This chain of tiny, mostly uninhabited jewels runs from 35 miles southeast of New Providence for 150 miles. It is frequently said there are 365 islands in the chain, one for each day of the year, but the truth is there are thousands of islets, cays and tiny exposed rocks, each with a wealth of marine life revolving around it. The chain culminates with the larger islands of Great and Little Exuma, the only real focus of human development. The remainder of the Exuma chain is the realm of nature and of the sailing vessels that choose to share in it.

The Exuma Land and Sea Park, the largest natural preserve in the Bahamas, was created in 1956 and encompasses 176 square miles of islands and ocean. It is protected by a strict set of rules and possesses within its boundaries some of the richest shallow reef areas in the country. Lying off the northern sector is a lengthy wall that, despite a relatively close proximity to population centers, sees little dive traffic, a fact reflected in the health of the marine environment.

Further south, Great Exuma, is a definitively Bahamian community. Resorts, some with very deep historical roots, cater to divers as well as bonefishermen and tropical vacationers. One distinctive characteristic of the southern Exumas is the wealth of blue holes, many easily accessible and suitable for divers of all skill levels.