What To Do In Grand Cayman
What to do in Grand Cayman by NomadInMe.
There are many great activities in the Cayman Islands, when discussing what to do in Grand Cayman here are some of the best. Stingray City, Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park, Cayman Crystal Caves, Camana Bay, Dive USS Kittiwake, Parrot Sanctuary, Scuba Dive The Wall, Rum Point & Starfish Point, 7-Mile Beach, Dine Out, Horseback Riding, Turtle Centre, Beach Photo Shoot, Have A Massage On The Beach and much more!
Making the most of your Caribbean getaway to Grand Cayman just got a whole lot easier. NomadInMe have curated an exclusive, up to date list of the absolute best things to do in Grand Cayman. Find information on a variety of tours, places and excursion in and around Grand Cayman. Including best times to visit, locations, best operators and more!
Immerse yourself in the best that Cayman has to offer , whether planning your trip in advance or on island, with a day to spare. Our goal is to bring the best, most eligible up to date information and photographs with what to do in Grand Cayman.
“A true bucket list experience… wow!”
If you are covering the subject of what to do in Grand Cayman, Stingray city should be at the top of everyones list. A common query or concern related to this subject is fear of it being ‘too touristy’. The truth is at peak times it can be overcrowded. However, even at busy times it is an unforgettable experience.
Sintgray City, also known as stingray city sandbar is located just inside the barrier reef. Between Rum Point and Barkers national park in the North Sound. The North Sound is a large bay that cuts Grand Cayman in two and is protected by the same reef which runs the whole way around the island.
The sandbar itself, is medium sized and about 2 ft at the shallowest point and is home to between 100-150 southern stingrays. These rays come and go and are often seen in the surrounding reefs sleeping. Just outside the reef from stingray city is a dive site known as ‘rays bedroom’ where a number of rays can also be observed sleeping in the sand.
Stingray City is accessed by boat and there are a number of boat charters available, at different price points. Depending on length of trip, size of boat etc. These tours are most commonly run over 3-4 hours and include a stop at Starfish Point, Snorkelling and perhaps lunch at Kaibo, Rum Point or Camana Bay.
The water at stingray city is crystal clear all year round. You can either stand and observe the sting rays as they swim past you, or you can use a mask and snorkel to view them under the water. Some operators will also allow guests to feed and hold the stingrays. Look out for the locals, some of the rays have been around on the sandbar for many years and are favourites amongst guests and operators such as frisbee.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park
“Extremely underrated, a fantastic insight into Cayman’s endemic flora and fauna.”
Enjoy a leisurely walk through colorful gardens, botanic, lake and nature displays. Stroll through Heritage Garden, enjoy the Tea House with its panoramic views, and the lake area which forms a natural habitat for the Cayman Blue Iguana and breeding ground for a variety of rare aquatic birds and animals native to the Caribbean.
When Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened Grand Cayman’s Botanic Park in 1994, only the Woodland Trail was complete. In the ensuing years, the grounds have grown and developed into the full-fledged world-class facility that is operating today.
In 2008, the Botanic Park was invited to design an entry for the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, and the result was the Silver-award winning entry, The Heritage Garden. The following year we returned to Chelsea to improve on our first entry and as a result, the ‘Cayman Islands Undersea Reef Garden’ achieved a gold medal in the show’s floral category, along with the President’s Most Creative Award
The Botanic Park is owned jointly by the Cayman Islands Government and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands a non-profit body dedicated to preserving natural environments and places of historic significance in the Cayman Islands for present and future generations.
The Botanic Park is located in the North Side on Frank Sound Road. About a 40-minute drive from George Town. To learn more, here is an article on the park https://nomadinme.com/grand-cayman-botanical-gardens/
Cayman Crystal Caves
“A great day out for the whole family, friendly staff and beautiful scenery!”
Situated in a lush tropical forest of the Northside of Grand Cayman. You will find the Crystal Caves, one of the islands newest tourist attractions. All visitors receive guided walking tours. Tours are approximately 1 ½ hours and take you through the surrounding tropical forest area and 3 caves spectacular.
When you visit Cayman Crystal Caves, you will be escorted with a Tour Guide, and you will venture into amazing caves where you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations, formed by single drops of water and the slow passage of time. Tour through the unique tropical forest nature, under which the caves formed. Amongst the forest and caves are captivating tropical plant and animal life, including strangler balsam trees, air plants, parrots, and bats.
