Cayman Islands Travel Guide
Some know it as the place where the global elite stashes their cash, as the Cayman Islands have long had a robust offshore banking industry.
Apart from this however, it is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.
Seven Mile Beach and others like it have led to the growth of the tourism industry here, and while many resorts and hotels do cost a pretty penny, the rise of sharing-economy websites like Airbnb and Couchsurfing have put this destination within reach of those that are on a budget.
With the waters offshore being a popular breeding ground for stingrays and other aquatic life, and with an outstanding collection of cutting edge restaurants and resorts, it stands out as an excellent choice for a holiday destination for those that are able to afford it.
Currency: Cayman Islands Dollars
What To Do
The majority of the attractions on the Cayman Islands revolve around its natural attractions (namely, it’s stunning beaches), but if you’re looking to get a background on the history of this place, pay a visit to Pedro St. James Castle.
More of a mansion than an actual castle, Pedro St. James is the oldest structure on the Cayman Islands, but it was a heap of ruins as recently as twenty years ago.
In 1996, the government restored it to its former glory, and today, it is a popular venue for theatre productions, weddings, and public celebrations.
Being in the tropics, there are wide variety of plants that thrive in the climate that is present in the Cayman Islands.
If you want to see these lush flora for yourself, then taking a stroll through Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is an activity that should find its way onto your itinerary.
There are a variety of orchids here, as well as some rare plants that are endemic to the Cayman Islands, such as the Cockspur tree and the Bull Thatch palm.
Of all the top attractions in the Cayman Islands, none is as well known as Stingray City. Located in the shallows just north of Grand Cayman Island, the depth of the ocean are as little as 3 feet deep, creating the ideal environment for warmth loving Stingrays.
Access to this attraction is granted via tour, so be sure to ask your hotel or resort to sign you up for one upon arrival in the Cayman Islands.
Another sight that is highly touted here is the Cayman Turtle Farm. Originally started as a commercial hatchery designed to raise turtles for their meat, this attraction has largely shifted gears into a conservation facility, helping to protect the endangered green sea turtle.
In addition to this, it also has exhibits that show off the avian life that exists in the Cayman Islands, and a street featuring houses and people as they were over a century ago.
Like many other Caribbean islands though, the beaches often steal the show. The most popular one in the Cayman Islands is unquestionably Seven Mile Beach.
Though there are many exclusive resorts along its length, the entirety of the beach is public property, so stroll it to your heart’s content.
The upside of this is that there are many restaurants and bars located along its stretch, most of which make the perfect venue for a sundowner drink at the end of a long day of fun in the sun.
If you are looking to leave development behind though, renting a kayak on Little Cayman and paddling towards Owen Island is a solid plan.
Uninhabited and protected by the barrier reef that circles the Cayman Islands, it is a great spot for a picnic; just be sure to bring sunscreen, as shade is at a premium here.
What to Eat
If you’re looking for a hearty meal that the locals eat on a regular basis, be sure to have some Conch Stew. Cooked slowly with potatoes and onions, it is the perfect meal to warm you up after spending several hours on a deep dive around the coral reefs that ring the Caymans.
Another Islander recipe that you should try when you visit is Cayman-style Beef. Simmered as long as six hours with garlic, onions, and a variety of seasonings and peppers, you should definitely be on the lookout for this meal when eating at local restaurants.
When the time for dessert comes around, be sure to sample some Cassava Cake. Sweetened with brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut milk, it is a sweet treat that stands apart from the usual offerings that are present at all-inclusive resorts.