Classy, Cool, Cayman

Consistently chosen as a top destination by both travellers and the media, the Cayman Islands are three islands that each offer their own kind of paradise to visitors. From luxury golf resorts to world-class diving sites for every day of the year, the Caymans have something for everyone to love.

The Cayman Islands aren’t really islands at all, but part of the mountainous undersea Cayman Ridge. The three “islands” that rise out of the sea are each very flat, with the highest point being just over 46 metres above sea level on the east end of Cayman Brac. The other two islands, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman make up the rest of this beautiful island trio. With little archaeological evidence of indigenous peoples, England took formal control of the islands in 1670.

Grand Cayman’s crown jewel is Seven Mile Beach. As its name suggests, visitors can walk all seven miles of soft white sand with crystal clear water lapping at their feet. Camana Bay is a sparkling new development in the area, offering multiple places to shop, dine, drink and experience a modern taste of the Caymans.

Speaking of tastes, the Cayman Islands have long been a culinary centre of the region. From celebrity chef-owned restaurants to simply stunning local cuisine, eating your way through the islands is one of the best ways to experience it. 

Veteran restauranteur and James Beard Award winner Roy Yamaguchi opened Eating House 1503 on Seven Mile Beach in early 2019 and is bringing Hawaiian an Asian flavours to traditional Caribbean dishes. Guests can enjoy a seafood-forward menu featuring everything from sushi to Caribbean lobster fried rice.

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If you’re looking for authentic Cayman flavour, Chicken! Chicken! is just the ticket. No frills here, but if darned good “Caribbean wood-roasted chicken” sounds good, you won’t be disappointed. A simple menu with options to customize mean everyone gets fed really well, without breaking the bank.

Things to Do

The Caymans have long been a sought-after diving location, and it’s true that there are dive sites for every day of the year. Wrecks and reefs provide great opportunities for viewing marine life, while those wanting to stay a little closer to the surface can experience stingrays up close at one of many stingray encounter areas. Snorkelling is also a popular Cayman excursion, and the numerous beaches offer plenty of warm water to explore. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman provide snorkelling spots that are less busy than near Grand Cayman.

Back on land, the Cayman Islands have been an underground golf destination for many years. The North Sound Club is open to the public with a full 18-hole course, while the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club course was designed by Greg Norman and has been named the World’s Best 9-hole Course by World Golf Awards.

Cayman Brac is a nature-lover’s dream, with hikes and expeditions for someone wanting to experience rare flora and fauna. A laid back atmosphere provides visitors with plenty of time to relax and enjoy island life.

The least developed of the Cayman Islands is Little Cayman. If your’e looking for a truly remarkable “get away from it all” island feel, this is the place for you. Only 10 square miles in area and with the higest point above sea level being just 10 feet, Little Cayman has just a handful of residents and places to stay. The diving is the main attraction here, as the Bloody Bay Wall in the marine park provides divers amazing marine life viewing opportunities with a dramatic coral reef backdrop.

Travel and Accommodations

The sparkling new, modernized Owen Roberts International Airport opened in the Cayman Islands in March 2019. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall were there to officially open the expanded structure, which can now service more than two million passengers a year. Numerous flights each day to sister islands Cayman Brac and Little Cayman provide easy transfer for other island experiences.

Accommodations are numerous and varied, so deciding what kind of experience you want to have before you go is a good idea. From the Ritz-Carlton down to a rented guest house room, the Cayman Islands have it all.

Sara Sherman
Sara Sherman is a former St. Thomas resident and the editor of Virgin Islands Property & Yacht.
Sara Sherman

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