The Best Brunches in Grand Cayman

Brunch. The word is a whimsical neologism combining the words 'breakfast' and 'lunch'. A pairing as immediately pleasing to the ear, as the pairing of 'eggs' and 'bacon' is to the palette. The idea originated in England in the late 1800s by English author, and presumably heavy-drinker, Guy Beringer, in an essay appropriately titled: 'Brunch: A Plea'.

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In the essay, Beringer explains that the intention of brunch is to share anecdotes of the previous night's shenanigans over a spicy Bloody Mary, a refreshing Mimosa or both. He goes on to explain that a lively brunch affair aims to nurse the Saturday-sin-induced headache and satisfy the sometimes insatiable hangover-hunger for food AND company. This, he argues, can be accomplished with a delicious meal and a generous helping of 'hair-of-the-dog'.

The brunch has since evolved. In Cayman, though still keeping to these old brunch traditions, a brunch now also serves as the go-to manner in which to celebrate special occasions - birthday brunches, mother's day brunches, engagement brunches, the very many 'farewell' or 'welcome back to island' brunches. Then there are also the (slightly) less raucous baby shower brunches and in recent years, the newly popularised divorce-party brunches. What's the dress-code you may ask? Well, it's a Sunday brunch, it should go without saying, that it is to be attended in ones Sunday (very) best!

In honour of the tradition and history of the brunch, we've selected, in no specific order, our tried and tested favourite places to brunch in Cayman:

1. Seven at The Ritz

Elegant and upmarket yet in keeping with the laid-back island-style one comes to expect of our Caribbean holiday. Wash down expertly crafted cuisine with a golden glass of French champagne while taking in the 180-degree views of Seven Mile Beach from the terrace or the glamorous dining room.

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Photo by Cayman compass

Photo by Cayman compass

2. Luca

Italian restaurant, LUCA, offers guest the choice of enjoying brunch in the luxury and comfort of the sleek and sophisticated dining room or on their patio overlooking the infinity pool and the jewel-toned waters of the Caribbean. The brunch menu includes authentic Italian dishes, prepared simply and with fresh ingredients. Enjoy your delicious Italian fare with bottomless Prosecco - the Italian way.

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3. Mizu

For those with a taste for the slightly more exotic, Mizu delights with a brunch menu that showcases delicious Asian flavours and table service - a welcome change from the more traditional buffet-style brunch setup that one comes to expect on the island.

The menu includes Sushi, dim sum, rice and noodle dishes like fried rice, Nasi Goreng, Singapore fried noodles and Kung Pao. Traditional Japanese rice wine or 'Sake', well-drinks and house wines are all included in the all-you-can-eat brunch price. Mizu offers a five-star experience on a cheap and cheerful budget. The interior is reminiscent of an upmarket new york nightclub with impressive light features set atmospherically low, high-shine sequinned pillows and a striking Japanese graffiti mural that acts as a talking piece and draws the eye in. All-in-all an all-around enjoyable experience and a sure-favourite on our list.

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4. Ave at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Come with the whole family or sneak away for a romantic dinner at Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa’s Ave restaurant to experience fresh local seafood and produce infused into coastal Mediterranean recipes. Our Executive Chef Massimo De Francesca has crafted an approachable menu featuring seasonal plates that appeal to your whole party...

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5. Ferdinand’s at The Westin Grand Cayman

With free-flowing sparkling wine, a Margarita Bar and a wide variety of mouth-watering Caribbean and international food stations, Westin Grand Cayman's Ferdinand's has safely secured its spot on our list. Every Sunday, guests are invited to enjoy a lavish feast of breakfast items, pasta options, cured, slow-cooked or braised meats from the carving station, dim sum and sushi, a selection of hot dishes and near sinful desserts. Come indulge in classic Caribbean cuisine in the casual-cool interior or on their outdoor patio while taking in the breathtaking sea views, every Sunday from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm.

$$$

Photo by Cayman compass

Photo by Cayman compass

6. Anchor & Den

Taking the cake, both literally and figuratively, is the Anchor & Den Brunch at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort. Their signature Boulangerie Brunch includes globally-inspired dishes and bottomless glasses of bubbles served in a Nautical-themed dining area which is at once playful and contemporary. Each Sunday, the area is transformed into a treasure trove of unique food stops - a chocolate display, raclette cheese station, pop-up cocktail bar, fresh juice bar, gelato and sushi stops and a charcuterie carving station, to name but a few. It is, in our opinion, impossible NOT to have a good time at this brunch.

