Essential Guide to the Cayman Islands

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Offering some of the world’s best  serene white sand beaches, an unrivalled culinary scene, and quality service, the Cayman Islands is one of the world’s premier places to indulge in recreation and relaxation. Comprised of three island gems – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – the destination offers a wide range of accommodations and dining options, plus an incredible array of family friendly attractions, making it a ‘bucket list’ choice that works for every budget. Voted ‘World’s Friendliest Country’ by Forbes Magazine, the Cayman Islands is popular among couples, families and business travellers alike.

 

Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism
Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism

Seven Mile Beach is considered one of the Caribbean’s most relaxing beaches

 

Three Unique Destinations

The charm of the Cayman Islands is its relaxed, ‘Caymankind’ welcome and ‘something for everyone’ philosophy. Renowned for its cosmopolitan vibe and beautiful beaches, Grand Cayman is the largest of the three islands and offers a range of activities that can be tailored to any age or adventurous spirit. Spend the day on stunning Seven Mile Beach, or head out to explore Grand Cayman’s ample attractions that include the Cayman Turtle Centre, Atlantis Submarine, Pedro St. James National Historic Site, Cayman Crystal Caves, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and much more. The island’s most famous attraction, Stingray City, offers visitors the chance to frolic with friendly stingrays in waist-high crystal clear, turquoise waters. An expansive range of quality accommodations, from 3-star to 5-star hotels and resorts, to spacious condos and villas, offer visitors maximum choice and affordability, whether travelling as a couple, or with a large family or group.

 

Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism
Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism

Dive or snorkel world-famous Stingray City for an unforgettable experience

 

For those who truly yearn for getting away from it all, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will help melt the last of your stress away. The serene Sister Islands offer spectacular diving, bird watching and nature experiences accessible via a quick flight on Cayman Airways. The Brac’s soaring limestone bluff at the eastern point of the island provides breathtaking ocean views. Or head under the sea to explore sunken sculptures and fascinating shipwrecks like the 330-foot MV Captain Keith Tibbetts. Visitors can also explore the cave systems on island, where Blackbeard is rumoured to have hid his ill-gotten gains.

 

Photo Credit: Will Burrard-Lucas
Photo Credit: Will Burrard-Lucas

Hike to the top of the bluff in Cayman Brac to capture stunning sunsets

 

In Little Cayman, spend a lazy day swaying in a hammock or explore the tiny island by bike to discover orchids, iguanas (there are more than 2,000), butterflies and rare birds. The island’s Booby Pond is a Ramsar site, which protects the largest colony of Red-Footed Booby. Little Cayman is also world-renowned for its most famous dive site, Bloody Bay Wall, which provides divers with dazzling views of deep-water corals, turtles, sharks, rays and more on a reef that plummets to 6,000 feet. The island is also a popular spot for light tackle and fly-fishing.

 

Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism
Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism

The Sister Islands provide some of the world’s best wall and wreck diving

 

Culinary Capital of the Caribbean

With over 200 restaurants to choose from and the most Wine Spectator award-lauded restaurants in the region, the destination has earned the reputation as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Over 140 nationalities live here, contributing to a thriving dining scene that offers great quality and selection including amazing sea- and farm-to-table culinary experiences. There’s also an incredible array of high quality, annual culinary events like Eric Ripert’s star-studded Cayman Cookout (celebrating 10 years this January), Taste of Cayman (February) which highlights local restaurants, Cayman Cocktail Week, Restaurant Month (both held in October) and many more. Foodies who flock to Grand Cayman must surely partake in the island’s Sunday brunch scene, and a weekly Farmer’s + Artisans Market and Flavour Tour dine-around experience at Camana Bay, gives visitors a chance to experience Caymanian cuisine and other delicious dishes at the island’s town centre.

 

Photo Credit: Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Anchor + Den restaurant
Photo Credit: Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Anchor + Den restaurant

With over 200 restaurants to choose from, the Cayman Islands is regarded as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean

 

Photo Credit: Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Anchor + Den restaurant
Photo Credit: Don Riddle

Visit the Farmer’s + Artisans Market at Camana Bay every Wednesday  

Festivals, Fitness & Fun

Once you’ve had your fill of food, there’s still plenty of fun to be had. The Cayman Islands has a unique mix of festivals and events that draw visitors throughout the year. In May, jump into Cayman’s exciting carnival atmosphere at Batabano, which includes the colourful street parade, award-winning mas (short for masquerade) bands and much more. Pirates Week (November), one of the most popular events in the Caribbean, features a mock ‘pirate invasion’, street party, food festival and fireworks show. For fitness lovers looking for their next fix, the Flowers Sea Swim (June), an open-water one-mile swim along Seven Mile Beach, is a unique challenge. Or if land sports are more your style, the Cayman Islands Marathon, held each December, is dubbed the “fastest, flattest” road race.

 

Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism
Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism

Head to the Cayman Islands in November for its exciting Pirates Week festival

  

Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism
Photo Credit: Cayman Islands Tourism

 Cayman’s colourful carnival, Batabano, is fun for the whole family

 

Getting There

Travellers heading to the Cayman Islands are sure to experience a quality holiday that’s relaxing and hassle-free. Both Air Canada and WestJet offer year-round, non-stop service from Toronto, arriving in Grand Cayman in just under four hours. With a superior range of land-based and natural attractions, festivals, food and of course, affordable quality accommodations, it’s time to tick this destination off your list.

For more information, go to visitcaymanislands.ca.

 

 

 

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