain age too. It’s up to the parents, but we recommend the kids being at least 10 years old and comfortable in the water and around animals. Younger children can still visit, but parents should evaluate whether or not it’s a good idea.
The Pigs Are Big
The cute little piglets often get featured on Instagram, but the adult pigs can be quite large. Depending on the kid, the pigs might even be larger than them! This can pose a safety risk for younger or smaller children. The pigs are known to bump into people and they’ll swim right next to you, which can be dangerous if children and small and not strong swimmers. If you decide to bring your children with you to Pig Beach, make sure you keep an eye on them at all times to ensure they’re safe around these creatures. Also keep in mind that while these pigs are friendly to humans, they are wild animals.
The Pigs Expect to Be Fed
One of the most fun parts of visiting the swimming pigs is watching them eagerly swim up to the boat wanting to be fed. However, these pigs can be a little well…piggy. They expect food from visitors and can be quite demanding. They may bump into you, try to climb into boats, and have even been known to bit a hand or two if improperly fed. For children, this can be scary and dangerous so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to bring your child.
Kids Should Be Strong Swimmers
To get to Pig Beach, visitors have to take a boat. Getting from the boat to the beach also requires a short swim. That’s why it’s recommended that only strong swimmers make the journey, including children. Make sure all children wear life vests or other floatation aids if they need too. The water is usually calm but can become choppy and rough before a storm.
There Aren’t Any Amenities
One of the main reasons why parents often don’t bring their children to see the swimming pigs is the lack of amenities. There are no bathroom facilities on the island or boats, and the journey is long. Exuma is also known for being hot, and long hours in the sun can take its toll on young kids. So if you bring any kids along, make sure they are okay on long journeys and can go without a bathroom for long stretches.
Kids Should Be Okay Around Animals
Pigs are cute and friendly, but to children, they can also be terrifying. Before taking your kids to see the swimming pigs, make sure they’re okay around larger animals. The pigs don’t know about personal space, so if your child is going to freak out if they bumped into it’s probably not a good idea to bring them along. Kids should also know of to respectfully and safely interact with them, such as petting them over hitting them and not putting their hands in their mouths.
So Should Kids Go See the Swimming Pigs?
Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to decide. Parents know their kids best, and if they feel their children can handle the journey and the experience it can be one of the highlights of the trip. Kids over the age of 10 should be fine, but younger children, especially toddlers and babies, will probably do better if left behind. Before booking double check with the tour company to see if they have any age restrictions. If you bring along kids, make sure you keep a close eye on them at all times both in the water and on land. The swimming pigs are used to humans but they are still strong wild animals that can pose safety risks.