From city to sand : Insider Guide from model/influencer Amber Smith

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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Underwater Photographer Irene Corti gives her 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.

Insider Guides: Fishing tips with PJ

Insider Guides: Fishing tips with PJ

My name is Peter John Balls “PJ”, but know also as Ballsy in general or the fishing community. I was born in Grand Cayman, and spent the better part of life in Cayman besides some school in Canada. My parents migrated here from Jamaica in 1973. My Father was a Barclays Offshore manager who moved & lived throughout the Caribbean and then eventually made Cayman his home.

Island Diaries: Britta Bush

Island Diaries: Britta Bush

I arrived in Cayman 13 years ago as a dive instructor, living and working in the EE, with no car for the first 3 years!  Originally born in Colorado to American Father and German Mother, spent my childhood growing up in Germany, then latter years in Ohio. After stints in Arizona and Mexico, I accidentally settled in the Cayman Islands :) Now married to a West Bay Bush, with a 3-year old son, dog, cat, and plant menagerie.  

Insider Guides: Sean Hennings

Insider Guides: Sean Hennings

I was born in Trinidad to a Caymanian father and Trinidadian mother. We moved to Cayman Brac when I was around 5. My parents then came to Grand Cayman to find work and I stayed in the Brac with my grandparents. Eventually my sisters and I moved over to Grand Cayman to join my parents when they settled into jobs and a house. We lived on Shedden Road in an old style Cayman home which is now the site of the building Anderson’s Square. And that’s pretty much where we grew up until my parents bought a “modern” house on Walkers Rd.

Insider Guides: Cristin (Alexander) Bruton

Insider Guides: Cristin (Alexander) Bruton

Well, I was born in Cayman to a Caymanian mother, Carlene, and a British father, Alistair or 'Alex' as he was fondly known. I consider myself to be pretty lucky having grown up with a large, close-knit family and an idyllic childhood, living at Silver Sands condos and roaming Seven Mile Beach at every waking moment. I was a real beach baby! At seventeen I headed off to boarding school in Canada where I attended Trinity College School (which my husband says reminds him of Hogwarts) and then on to Western University in Ontario to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Psychology. Upon returning to Cayman I threw myself into beach volleyball and then Miss Cayman Islands. And what amazing adventures those were!