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Two Bahamian beaches make top ten in USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards

When it comes to best of the best it is hard to do better than the beaches of The Bahamas.

Two beaches, the pink sand beaches of Harbour Island and Tropic of Cancer Beach in Exuma, made the top 10 best Caribbean beaches list chosen by thousands of USA Today readers, along with a panel of experts.

The Bahamas was the only country with two beaches in the top five, an accolade that did not escape the notice of Ministry of Tourism officials.

“We are so proud to be recognized by USA Today readers and experts for being home to the best beaches in the region,” said Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. “With more than 700 islands and thousands of cays, The Bahamas really does have a beach for everyone. Our pink sands and turquoise waters make the most beautiful beaches, not just in the Caribbean, but in the world.”

The award was a special honor for Exuma, which has long been called a boater’s paradise for the beauty of its waters, the protection of its leeward coves and the variety of its marine life, but is less well known for its beaches.

“The popularity of the swimming pigs has brought worldwide attention to Exuma, which may account in part for the new interest in the beaches,” said Jeff Todd, author of “Pigs in Paradise”, the first book exploring the phenomenon that has created the buzz about the chain of islands in the central Bahamas. The book, published late last year online and recently snapped up by a popular publisher who will release a new version soon, also explores human conflicts in relationships between the animals man adores before devouring. When the new version is released by the company that published Snowden and nearly 50 other New York Times best-sellers, it is likely to open even more eyes to the 365 isles that make up the Exuma chain. That, along with all the ongoing public and private exposure – swimming pigs billboards, videos that have gone viral, magazine pieces – is going to make it difficult to keep the beach in Little Exuma the tranquil getaway it has been.

“In a world of high speed internet, fast-paced living and a constant search for quick solutions, Tropic of Cancer Beach is an oasis. Its broad, soft white sand in contrast against turquoise seas is a quiet, untouched piece of Exuma magic,” said Everett Hart, spokesman for One Exuma Association. The association, formed in 2017, is a network of hoteliers, attraction operators, local government officials, transportation operators and key stakeholders committed to lending expertise and support to ensure Exuma’s sustainable development. “Tropic of Cancer Beach is not easily accessible. It is called the longest beach in Exuma. Getting to it is not easy, it is a long ways down an unpaved road, so the fact that the experts narrowed the list down to 20 and with images online and those who experienced it voting, amassing enough votes to end up as number 4 of all the thousands of beaches in the Caribbean speaks volumes.”

Harbour Island’s famed pink sand beaches have made the tiny, three-mile island further north in The Bahamas a favorite for celebrities and the luxury vacation seeker for years.

Other beaches that qualified for the top 10 best list in the Caribbean included three in Anguilla, two in Turks and Caicos, and one each in Aruba and Curacao, with Grand Anse Beach in Grenada coming in first place just ahead of Harbour Island. Tropic of Cancer Beach came in fourth.

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