The Cayman Islands are an island group in the Caribbean Sea, located ninety miles south of Cuba. It features outstanding coral reefs and clear waters, making it a favorite destination for divers. The Caymans also feature attractive beaches, many restaurants, and tourist-friendly resorts. Grand Cayman is the largest island and home to most of the population and tourism attractions facilities; the other two islands – Little Cayman and Cayman Brac – are called the “sister islands” by locals and are also tourist destinations.
Experiencing the Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman’s attractions include Seven Mile Beach, considered one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches. The Grand Cayman public beach offers changing and restrooms, showers, a kids' playground, beach huts, a water sports operator, and Calico Jacks Beach Bar for food and drinks. The Spotts beach is great for getting away from the crowds; surrounded by cliffs with white beaches, the beach also features a barrier reef that keeps waters calm year-round. Huts and benches are available for use. Located on South Sound, Smith Cove beach offers the convenience of being close to the cruise port to allow for more time enjoying the sun, sand, and sea. There are restrooms, picnic benches, and showers plus snorkeling opportunities.
Other Grand Cayman attractions include 65-acre Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the National Trust’s Mastic Trail, a two-mile footpath through unspoiled woodlands in North Side. George Town features the Cayman Islands National Museum, and the Pedro St. James Historic Site is found in Savannah. Rum Point is a beachside location featuring majestic Casuarina trees; visitors here can enjoy the beach, sample a locally produced snack or a la carte meal, or take a dip in the crystal clear sea.
Diving is the activity of choice in Cayman Brac. The newest diver attraction is the wreck of the 330-foot Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Russian-built, Cuban naval frigate which sank off Cayman Brac’s northwest coast in September 1996. The wreck has become a subterranean home for a variety of marine life; and there are two other small wrecks off the Brac’s coast.
Shore-side attractions include the Cayman Brac Museum at Stake Bay and a variety of inspiring caves including Rebecca’s Cave, Peter’s Cave, and Halfway Ground Cave. There are also nature trails; a mile-long nature trail on the bluff adjacent to the Cayman Brac’s 281-acre Parrot Reserve opened in 1996. The area also features small and charming homes restored in traditional maritime-inspired architectural styles. Vacationers seeking simple relaxation can enjoy the solitude of any of Cayman Brac’s quiet beaches. The Sister Islands feature more than 200 bird species, and bird-watching has long been an under-appreciated attraction of this tiny island.
Little Cayman offers exceptional fishing opportunities featuring bonefish, small tarpon, and permit. The best fishing is found particularly in Cayman Brac’s South Hole Sound lagoon. Also, the 15-acre Tarpon Pond is normally filled with small, but feisty, gamefish.
Little Cayman also has the Caribbean’s largest known breeding colony of the Red-Footed Booby birds (more than 5,000) and a breeding colony of frigate birds and large heronry. The 203-acre Booby Pond Nature Reserve is under National Trust protection. Little Cayman also has its own museum, located across from the Booby Pond Nature Reserve.
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