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The Top Cultural & Heritage Sites in Cayman

The Cayman Islands, though rich in heritage and culture, do not boast many heritage sites, in fact, there are very few. Cayman was a country originally settled in 1658 by soldiers, pirates, refugees and shipwrecked sailors and until the mid-1970s had very few inhabitants. That being said, what the Cayman Islands lack in quantity, they most certainly make up for in quality.

Below we have compiled a shortlist of interesting Caymanian cultural attractions worth a visit during your stay on Grand Cayman.

Wreck of the Ten Sail

On 8 February 1794 at the East End of Grand Cayman, a major maritime accident is said to have been the cause of Grand Cayman Island's tax-free financial status. Allegedly, ten ships that had formed part of a convoy en route to the United States and Britain from Jamaica, were shipwrecked on Caymanian reefs. According to sources, Grand Cayman's local folk braved stormy waters in an attempt to rescue passengers and crew that had been aboard the shipwrecked vessel. Today, a stone monument and plaque commemorate these events and the bravery of the local Caymanian community. You can find the Wreck of Ten Sail on Austin Conolly Drive.


Miss Lassie's House

Another popular cultural site to visit is 'Mind’s Eye – the Visionary World of Miss Lassie' in South Sound, or as it's known to the locals: 'Miss Lassie's House', a house decorated with the renowned artist and homeowner's artistic depictions of her religious visions and dreamscapes. After the homestead was restored by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation (CNCF) to its former glory, Miss Lassie's homestead was placed on the 2012 World Monument Watch List of endangered world heritage sites alongside such greats as the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal and the Valley of the Kings. Though some thought Gladwyn Bush, aka Miss Lassie, a madwoman, the 89-year-old eccentric who painted her visions on these walls, will go down in history as a cultural legend of Grand Cayman. Visit Miss Lassie's House on South Church Street, George Town.

Photo by Cayman compass ft Audrey Rogers.

Photo by Cayman compass ft Audrey Rogers.

Davinoff’s Concrete Sculpture Garden

Davinoff's Concrete Sculpture Garden in Grand Cayman houses a multitude of towering Cayman-themed sculptures. The garden is filled with concrete statues and sculptures of intricately crafted, lifelike animals that are indigenous to the Caribbean. Sculptor David Quasius first started crafting these sculptures many years ago on a visit to the island during his youth. Ever since, during each visit, David has created and shared his creations with the general public. You can find the Concrete jungle of Caymanian creatures on South Church Street, George Town, Cayman Islands.


Pedro St. James Castle

Often termed “the birthplace of democracy” in the Cayman Islands, Pedro St. James Castle was built in 1780 and is set in over seven acres of manicured lawn. In 1835, it was here that they announced to the Caymanian community that slavery had ended in the British Empire. Visit the castle for an informative tour of the ground, a multimedia show or an authentic Caribbean rum tasting at the Outpost bar. Open daily 9am-5pm. Pedro Castle Road, Savannah

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Schooner Launch Sites

Caymanians are celebrated craftsman of Schooner vessels, sailing ships crafted from the finest quality tropical hardwoods to combine artistry, usability, and durability. These vessels were traditionally rigged with fore-and-aft sails on their two or more masts. Schooner launching ramps were cut into the iron-shore or coastal rock, and to this day these can be observed in and around central Georgetown. Whenever a Schooner vessel was ready to be launched to sea, the whole of Grand Cayman town would gather ashore to celebrate its maiden voyage.

