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Cayman Islands

13 Best Cayman Islands Tourist Attractions

Unique Grand Cayman tourist attractions include Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City and the Cayman Turtle Farm with 16,000 sea turtles.

Standard attractions that Caribbean visitors can do on most islands include shopping, helicopter tours and a high number of water sports. It's worth noting that Grand Cayman has only one golf course despite its popularity.

Grand Cayman is the largest island in the three-island chain and a major cruise destination. It's popularity is partly the result of some famous tourist attractions and other things to do.

1) Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach is less crowded away from the docks; © Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Seven Mile Beach is one of the most highly rated beaches in the Caribbean. It may not qualify as a tourist attraction to anyone staying at a resort on the beach, but it is the top attraction for cruise visitors. This lengthy beach is often packed near the cruise docks and less crowded farther away from them.

The beach lies within about a half mile north of the cruise docks. Anyone who wants fewer crowds should take a taxi, public bus (much cheaper), rental car or excursion bus to go farther north.

2) Stingray City Tour

Stingray City easily ranks as one of the top Caribbean attractions. Nothing quite prepares visitors to step from a boat into three feet of water on a sandbar and have large stingrays pass gently by them, sometimes rubbing their wings over visitors' legs.

The stingrays became used to human touch years ago when fishermen would stop their boats on the side bars to clean fish and throw the remains over the sides. Then divers began to feed the stingray by hand, and one of the great Caribbean excursions got its start.

Visitors go on excursion boats to reach the sandbars. Most excursions offer snorkeling equipment for better views of the rays underwater.

3) Boatswain's Beach (Cayman Turtle Farm)

The next most popular tourist attraction on the land part of Grand Cayman is Boatswain's Beach. It is the new home of the Cayman Turtle Farm that provides expanded facilities for visitor education. The facilities also have predators, birds, caiman and other creatures. The park has a research and educational facility dedicated to the conservation of sea turtles.

4) Rum Point

Rum Point is one of the best Grand Cayman beaches on the north side of the island. It is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and dining because of its casual island atmosphere.

5) Going to Hell

The town of Hell on Grand Cayman is famous for its name and the number of postcards sent from Hell via the post office. It also is known for its elaborate rock formations, which were formed 1.5 million years ago. It isn't known in which Hell they were formed.

North Sound Golf Club
North Sound Golf Club is the only championship 18-hole course on the island; credit: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

6) Golf Courses

Grand Cayman has three golf courses including the 18-hole North Sound, the only championship course on the island. It is open to the public and is easily accessible from Seven Mile Beach.

Britannia Golf Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and has a 9-hole championship course and an 18-hole short course. Blue Tip at the Ritz-Carlton is a 9-hole course designed by Greg Norman with 8 holes by water.

7) Snorkeling

Visitors to Stingray City usually put on snorkeling gear to watch the stingrays underwater. For anyone who gets their appetite whet for more snorkeling, Grand Cayman has more sites easy to reach from shore south of the George Town capitol and cruise port. They include Coconut Harbour, Sunset House, Seaview Hotel, Parrot's Landing, Watersports Park, Eden Rock Dive Center and the shallows reefs just off Paradise Reef bar.

Options to the north of George Town include Don Foster's dive shop on North Church Street and Calico Jack's. Both are good entry points to visit the Cali wreck.

8) Grand Cayman's Q. E. II Botanic Park

The park's new $800,000 visitor center is now the first stop on the tour of the Botanic Park. The two-acre Heritage Garden showcases a restored early 20th-century, three-room, zinc-roofed Caymanian wooden cottage. The Floral Garden displays hundreds tropical and subtropical plants over 2.5 acres.

Grand Cayman Rum Point
Rum Point is a popular tourist attraction on Grand Cayman. Credit: Pixabay Creative Commons license

9) Cayman Craft Market

The marketplace in central George Town offers locally made wood and leather products, thatch work, straw work and local visual arts. Tourists can buy a real part of Cayman and learn about the island's past and culture.

The market is a quarter mile south of the cruise terminal on South Church Street.

10) Caving

Grand Cayman has more caves than most Caribbean islands. They include Bat Cave, with a colony of bats; Great Cave, which looks like a pirate cave; Peter's Cave, which is known as a hurricane refuge; and Pirate's Caves, natural limestone caves located below the southern part of Bodden Town.

Rebecca's Cave is named after a small girl, Rebecca, who fled with her family from the hurricane in 1932, died in the cave by accident and is buried there. Skull Cave is named that way because the entrance looks like a skull.

11) Mastic Trail

Grand Cayman Mastic Trail provides views of orchids, parrots, doves, woodpeckers, snakes and lizards.Trails across Cayman Brac include easy hikes, a group of caves on the southern shoreline and two miles of trails through a reserve for the rare Cayman parrot and about 150 other bird species.

12) Blowholes

Blowholes are fountains of water that shoot out of cavities in rocks. They are located on Frank Sound Road on Grand Cayman on the way to the Eastern Districts. In Cayman Brac they are scattered around the island.

13) Cayman Islands National Museum

The Museum has more than 2,000 items including old coins, rare documents and natural history specimens. The foundation of the museum is the private collection of historic memorabilia of the late Ira Thompson, whose collecting hobby spanned 50 years.

The museum is less than a quarter mile south of the cruise terminal on South Church Street. Visitors can see the museum on their way to the craft market.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
January 12, 2021