A Water Lover's Guide to Grand Cayman

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Advisor - Stephanie Vaughn
Curated By

Stephanie Vaughn

  • Cayman Islands

  • Adventure Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Family Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Beaches

  • Wildlife

  • Snorkeling

  • Fresh Seafood

aerial view of pristine blue water and white sand beach
Curator’s statement

Grand Cayman is most known for its beautiful Seven Mile Beach, and let me tell you, it IS beautiful! But there is also so much more to explore and enjoy on this island and so many adventures that await. It’s a perfect Caribbean destination for families who want water activities that keep everyone excited for the full trip.

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Where to stay in Grand Cayman

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Things to do in Grand Cayman

a stingray swims under the shallow ocean water with a smile
  • Private Boat Charter to Stingray City & Starfish Point - This is an absolute must for your time in Grand Cayman. Splurge on a private charter rather than a group tour, especially if you’re traveling with your family. You’ll stop off on a sandbar where friendly stingrays swarm and you’ll get out and swim with them and pose for several photos while “holding” the stingrays. Then you’ll pop over to Starfish Point to wade with hundreds of starfish too!

  • Night Boat Charter to Bioluminescent Bay - This is one of the most unique experiences I’ve had on a trip in a long time. Take a boat at night to a specific bay in Grand Cayman that has significant bioluminescent life. It’s best to align a tour like this with the new moon as that creates the best conditions to see the effects. I’m no marine scientist, but the gist is there’s a certain plankton that lights up the water at night and you can swim with it and see the sparkling little creatures. It is the coolest thing ever.

  • Cayman Turtle Center - Ok, this one is GREAT if you have kids. It’s a conservation center for sea turtles, and other animals. Opt for the Adventure ticket, which includes swimming with the sea turtles, which is the coolest part by far. Tip: the turtle snorkeling area closes at 2:30pm, so make sure you visit well before that so you have time to experience the highlight of the center.

  • Snorkel on Spotts Beach - Spotts Beach is the locals spot for snorkeling, with the best chance of seeing sea turtles in their natural habitat. You’ll need a rental car to get here from either Seven Mile or Rum Point, but it’s worth it. There’s a parking lot right at the beach and plenty of beach to set up on.

  • Lounge on Seven Mile Beach - If you’re staying on Seven Mile Beach, make sure you take advantage of the proximity to the beach and post up at your resort’s beach access. Depending on the resort you’re staying in, use the complimentary water amenities like paddle boards, floats etc. to get some activity in as well.

  • Go to Hell - No really, you can visit Hell while you’re there... It’s a total tourist attraction and you won’t stay long, but when you go up to the Cayman Turtle Center, make a quick pit stop in Hell (a black limestone formation) and send a postcard to a loved one back home “from Hell”.

Places to eat & drink in Grand Cayman

arched column pathway to a beach club with white umbrellas
  • The Grand Old House - This is a quintessential Grand Cayman fine dining restaurant. They arguably have the best wine list on the island, as well as amazing waterfront dining. Check out the catch of the day! Their sister property, The Wharf, is also a great place to go, where they do nightly tarpon feeding from the dock, and a dance party called Boogie Nights on the last Friday of each month.

  • Macabuca - This spot is right by the Turtle Center and Hell, on West Bay. Go here for lunch and drinks, and stay a while for the on-site snorkeling. You can snorkel right off the steps beside the bar and see some pretty awesome stuff!

  • Private chef in your villa - If you opt to stay at a villa on Rum Point, a great option for dinner is a private chef in your home. There are several great options on the island, and it’s perfect if you want to enjoy the water all day and not have to worry about getting ready for a dinner outing.

  • Kaibo Beach Club or Upstairs at Kaibo - If you’re staying at a villa on Rum Point, this place is a must. Kaibo Beach Club is the casual option while Upstairs at Kaibo is a fine dining experience. The ambience at either place is amazing. If you go for Upstairs at Kaibo, note that it’s a tasting menu experience, with a set menu price and an optional wine pairing. Reservations are required. The menu constantly changes based on seasonal and availability. It was seriously delicious!

  • Saint June - recently revamped at the Ritz Carlton on Seven Mile and is a wonderful beach-front restaurant on property. The Pina Colado is a 10 out of 10, and the ceviche is delicious as well.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my guide, Four Days of Adventure and Romance in Sedona & Grand Canyon.

Advisor - Stephanie Vaughn

Travel Advisor

Stephanie Vaughn

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