Working for an airline, I generally do not take many vacations. Do not get me wrong, I frequently use my flight benefits; I just tend to take multiple short trips in lieu of a couple of long trips in a given year. Fewer vacations and more mini-adventures. So when one of my best friends reached out about spending five days with him and his family in his former home in the Cayman Islands, my first thought was is five days too long? Boy was I wrong. Not only is the Cayman Islands home to some of the best beaches in the world, but it also has a wide variety of unique marine activities, which will make your trip to the Cayman Islands an unforgettable experience. Below I will highlight a few of my favorite spots and activities in addition to tips for getting around the island. You probably will not be able to do all these activities on a weekend, but hopefully, it will help make your trip to the Cayman, “grand”.
Potentially my favorite beach on the trip was West Bay which is kind of ironic as we sort of stumbled on this location while driving to the Turtle Farm. A bit more secluded than Seven Mile Beach, this spot has it all. From the picturesque peer to the crystal clear waters, you will not regret making a stop at West Bay beach. When we went, the beach was so secluded I could literally close my eyes and take a picture with nobody in the shot.
Although I love the beach, one of the things that make the Cayman unique is the ample amount of marine activities outside of the typical beach experience. Probably the most famous of these is Stingray City. While there is a wide variety of companies that offers this excursion, we traveled with Captain Marvin which costs $45 per person. The entire trip lasts 3 hours and makes 3 stops. The first stop was snorkeling with both stingrays and fish. The stingrays were smaller than at the final stop of Stingray City, but I enjoyed seeing them swimming out in the open ocean. The second stop was also snorkeling but here we did not see stingrays. What made this stop special was the amazingly clear water. I would venture to say this was probably the clearest stretch of ocean we saw on the entire trip. The final stop is Stingray City. Here the stingrays are clearly expecting humans so they will approach you. In our tour, we had about 30 minutes where we could take photos holding or kissing the stingrays. They even have squid and allow you to feed the stingrays if you so desire. If you have a fear of stingrays I would still recommend this excursion. It is extremely safe, the stingrays are very friendly and you can still see them from the boat if you prefer a more distant experience. Do not worry about stepping on them as the water is so clear and shallow, it is nearly impossible. If you are still not convinced of swimming with stingrays, consider an excursion to see starfish or even swimming with sea turtles at the Cayman Turtle Center.