The Cayman Crystal Caves are a great option for a windy day. They are located on the North Side close to The Queen Elizabeth Botanical parks, Rum Point and Starfish Point. Visit these locations together to save time and get the most out of your days.
See the Cayman Crystal Caves website for more information: https://www.caymancrystalcaves.com/
“A great variety of shops and restaurants, fantastic atmosphere.”
‘Shop Dine Live’ Thats the motto of Camana bay on view through man made canal system snaking through the mangroves estuary. Whether you are arriving by boat, car or helicopter (for all of which you will find ample parking space) Camana bay screams luxury. Be it through the modern architecture, tropical landscaping or the array of high end shops and restaurants.
The most vibrant destination in the Cayman Islands is Camana Bay, a thriving New Urbanist town where you can shop, dine, live, work and play.
Located in the heart of Seven Mile Beach, this lively waterfront town brings together more than 2,500 people daily and is enlivened by cultural experiences, world-class shopping and over a dozen restaurants, bars, cafés and speciality eateries.
The 685-acre town is also a global business hub and home to coastal residences, a 75-foot Observation Tower, a weekly Farmers & Artisans Market and Grand Cayman’s only footpath connecting sea to sound.
Whether you are in search of a new home or office, some retail therapy or simply craving exceptional eats and fun entertainment, visit Camana Bay–the most celebrated destination on Grand Cayman.
Find out more about Camana Bay here: https://www.camanabay.com/
Dive USS Kittiwake
“An unforgettable dive… Im hooked!”
When looking at what to do in Grand Cayman, the wreck of the USS Kittiwake should take a leading role. The dive site has been designated as a marine wildlife area for the use of snorkeling and scuba diving. The former submarine rescue vessel USS Kittiwake was purposely sunk in January 2011 to serve as a dive site for Cayman Islands.
The Kittiwake is a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship which served the U.S. Navy from 1946-1994. Now the 251-foot-long rescue vessel is an artificial reef that sits at about 60 feet down on the sandy floor of the Caribbean Sea. The warmth of the water and visibility is so incredible that you can see it from the surface. The shipwreck provides a spectacular diving experience for divers as it boasts over 50 species of corals and nearly 500 species of tropical fish. Divers can easily explore the ship’s corridors, recreation room, mess hall, crew quarters, navigation room and the main deck. The wreck is a “diver-friendly” site which makes it a great location for first-timers who wish to take part in a wreck diving specialty course.
Diving at the Kittiwake wreck site is open to all levels of snorkelers and divers alike. Although it goes without saying that scuba will help you get the most from this experience.
“A great stop, the kids loved it and all for a good cause.”
Cayman parrot sanctuary offers a friendly interactive and educational experience for the whole family. Enjoy meeting face to face Caymans Native Animals as well plants and unspoiled natural landscapes. Found in the East End of Grand Cayman is one of the islands newest attractions. Owned and operated by by a group of like minded individuals, focusing on conservation and education. It’s a great chance to interact and learn about some of Caymans flora and fauna. With endemic species such as the Cayman Parrot, Cayman Dwarf Boa and Cayman Racer. As well as other non native species such as Agouti’s, goats, rabbits and more.
It’s a welcome new attraction to the ever growing list of things to do in the Eastern District’s of Grand Cayman. Incorporate the Cayman Parrot Sanctuary with a visit to the Botanical Park, Crystal Caves or a lazy afternoon at Rum Point sipping rum punch under the palm trees.
To learn more about the Cayman Parrot Sanctuary visit: https://www.facebook.com/CaymanParrot/
Scuba Dive The Wall
“A genuinely thrilling and humbling experience, loved it!”
Grand Cayman is known amongst the industry for its world-class scuba diving. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned expert, there is something for everyone. With 365 dive site’s (one for everyday of the year) and a number of dive operators offering everything from PADI Seal Team courses to enriched air and technical diving. You can find the right fit for you needs and skill set.
The dive sites around Grand Cayman vary massively, from the calm waters and gently sloping wall of 7-mile beach. To the more exposed conditions, dramatic caverns and shark diving found in the East End. In addition you can find a variety of shallow site’s for the more conservative divers.
