The Cayman Islands, located 150 miles south of Cuba, comprise three islands: the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. All three are well known for their incredible food, beautiful beaches, and world-class diving points, making the British territory a top choice for all travelers and adventurers, including those who are just after a good time.
The Caymans is home to about 50,000 people, with most of the population being British expatriates working in various industries within the islands.
Here is a guide that will help you have the best Cayman Islands experience possible.
Planning Your Trip
When planning for your journey, you should always be informed about the factors that will give you the smoothest and best travels to this living paradise, including the best seasons to visit and updates on the travel prices.
This will help you to take advantage of when they are a bit low.
How to Get There and Around
Despite being small with just one runway, Owen Roberts International Airport, located in George Town, is the most prominent spot for most airlines in and out of the country.
To enter or leave the country, all travelers must have valid passports. A departure tax also exists for all travelers over 12 years (included in the flight cost).
Cayman Brac and Little Cayman all have their airports, with their daily flights provided by Cayman Airways, making it easy and convenient to travel to either of those islands from the main island.
You can use several car options from the airport to move around the beautiful island, and just like flights, the prices fluctuate dramatically. Taxis are available at the arrivals area at the airport, while rental cars and their agencies are available right across the street from the Owen Roberts Airport.
However, for ease of convenience and better savings, it is always good to book your transport earlier, and you can always cancel if you, later on, find a better rate.
Renting a vehicle or a scooter is also possible in the smaller Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Private boat operators may assist you in getting to any of those islands from Grand Cayman.
Some visitors prefer driving around the Grand Caymans. However, since most of the archipelago’s visitors are Americans, it is a great inconvenience for them to drive on the left side of the road because the Grand Caymans is an Overseas British Territory.
It is for this reason that you will occasionally see someone on the wrong side of the road.
Best Time to Visit
The winter months are best for a visit because of the chain of festivals and jamborees like the Heritage days that allow all people to sample the archipelago’s rich local foods and entertainment, including their history and culture.
Among other exciting festivals is Pirates week that gives more details about the islands fantastic culture and history.
Between March and June, accommodation prices are the most affordable. The islands are consistently warm all year round, with average high temperatures being in the 80s Fahrenheit. The coldest months are January and February, with an average low temperature in the mid-60s.
Though the rains are typically brief and only last a few hours on average, heavy showers are experienced from May to October.
Interestingly, the islands’ geographical position strategically protects them from the severe damage by the tropical storms experienced annually in the Caribbean from June through November.
If you don’t want to risk good weather for a lower accommodation rate when planning a vacation into the Caymans, it is always good to consider visiting during the dry months which are typically from November to April.
The Cayman Islands dollar is the official currency of the Cayman Islands, and it is approximately equal in value to the United States dollar. However, the exchange rates between the Cayman dollar and the U.S dollar can fluctuate, making it necessary to be sure of the exchange rates when planning and before departing.
However, the U.S dollar is readily accepted in the Caymans, as well as major credit cards.
Top Things to Do
Cayman Turtle Centre
Also known as the Cayman Turtle Farm, this is a fantastic cruise excursion destination that gives you a real wildlife encounter. A visit to this center will give you a personal experience with turtles since you get to hold them and share much information about turtles and their conservation while holding them.
However, the experience has become considerably more touristic than informative in the recent past because Hurricane Ivan heavily threatened the turtles’ numbers.
The primary part, holding a turtle, is still there, but the duration has been drastically minimized. Before, you could always get up close and personal with the turtles for as long as you wanted.
Seven Mile Beach
Also known as the best beach in the world, the Seven Mile Beach is, without doubt, a stunning beach that boasts a chain of luxury resorts in its backyard. Furthermore, it got the accolade of being the greatest because of its prominence status in Grand Cayman.
Among the distinguishing characteristics of the beach are the high number of people who use it and its degree of development.
Almost every beach in Grand Cayman is amazing. There is nothing wrong with Seven Mile Beach, but if you’re seeking a more tranquil experience, many beaches in less-developed regions are a better choice.
Diving in the Cayman Islands is the most satisfactory experience you will ever have anywhere in the world. The visibility is good, and there is a great and wide variety of dive sites in the Cayman Islands.
Interestingly, many reasonably priced diving companies pick up visitors from their hotels and accommodation stations for the adventure.
Besides having excellent visibility in the water, there are many different dive sites to explore that are also home to many gorgeous fish.
