To those who may or may not know, there’s an uninhabited island in Exuma called Pig Beach (aka Big Major Cay) with yes, wild pigs. From what I’ve seen on Instagram (and in the Fyre Festival promo video), it’s a place like no other.
Mesmerized by the surreal photos on Instagram from influencers and pig whisperers alike, I had to visit Pig Beach for myself. The best way to get there is to fly into Exuma and check into Grand Isle Resort and Spa. From the penthouse, you can literally see the mansion Billy McFarland stayed at while Fyre Festival was almost, maybe, trying to be a thing. Through a local adventure company Triple A Adventures, resort guests can book a half or full day on the boat through concierge to visit the pigs, as well as nursing sharks and wild iguanas.
After visiting the infamous pigs, I learned that not everything on Pig Beach ends up on Instagram. And that pigs can’t fly, but they certainly can swim. This is what it’s actually like to swim with the pigs in Exuma.
Pig Beach In Exuma Is F*cking Unreal
First, you find yourself in arguably the most beautiful water in the world. Water so clear you’d be a fool to put a filter on your photo. Then you add in a wild pig just roaming the water. The juxtaposition of the two makes you wonder if you’re witnessing real life, or if you died and went to heaven. Approaching the island, I found myself with a dumb smile on my face as the pigs swam up to the boat because it was just the most WTF-is-happening moment.
Big Pig Energy
Once you process that there are about 20 wild pigs swimming around you in the most beautiful water in the Caribbean, then you begin to realize how big they actually are. We’re not talking The Three Little Pigs. That’s a fairytale. These are some big-ass f*cking pigs that went to The Bahamas and not to some market.
Beware Of The Biters
View this post on Instagram
Earlier this year, a video of one of the pigs biting a model’s ass went viral. It’s not exactly glamorous, but it can and does happen to tourists in search of that perfect Insta. “That one’s a biter,” my boat captain warned me. He pointed out which pigs are more likely to bite, as they each have a personality of their own. They’re more intimidating than cute, but in the water they’re moving in slow motion. So worst case scenario, you can outrun a giant pig.
We Fed Them White Sliced Bread To Get The Money Shots
How do you get the pig to jump up on its hind legs for that money shot? Sliced white bread. Bring a lot of it—like, an entire loaf. I definitely didn’t expect that’s what would do the trick, but it worked and was low-key a little scary because I didn’t want a 400lb. wild pig falling on top of me after jumping up to get some Wonderbread.
The Beach Is A Pigsty, Literally
The beach itself isn’t all that glamorous, unless you love the smell of pigs in the heat. It’s literally a pigsty with everything the piggies need, including ample shade, water, and small pens for the piglets. Another thing you might not notice from Instagram alone? Each pig was tagged, as they are registered, and frequently checked up on by a local committee of caretakers made up of residents at Staniel Cay. They’re responsible for maintaining the large enclosures for the swimming pigs, including a special nursery for the piglets, replenishing and servicing the permanent water installation, and coordinating vet visits to the pigs throughout the year.
The Piglets Don’t Like Being Held
The piglets don’t like being held by strangers—I mean, would you? Tourists chase them, and they squeal, loudly. I had a camera in my hand and the other pigs on the beach started squealing and coming at me as I was standing between them and my friend holding a screaming piglet. So just leave the piglets alone, okay? It’s uncomfortable, and it’s not worth however many likes you would get on Instagram… and you can’t see likes anymore anyway, so leave the f*cking piglets alone!
So even though Pig Beach isn’t exactly like what it looks like on Instagram, it’s not a total Instagram trap either—and still reigns supreme on our bucket list. After you get your perfect Instagram shot, put your phone away and enjoy it, IRL.
Images: James Barrett; michelle_lewin / Instagram; BlueOrange Studio / Shutterstock
If you’re over the age of 25, June means one of two things: either a) everyone you know and their fucking brother is getting married or b) you’re getting married. There is no c. Those are the only two options. Luckily, as we get closer to July, all the wedding, love, marriage bullshit starts to slow down because it’s so hot that getting married or doing anything that involves leaving the house sounds fucking miz. In place of the “forever wedding date” and “best day ever” Instagrams you’ll start to see “baecation” and “never leaving” ones take their place. In other words, honeymoon season is upon us. That’s why we’re breaking down what your honeymoon destination says about you. So you can choose wisely or judge the shit out of your
tacky miserable newlywed friends. Either way you win!
