This trio of islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – are more famous for their underwater attractions that offer some of the best diving on earth. Grand Cayman is the main hub and its capital George Town is where cruise ships dock. The island attracts the most tourists, who generally stay in properties along the famous Seven Mile Beach. Besides divers, the islands appeal to couples and families who love the beach and the water sports.
What to see and do
Most attractions are nature-based and centred around the Caymans’ marine environment. Grand Cayman is famous for its spectacular Seven Mile Beach, but around all three islands there are dive sites aplenty and wreck diving, plus snorkelling off the beach. Boat trips are popular and a top draw is Stingray City where visitors can swim and interact with wild rays. On land, tourists can visit the strange rock formations at Hell and send a postcard from the local post office, complete with Hell postmark. Another major attraction is the Boatswain’s Beach Marine Park and Cayman Turtle Farm (www.boatswainsbeach.ky).
Where to eat
There are more than 150 eateries to choose from. Lillian’s Restaurant serves Caribbean and Caymanian food as does the popular Calypso Grill (www.calypsogrillcayman.com). For a true local flavour, visit Miss Vivine’s Kitchen which is located in her waterside home and is well-known among the islanders. The Bamboo Restaurant is a trendy nightspot boasting some of the best sushi bar on the island and other Japanese specialities, while the Lighthouse Restaurant, actually set in a lighthouse, offers fine wines and fine food.
Where to drink
Legendz (www.eats.ky) on Seven Mile Beach is a sports bar offering an all-American ambience while Calico Jack’s sits on the sands on the same beach where it has live bands, open mike evenings and lively full moon parties. The Nectar Martini Lounge (www.nectarcayman.com) offers a slice of sophistication and the Pirates Den Pub is an Irish bar aimed at sports fans and families. For more of a local flavour, try the Tipsy Turtle pub at the Brac Reef Beach Resort (www.bracreef.com).
Where to stay
Accommodation is varied, ranging from five-star hotels to guest-houses, villas and condominiums. Big chain properties include Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman (www.ritzcarlton.com) and the Marriott Beach Resort (www.marriott.co.uk) and the Comfort Suites (www.caymancomfort.com). The Turtle Next Inn & Condos (www.turtlenestinn.net) offer a more intimate atmosphere as does the the Brac Reef Beach Resort (www.bracreef.com) on Cayman Brac and Pirates Point Resort (www.piratespointresort.com) on Little Cayman.
Visit the 18th century plantation house Pedro St James (www.pedrostjames.ky); dive beneath the waves on an Atlantis submarine (www.atlantissubmarines.com); admire the flora and fauna at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park (www.botanic-park.ky); or take a trip to Little Cayman or Cayman Brac.