As if you need a reason to visit an idyllic, white-sand group of islands in the Caribbean…The Cayman Islands are often thought of only as a honeymoon destination, and while they make for a romantic getaway, there’s so much more on offer to the common traveller.
I’ve put together a list of my top 10 reasons to visit the Cayman Islands.
- Underwater worlds
Something I learnt during my time on the largest island, Grand Cayman, is that there are 365 dive sites around the Cayman Islands. Some are easily accessible to the tourist snorkeler, while others require a day trip on a boat to get to the sites of shipwrecks and artificial reefs. Either way, you can dive a different site every day for a year and never see the same thing twice. That’s pretty spectacular!
- Grab shell, dude!
The Grand Cayman Turtle Farm is located on the west end of the main island. A conservation centre, the Turtle Farm was set up in 1968 and is primarily used for raising the endangered Green Sea Turtle. When Christopher Columbus set his sights on Grand Cayman in 1503, he named it Las Tortugas due to the abundance of sea turtles swimming in its waters. The Farm is playing a huge part in helping to improve dwindling numbers of turtles in the area.
- To Hell and back
No, that’s not a typo! There’s actually a place in the Cayman Islands called Hell. A crazy-weird limestone formation on Grand Cayman that has been named Hell because of its sharp, jagged edges and dark, ominous scene. For for the devil himself, not many people can say they’ve been to hell and back. Expect me. I made it! Confuse a family member or friend and send them a postcard or letter from Hell post office, located next to the rock formation.
- Up close and personal to the stars
Aptly named, Starfish Point is the place you go to experience these incredible marine animals. The beach itself is actually on private land, but there is a path that is widely used and seems to be accessible to the public, without any problems. Please visit responsibly though and do not take the starfish out of the water – they aren’t made for land!
- Stingray City
Another cool aquatic experience is to visit Stingray City: a sandbar off of Rum Point where the rays come in droves to feed. A slightly unnerving experience at first – even if you’re comfortable in the ocean like me – it’s something special to be so close to such amazing creatures as they glide effortlessly across the ocean floor…and your feet!
- George Town
Capital of the Cayman Islands and a financial hub for the British Overseas Territory, George Town is full of tax-free shops, and is home to the National Museum where local history and culture tales are told.
- Seven Mile Beach
Relax on a glorious stretch of white sand aside turquoise, clear Caribbean waters. Despite its name, it’s not quite 7 miles long (it’s actually only 6.3 miles), it’s often named one of the best beaches in the world, and the best in the Caribbean. So what’s not to love!?
- Rum Point
Venture to the north end of the island and get away from the centre for laid-back vibes at Rum Point Beach. Spend the day basking in the sun, then enjoy an all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet at nearby Kaibo Beach Bar and Grill.
- Hike the Mastic Trail
The Mastic Reserve on Grand Cayman protects part of the largest area of untouched old growth forest left on the island. Dry, hot and tropical, it’s home to a huge selection of plants and birdlife, some of which are only notice to the Cayman Islands. Go at your own pace or pay to join a tour on the weekends.
- Watch the sunset from a cruise
Jump on board a 65′ catamaran and cruise into the sunset for happy hour drinks and snacks. Departing from the Westin Hotel beach, it’s a great chance to let loose on the water and makes a great pre-dinner drinks session.
FACT: There are two more islands that make up the Cayman Islands: Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Head to these for some of the best deep-sea fishing and for an even more authentic Caymanian experience with endangered iguanas and seabirds.
Have you been to the Cayman Islands? Share your thoughts on the Caribbean destination below.