Grand Cayman is one of three islands and is part of the Cayman chain. Its neighbours are Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Grand Cayman, as the name suggests, is the largest of the three, with a land area of about 76 square miles. From relaxing and leisurely activities to the most exhilarating of tours, the island is equipped with everything one needs to enjoy oneself. Here are the top ten things to see and do in Grand Cayman.
Visit Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman is approximately 22 miles long, but the most stunning stretch of coastline has to be Seven Mile Beach. This beach is not the best for snorkelling, but its lack of coral makes it a great place to swim without worrying about wearing water shoes or having to struggle out to sea over a sea of rocks. This beach is one of the most popular stretches of sand on the island. Its proximity to the main port where tourists on cruise ships arrive make it one of the most popular beaches in Grand Cayman, and yet it still remains relatively quiet with enough sand to accommodate everyone.
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Meander Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
While visiting the beautiful beaches remains one of the main reasons people flock to the Grand Cayman Islands, there are still plenty of things to do that do not involve ocean and sand. One of these attractions is the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. This park can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour to explore, with unique plants and animals throughout. One of the most unusual plants visitors will come across along the path at the botanic park is the Corato. It is found nowhere else in the world, and it is one of the largest Agave species found in the region. Its massive, green leaves can reach heights of up to 25 feet, and it is oftentimes coloured with vibrant, yellow flowers. Admission into the park is $10.
Eat The Seafood
Otherwise known as the ‘Culinary Capital of the Caribbean,’ Grand Cayman is a great place for foodies hoping to find the most scrumptious of seafood. There are a plethora of elegant waterfront restaurants as well as tacky, touristy eateries eager to please the pickiest of palettes. From Margaritaville, equipped with a sunbathing deck and waterslide, to Kaibo, a romantic restaurant with table and chairs right on the sand, there is a restaurant for everyone. Be sure to try one of the island’s signature conch dishes.
Dive At The USS Kittiwake
The Cayman Islands are equipped with some of the best dive sites in the world: 365 to be exact. From coral reefs to stingray-ridden sandbars, there are plenty of underwater wonders worth exploring. One of the most popular dive sites is the USS Kittiwake, found 62 feet below the water’s surface. Because it sits amongst the Caribbean’s crystal clear water, it is also a great site for snorkellers as the entire ship can be seen from the water’s surface. The ship is a former submarine, and relics of the ship’s past remain in the sunken vessel. From an eerie canteen to restrooms equipped with broken mirrors, divers will find an abundance of sea life and artifacts throughout. Those who do not want to meander the long-abandoned ship can choose from a number of different dives found at shops throughout the island. Other dives include glow night dives, coral nursery dives, Stingray City dives, visits to the many shallow reefs found around the coast, and more.
Snorkel At Stingray City
Years ago, fishermen would take their daily catch, anchor their boats, and throw the scraps of their gutted fish overboard. The scraps provided ample food for stingrays in the area, and these animals soon came to realize that they could get a tasty meal if they went to the particular spots inside the reef. This was the start of one of the most well-known attractions in Grand Cayman: Stingray City. These incredible creatures now flock to this area hopeful of receiving food, although the only people feeding them now are tours and private charters with passengers hoping to get glimpses of the 90 or so Southern Stingrays that call Stingray City home. There are two different areas that are well-known for having an abundance of stingrays. The site best for snorkelling is Stingray Sandbar, as the water is only four feet deep. The other is Stingray City, where the water can get up to 12 feet deep. An amazing dive site for beginners and experts alike.
Swim In Starfish Point
The turquoise water at Starfish Point is decorated with only a few starfish, as they have slowly started to disappear over time. It is here, however, where visitors will find the largest and most abundant number of starfish on the island. Their thick, prickly, orange-coloured skin can be seen clearly in the shallow shores along this particular beach. There are over 2,000 species of starfish, and visitors are guaranteed to see at least one at Starfish Point. Remember to not remove any of the starfish from their natural environment. Those who do not want to explore the water can relax on the beach or explore the surrounding foliage.
Explore By Bicycle
The island is not large, and can be easily explored on two wheels. This gives visitors the ability to hop on and off at a number of free geographical wonders found throughout the island, including the two-mile long Mastic Trail and a number of public beaches found along the coast. Scooters and mopeds can also be rented by the hour or for entire days.
Visit West Bay Loop
West Bay Loop is a great destination for tourists for a number of reasons. From its superior ocean views to a kitesurfing school, visitors of this particular part of the island will find no shortage of things to do. There is also an abundance of seemingly abandoned furniture and appliances, with a shell of a home equipped with a makeshift kitchen, lawn chairs, and dining tables that make great subjects for some eerie photographs. West Bay Loop also provides visitors with an excellent biking trail.
Go To Hell
Dante’s inferno just got a whole lot more accessible thanks to Grand Cayman Island. It is here visitors will find Hell, a rock formation made up of some seriously dangerous-looking geography. Hell is essentially a desolate area made up of eroded limestone rocks formed by algae and natural elements slowly eating them away. Visiting Hell should only take ten minutes or so, with a small viewing area and a strange gift shop worth checking out and making for an interesting photo op.
Visit George Town
When people think of capital cities, they picture an urban metropolis of sorts. But unlike most capital cities, George Town has a beachy vibe, with tourist boutiques crowding its sidewalks and crystal clear water just opposite these shops. This boardwalk of sorts is equipped with a strange assortment of goods, from high-end diamonds to tacky “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” t-shirts. Those visitors who do not want to shop can instead snorkel around Eden Rock or out from Devil’s Grotto to see a number of reefs, visit the National Museum and learn all about the Cayman Islands, or hit the fish market and embrace its powerful, potent smell.
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