A day in Grand Cayman can change your life, literally – it’s so beautiful! Funny how some people who haven’t been to Grand Cayman think that it’s just a typical cruise port. Well, while it does have the stereotypical beautiful beaches, abundance of duty-free shops and many opportunities to partake in watersports, there are a lot of other things to do here.
There’s no better place to see stingrays than at Stingray Cit. It consists of numerous shallow sandbars which allow for an up close experience with stingrays. Visitors wade in about 3 feet of water at Grand Cayman’s North Sound. They can pet and interact with the stingrays who are very friendly.
Cayman Turtle Farm
This farm receives about 200,000 visitors each year. The farm is about 23-acres and offers a wide variety of both educational and interactive activities. Visitors can learn about not only turtles, but a lot of other sea creatures as well, including who their predators are and current conservation efforts. There is even the opportunity to swim in a 1.3 million gallon tidal lagoon. Onsite there are more than 11,000 Green Sea Turtles that range from a few ounces to over six hundred pounds. Visitors can hold a turtle and see the inner-workings of an actual turtle farm.
The Area Known As Hell
There’s not much to see here, but visitors tend to flock to Hell just so they can purchase a postcard from the gift shop and send it back to their loved ones at home. The area is very desolate and features black limestone formations that span the size of about half a football field. Gift shops sell t-shirts with saying such as “I’d rather be in Hell…”Visitors can’t walk on the actual lime stones, but can see it from viewing platforms.
If you do want to visit the beaches, there are several options that don’t have a lot of tourists. Both Cayman Kai and Rum Point are secluded and can easily be reached by a cab. Seven Mile Beach also isn’t that crowded and has both restaurants and shops nearby. If you can, bring some snorkel gear with you so that you can see the coral formations below.
Just offshore, coral reefs and walls plunge dramatically into the abyss, creating superb conditions for visitors to Grand Cayman to go scuba diving and snorkeling. These underwater “mountainsides” (the peak being the island itself) never fail to leave Grand Cayman divers and snorkelers awestruck. There are 2 shipwrecks in George Town Harbour – the Balboa and the Cali that can be reached right from shore. Oro Verde is a popular dive spot, and Eden Rock (South of Georgetown so you need to go by boat,) is popular for snorkeling.
Historic Sites: Camana Bay Observation Tower, Mission House & Pedro St. James National Historic Site
Beaches: Seven Mile Beach, Smith Cove & Spotts Public Beach
Museums: Cayman Islands National Museum, Cayman Motor Museum
Neighborhoods/Districts: Bodden Town, Camana Bay, East End, George Town & Hell
Parks & Gardens: Blowholes, Dart Family Park, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, the Pirate Caves & Wreck of the Ten Sails Historic Park
Amusement Parks: Black Pearl Skate Park
Distillery: Seven Fathoms Rum. Tours every 30 minutes Mon – Sat.
Zoo & Wildlife: Cayman Turtle Farm & Stingray City
Other Things To Consider
This is a very popular cruise port. When docking at the port, you should be aware that you might have to wait for a while as the tendering process can take some time, especially when there are a lot of other ships coming and going from the port. If you do plan on staying at the port and just partaking in the restaurants, shops and watersports here, remember that it can get very crowded so it’s good to pre-plan.