a swimming holiday in the bahamasThis trip is the ultimate, exclusive ‘get-away-from-it-all' treat for any open water swimmer. We have designed this trip carefully to ensure we provide you with the perfect combination of activity and relaxation. Based at New Heights villa on the pristine, remote island of Great Guana Cay, expect magnificent food, panoramic ocean views, and unbeatable swimming in one of the largest coral reefs in the Northern Hemisphere.
ABOUT GREAT GUANA CAYThe Abaco Islands are a group of islands and barrier cays in the northern Bahamas, east of southern Florida. Great Guana Cay is a remote, unspoilt island at the centre of the Abaco Islands. With just 150 inhabitants, it is a real escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The island is long and narrow, 7 miles (11 km) long, and situated about 8 miles from Marsh Harbour International Airport.
IS THIS FOR ME?During the week, we will complete two swims a day, aside from Wednesday when we will have an afternoon at leisure to rest and recover. Swims will be a mixture of island-to-island crossings and stunning reef and coastal swims. You should be comfortable swimming in open water, however if you wish to swim shorter distances than our itinerary suggests, it’s fine to hop back on board once you’ve had enough. Ideally you should have some open water experience and be able to swim at least one kilometre in the sea. If you’re unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact the office for a chat. This trip is ideal for anyone looking for a luxurious week away, with a combination of swimming, wonderful food and time to relax. Throughout the week, you are more than welcome to swim both or just complete one swim a day – it is your holiday. Each swim will be escorted by a main boat and an additional tender that will have ample room for anyone wishing to watch or simply soak up some sun.
AT A GLANCE
- Places available from £2,480pp
- This trip is ideal for anyone looking for a luxurious swim vacation, with a combination of swimming, wonderful food and time to relax.
- This trip runs from Saturday – Friday
- Non-swimmers are welcome to join the trip and can be on the boat if they wish. A 10% discount is offered to non-swimmers.
- Max group size 12
- Water temperature is between 22oC and 24oC, in February and 24oC and 27oC in November
- Everything is included except transport to and from Great Guana Cay, dinner on one evening, and lunch on two days, plus any additional items or activities you wish to participate in
- You will need to fly to Marsh Harbour International airport (flights from Europe usually between £650-£1000)
- Six night’s accommodation at New Heights (various room options are available, please see accommodation tab)
- Housekeeping service
- All meals (from dinner on Saturday evening, to breakfast on Friday morning) excluding dinner on one evening, when we will take you to Firefly restaurant on Elbow Cay, and lunch on two of the trip days, to enable you to make the most of Hopetown and Green Turtle Cay visits
- A return sunset speedboat ride to Elbow Cay
- A beach bonfire on the final evening
- A full guided swimming itinerary, based on two swims a day
- Qualified SwimQuest guide/s
- Two safety boats
- A local ocean and area guide
- Optional stroke video analysis and one-to-one swim coaching sessions
- A 10L SwimQuest dry bag and a SwimQuest swim cap
about new heights
Deluxe sole use bedrooms £2,980ppTreat yourself to a spacious single room opening up onto a private balcony with stunning views of the water. With high ceilings, French doors and screens, open the doors to the cool, coastal breeze, and listen to the waves crash against the shore. You will be allocated your own, private bathroom and your own, private balcony.
Deluxe double / TWIN use bedrooms £2,880ppIdeal for couples or two friends, these rooms are spacious double or twin rooms opening up onto a private balcony with stunning views of the water. With high ceilings, French doors and screens, open the doors to the cool, coastal breeze, and listen to the waves crash against the shore.
sole use room (adjoined to guide apartment)£2,480ppThis studio room is suitable for a solo traveller, and contains a double bed and a small kitchenette. Your room is adjoined to the guide’s room via a corridor, and you will need to share a bathroom with your SwimQuest guide.
THE ITINERARYN.B. Please note, this is a rough guide to the week. We will adapt the week carefully for each individual and the prevailing weather. All swim activities are planned with safety as the paramount concern. Swim distances are adaptable and because of our extensive boat and safety cover we can deal with a mixture of abilities on this tour.
SATURDAYA SwimQuest representative will meet you at Great Guana Cay Harbour and take you to New Heights. You can settle into your room, and meet your fellow guests and guides for an evening meal on the terrace and your safety briefing. Please note - the last ferry leaves Marsh Harbour at 5.45pm, so we will start the tour officially when the last guests arrive (around 7pm).
SUNDAYOn Sunday morning, we will complete a coastal swim (1-2km) along Great Guana Cay’s sheltered coastline. This will be an easy swim so that the guides can get an idea of everyone’s swimming ability and (if you wish) film you swimming above and below the water so that we can provide coaching advice later on in the evening. In the afternoon, we will venture south towards Scotland Cay, swimming up Scotland Cay’s sandy coastline (2-3km) and finishing in the stunning turquoise lagoon. Keep an eye our for the beautiful Eagle Rays!
