Cradled in the warm embrace of the western Caribbean Sea, these islands are surrounded by top-to-bottom azure blue. From the native butterflies, perky parrots, and all the way to the coral reef that encircles the islands, the Caymans are immersed in a vivid rainbow of hues, fragrances and dream-like nature. Perfect for romantic getaways, as well as adventure-seeking vacations.
And for those of you who are on your way to the Caymans, there are several things no visitor can afford to miss out on – yes, there are sandy beaches and cocktails to die for, but prepare yourself for an adventure, and a vacation of a lifetime!
Taste the local goodness
While you’ll have plenty of time to visit the Seven Mile beach, some of the more secluded, picturesque nooks offer a taste of the local culinary expertise. For instance, the hidden treasure trove called Heritage Kitchen is located in West Bay, perfectly situated to give you a splendid view of the dancing waves, and serving dishes that are heavily relied on local ingenuity.
Never tried fish tea? Or a mysteriously intoxicating dish called the Coconut wahoo that tastes as brilliantly as it sounds? Then this is your go-to spot for these, as well as many other locally-sourced dishes in all their palatable glory. As for the booze-lovers among you, no better place than Over the Edge Bar where you can drown in their mimosas and while you’re there, try their famous turtle steaks (farm-raised, not to worry).
Visit the Smith’s Cove
Located in the vicinity of the capital of George Town, the Smith’s Cove is another “not Seven Miles” beach in terms of peace and quiet, and it deserves a dip if you’re up for it. The water is magnificent, the sand equally so, and there’s enough shade for you to hide when the sun gets scorching hot in the middle of summer.
If you’ve had enough lounging somewhere in the shade (oh, who are we kidding, of course, you haven’t), you can pick up your snorkelling gear and greet the underwater wildlife. It’s secluded and comfortably uncrowded so that you can actually be all alone with the colourful fish, and the reef alone is a magnificent sight.
Dive into the translucent waters
It’s one thing to spend some time in the cosy nest that is the Smith’s Cove and enjoy some snorkelling, but there’s nothing quite like getting up-close and personal with the marine life of the Cayman Islands through a true diving experience. As soon as you get the chance, sign up for scuba diving at the Grand Cayman, where you can both check out the coral reef and all its wonders, but also stop by the famous Stingray City, known for these friendly, gentle creatures.
One important note: don’t step on these graceful swimmers, but otherwise physical contact is more than welcome: you can kiss them, cradle them and play with them as long as they are curious and playful. You can also opt for a wreck dive, and simultaneously enjoy a history lesson while exploring the wilderness of the sea.
Don’t miss the beauty of the in-land
Most people are too mesmerized by the water life and the beach-basking to consider the following option, but those among you who appreciate the untamed and the preserved exotic forests of the worlds will enjoy a hike into the inland.
It’s a challenging hike, the Mastic trail that goes through the mangrove swamp, a forest that goes back 2 million years in time, and covers a path that is approximately 200 years of age, all of which makes for a perfect hike that even the fittest will find tough. Although you’re welcome to take the hike alone, it’s highly recommended you do so with a guide on your side.
See the wreck of the 10 Sails
Back in 1794, ten ships were unfortunate enough to come across the surrounding Cayman reef, thus crashing their vessels into oblivion. However, the locals were kind enough to help save the seamen on board, and they managed to pick up some of the goods they were carrying at the time, among which was rum – and that’s how it becomes a favourite of the locals!
Take a drive just 15 minutes east of Old Man Bay, and you’ll come across a wonderful memorial placed in remembrance of the event. The dramatic view of the sea and the limestone shores will surely make a lasting impression, and you’ll be glad to have taken a moment away from the beach to appreciate the local culture.
Roxana is a Sydney based travel enthusiast with a passion for writing. She loves fashion and has an eye for anything visually appealing and aesthetical. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. You can find her articles on HighStyleLife.