There are some encounters that keep you coming back to certain places. Our island has a handful of them whether it’s the sea calling you or the adventure!
The Cayman Islands, encompassing three islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, occupy only a little over 250 km² area on the world map but it is high on throwing a deluge of tropical surprises in its visitor’s way making every day of their stay unique from the previous.
From basking on the sun-bleached shores at Seven Mile Beach to hiking the Mastic Trail, here are the top 20 jewels you must explore, experience, and add in your list of things to do in the Cayman Islands.
#1. Relish Sand, Sun & Sea at Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach perennially graces the list of the top-10 Caribbean beaches and for all the right reasons. This luxurious 6.5-mile long, crescent-shaped shore boasts calm waves, powdery-soft sand, and a wealth of watersport activities, and is home to some of the island’s plush resorts, restaurants & bars.
This beautiful stretch of beach accommodates some radically different activities like snorkelling and paddleboarding as well as relaxing long walks and building sandcastles. It is usually free of roaming vendors and is impeccably maintained even with the continual arrivals of Grand Cayman cruise passengers.
Location: West Bay Road, Grand Cayman
#2. Mingle with Rays at Stingray City
Stingray City is one of the most iconic attractions in the Caribbean (probably the only place where stingrays roam around freely) which has also been covered by National Geographic.
The ‘city’ is a shallow sandbar with three-feet deep crystal clear water giving you a peek into the lives of rays as they display their balletic grace. You can play, feed, and swim with these satiny creatures as they nose for food and allow themselves to be petted. Snorkelling, diving, and swimming are all the options to explore and enjoy this attraction.
The place is accessible only by a boat. With multiple boat operators available, you can easily find exciting Grand Cayman excursions that include this and many other attractions.
Location: Raleigh Quay, Grand Cayman
#3. Chill Out at Rum Point
Imagine yourself relaxing on the hammock or liming over margaritas at the tranquil, lively beach shaded by pine trees alongside the scenic sunny backdrop and sound of the colliding waves – that’s Rum Point.
The beach offers a slightly less frenzied day in the sun, with some of the most popular restaurants & bars lined on it offering the traditional flavour of the island. Don’t forget to try the popular mudslide after you are done with the adrenaline-rushing water adventures. Rum Point is well worth the day trip to taste the rustic charm away from the hustle-bustle of the downtown.
Location: North Side of Grand Cayman
#4. Watch Marine Life Up and Close
The Cayman Islands are lauded as one of the world’s best destinations featuring abundant dive sites (approximately 365). You get ample opportunities to explore the colourful marine life first hand. Here are some of the top sites to explore:
- Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto, Grand Cayman – Dive 46-feet below the sea surface to explore the underwater maze brimming with marine critters like tarpon, silversides, parrotfish, and barracuda among others.
- Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman – An incredible reef that drops down a mind-blowing 2000 metres. It exhibits a submerged mountain range with a wall showcasing some incredible creatures including sailfin blennies, arrow crabs and octopus.
- Kittiwake Shipwreck – Conveniently located off Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, Kittiwake Shipwreck is one of the most popular shipwrecks of the Caribbean if not the world especially because of its fascinating history and convenient location.
- Explore underwater sculptures in Cayman Brac – A passionate sculptor named Foots has sunk life-size sculptures of the legends from the Lost City of Atlantis at the former Radar Reef. Don’t forget to visit this artificial magical sculpture garden!
#5. Go Hiking at the Mastic Trail
Designed to preserve the dry subtropical forest typical to the island, Mastic Reserve is home to colourful and rare plant species that make the place a sheer treat for nature lovers. Within the Reserve, there is a three-kilometre long trail (one-way) that is preserved as a hike and takes you across the jagged iron shore and through a native mangrove swamp and a 2 million-year-old woodland area.
This is one of the highly recommended things to do in Grand Cayman. Visit the spot in the morning to escape from the sun and humidity. You may want to wear the appropriate footwear as there are some sections where scrambling may be required.
Location: Frank Sound Road, Grand Cayman
#6. See Endangered Blue Iguana at Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Nestled in the less crowded part of Grand Cayman, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park sports the island’s endemic flora and fauna and if you are lucky, you can also catch a glimpse of the endangered blue iguana.
It is a spectacularly well-maintained garden that lets you time-travel to the magnificently multi-coloured mosaic along with the 20th century Rankin Home as well as explore the wildlife species like snakes, lizards, birds, agoutis and more. History buffs and green thumbs will enjoy this park alike.