Cancun? For your honeymoon? Groundbreaking. Mexico, for some reason I’ll never understand, has become the most popular spot for newlyweds. Pretty much, if this is what you choose, you’re cliché af. Your hubs probs booked this for you and freaked the fuck out when he found a place where all the food was included. Bless him and his cheap-ass heart. You’ll enjoy yourself, but secretly you’ll be thinking about how much more fun you had in Mexico during spring break sophomore year and how much better the sex was with Johnny the Sigma Chi than your new spouse. Bummer. Like your unoriginal honeymoon choice, you’ll live a pretty basic life. In a few years, you’ll move to the suburbs, pop out a few kids and live a completely boring life.
You’re doing the honeymoon for the ‘gram and everyone knows it. You care a lot what people think and want to come off as way more cultured and original than your other newlywed friends who are laying on a beach somewhere. Your best memories were probs from when you studied abroad in Europe and you coerced your fiancé into booking this trip instead of an all-inclusive somewhere because you wanted to make those same memories with him. Vom. Because you care so much about what people think, your marriage looks perfect to outsiders but behind closed doors some serious shit goes down. You’ll pretend everything is okay until you catch him screwing his secretary and then you’ll ditch his ass and take his money with you. Mazel!
3. Anywhere In The Continental U.S.
I mean, seriously? I know the Grand Canyon is pretty and Napa has some of the world’s best wine, but live a little. You just tied yourself to one person and missionary sex for the rest of your life, the least you can do is leave the country. When you stay stateside, you make the Mexico crew look like true wanderlusters—that’s how fucking lame you are. When people ask why you’re not actually going somewhere, you’ll act all holier than thou about “not needing a fancy trip because marrying your soulmate is celebration enough” but deep down you’re already starting to panic about how uneventfully your life is panning out. I’m not saying anyone who has their honeymoon in the U.S. is destined to have a mid-life crisis where they freak out, fuck the hot new intern at their job, and have a messy divorce, but I’m also not not saying that.
4. French Polynesia
Tahiti, Bora Bora and the likes are reserved for the super wealthy romantic types. Sure, most honeymoons cost more than what a couple can afford, but it takes true money to be able to drop $20k on a week-long vacay. Like, I can’t do that even if I wanted to. (Ok, you got me, I want to.) Your spouse is probably in finance or taking over the family business, while you have family money but managed to land a killer PR job right out of college. When you decide to have kids you’ll hire at least three nannies and say it’s because you’re working parents, but really it’s because you don’t want to give up your luxurious lifestyle of traveling around the world and black tie galas.
Anywhere in the Caribbean tends to be a popular choice when it comes to choosing the perfect spot for a honeymoon. There are different islands for different vibes: Jamaica and Puerto Rico for average peeps, St. Barts and Anguilla for the bougie betches, and a bunch of shit in the middle. If you go to the Caribbean after your wedding you’re most likely the life of the party and everyone likes you. You’re not as lame as the people going to Mexico but not as snobby the Bora Bora crew. You’ll live in the city for a few years and then move to an up-and-coming suburb when you decide to start a fam. Your kids will probs be cool too and you’ll grow old with your cool little family.
Like the newlyweds that go to Europe, you care what WAY too much people think and can’t wait to post honeymoon pics of your Asian adventure on social media, but rather than being a sophisticated, Upper East side type, you’re a hipster couple that composts all your waste and judges the shit out of people who think Starbucks is good coffee. In other words, your wedding had mason jars and burlap and you’re kind of the worst. When you get home, you’ll tell everyone that seeing the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong was the most
spiritual incredible moment of your life, but you actually liked riding elephants in Thailand better. In the future, you’ll sell your apartment in the city to get a tiny cabin or an RV or some other hipster bullshit in the middle of nowhere. You’ll go off the grid and no one will miss you. Oh, and you smoke a lot of weed.
Hawaii is for the couple who, despite being in their late 20s, is actually like fucking 40 years old at heart. If this is you, you stopped taking birth control on the wedding night and will probably get pregnant sometime during the trip because you’re ready to be a mom like, yesterday. The wedding ceremony was in a church that you’ve been going to your whole life and there was a reception right after in a barn with only beer and wine. I’d bet your last name is Smith or Jones. In a few years, you’ll become the president of the PTA and start a blog about motherhood called “Mom-Stop,” a play on non-stop that no one will pick up on.
8. A Cruise
Are you fucking kidding me? A cruise? For your honeymoon? Gross. That’s all.