MONDAYIts an early start for breakfast before we hop in the boat and travel to Fowls Cays National Prk to swim around and along this biologically rich stretch of coral reef (3km). Keep your eyes out for turtles, rays and schools of tropical fish. In the afternoon, we will continue with an island-to-island swim, from Fowl Cays to Scotland Cay (1.5km).
TUESDAYIn the morning, we will head north to visit No Name Cay. This morning’s swim will be coastal swim along the beautiful sheltered shoreline of No Name Cay. Don’t be surprised if you bump into some unlikely locals at the end of your swim! We will then head to Green Turtle Cay where you will have the opportunity to buy lunch and look around. In the afternoon we will complete a circumnavigation of Crab Cay. The sea of Abaco has a large population of bottlenose dolphins, so keep your eyes peeled on the way to our swim spots!
WEDNESDAYThis morning we will head to a reef north of Great Guana Cay to swim along shallow reefs and admire the abundance of colourful marine life. In the afternoon, we will head back to New Heights for a few hours of relaxation before dinner. A local masseuse is available for you to book should you wish.
THURSDAYToday will be a big day, with lots of swimming! After breakfast, we head down to Elbow Cay to complete our longest swim yet along the beautiful coastline (4-5km). Keep an eye out for turtles, reef sharks and rays. You will then have the opportunity to buy lunch in HopeTown and look around the lighthouse. In the afternoon we will complete our final relaxing reef swim before our farewell beach bonfire and dinner.
FRIDAYWake up, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, before the guides drive you down to your departure ferry. Checkout is at 10.30am.
TRAVEL & TIMINGSThis trip officially begins on Saturday evening with a welcome and dinner, once all guests arrive at New Heights. The trip finishes on Friday morning, usually after a leisurely breakfast.
As a small islet to the east of Great Abaco, Great Guana Cay does not have its own airport or even air strip. This island is home to only about 150 residents, and we visit to escape from the rest of the world for a week! You'll have to take a few extra steps in order to get away from it all, but in the end you'll find it to be worth the effort.
FLY TO MARSH HARBOUR INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
We advise booking flights through to Marsh Harbour International Airport (MHH). Frequent domestic and international services are available. We advise searching flight options via a flight engine such as www.skyscanner.net to find the cheapest fare. For European guests, it is often cost effective to fly from Europe via the US and then into the Bahamas.
GETTING TO GREAT GUANA CAY
Great Guana Cay is a small island without an air strip, so when you get to Marsh Harbour you will need to take a taxi (we can organise for the lovely Rensior to pick you up and drop you at the ferry for $20) and then a 20 minute ferry trip on an Albury’s Ferry to reach us. Albury's Ferries (www.alburysferry.com) operate five times a day and the fare from Marsh Harbour to Great Guana Cay costs $19. The last ferry is at 5.45pm, so you should plan your flight arrival accordingly.
Check out from New Heights is at 10.30am on Friday morning.
WHAT TO PACKIn addition to your everyday clothing and personal travel items, we would also recommend packing:
- At least two swimming costumes
- A wetsuit should you wish to wear one
- Two pairs of swim goggles
- Swim ear plugs if you are used to wearing them
- A beach / swim towel (the villa provides room towels)
- Sandals, aqua shoes or flip flops which you would be happy to get wet if necessary
- Warm clothes for evenings
- Suncream, sunhat and sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Comfortable sportswear (optional - running / stretching / yoga)
PASSPORTS AND VISASNon-residents of the Bahamas require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for at least six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the Bahamas, however, if travelling via the U.S., you may need to obtain a visa or an ESTA. For further information, please visit www.bahamas.gov.bs. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.
VACCINATIONSThere are currently no essential vaccination requirements for Bahamas, however we advise you to check this information eight weeks before you travel. It is also advisable to check that you have up to date tetanus and polio. UK health authorities have classified the Bahamas as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website. Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in the Bahamas. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Use insect repellent and try to cover up at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are present.
INSURANCEAs a SwimQuest guest, you are required to have in place travel insurance that covers you for all activities you will be taking part in during your trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully covered for these activities.
Whatever travel policy you decide on, you will need to bring a copy of your current Certificate of Insurance to the safety briefing at the start of your SwimQuest holiday. Your swim Guides will need to take a note of your insurer, policy number and the number to call in case of an emergency claim.
If you are looking for a travel insurance policy, we love worldnomads.com because they make choosing the right policy as painless as possible.Worldnomads.com do not offer cover over 65s, however if you are over 65 and looking for insurance, please feel free to contact us and we can put you in touch with alternative providers.
READY TO BOOK?
We’re excited about meeting you on tour. To book your Bahamas trip, simply fill in the booking form below. Once you have submitted the form, Charlotte (our bookings co-ordinator) will be in touch to request payment and to help you with any additional requirements. A deposit of 30% is required to secure your place, and the final payment is due 8 weeks prior to departure. Payments can be made by debit / credit card, by cheque, or by bank transfer.
In booking with us, you accept our terms and conditions, which can be found here. If at any point you have any questions, feel free to contact us:
Charlotte Benton | +44 7743 233803 | email@example.com
Alice Todd | +44 7825 301443 | firstname.lastname@example.org