A mind boggling variety of fish and coral can be found in this part of the world from ragged beds of Staghorn coral to dancing meadows of Gorgonian Fans. From every shape size and colour of reef fish, to large schools barracuda and Caribbean reef sharks. The best and most exciting diving experience is on the drop-off. Where the bright and colourful reef quickly drops from around 30ft to 1000’s of feet deep. The first time diving a wall and slowly meandering over that deep water, is a surreal experience. Often likened to skydiving, it brings about a sensation that wont be quickly forgotten.
Rum Point & Starfish Point
“A beautiful part of Grand Cayman, we could have easily spent our whole trip here!”
Rum Point & Starfish which were both featured in our Best Beaches Grand Cayman article. Are a must visit when considering the best things to do in Grand Cayman. They are located on the North Side of Grand Cayman in the area known as Cayman Kai. This part of Grand Cayman is less populated and more laid back, especially when compared with the hustle and bustle of George Town and 7-mile Beach.
Commonly referred to as the ‘Island Side’ a majority of the islands private villas and vacation rentals are found here. You can find a variety of uncrowded beaches, attractions and a handful of bars and restaurants. All adopting a ‘no shirt, no shoes, no problem’ attitude.
Rum Point is a small sandy beach dotted with pine and palm trees complete with all the amenities. Beach bar and grill, restrooms, hammocks, sun loungers and even a water-sports office. Spend the day here relaxing in a hammock sipping on the world famous mudslides. Or exploring the canals and mangroves on a jetski rental. You will find Rum Point on the North Side about a 45 minute drive from from George Town, alternatively, Cayman Ferries runs a regular service from Camana Bay.
Continue past Rum Point to the end of water cay road and you will find Starfish Point, where you will find a sandy point covered in pine trees. In the shallow warm waters you can sometimes observe hundreds of starfish. This west facing beach its a great place to sit in the water with a cold beer and watch the sun go down. Nearby you will find Kaibo, a bar and restaurant and popular stop off point for boat charters.
It goes without saying that spending some time on 7-mile beach during your Grand Cayman vacation is an absolute must. As one of the best beaches in the world, let alone the Caribbean. With regards to perfect white sand and more shades of blue than you can chuck a flip flop at. 7-mile beach epitomises the text book Caribbean holiday.
7-mile beach stretches from George town all the way to West Bay. From start to finish your are spoiled for choice when it come to bars, restaurants, snorkelling, waters-ports and lets not forget, world class Caribbean scenery.
For the best in food, drink and water-sports facilities, NomadInMe suggests The Westin and The Kimpton Seafire. If you are looking to relax and escape the hotels and crowds. Check out Cemetery Beach and Public Beach. For more information on beaches in Grand Cayman check out my Best Beaches Grand Cayman blog post.
“I was truly stunned by the variety and quality of food available on Grand Cayman.”
Grand Cayman is unofficially known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean. This is not a title to be taken lightly. The sheer number of great restaurants worth a mention on this small island is a thing to behold. Foodie, or not. You absolutely have to sample some of the culinary delights on offer.
What makes Grand Cayman’s culinary scene so special? It is a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures, when paired with such a mass of international visitors the result is spectacular. Here is a list of some of our favourite restaurants.
- Agua: Camana Bay, Italian/Peruvian fusion, great pasta and seafood.
- Morgans: Grand Harbour, Seafood
- Steak Social: Steak House
- Bacaro: Venetian Tapas
- Grand Old House: Fine Dining
- Tukka: Native fusion/Seafood
- Kaibo Upstairs: Fine Dining/Seafood
- Seven: Fine Dining/Caribbean flair
… To name a few. If you are interested in learning more about Grand Caymans elaborate selections of restaurants and eateries read this article https://nomadinme.com/best-restaurants-in-grand-cayman/
“We loved every minute of our horseback riding experience, truly spectacular!”
When imagining the perfect Caribbean vacation. Does riding a horse bareback, neck-deep through a turquoise blue lagoon, present itself in your mind? Well if it didn’t it might now and Grand Cayman is the perfect location. A majority of the horse riding tours are run in and around Barkers National Park, in the very north-western tip of the island.