For more information on Grand Cayman's rich cultural heritage, make sure to visit the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, 558 South Church Street, Georgetown.

The Best Parks in Cayman

It's no secret that parks are important contributing factors to the overall health of our communities and environments. Parks play a vital role in our everyday lives, improving mental health and providing us with all manner of social, environmental, economic, and health benefits.

Parks and protected public lands not only assist with our mental and physical wellbeing, but they benefit our environment - providing habitats for wildlife and protected species (in our case the Blue Iguana) and offering people a place to connect with nature and each other. Though Cayman is small and suffers similar sustainable development challenges as most islands, it prides itself on it’s parks and the efforts made to preserve their natural, exotic beauty.

Dart Park

The Dart Family Park was founded in 2005 and has been a favourite amongst families ever since.  The Dart Family Park is one of the largest public parks in Grand Cayman. The park has 180-degree ocean views, a 'lickle' beach area as well as an amphitheatre. The picturesque picnic spots are shaded by wild almond trees, towering palms and dotted throughout with indigenous, sweet-smelling tropical flowers.

Botanic Park

The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a two-acre park boasting exotic tropical wildflowers, lush greenage and some of Cayman's most beautiful native birds. The Botanic Park is home to the Woodland trail, the Blue Iguana breeding programme and all the indigenous fauna and flora of the Cayman Islands. Take a stroll or relax under a shady palm while you take in the beautiful surrounds.

Photo from botanic-park.ky

Photo from botanic-park.ky

Barker’s National Park

This park runs over 261 terrestrial beachside acres and is accessible from a barely noticeable path near Pappagallo Restaurant at the farthest end of West Bay. The park offers stretches of secluded space for leisurely activities like splashing in the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean, lounging on its beaches shaded by large mangrove trees or exploring the grounds in search of its variety of indigenous wildlife.

Butterfly Garden

Full and plentiful blooms in springtime in Cayman herald in the arrival of butterfly breeding season at the Cayman Turtle Centre's Butterfly Garden. These fragile little creatures are integral part of the Cayman ecosystem and responsible for the vital process of pollination necessary to keep our biodiverse tropical island region healthy.

Photo by Cayman compass

Photo by Cayman compass

Mastic Trail and Reserve

Cayman's most iconic and well-known hiking trail can be found in an expansive nature reserve. The Mastic Reserve is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora unique to the Cayman Islands and or the Caribbean. Though the Cayman Islands are no longer abundant in the larger tree types like mahogany and logwood trees, the nature reserve and some smaller parks protect the remaining species and some smaller Caribbean varietals such as coconut, thatch palm, seagrape, almond and casuarina (Australian pine). An afternoon meandering through the rich tropical nature reserve is an afternoon well spent, by far one of Cayman's most enjoyable inland activities.

For more information on Cayman's protected parks and nature reserves contact the Cayman Islands Tourism Association or visit their website: www.visitcaymanislands.com



Insider guides : Photographer Chad Munro

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?

Toronto, Canada is where I was born and raised, the baseball diamond and golf course is where I spent most of my days. What brought me to this picturesque island was merely a change of scenery with a short-term forecast, coming up on 3 wonderful years later.  With having West-Indian roots, father is from Grenada, the tropical sunshine and Caribbean lifestyle run in the veins. 

WHAT GOT YOU INTO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY?

What initially started as a hobby developed into a career that I’m extremely fortunate for. With an education and past work experience in Finance & Business, I always felt that something was missing. After taking photos with my iPhone I realized that I loved capturing more than an image. Within every frame there is a story to be told. It was amazing to me that every photo I took on my phone was sending a message. Fast forward a few months and leaving my financial profession, I decided to approach wedding photography, because what stronger message is there than love? I have been so fortunate to travel and do what I love and have come to make lasting friendships with the couples I meet.

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ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO VISIT CAYMAN?

Seven Mile Beach is a must see attraction, with miles of white sandy beaches and blue, clean waters. Unless you are staying on the beach, beach access can be hard due to lack of parking, however parking is available at public, governors, cemetery, and west bay beaches. 

