15 Attractions in the Cayman Islands 2019
May 23, 2019
The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory located in the Western Caribbean that gives its visitors some of the world’s best diving sites. Imagine crystal clear waters in vibrant shades of blue washed upon the coasts of these three tropical islands of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. Observe Coral reefs encircling these isles, while shipwrecks are spread across the shores and steep underwater walls with an abundance of marine life.
The biggest and most influenced of the U.S. of the 3 islands is the famous cruise port of Grand Cayman. Its spectacular Seven Mile Beach is its crown jewel, offering a selection of water sports and beachfront resorts. In addition to lounging on the island’s powdery sand, visitors can swim with stingrays, dive, snorkel, and hike, do some duty-free shopping in the vibrant capital of George Town and escape to the island’s peaceful East End. Cayman Brac charms nature enthusiasts with its rugged shoreline, caves, and gentler pace. While Little Cayman is undoubtedly sleepy, it still, however, offers some of the world’s greatest diving spots, and superb fishing along its bonefish flats and in Tarpon Lake.
Here are 15 Attractions Not to be Missed in the Cayman Islands:
- 1 Here are 15 Attractions Not to be Missed in the Cayman Islands:
- 1.1 Seven Mile Beach
- 1.2 George Town
- 1.3 Stingray City
- 1.4 Atlantis Submarines
- 1.5 Diving
- 1.6 Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter
- 1.7 Bloody Bay Marine Reserve, Little Cayman
- 1.8 Mastic Reserve and Trail
- 1.9 East End
- 1.10 Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
- 1.11 Cayman Crystal Caves
- 1.12 The Bluffs and Caves of Cayman Brac
- 1.13 Camana Bay
- 1.14 Pedro St. James National Historic Site
- 1.15 Hell, Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach
Commonly included in lists of the best beaches in the Caribbean is the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Bordered with coconut palms and casuarinas, this stunning sweep of powdery sand and turquoise sea line the island’s primary lane north from George Town. Cruise ship passengers visiting its shores are welcomed with a wide stretch of the beach providing a serene spot of sand for all and is generally a way of stray vendors. The whole beach is public and spotlessly maintained.
An offshore financial center and Cayman’s beautiful capital, George Town comes to life whenever cruise ships arrive. Another popular thing to do here is to go shopping on several duty-free shops and art galleries that are placed in colorful gingerbread buildings on sides of the harbor front.
The place is more than just a simple tourist town because it packs a clutch of other travel spots. Cayman Islands National Museum reveals historical and ecological exhibitions, and art enthusiasts will appreciate the excellent collection of native art and themed temporary exhibits at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, that also offers pretty sculpture gardens and an Art Cafe. And just a short minute drive is the National Trust for the Cayman Islands Visitor Centre where visitors can learn more about the island’s natural history.
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If you know of someone who fears stingrays, let him visit Stingray City at Raleigh Quay, Grand Cayman to treat that fear. Stingray City is among Caribbean’s most popular shallow water snorkeling and diving sites and included in Grand Cayman’s best travel spots. Customized boats move to shallow sand bar enclosed by amazing sheer waters so visitors can feed, cuddle, and kiss these lovely animals. If you are afraid to even touch them, just kneel on the sand and simply observe these gentle creatures as they glide and play around you.
If you’re yearning to experience the underwater world without having to get wet, Atlantis Submarines give you that opportunity. This submarine that can hold 48 passengers will plunge to depths of 30 meters, and then you can take a look through the submarine’s large picture windows of the colorful marine life. Enjoy the picturesque scenes of tropical fish, shallow reefs, sunken canyons, and even shipwrecks. For a more unique tour, the organization also recommends night submarine trips as well as shallow-water excursions in their Seaworld Observatory.
Enveloped by reefs, the Cayman Islands are one of the excellent diving destinations in the Caribbean region, with a lot of the best spots resting just minutes from the beach. International divers laud regarding the diverse coral formations, tunnels, grottos, caverns, wrecks, steep walls, and superb visibility. An awesome dive site is an Ex-US Navy Submarine Rescue Vessel sunk in 2011 located off the northern tip of Seven Mile Beach, named Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef where stingrays and eagle rays can sometimes be spotted. 46 feet below the surface is the popular Devil’s Grotto which offers crevices and swim-through, and school of tarpons at particular times of year, while divers at the North Wall, the area from Valley of the Turtles all the way east to Turtle Pass and is known for its vertical drop-offs and wall dives, might catch sights of eagle rays, stingrays, and turtles.
Smith Cove offers snorkelers offers the island’s stunning marine life right from the shore while Spotts Beach houses a lot of turtles to see. Bloody Bay Marine Park, off Little Cayman, is an underwater paradise with Jackson’s Bight plus the popular Bloody Bay Wall, which drops to as deep as over 1,800m. In addition, Cayman Brac has several excellent dive sites. MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, the sunken Russian frigate, off the island is one of the world’s most popular wrecks.
Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter
A research and breeding farm, Cayman Turtle Centre houses 2 species of sea turtles: the green sea turtles and a few numbers of endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. It’s raising turtles for community consumption to counter poaching in waters and is also a conservation facility that releases turtles into the wild. Wading pools and touch tanks offer animal lovers a lot of chances to see these restful animals close by and can even hold baby turtle. The Smiley’s Saltwater Lagoon houses a 9ft saltwater crocodile, the first that was found in the islands ever since the mid-1950s. Simply upgrade the entrance fee and visitors can already enjoy the attractions at the connecting marine park which includes an aviary filled with tropical birds, swimming pools, a fish-filled snorkeling lagoon, and a replica of a regular Cayman street lined with gingerbread houses.
