The Exuma Islands consist of 365 islands and cays that stretch for 130 miles southeast of New Providence. Its capital is Georgetown.
The region was once a major salt producer during the 1700s and served as a favourite hideaway for pirates. At present, Exuma’s economy relies heavily upon fishing and tourism.
One of the Bahamas’ largest underwater and land preserves is the Exuma National Land and Sea Park. The Park has under its protection indigenous reptiles like the Bahamian iguana, and the underwater limestone and coral reefs, blue holes and caves that are important habitats for marine life.
There are also a number of historical sites in Exuma. Georgetown has the colonial-style Government Administration Building and the St. Andrews Anglican Church. There are also plantation ruins and two famous cemeteries, the Rolle Town Tombs and the Hermitage.
Exuma’s main claim to fame is one of its oldest residents, Gloria Patience. She is rumored to have caught more than 1,500 sharks, and met the Queen of England barefoot with shell beads around her ankles. Now well into her 80s, Gloria takes great pride in showing off her home to visitors. She converted it into a shop and museum with archives, relics and memorabilia about her as the Shark Lady of the Exumas.