People drive on the left and is not that hard; just follow the cars. There are lots of roundabouts; you have to yield to cars on the right and once inside you have the right of way.

Because the country is a religious nation, Sundays are taken very seriously. Every business except gas stations, resorts, some restaurants are closed all day Sunday. Bars stop serving alcohol by 12:00am Sunday. 

The island is a conservative place in which that beach attire is inappropriate outside the beaches, even though it is a casual place. Cover your attire when leaving.

With growing development on the island, traffic can be quite bad to and from Georgetown during rush hours when cruise ship traffic is at its peak so try and avoid if possible. 

FAVE RESTAURANT FOR BREAKFAST?

With so many great restaurants on the island, its difficult to narrow down to one favourite. Hence why Grand Cayman is known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. A few locations are: Vivo, Anchor & Den, Bread & Chocolate. 

WHERE TO GO FOR LUNCH?

 Vivo, Tukka, Coccoloba, Andiamo, Czech Inn, Chicken Chicken. 

WHERE'S GOOD TO GO FOR DINNER?

 Luca, Casa 43, Aqua, Papagallo.

YOU CAPTURE PEOPLE'S MOST ROMANTIC & SPECIAL MOMENTS, WHERE'S THE MOST ROMANTIC PLACE ON ISLAND IN YOUR OPINION?

Romantic locations vary based on the individuals and their personalities. A stunning and calming sunset view along Seven Mile Beach never disappoints. Also just taking a drive with no destination in mind to witness all the beautiful that the island has to offer .. stargazing on the east / north side, where there is very little light pollution is probably my place to be. 

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 WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED IN CAYMAN?

Be aware of all the marriage requirements in terms of all the right documentation that is required. Dress accordingly to the weather and style of the wedding. The Cayman dress code is typically smart Casual unless formal is indicated. Plan accordingly regarding buying the wedding necessities. The island has a vast array of shops for gifts and favours, but nowhere near the same variety you’ll find in the US and Europe. 

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MUST-SEE ATTRACTION:

I’d recommend getting off the beaten path and explore .. botanical gardens, mastic trail and then experiencing Stingray City via a jet ski tour. Being on the water, zipping across the crystal clear waters is an exhilaration that’s difficult to match. 

 ANY EXCITING TRAVEL PLANS WITH YOUR CAMERA?

I’m quite fortunate to be in a position to travel the world with my camera and capture destination weddings, elopements and general travel imagery. Some of the upcoming locations for 2019 are: Moab-Utah, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, Ukraine, North Carolina, Toronto, Nova Scotia. 

Things to do with Kids in the Cayman Islands

Things to do with Kids in the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman is renowned for being one of the most family-friendly holiday destinations in the Caribbean. The small paradise island is essentially a sunny playground fringed with tropical waters and palm trees, overflowing in fun activities for children of all ages.

Insider Guides : Model/influencer Amber Smith from city to sand

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?

Born and raised in the heart of Toronto, I took a chance on the island to avoid winter in 2015.  

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO VISIT CAYMAN?

Instagram is a great tool to do some research of the island's offerings, from local food tours to scuba diving - it helps to see photo and video content to plan your dream vacation.

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FAVE RESTAURANT FOR BREAKFAST?

Although it is technically “Brunch” - the Marriott is my favourite spot for breakfast on a Sunday. They have the cutest mason jars filled with the most delicious breakfast bites. The vibe is awesome and the mimosas are not to be missed!

WHERE DO WE GO FOR LUNCH?

Lunch is easy, South West Collective has a gorgeous air-conditioned view of George Town and they even have a fully stocked bar, which you wouldn't expect from their super delicious (yet health-conscious) menu. The food is carefully curated to look as good as it tastes and their staff are the most friendly! 

DINNER SPOTS?

