The Cayman Islands are a collection of three beautiful Caribbean isles just west of Jamaica. Comprising Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, this tiny archipelago has so much to offer holidaymakers of every ilk. Whether you’re looking for the luxury holiday indulgences of spa treatments and moonlight dinners; thrilling travel activities such as island tours, diving and water sports; or the perfect balance of both, you won’t be disappointed staying here. But where do you start? Here’s our guide to 9 inspiring Cayman Islands holiday experiences…
1. Stingray City Sandbar
One of Grand Cayman’s top attractions, Stingray City Sandbar is home to a wide variety of aquatic life but most notably (as you may have guessed) a huge stingray population who bask in the clear, shallow waters. Here you can stand in just three feet of water whilst wild Southern Atlantic Stingrays swim around your legs. Snorkelling equipment can be provided but the water is so clear you’ll see many underwater highlights without it! This is simply a ‘must do’ if you’re staying on Grand Cayman.
2. Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
It would be remiss of any nature lover not to take a walk through these glorious gardens, which are the perfect place to admire the rare flora and fauna of the Cayman Islands. Beautiful butterflies, orchids, and a host of birdlife are among the highlights contained within the luscious grounds. Whilst here, do take a break at the Tea House and enjoy stunning views over the gardens and beyond.
3. The Blue Iguana Reserve
Within the Botanic Park you’ll find the opportunity for a unique encounter with the blue iguana, Grand Cayman’s largest land animal. These fascinating reptiles can grow to over five feet in length and are only found on Grand Cayman. Just two decades ago the blue iguana was facing extinction but since the National Trust of the Cayman Islands began its repopulation effort, their numbers have grown. See the grand creatures for yourself on a public tour offered every day at 11am, when an expert guide will walk you through the reserve.
4. Bioluminescence at Rum Point
Often described as the ‘Northern Lights of the Caribbean’ the spectacular bioluminescence at Rum Point on Grand Cayman is truly a wondrous sight. Watch the moonlit Caribbean waters illuminate as tiny plankton emit light, putting on quite the show. We recommend hiring a kayak so you can paddle right into the natural wonder, seeing each stroke of your paddle light up the sea beside you. Alternatively, take a ride out on a purpose-built bio boat with removable floor hatches so that you can experience the bioluminescence in a safe, interactive way. This incredible natural phenomenon only happens in 10 other places worldwide, so it’s well worth a trip during your Cayman Islands holiday.
5. Seven Mile Beach
Recently voted as one of ‘the 20 most beautiful beaches in the world’ in the Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, Seven Mile Beach is exactly what its name suggests; a vast swathe of sea, sand and palms that you can walk down, take a horse ride along, or simply find a spot to relax. This is also a great place to take part in watersports. Learn to kitesurf on the vast Caribbean Sea or take a thrilling jet ski ride along the bay.
With plenty of restaurants and bars along this stretch of public beach, you’ll find a host of inviting options when it comes to meal times too. Indeed, foodie travellers should look out for the Taste of Cayman Food & Drink Festival and the Cayman Cookout, which take place on these shores annually.
6. Moonlit Parties
A ‘must do’ if travelling at the right time of the lunar cycle is attending a ‘Luna del Mar’ party, with live music and much more, right on the beach. On Seven Mile Beach, the party at Calico Jack’s comes highly recommended but if you’d like to venture elsewhere on the island go to Kaibo, whose ‘Luna del Mar’ dining experience started the full moon celebration scene. On the Friday closest to the full moon you can enjoy delicious modern cuisine on a torch-lit beach with live music to accompany the experience.
7. The Lobster Pot
Among some 200 restaurants on Grand Cayman, this one has become something of an institution and is the perfect place to sample the mouth-watering, fresh seafood that is so abundant in the island nation. Our top tip here is to ask for a table out on the extensive terrace, where you can enjoy sweeping views of the harbour and Caribbean Sea beyond. It’s a great choice for a special evening on your luxury Cayman Islands holiday.
8. Cayman Crystal Caves
Hidden away among lush forests in the north of Grand Cayman are the Cayman Crystal Caves. A trip here offers another encounter with the unique natural beauty of the Cayman Islands. All visitors will benefit from the knowledge and expertise of a knowledgeable guide, who can point out the tropical flora and fauna and lead you through three spectacular caves, where the stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures are sure to ‘wow’.
9. Dive into the blue
With a dive site for every day of the year keen scuba divers will be in heaven here, but it’s also a great place to learn, with many hotels and resort having their own dive centres and instructors. The top requested dive site in the Cayman Islands is the Kittiwake; this 76 metre US-Navy submarine rescue ship was sunk deliberately to create an artificial reef and dive site: many entries and exits make it each to swim through rooms, even taking a turn at the ship’s steering wheel. Because this wreck is only submerged between 15 and 64 feet below the surface, it can be clearly seen by snorkellers and free divers too.
Elsewhere there are more troves of delights. Another purposely sunk wreck - this one a 330-foot Russian frigate – sits off the shores of Cayman Brac and is home to a variety of aquatic life and colourful sponges. Divers can follow the radar tower down and swim along the rails and past the bow guns of this once proud warship. There are also many ‘walls’ to dive along; these are sites where the sea floor drops vertically into the deep; much further than a diver could go. Exhilarating examples include Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman and Wilderness Wall on Cayman Brac.
With an exciting mixture of natural wonders, culinary delights, modern nightlife and island charm, we really are inspired by the many experiences available on a luxury Cayman Islands holiday. To learn more, make an enquiry here or watch the video below.