The Cayman Islands is a collection of three small islands located in the Caribbean.
It was first put on the mainstream map when “The Firm”, starring Tom Cruise, was released in 1993.
Ever since then, Cayman has had a reputation for questionable financial practices as an offshore tax haven, however, the reality is that it is a popular tourist destination.
This article will cover the top 7 best things to do in Grand Cayman when vacationing; this article was inspired by this website, which covers what to do in Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is the most popular island in the Cayman Islands.
1. Scuba Diving
You can’t talk about the Cayman Islands without mentioning scuba diving.
Grand Cayman has some of the best diving in the world, primarily due to the fact that it has underwater cliffs that surround the island.
These cliffs drop off for thousands of feet, providing truly breath-taking experiences.
People travel from all over the world to dive here. One of the most popular dive locations in Grand Cayman is the “North Wall”; this is a sudden drop-off which many boats go to every day.
Other locations include the USS Kittiwake, which is an ex-US Navy ship that was purposely sunk off the west side of Grand Cayman.
And finally, “deep” Stingray City is Cayman’s most famous dive-site; this has been a popular location for nearly half a century. This location is about 15 feet in depth, but allows divers to hand-feed wild stingrays.
Most people don’t realize, but Grand Cayman has a Bio Bay which is quickly becoming a popular tourist attraction.
The bioluminescent bay was dredged out about 20-years ago for a small real estate projects, but then turned into a bio bay by accident; the bay just happened to have the necessary physical properties, which led to the formation of a high concentration of dinoflagellate plankton being permanently present.
There are many tour operators that take tourists to the Bio Bay at night.
Once in the bay, you then can snorkel with the bioluminescent plankton whilst wearing a mask. You can see millions of bright sparkles underwater with every movement.
This is definitely a must do activity whilst vacationing in the Cayman Islands.
3. Starfish Point
Starfish Point is a beach located near Rum Point, on the north-side of Grand Cayman.
This destination only became popular in the last 5 years, as more tour companies started to include it in their existing Stingray City and snorkel tours.
There are dozens of wild starfish that inhabit the shallows waters here. These starfish feed off the sea-grass, and enjoy the fact that the area is protected by rough waves due to its topography.
The starfish are very safe, and you can even hold them and take pictures; just make sure that you keep them in the water at all times; it is illegal to take them out of the water
4. Crystal Caves
This is one of Grand Cayman’s newest tourist attractions.
Only opening in 2016 to the public, it has quickly become one of the most popular land-based attractions on the island.
The caves have been there for tens of thousands of years, but it was only in 2016 when the company behind them cleared them out and opened them to the public.
This is a great activity for people who like to hike and explore.
There are also guided tours, meaning that you will learn about Cayman’s plant and animal life, as you explore the caves and surrounding area.
They are located about an hour drive from Seven Mile Beach, meaning that you should rent a car in order to reach them. Public transport to that side of Grand Cayman is not a good idea due to potential delays.
5. Smith Cove
Smith Cove is a beach located on the south-coast of Grand Cayman.
As the name implies, this is an iron-shored based cove, surrounded by white sand.
It is only a 7 minute drive from the cruise ship port in George Town, and is usually peaceful and not too busy.
There are some public changing rooms and showers as well, making it more practical for friends and family that want to enjoy this spot.
The snorkeling here is one of the best kept secrets; about 20 yards off shore is a collection of coral that is home to hundreds of beautiful tropical fish. There are no currents or waves here, due to the prevailing wind direction, making it an easy location for beginner snorkelers.
Macabuca is a restaurant and bar located near the Turtle Farm in Grand Cayman.
The food is great, and it has a beautiful view overlooking the sea, but the real attraction is the snorkeling and diving.
They have steps leading into the water, which allows for easy access. Many people shore-dive from this location. Also, many snorkelers use this area since there is a lot of coral, but no need to use a boat.
It is about a 15 minute drive North from George Town, and about a 10 minute drive North of Seven Mile Beach.
The lion-fish tacos are their speciality, and make for a great meal after a long day of diving or snorkeling.
7. Stingray City
This is the oldest tourist attraction in Grand Cayman.
Local fisherman have been feeding wild stingrays out there for decades, but it was only in the 70’s when it became something that tourists began to take part in.
It was due to two local divers having the foresight to see that this would appeal to tourists, that this became Grand Cayman’s most popular activity.
Most people think that this would be a dangerous activity since Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray in 2006, but the reality is that the type of stingray that killed Steve Irwin was completely different to those that inhabit Stingray City.
Every year, tens of thousands of tourists visit Stingray City, and there has never been a single death due to a stingray.