7 things to see and do in the Cayman Islands
List of seven locations in the Cayman Islands visitors can explore during vacation in Grand Cayman
When planning a trip to the Cayman Islands, one can expect clean white sandy beaches with a mirror calm turquoise tropical ocean, however one should also be prepared for occasion light showers during the summer months. Rain showers don't last long in the tropics and are usually followed by bright sunshine a few minutes later.
Known as a top destination for American and European travelers seeking the ultimate vacation, direct flights to the Cayman Islands can be found on American Airlines, Cayman Airways, West Jet, Southwest, Delta and British Airways. With over seven miles of safe beaches on the northern coast of Grand Cayman, the islands welcome an average two million visitors yearly. Majority of visitors to Grand Cayman are cruise ship visitors arriving 7 am in the morning, and are usually gone by 5 pm in the afternoon.
Portrayed in many articles as the place time has forgotten, the islands have seen an upward trend in commercialization and growth, mostly within the Seven Mile Beach and George Town districts. In recent times, the Cayman Islands have improved on roads and buildings, making the islands some of the most advanced within the Western hemisphere.
Large cooperate offices have increased by 20% over the past two years, along with advanced medical facilities offering a wide range of services. Recently opening its doors is an advanced facility for heart and orthopedics, which came online in 2012 and is now listed as the most technological advanced facility in the Caribbean. Health City in East End is one of a kind and the only JCI certified facility within the region. The facility will soon be opening a 185-bedroom hotel a few steps away from the main hospital, which overlooks the ocean on the southern side of Grand Cayman.
1 Visiting Stingray City
Visiting Stingray City can be overwhelming especially if you are not a frequent visitor of the ocean. Your first impression can be a little intimidating, but once you are in the water and the feeding begins, your perspective changes at once. Holding some of the largest stingrays in the Caribbean without fear is nothing less than awesome. Referred to as "gentle giants" by most visitors, feeding stingrays on the sandbar is a must when visiting the Cayman Islands. One of the best companies to book a tour to Stingray City and surrounding attractions is Stingray City Cayman Islands. Tours to Stingray City and starfish can be booked online, including additional tours to the Turtle Centre and Hell. Completing reservation online is simple and easy, with free cancellation in the event of weather or a ship failing to stop in port.
2 A Day at Rum Point
Rum Point is the perfect place to spend a day at the beach with access to restaurants and beach bar. Known as home of mudslides and the best location to try one, Rum Point also offers access to the beach and crystal-clear water in a family setting. Located approximately 1.9 miles from Stingray City, Rum Point is the closest point to the sandbar. Although it is the closest point when it comes to line of sight, it is also the furthest to drive should one select to tour the island. Shuttle service to Rum Point can be arranged from Camana Bay for a small charge aboard a water taxi, which operates every two hours. The service does not include stops at Stingray City or any other attractions. Ask us about private tours to Rum Point and Stingray City
3 Sandy Beaches and Starfish
The rich culture and heritage of the Cayman Islands can also be explored through Starfish Point and its surrounding waters. Considered a perfect place to have a beach picnic, access can be acquired by walking along a foot path or by water vessel. The quiet beach is a common picnic spot for locals on weekends and public holidays but is mostly visited by tourist during the weekdays. Most locals take advantage of the quiet and peaceful surrounding, which also offers privacy by the natural vegetation blocking vehicular traffic.
Starfishes can be found in knee-deep water and range in size from a few ounces to several pounds. Bright orange and occasionally camo-green starfish are found from the southern tip of the sandbar and into the lagoon a few hundred feet away.
Tours to Starfish Point can be purchased from Stingray City Cayman Islands, and include other destinations such as Stingray City and Coral Garden.
4 Venturing Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman has been listed in the top ten beaches based on a worldwide survey. Consisting of soft white coral sand extending seven miles on the northern side of the capital George Town, it is not hard to find some of the best snorkel locations.
Beaches in the Cayman Islands are open for strolling and sunbathing without any worry of breaching local laws. With little or no restriction, you can find yourself miles away from your resort by the time you realized the beauty of the place has taken you on a long journey.