Location: North Side District, Grand Cayman Island
#7. Visit Family-Friendly Cayman Turtle Centre
Cayman Turtle Centre is primarily known for replenishing the turtle population on the island through a variety of release programs. But there’s more to it!
The facility offers a wealth of activities for an enriching, educational and fun family day. You can snorkel with turtles at Blue Lagoon, watch sharks glide through the Predator Reef, groove over the tunes composed by birds around the Caribbean in its Aviary, sunbathe in the artificial beach, shop for souvenirs and gifts, and more.
Location: West Bay, Grand Cayman
#8. Learn about the 18th-Century Cayman at Pedro St. James
Pedro St. James, a national historic site is one of the oldest existing buildings that give you a glimpse of the ancient Cayman.
Located on the southern coast of Grand Cayman, the stone structure building is popularly known as the “Birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands.” You can tour this restored 18th-century plantation house that witnessed the revolutionary bill responsible for forming the nation’s first elected parliament in 1831.
Location: Savannah, Grand Cayman
#9. Witness the Glowing Water at Bioluminescent Bay
Close to Rum Point and a 45-minute drive from Seven Mile Beach, Bioluminescent Bay is one of the breathtaking sights you will ever experience. The magical site is one of the world’s only five bioluminescent bays in the world. The mesmerizing display of nature at Bio Bay will make this excursion in Grand Cayman the highlight of your trip.
Location: North Side of Grand Cayman
#10. Duty-Free Shopping in Camana Bay
There are plenty of things to do in George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands which include visiting the Cayman Islands National Museum and Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery which is included in the point #11. However, duty-free shopping for jewellery, watches, souvenirs, and more around Cardinal Avenue followed by enjoying a delicious range of cuisine tops the list of things to do in George Town, Grand Cayman for cruise visitors (especially).
#11. Try Flavoured Rum at Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery
Started in 2008, Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery produces ocean-aged rum including flavoured rums, vodka and liqueurs. Things that make the Distillery unique are:
- They age their rum on the ocean floor
- It is the Cayman’s only distillery
- The producer of the world’s only award-winning local rum aged under the ocean – Seven Fathoms.
Your tour will conclude in the tasting room where you will be offered fresh batches of Seven Fathoms Rum, Gun Bay Vodka, and Governor’s Reserve Rum to taste. Taking a tour of this facility is highly recommended.
Location: Georgetown, Grand Cayman
#12. Revel in the Mystic Formations at Cayman Crystal Caves
One of the most fun things to do in Grand Cayman is to go spelunking! Located on the Northside of Grand Cayman, Cayman Crystal Caves is a complex network of caverns that were formed under the sea millions of years ago. Before 1990, the only way to access the place was ropes and only locals had the excellence to access it by ropes hanging through holes in the cave ceiling.
However, the place has been developed as a tourist attraction and can now be accessed easily.
Location: Old Man Bay, Grand Cayman
#13. Go to Hell – Quite Literally!
Hell is one of the most weirdly fascinating places on the island and its name stands testimony to it. About a size of half the football field, it features the limestone formations that were produced over millions of years forming a black pattern of outcroppings. These can be viewed from a platform as you are not permitted to walk on them.
With the devil-themed graffitis and postcards, the place gives the feels of a real Hell. While there, don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime chance of sending a postcard saying, “I have been to Hell and back” to your friends and family.
Location: West Bay, Grand Cayman
#14. Pamper yourself at Heritage Kitchen
While passing through the northern end of Seven Mile Beach, stop to taste the legendary raconteur Tunny Powell’s fish tea, barbecue ribs, fresh fish, fish fritters and coconut grouper at much loved Heritage Kitchen. The best place to enjoy the local seafood served straight from the grill – with a generous portion of the local lure.
Make sure you get enough cash as this place doesn’t accept credit cards.
Location: West Bay, Grand Cayman
#15. Climb a Bluff or Go Spelunking in Cayman Brac
Brac means bluff, after which the island – Cayman Brac is named. While there are many bluffs, go to the Cayman’s highest – 45-meter-high limestone bluff located on the eastern tip of Cayman Brac. You can climb the steep walkway for catching beautiful views of the ocean and nesting seabirds.
This sister island is also popular for its caves. Peter’s Cave, Bat’s Cave, Great Cave, and Skull Cave are among the most convenient and most lauded ones to access.