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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 things to do 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 the island’s popularity.

Grand Cayman is the largest island in the three-island chain of the Cayman Islands 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 in part because it’s so close to the cruise docks.

This lengthy beach is often packed near the cruise docks and less crowded farther away from them.

The beach lies within walking distance 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 of the docks.

2) Stingray City Tour

Stingray City closeup
Stingray City is one of the most popular tourist attractions on Grand Cayman. Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license 2.0.

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.

A typical excursion to Stingray City will cost about $40 to $60 depending on the operator and any amenities. It is one of the best values of any Caribbean attraction for the cost and entertainment.

3) Boatswain’s Beach (Cayman Turtle Farm)

Cayman Turtle Farm
Cayman Turtle Farm is a popular land attraction. Credit: Depositphotos

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.

The park is less than 20 minutes north of the cruise port.

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.

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.
November 14, 2023

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