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With unspoilt beaches, unbeatable food and year-round sunshine, the Cayman Islands have it all.
Just south of Cuba, this trio of islands offers far more than just sun, sea and sand – though there’s plenty of that to go around, too. While the calm turquoise waters and guaranteed good weather may initially draw you to this corner of the Caribbean, it’s the Cayman Islands’ variety of thrilling experiences and culinary delights that will truly win you over.
Located in the western Caribbean Sea, choose from the barefoot elegance of Grand Cayman, the adventure of Cayman Brac or the serenity of Little Cayman. Each island offers something unique, but you’ll find luxury in all three.
Why visit the Cayman Islands?
Friendly locals are ready to welcome you into their carefree Caribbean lifestyle and with an average year-round temperature of 28 °C, it’s the ideal hotspot for a five-star break in the sun; and if you’re looking for memorable experiences that go beyond a beach break, the Cayman Islands have them in spades.
From getting up close and personal with some of the region’s exotic wildlife to tasting local dishes and cocktails that you won’t find anywhere else, there’s something for everyone in this tropical getaway.
Here are a few ideas that are guaranteed to get you out of your hammock and heading off to explore…
What to do in the Cayman Islands
Tour a rum distillery
If rum is one of your favourite drinks, the Cayman Islands are a great place to fill your glass. Stay in Grand Cayman – the largest island of the three – and book in a tour with the area’s only distillery, the Cayman Spirits Co, creators of the award-winning local rum Seven Fathoms.
It’s the only rum in the world to be matured under the ocean, and a behind-the-scenes tour will give you the chance to taste fresh batches of the authentic liquor as well as the brand’s other handcrafted spirits, which include Gun Bay Vodka and H. H. Hutchings’ Liqueurs.
Dive a shipwreck
Cayman is one of the world’s top diving destinations for novices and experienced thrill seekers alike; the warm (water temperature is around 25°C), crystal-clear water gives you optimum visibility for spectacular views of what’s going on below the surface. Each island offers its own underwater discoveries, from Grand Cayman’s famed 12-foot dive at Stingray City or the underwater world of the USS Kittiwake, to Little Cayman’s colourful, photo-friendly marine life and the dramatic Bloody Bay Wall in the Bloody Bay Marine Park.
Better yet, dive a shipwreck at Cayman Brac, where you can discover the Russian warship, the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts; be sure to look out for its many spectacular fish and marine wildlife, including two goliath groupers named Natasha and Boris.
Taste a signature dish
Described as the ‘culinary capital of the Caribbean’, Cayman is a foodie’s paradise. With more than 200 restaurants to choose from, ranging from seafood shacks to fancy fine dining, every palate will be satisfied with the Cayman Islands’ culinary offering.
Fresh, farm-to-table cuisine means many of the restaurants commit to only providing homegrown, locally-sourced food, while boasting influences from all over the world.
Try conch, the local delicacy, with some hot conch fritters and the now famous mudslide cocktail at Rum Point, where the drink is said to have been invented in the fifties.
Explore the wild side
You don’t have to be a deep sea diver to experience the marine life up close in the Cayman Islands. Stay in the shallows and snorkel from one of the many beautiful beaches to discover unspoiled coral reefs, or wait until dark and take a guided night time kayak tour to experience one of nature’s most beautiful phenomena, bioluminescence.
Families will love horse riding along the beach and trotting slowly through the shallows, then staying on your steed’s back while they go for a well-earned swim in the sea. Couples can ramp up the romance, if they like, by going for a moonlit ride. Meanwhile for wildlife lovers, experiencing the magical moment of a turtle release – watching a turtle make its way into the open sea for the first time is a must. And so is seeing the unique, famous, giant and dragon-like Grand Cayman Blue Iguana at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, all 65 acres of which were opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 1994. It also has a woodland trail, a wetlands area and a soon-to-be-opened Children’s Garden, so is perfect for a full day out.
Ride the waves
Ready to set sail? Whether it’s chartering your own boat, having a go at fishing or even paddle-boarding, the Caribbean sea is your oyster.
Take a kayak tour through the Cayman mangroves and learn the importance of this incredible ecosystem. Or head to Cayman Brac to spot coastal birds, fluffy brown booby bird chicks, caves, bats and iguanas.
Hike the Mastic Trail
Grand Cayman’s 100-year-old Mastic Trail is a must for hikers. At just over two miles long, the guided walk through the Mastic Reserve takes between two and a half to three hours, during which you’ll see rare trees (including the Mastic, from which the trail and reserve take their names), as well as encountering some native Cayman wildlife.
A variety of birds will sing as you walk, including the native parrot, the Caribbean Dove, Bananaquits and even West Indian Woodpeckers – and you’re likely to come across non-winged residents including (harmless) snakes, too. Looking for Insta-friendly views rather than making new friends? Hike to the Bluff on Cayman Brac, the highest part of the islands where you’ll have breathtaking views of the surrounding sea.
Book the holiday of a lifetime in the Cayman Islands today – visit www.visitcaymanislands.com