In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage across the island. Many places closed for rebuilding. Frommer's recommends that vacationers check in advance with all businesses before traveling.
Staniel Cay lies 129km (80 miles) southeast of Nassau at the southern end of the little Pipe Creek archipelago. It's a 13km (8-mile) chain of mostly uninhabited islets, sandy beaches, coral reefs, and bonefish flats. There are many places for snug anchorages, making this a favorite yachting stopover in the mid-Exumas. Staniel Cay, known for years as "Stanyard," has no golf course or tennis courts, but it's the perfect island for "the great escape." It's home to just 80 full-time residents.
An annual Bonefishing Tournament is sponsored here every July, during the celebration of Bahamian Independence Day. There's a straw market where you can buy crafts, hats, and handbags.
The Staniel Cay Yacht Club arranges charter flights from Fort Lauderdale on Watermakers Air (tel. 954/771-0330; www.watermakersair.com). Tickets cost $260 to $347 per person one-way; flight time is 3 hours. Call for more information.