There are so many incredible restaurants here in Cayman you can’t go wrong but I always enjoy Edoardo’s! On a Friday night you can finish up and cross over into Barolo where the party is just getting started on their patio. It’s always a see and be seen hotspot and a good time! They have one of my favourite wines there, Tamber Bey Deux Cheveaux Chardonnay from Napa Valley. 

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MUST-SEE ATTRACTION:

Must see attraction is a famous 7 mile sunset! The best spot to see this from is ON the water. The guys @cobaltcustomcharters cruise over to east end but can also charter along the beautiful 7 mile with pickups nearly anywhere along the famous strip of beach. 

WHERE DO YOU WORK OUT?

The Performance Lab is the spot. From Boxing to HIIT class and high quality personal training with the best on island, these guys know how to transform a body and lifestyle and make working out fun. My favourite class is their Friday Happy Half Hour with DJ and glow in the dark strobe lighting, a must try! 

YOU ALWAYS LOOK SO FLAWLESS, WHAT ARE THE BEST SPA TREATMENTS ON ISLAND?

No.11 Spa has saved my life here in Cayman. The sun and salt are incredible during a beach day but long-term my skin needs extra TLC. Nurse Kelly at No.11 specializes in incredible treatments that have rid me of any blemishes and left my skin glowing. Highly recommend.

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WHAT'S THE BEST PLACE TO SPEND A WEEKEND IN CAYMAN? 

I recently enjoyed a Staycation at The Ritz. The outstanding service and quality of every aspect of that property is astounding. The service as a whole, the food and the cocktails are all top notch. 

WHAT SHOULD BE ON OUR CAYMAN BUCKET LIST?

Rum Point On a Sunday! I’ve never seen anything like it. If you’ve got a group of friends - Cayman Private Charters has the most gorgeous 60 foot Sea Ray with a hidden jetski on board. 

HIDDEN LOCAL SPOTS?

If I told you this, they wouldn’t be hidden anymore! What I can tell you is PRIME FOOD TOURS is your guide to the best local hidden gems on island! 

BEST PLACE FOR A SUNDOWNER?

This one is tough - can I give my top 3? Calicos, Palms and Rackhams. Not in any particular order. 

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Insider guides : Underwater Photographer Irene Corti Insider guide to Cayman

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO MOVE HERE?

I am originally from Milan, Italy. But for the past ten years I’ve been living in few different countries like Jamaica, Australia and Thailand. I moved here for the pristine water of Cayman… a paradise for an underwater photographer like me.

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WHAT GOT YOU INTO PHOTOGRAPHY? ADVICE FOR PEOPLE LOOKING TO VISIT CAYMAN?

Coming from Italy, I grow up surrounded by amazing art and artists, there you get inspired from everything that is around you and from all the art exhibits we have. I think a big impact on me was made from the book “The Decisive Moment” by Cartier-Bresson, it opened my eyes on photography and on the way I look at the world. I always had the need to create and to express myself, before was with painting but when I started traveling around I discovered that photography was the perfect fit for me. A good thing about Cayman is that its a small country, really easy to get around or to fly to the sister islands from Grand Cayman. It’s also a safe island, perfect for “Solo Travelers” or for a “Girl Only” vacation type.

FAVE BEACH?

My favorite beach is Spotts Beach, it never feel’s busy and snorkeling is phenomenal … perfect spot for swimming with the green sea turtles.

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FAVE HIDDEN SPOT?

My hidden spot is underwater, I love the Gamma Wreck on the south part of Seven Mile Beach. Really shallow wreck, perfect for underwater photography or for a fun afternoon of snorkeling.

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WHAT'S THE BEST LOCAL HANGOUT?

I really like to hang out at Macabuca on the North West point of the island, it’s a fantastic cozy oceanfront tiki bar with amazing food and drinks.

FAVOURITE SUNSET SPOT? I love watching the sunset on Seven Mile beach near Boggy Sand road, it’s really quite never crowded and picture perfect.

YOU SHOOT A LOT OF WEDDINGS, WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR PEOPLE GETTING MARRIED IN CAYMAN?

