Makers Air Enhances Bahamas Travel for South Florida Residents

Leave the hassles of traditional airport challenges and everyday stresses behind.

The Bahamas can seem like a world away from South Florida as you peer into the piercing blue and turquoise waters surrounding a near-endless supply of idyllic islands. While the tri-county area provides vast water access to experience a plethora of ocean-related adventures, the Bahamas’ diverse ecosystem offers a unique destination even for the most seasoned water adventurer. Luckily for South Floridians, getting there in style and comfort is accessible on Makers Air. The air carrier features the largest selection of daily Bahamas flights to and from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE). The plentiful options make for an ideal weekend getaway or short excursion for a large group or couple. A recent day trip to Staniel Cay on a Makers Air Cessna Grand Caravan reintroduced me to why we’re so lucky to call the island nation our neighbor.

Although I’ve never flown private, the intimacy of the flight out of FXE was a great introduction. It started with an early morning rise and meeting at Makers’ private charter departure lounge. With no security and baggage lines to navigate, enjoying the pre-flight snacks and beverages at the boutique lounge without traditional airport hassles set the tone for a relaxing trip.

After a quick immigration stop in San Andros, we arrived at Staniel Cay in the Exumas for a five-hour tour of ocean-related activities. We were quickly whisked away with Staniel Cay Adventures on a center console hard-top boat perfect for navigating around the islands. Our first stop was at Thunderball Grotto, made famous in the James Bond movie Thunderball. Snorkeling the underwater cave system overflowing with exotic marine life and crystal clear water was unlike anything I experienced in South Florida. The fish were plentiful and quite large, with a mutton snapper over two feet long casually swimming amongst the snorkelers, seemingly without a care in the world (much like the local residents).

I would’ve been delighted with the Bahamas experience if the Thunderball Grotto experience was the entire itinerary for the day. However, one of the island nation’s most popular destinations was also included in our trip—no, not Atlantis, but a stop at Pig Beach to interact with The Swimming Pigs of Exuma. One loud “sooooieeeee” call from our boat captain and the adorable creatures swam over, knowing what we had to offer. While not known as a majestic animal, it was hard not to adore their excitement and swimming skill level in the pristine waters. Just a few minutes into the feeding, it was evident how they had become famous on social media and morphed into a bucket-list attraction.

Another animal encounter I thoroughly enjoyed was a stop at Compass Cay Marina to pet some of the local Nurse sharks—yes, you heard that right. The docile sharks have grown accustomed to the presence of fishermen, making them very human-friendly. They even allow you to pick them up and provide gentle rubs on their sandpaper-like scales. Although they don’t purr like cats, it was easy to tell how enjoyable a belly scratch was to these gentle creatures.

As the day’s adventures continued, a stop at the bustling Staniel Cay Yacht Club for cocktails and lunch provided an excellent refueling. Based on the recommendation from our pilot, the crab cakes were massive and expertly prepared—the sweetness of the crab meat made for a genuinely irresistible dish that perfectly suits the island vibes. 

Throughout our island-hopping Bahamas experience, one adventure always topped the next to produce a unique and thrilling day trip. South Florida’s geographical location and the bountiful flight itineraries on Makers Air make exploring the islands the ultimate day or weekend treat for us locals. With Makers Air’s 30-year legacy of offering specialized luxury air travel services, interested travelers can now reach the entirety of the nearly 400 islands from Fort Lauderdale. Although leaving the island chain to head back to South Florida did invoke a tinge of sadness, I was buoyed by an intimate and smooth plane ride. Not to mention, I had a quick immigration experience through FXE, which was a breeze compared to what I’ve had flying into any of South Florida’s major international airports. Learn more about available bookings at Makersair.com or by calling 954.771.0330.

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