Bloody Bay Marine Reserve, Little Cayman
Little Cayman comes as the sleepiest smallest of the 3 Cayman Islands, is popular for its excellent diving and fishing. Resting just offshore is the Bloody Bay Marine Reserve along with wreck sites and the famed Bloody Bay Wall. Those who are passionate about fishing and diving travel to the Southern Cross Club, an esteemed resort with best dive operation and professional fishing guides.
Booby Pond Nature Reserve is also located in Little Cayman. It is a huge breeding colony of red-footed boobies and frigate birds. For more castaway adventure, paddle over to a deserted sliver of sand, Owen Island, which is 180 meters from the shore.
Mastic Reserve and Trail
Common to the Caribbean, the Mastic Reserve locate at Frank Sound Road in Grand Cayman is intended to safeguard a portion of the dry subtropical forest, which is threatened due to deforestation. Inside the reserve, a lengthy 3-kilometer Mastic Trail brings you through sharp iron shore and across a dry forest, black mangrove wetland and silver thatch palms. Built more than a century ago, the trail was no more utilized and became dense after the island’s roads were built. With enough support and repair, the trail was reopened in the mid-1990s.
Nowadays, nature enthusiasts can walk along the well-maintained trail and see wild orchids, and tiny creatures like birds, frogs, lizards, and even hermit crabs. A great way to find out about the reserve’s flora and fauna is through available guided tours which can be arranged through the National Trust for the Cayman Islands Visitor Centre. Tip: Wear strong shoes and carry an insect repellent.
Away from the mass of cruise ships of George Town, the East End presents a slower-paced substitute to the famous spots on the west coast of the island. This part offers as well an excellent site for a snorkel, fresh island food, isolated beaches, blowholes, and great diving spots. Just 15 minutes away from the East End on the north end of the island is the Rum Point, a serene pine-fringed cove with hanging volleyball nets and hammocks.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Preserving the island’s eco life is the Grand Cayman Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park located at Frank Sound Road, North Side, Grand Cayman. Sometimes endangered blue iguana can be spotted in the area. You can leisurely walk the garden’s quiet trails passing by lily ponds, woodland habitats, palm gardens, orchids, and vibrant flowers. Plants and trees were marked with labels and benches available in shady corners. Some animals that live in the park are birds, snakes, lizards, agoutis, and turtles. Those passionate of history, as well as people with green thumbs, will appreciate the Heritage Garden with herbal plants and a renovated Caymanian cottage. Secure a ticket at the park’s entrance for the 11 am guided tour to see the blue iguanas. Nature lovers will also enjoy the hike to Mastic Trail, around a five-minute drive from the park.
Cayman Crystal Caves
Grand Cayman’s visitors can now catch sight of the different side of the island by moving deep beneath the earth. Christian Sorensen started offering guided cave tours in 2016, in his lush wooded property on the northern part of Grand Cayman, which immediately became a popular attraction. Created over millennia, the caves are sheltered in bent stalagmites and stalactites. Bat colonies grouped in cracks, and clean lake stores rainwater filtered through the rocks. The guided tours which last for more than an hour share fascinating details regarding the plant and animal life in the area and the caves’ geology.
The Bluffs and Caves of Cayman Brac
A 30-minute flight from Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac is the 2nd largest of the 3 Cayman Islands and is recognized for its spectacular beach views, deep caves, and stunning bluff-top hikes. The island is named for the 45-meter tall limestone bluff or “Brac” on its eastern point, the highest tip in the Caymans. Down the Brac, visitors can trek the steep path to a lighthouse with picturesque beach views and spot some nesting seabirds along the way.
Cayman Brac is also well-known for its caves. Some of the most famous and easiest to access include Bat’s Cave, Peter’s Cave, Skull Cave, Great Cave, and Rebecca’s Cave. Tourists may explore the caves by themselves to sight bat colonies, stalactites, and stalagmites. Some activities that can be done here include trekking the beautiful trail in the National Trust Parrot Preserve and diving the island’s wrecks such as the sunken Russian frigate, MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, which is among the region’s best diving spots.
By car, Camana Bay is just some minutes up north of George Town. It is a new pedestrian-friendly waterfront district that has blocks of retail stores, restaurants, a cinema, interactive fountains, and an Observation Tower. From the highest part of the tower, visitors can enjoy sweeping views across Seven Mile Beach, George Town, and the North Sound. The development’s Town Square holds community events and a popular farmers’ market.
Pedro St. James National Historic Site
Roughly a 20-minute travel time east of George Town is the Pedro St. James National Historic Site, home to Pedro’s Castle, one of the island’s oldest existing buildings and a restored 18th-century plantation house. The elaborate three-story stone structure is recognized as the “Birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands.” It was in this place during 1831 that the decision was made to form the country’s first elected parliament. At present, visitors can tour the renovated house and know more about its history by means of a 3D multi-media presentation in the theater.
Hell, Grand Cayman
Seen on the northern coast of West Bay, Grand Cayman is sinister black limestone formations which inspired the name of the town Hell. The town opened its own district post office in 1962 for visitors wanting to officially symbolize their visit to Hell. Today, the post office is painted bright red and a resident “devil” dispenses witticisms together with souvenirs. A strong boardwalk makes easy access to see the rock formation.
A Caribbean Gem
Posh high-end resorts, sparkly waters and powder white beach shores, the Cayman Islands easily charm visitors to its pristine coasts year after year. If you explore further, beyond the sandy shores, you will discover why a lot of people love this tiny Caribbean Island.