Cayman is perfect for destination weddings for the easy flights we have from the USA daily. Plus you can’t beat the turquoise water and white sand of the world famous Seven Mile Beach for a dream wedding setting. Just be prepared for the hot weather when you pick up your wedding attire, especially for the groom, standing on the beach with a full suit can get hard.

WHAT MAKES CAYMAN SO UNIQUE?

I fell in love with Cayman for the underwater world, with the 100+ feet of visibility underwater and this is one of the reasons Cayman is one of the best diving destinations in the world.

WHAT SHOULD BE ON OUR CAYMAN BUCKET LIST?

A must is taking a boat tour out to Stingray City sandbar, where you can interact with the southern stingray. A really amazing experience.

WHAT'S NEW WITH YOU, ANY EXCITING TRAVEL PLANS WITH YOUR CAMERA?

I just spent the past 11 months traveling in North America in a Van, from the Florida Key all the way to Arctic Ocean in Canada to Alaska and back to Florida touching all the 50 states… it was a journey of 36 thousand miles and thousands of photographs! Next, before settling down in Cayman again, I am planning a European road trip with another Van. It seems like at the moment I can’t stop seeking beauty all around the world but Cayman has a special place in my heart.

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A Guide to Pirates Week

A Guide to Pirates Week

Pirates Week is a personal favourite for many of the locals in Cayman. It’s become a lovely tradition for families, teenagers and adults alike. It’s been going on for over 40 years and is still wildly popular. 

The traditional activities begin with the ‘invasion’ of the pirates, capturing the Governor and taking him/her on-board their pirates ship. Everyone lines the streets in town to watch this light-hearted, pirate-filled showcase. Following this, the festivities are kicked off with a bang! Quite literally, as wonderful fireworks light up the night.

Events You Can't Miss in Cayman

Events You Can't Miss in Cayman

Cayman carnival season draws crowds from all corners of the globe. The parade forms part of a weeklong celebration of all things Caribbean - including dance, music, food and drink. Feathered, bejewelled and beguiling creatures adorned in tiny colourful costumes, sashay - drink in hand - down the streets of Cayman. In coordinated formation they trail behind big decorated floats, complete with blaring soca music and mobile bar.

Every year the celebration seems to outdo that of the year before, as participants enthusiastically endeavour to outshine and out-sparkle their efforts made the year befor

Top Things To Do in Cayman Brac

Top Things To Do in Cayman Brac

Set like a topaz jewel in the Cayman-crown, the Easternmost of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac, aspires to and debatably achieves in outshining the other islands with its natural splendour. Not only does the tranquil Brac offer lush greenery and reefs rich in wildlife but it offers pristine palm-fringed beaches and is decorated with the history and traditions of the island's people. Its coral reefs and shallow aquamarine bays are an important resource for the fishermen of Cayman Brac and act as an inviting tourist haven. It's steep limestone cliffs lure adventure-seekers from near and far while its natural beauty and sensational sunsets are soul-soothing to weary island-hoppers looking to unwind.

Nightlife in Cayman

Nightlife in Cayman

In the evening when the warm sun sets on lazy Seven Mile beach days, the cool Caribbean night air fills with the welcome noise of soca sounds and laughter. Cayman comes alive after dark and its nightlife is of the Caribbean’s finest. From bustling beach bars to premium pubs and swanky nightclubs, it's night-time entertainment offering is diverse and colourful. Whether you are in the mood for live music, to karaoke your heart out or to dance the night away, Cayman offers something for every mood and every person. How you decide to let your hair down is completely up to you.

The Best Places To Get Local Food in Cayman

The Best Places To Get Local Food in Cayman

As the avid traveller knows, if you want to eat well, eat local.

There are many reasons to support local food establishments and farmers and enjoying locally sourced foods. Not only does it taste better, but it is also healthier. While local produce is allowed to ripen naturally, and so retains its nutrients, food that travels long distances is often picked before it’s ripe and chemically treated to survive the long journeys.