Among the best dive sites in the Caymans are the Kittiwake artificial reef, Devil’s Grotto, Babylon canyon, & Eden Rock. These, among many others found in the Caymans, are arguably some of the finest scuba diving spots in the world.
However, there are high chances that you are probably a first-timer if you go to the Caymans solely for scuba diving. It is always good to get senior and more experienced advice from scuba diving veterans to avoid risk if this is the case.
This popular swimming spot boasts lots of entertainment, including plenty of reclining areas, an open-air restaurant on the waterfront, a gift store, and much more.
This spot is more appealing, especially on a quiet day when it is not overcrowded. To enjoy the serenity, you should check to see if you can visit George Town when ships are not in port since the place will always be overwhelmed when the ships are in port.
Also described as a “hidden treasure,” the Starfish Point is most definitely one such spot, and for this, the spot is always overcrowded since it is a favorite stop-over spot for many different jet skis and boat excursions.
This does not necessarily imply that it is overrated, but the point is a lovely tiny beach with abundant starfish in a surprisingly little area.
For those driving themselves to the beach, arriving early in the morning or late in the evening are the two approaches recommended to avoid periods when tour guides are bringing in other customers, just in case you want the whole beach for yourself. Additionally, there is ample parking space for visitors too.
Being one of Grand Cayman’s popular sites of attraction, the Stingray City is wonderfully beautiful and worth seeing. Swimming out to a sandbar where stingrays congregate is one of the most exciting things you will ever do.
The beach’s setting is stunning since there are many stingrays there, and the encounters with them are breathtaking. You might have come across stingrays in other places, but no place can be compared to Stingray City.
However, at Stingray City, you should always be cautious when in the water because a stingray sting can be fatal. Accidents can happen anywhere at any moment. This is a major concern among the visitors and the general public and is something you should always keep in mind when going to enjoy the waters at Stingray city.
Despite this harsh fact, stingrays are lively and jovial, and one can create a connection or friendship with them within a few minutes of meeting them.
Where to Stay
1. Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa
Found on the Seven Mile Beach, the Seafire is a luxurious lifestyle resort. In the evenings, you can admire magnificent sunsets that appear to set the ocean on fire from your balcony or terrace, hence the moniker, Seafire.
The Seafire is a cutting-edge marvel that brings the water and sand into immediate view from the minute you step foot on the property. The open-air architecture adds a glow throughout the property, with sea views at every turn and meandering gardens that lead to hidden spots, social meeting halls, beautiful pools, and the beautiful Caribbean Sea.
The establishment also has a beautiful spa that complements the three magnificent dining destinations.
Whether with co-workers, family, or friends, the Seafire’s warm and spicy attitude wonderfully combines with Caymanian friendliness and kindness to give you the best time.
2. Caribbean Club Hotel
Visitors seeking a luxurious home away from home will find it at Grand Cayman’s most exclusive boutique hotel, which is a haven for discerning visitors.
It has 37 large 1-3 bedroom Suites and Villas built on the edge of the sea and overlooking the magnificent Seven Mile Beach. It combines the grandeur and adventure of a world-renowned resort with the amenities of a genuinely luxurious home to create an unforgettable vacation experience.
The kitchens are well equipped with everything you need with every detail put into consideration so you can relax and enjoy the tropical paradise.
- To dive or not to dive? Diving and snorkeling equipment rentals are costly, but half to full-day cruises with ferry companies may be a more reasonable option for those on a tight budget.
- Beachcombing for trinkets and souvenirs. Seashells are popular souvenirs, but you may save money by looking for them on your own at the beach instead of paying for them.
- Summer in the Cayman Islands. Plan your vacation for early spring or summer to take advantage of lower hotel rates, which may be up to 50 percent less expensive.
- Crime is rampant in the Caymans, with theft of small tech items like smartphones and laptops being on the rise. It is always good to lock away your valuables in the hotel before heading out.
- The Caribbean heat could be too harsh on your first day. For this, always drink water, wear sunglasses, and regularly apply sunscreen to avoid sunburns and heatstroke.
- No matter the stage, all divers should have proper training before trying out even the most basic of tactics and expeditions and should never dive alone. Divers should also be cautious of the weather trends because strong currents could ruin the diving experience.
Though it is a paradise on earth, Cayman Islands is known for being highly expensive to visit, mainly because of the status quo along the Seven Mile Beach that happens to be the favorite amongst visitors.
Using this guide should help you experience the Cayman Islands in the best way possible and create an unforgettable experience to tell your friends for years to come.