View NomadInMe’s top picks for Grand Cayman horseback riding vendors and operators bellow:
Pampered Ponies is an excellent option for people of all ages to enjoy horseback riding in Grand Cayman! Choose to saddle up in the morning, afternoon, at sunset, or in the moonlight. You’ll get to ride along gorgeous trails and secluded beaches. There is no experience necessary, and you can even take a special swim ride. There’s something magical about swimming through the bright blue water on horseback.
Spirit of the West specialises in small horseback riding tours. These intimate tours ensure that your guide will personalise each tour to fit your needs. Their group rides start at ages 8+ and their swim rides start at ages 14+. However, private tours are more flexible, so have our concierge contact them if you want to bring the kids! They offer beach rides, moonlight rides, swim rides, and even cater to weddings.
“My family had a great day, very educational and lots to do!”
The Turtle Centre is Cayman’s largest land-based tourist attraction. The Cayman Turtle Centre’s Island Wildlife Encounter hosts more than 200,000 visitors each year. Educational, cultural and entertainment programmes are consistently being created and updated to enhance the experience that can only be found at this Caribbean-renowned attraction.
This is a great day out for the whole family with a long list of nature and cultural based activities and information. Including Swimming with turtles, a predator tank where sharks and even a crocodile can be viewed. In addition an open aired avery with native wildlife including the Cayman parrot and a host of butterflies reptiles and insects.
This attraction is located in West Bay about a 15 minute drive from central George Town. It is nearby to other great attractions and activities such as the classic car museum, previously mentioned horse riding at Breakers and Cemetery beach. Why not stop off at Cracked Conch for lunch after your visit, right next door.
To learn more about the Cayman Turtle centre check out their website: https://www.turtle.ky/
Beach Photo Shoot
“Joe took some beautiful photos of our 4-generation family at the beach on the North end of Grand Cayman. We will treasure these photos always. Thanks, Joe!”
When discussing what to do in Grand Cayman, many opt to take advantage of the breathtaking scenery with a photo shoot. Asides from the large number of destination weddings that take place on Grand Cayman, many opt to have a professional photographer take photos.
Joseph Linder Photography is one of the Cayman Islands top talents when it comes to photography. As the preferred vendor for many of the rental agency’s and hotels on Grand Cayman and an internationally recognised wedding photographer. He has multiple multiple online and magazine features to his name.
Whether you are looking for a fun family photoshoot on the beach, a full day destination wedding at a private villa, or confidence-boosting boudoir shoot with your new Caribbean tan. Joseph Linder Photography has a package for you. For more information https://www.josephlinderphotography.com.
Have A Massage On The Beach
“Great experience she was very professional and on point I would recommend perfectly pampered if you are getting a massage.”
For many, a vacation is not complete without some pampering or a spa day. Grand Cayman is no exception and as expected has a lot of options to choose from. Perfectly Pampered Cayman is a mobile company that comes to you. Setting up by the pool, on the balcony, or beach. This is a real treat and well deserved after a long day of exploring!
We offer Swedish Massage, Aromatherapy Massage and Deep Tissue Massage, Chair Massage and Couples Massage all over Grand Cayman. We also offer Facials, Manicures, Pedicures, and Pamper Parties. We pride ourselves on our exceptional level of client care. We offer a personal, professional and efficient service at all times, allowing you to relax and be pampered.
To find out more click here http://perfectlypamperedcayman.com/.
Snorkel Eden Rock
With so many great land-based snorkel locations on Grand Cayman, we were hard picked to choose one for our what to do in Grand Cayman article. There is however one spot the really stood out to us and that is Eden Rock.
Eden Rock is superbly located just South of George Town and walking distance from the main drag. It is also extremely convenient. You can access the water via a ladder into very protected waters. Great shore diving conditions can be found here virtually year round. The dive site is fairly well spread out with a shallow area then dropping down to around 45ft. This allows groups of snorkellers and scuba divers to enjoy the area together.
You will find large patches of hard and soft coral dropping away onto a sandy bottom. You will also find a network of small swim throughs which are for some part of the year home to large schools of silversides. A small bait fish which in turn attract larger predatory fish such as Tarpon. Catch Eden Rock on the right day and you will be bombarded with marine life that will leave you speechless.
Eden Rock and its access ladder is managed by Eden Rock Divers for more information you can view their website here. http://www.edenrockdive.com/
What To Do In Grand Cayman | Travel Essentials
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