Majority of the upscale resorts are located on Seven Mile Beach, along with some of the Cayman Islands' top restaurants and bars. A few of the restaurants on Seven Mile Beach provide direct access to the beach with dining next to the water, along with drink service by friendly waiters.
5 Touring Historic East End
East End is one of the oldest districts in the Cayman Islands, and it offers a wide range of historical sites as well as home of the Cayman Islands true culture. In East End you will find wreck of the Ten Sails, where visitors can hike up to a forty-foot bluff overlooking the initial site of the wreck. Other ship wrecks and artifacts can be found at the gateway to the bluff, including a large brass propeller and the lead keel of an old sail vessel. A few minutes' drive towards the Morritt's, old canons can be found positioned in private yards along the drive. These canons are from the wreck of the ten sails and can be approached by visitors.
East End is also known the perfect place to source local dishes. If you're willing to try local turtle stew or conch stew, Vivien's on the Bluff, just a few hundred feet from the Wreck of the Ten Sails monument is a perfect stop. Cassava cake and various local dishes can be purchased at reasonable prices, along with local tamarind drink. On Sunday afternoons it's lobster and fish next to the water at the only gas station in the district. Located next to the water on sandy white beach with coconut trees as shelter, fried fish and lobster can be purchased and enjoyed under coconut trees while having a cold refreshment. More information can be sourced by visiting: Eastern Star Bar & Fish Fry
6 Pedro St. James
Known by residents as 'Pedro Castle', the current renovated and oldest surviving stone structure in Grand Cayman is home to much cultural and history, including that of the first parliamentarian meeting and oversight of the Cayman Islands.
The castle was built using slave labor in 1780 by a wealthy Englishman who took up residence within the islands. The castle served a variety of uses, including a cotton plantation, courthouse, jail and Government Assembly Building. It was also the venue for the Cayman Islands parliament and decision making in 1831, and also to announce that slavery had been abolished in the British Empire in 1835. The structure survived several hurricanes, one major fire, vandalism by all walks of life, and infestation of many forms of wildlife. The structure serves as the most historic piece of the Caymanian heritage.
Pedro St. James Theater
Enjoy a 3D multi-sensory movie that will transport you back in time, to the history and heritage of the Cayman Islands. Understand the Cayman Islands' history of the first explorers, including those of piracy and stashing of treasure on the islands. Movie show daily from: 9am-4pm. Last show is at 4pm.
7 Cayman Islands Turtle Centre
The Cayman Turtle Centre, located within West Bay of Grand Cayman offers a unique relationship with nature through educational and memorable hands-on experiences. The park allows visitors to experience the unique history of the Cayman Islands in a fun and safe environment, while providing opportunities to observe and interact with native gentle giants of the ocean.
Offering a one-of-a-kind saltwater lagoon, the Breaker's saltwater tidal lagoon is unique in the Caribbean. In addition to swimming with sea life in the lagoon, Breaker's restaurant offers a wide range of items on the menu, including jerk chicken and pork, hamburgers, sandwiches, and desserts, among other delights. Everyone will enjoy the experience of the finest Caymanian cuisine at a variety of locations throughout the park.
Packages for the Turtle Centre can be purchased at Stingray City Cayman Islands separately or as a combo unit. Visitors can select the entire park access (https://www.stingraycitycaymanislands.com/
Cayman Turtle Centre is the only saltwater lagoon consisting of 1.3 million marine life encounters on the island. With full access to the park, visitors can also get up close to the predator tank and come nose-to-nose with sharks and eels. This is a must for anyone who visits the Cayman Islands year-round, as the Turtle Centre is open daily from 8am to 5pm.
The Cayman Turtle Centre is home to over 11,000 Green Sea Turtles ranging in size from six ounces to six hundred and fifty pounds. Some of the largest turtles can be seen upon entering the facility within the breeding section. Sparky is the oldest turtle currently at the facility and is estimated to be 76 years old. Upon completing the turtle tour, visitors can purchase gifts from the facility's 3,500 square foot retail centre, located on the northern side of the reception building.