The Cayman Islands are dotted with deal-cutting characters with briefcases and mobile phones, scuba divers in wetsuits and English folk checking the cricket scores. The islands are colourful: coral reefs, bright orange frogfish, sociable stingrays and reggae boats on the street. As a result of the islands’ mellow charms, resorts and condos have sprung up all over. But if you want to get away from it all there are lots of places to escape satellite dishes and slickness, not least of them underwater.
Best time to visit
June to October to avoid the peak season
- Diving famous dive spots such as the Bloody Bay Wall and Jackson Point on the northwestern coast of Little Cayman.
- Strolling the mile-long trail that winds through the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park – lush terrain, orchids, iguanas and parrots.
- Treasure-hunting on Cayman Brac – spelunkers can go caving along the northern shore, where legend has it pirates used to stow away their loot
- Meandering through Mastic Trail – the old-growth forest that once supplied early settlers with timber
- Sightseeing on Cayman Brac, which is covered in fruit trees, orchids and cacti and surrounded by good beaches.
Local specialties at the annual cooking festival, known simply as The Cook Off, in May, or the Taste of Cayman festival in June.
A cold beer after a day’s diving, or sip on a gin and tonic.
The Booby Pond Nature Reserve is home to one of the hemisphere’s largest breeding populations of red-footed boobies. Cayman Turtle Farm is the only one of its kind in the world. This government-run operation raises green turtles to increase their population in the wild and – slightly more disturbing – sell their meat and shells.
Experiences at Great Cayman
- Full day island tour
- Sightseeing shopping
- North Sound Snorkel Adventure
- Stingray Sandbar snorkel
- West bay highlights tour
The most easterly of the three Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac is distinguished by its distinctively rugged ‘brac’ or ‘bluff’ that runs along the centre of this long narrow stretch of island. The limestone brac is dotted with impressive caves and culminates in a dramatic cliff at its eastern end. The island’s greatest attraction is its warm, crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, so snorkeling and diving are unsurprisingly the island’s most popular activities. Other activities include world-class birding, bonefishing in the shallows, deep-sea angling, hiking, spelunking, and rock climbing. With only 1800 local residents—they call themselves Brackers—the island has the feel and easy pace of a small town. Notable attractions include the oldest museum in the Cayman Islands, a pristine nature reserve, and a historic home that is open to the public.
Resting on the south-west tip of Grand Cayman Island, the bustling port city of George Town serves as the capital of the Cayman Islands. What this small but affluent city lacks in off-the-beaten-path adventure, it more than makes up for in safety, cleanliness, and family-friendly activities. Visitors can enjoy submarine or glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, scuba-diving, parasailing, dining in fine restaurants, or touring rum distilleries, art galleries and upmarket boutiques. Those looking for some vibrant nightlife can head to the popular Seven Mile Beach which boasts numerous nightclubs and lively bars. Other key attractions in the George Town area include the Cayman Turtle Farm, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and the Pedro St James Castle which provides impressive views of the nearby Great Pedro Bluff.
Known for its effortless luxury and affluence, Grand Cayman is the largest of three islands that make up the Cayman Islands. The island offers countless underwater worlds to explore. Sunken shipwrecks, colourful reef systems and mighty caverns make the area a haven for divers and snorkelers looking to spot wildlife like stingrays, turtles, and schools of colorful tropical fish. Every day thousands of visitors arrive, many of them on cruise liners, to explore the narrow streets of the island capital, George Town. Visitors to this vibrant capital can delight in the idyllic beaches, shop at high-end boutiques, or sip delicious cocktails at one of the myriad luxury resorts. The tourist infrastructure on Grand Cayman is well developed providing anything travellers might need. The other islands in the group are far less developed, making Grand Cayman the natural hub for activities and amenities.
Seven Mile Beach
Located on the western shore of Grand Cayman, the Seven Mile Beach is the most well-known beach on the islands. Attracting visitors from all over the world, the Seven Mile Beach features clear waters and coral sands. It also serves as the home to many of the Caribbean’s luxury resorts on the Cayman Islands. Seven Mile Beach is public property, and therefore it is possible to walk the full length past several resorts, hotels and villas, regardless of where you’re staying. There are restaurants open to the public at most of the resorts and several public beach bars. Seven Mile beach encompasses so many different activities; a day at the beach can leave your head spinning yet wanting more. Whether you are looking to work on your tan and watch the waves roll in, partake in some adventurous parasailing or shallow snorkeling in the Caribbean with the family, Seven Mile Beach provides all ages a chance to enjoy what the Cayman Islands and your Caribbean vacation will truly be all about.