The Cayman Islands are a beautiful collection of three islets in the west Caribbean Sea. Renowned for their golden, palm tree studded beaches, hidden coves and surf-sand-sea holidays, there is so much more to the Cayman Islands that the casual tourist just does not see. The less well known beaches, the best hotels, the nights out and the cultural heart, all of this and more waits down the less travelled paths for those who have time to experience the true wonders of the Cayman Islands.
Perhaps the most recognisable of the Cayman Islands many assets, its beaches are world famous for their beauty, their purity and their secrets.
The Seven Mile Beach is one of the more prominent beaches. Across its five and a half mile span, visitors are treated to entertainment and refreshments from the waterfront behind. Catch the Seven Mile Beach early in the morning and you will find it untouched, a picture of the Cayman Islands at peace.
For a more secluded insight into what makes the Cayman Islands' beaches some of the best in the world, fly on one of Grand Caymans daily flights to Little Cayman, it doesn't take long and the ten-mile beaches of Little Cayman are as pure, calm and romantic as anywhere you will find in the Caribbean.
Places to stay
The Cayman Islands are a hotbed of many competing hotels. Each has something unique to offer.
For the beachfront majesty of the big name hotels, try the Ritz Carlton in Grand Cayman or the Westin Grand Cayman, located in the heart of Seven Mile Beach. Both promise world class service with a perfect view of the sapphiric Caribbean Sea.
If your ideal hideout is luxurious surroundings, beachfront location and an array of facilities, the Grand Cayman beach Suites is the perfect choice. The surrounds of the Britannia Golf Club and panoramic views of the ocean, beach and swimming pool from each suite will keep you feeling refreshed and relaxed while soaking up the Cayman Island sun and culture.
For a smaller, more romantic experience, the Cotton Tree in West Bay is considered the best hotel in West Bay and its opulent rooms, award winning restaurant and private arboretum secure its place as a gem in the west of the Islands.
Places to eat
While the hotels in the Cayman Islands offer a delicious variety of cuisines, there are many other local haunts to be explored, but the quality varies and finding the perfect place for a hearty lunch or candlelit dinner can be tricky.
For the best breakfast in Grand Cayman, visit Corita's Copper Kettle in George Town. It's a small cafe run by Corita that does a handful of breakfasts, soft drinks and great coffee until the late afternoon.
For lunch, try Chester's Fish Fry in Bodden Town. Centred around an impressive set of barbecues, Chester's grill delicious, smoky, freshly caught fish from ten to ten.
Lastly, for a vibrant, colourful waterfront dinner, head to the Grand Old House in Grand Cayman. They offer a surprising range of dishes as well as a formidable wine collection, great live music, quality service and a century's worth of experience serving the best Caribbean and international cuisine.
Places to go
The Cayman Islands are one of the world’s elite holiday destinations and it's not for no reason. Everything from water sports, history, art to culture is all waiting to be discovered by the discerning traveller.
The only way to see the reefs is by scuba diving. Plenty of companies offer the experience and the competitiveness means you'll always get a fair price. For something really special, Bloody Bay Marine Park near Little Cayman is scuba diving with a twist; an offshore shelf that simply falls away offers a breathtaking underwater seascape.
Since the discovery of the islands by Christopher Columbus, the Cayman Islands have been famous for the native Sea Turtles which inhabit the surrounding waters. Today, the 23 acre turtle farm is one of the top attractions in Grand Cayman, where visitors can learn about the amazing sea creatures, their development in the Cayman Islands and even hold some of the smaller ones – although not the 600 pound turtles!
For art and history, the Official Museum of the Cayman Islands gives a quaint and insightful view of the Islands to date, it's also worth visiting the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands for exhibits and installations that shine a light on the story of the people and culture of the Islands.
And for those who like to explore, there are several car rental agencies located in George Town. There's no better way to get around Grand Cayman than at your own pace.
The Cayman Islands have a resoluteness that defies the heavy tourism like its idyllic beaches defy the pull of the ocean. They have a spirit, a distinct culture, at one with the Caribbean but also wholly their own. If you can take the time to look a little further into all that the Islands have to offer, you will be richly rewarded.
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