Glittering greeny-blue seascapes framing a spectrum of sandy beaches; from snow-white to strawberry blonde, lined with luxurious resorts and bleached by endless sunshine - it sounds like a dream, but in the Cayman Islands it's a reality.
Floating happily between the sister islands, Cayman Brac & Little Cayman is Grand Cayman. The capital George Town, with its colorful boats docked at the postcard-perfect harbour offers a rich blend of cultures while in the West & the East, you'll find a sprinkling of quaint, well-manicured Caymanian houses and fishermen wading in the cool waters.
Here's a quick guide to Grand Cayman.
WHERE TO STAY
The island is jam-packed with luxurious resorts and beach-front villas. If you want to be at the heart of where everything is happening, choose to stay on Seven Mile Beach. Close to the Camana Bay shops, restaurants and bars as well as a bunch of brilliant eateries along West Bay Road, if you want the ease of walking to find dinner and drinks this is the spot.
Go off-the-beaten-path a little way out east to Bodden Town & East End and you'll get a taste of the authentic Caribbean. You'll hear the pounding of dominoes slamming on wooden tables as the locals cool off in the beach cabanas. Follow your nose to the closest fish fry and you'll experience Caymanian cooking and be hooked.
WHAT TO DO
- Kiss a stingray at the Sandbar (Stingray City)
- See the starfish at Starfish Point & grab dinner at Cayman Kai / Rum Point
- Have a Cayman lemonade and watch the sunset on Seven Mile Beach
- Shop 'til you drop at Camana Bay
- Rent a car and explore the districts, West Bay, Bodden Town, East End, George Town.
- Spend the day bronzing on one of the gorgeous beaches
- Take a flight over to the sister islands, go diving and chill out.
- Check out: 10 must-do experiences in Cayman for more
- For the budget-conscious check out our post: 10 things to do in Cayman that are completely free.
- For the lovebirds: Top 10 romantic things to do in Cayman
- Watch a game of dominoes and mingle with the locals in Bodden Town/ East End
- Eat your way around the island, check out This is Cayman for videos & recommended restaurants ( Logic channel 36)
- Check out some local art at one of the galleries
- Explore the Crystal Caves and the Mastic Trail
WHAT TO EAT
Cayman is the culinary capital of the Caribbean and it has undeniably earned its mark on the map. You'll find high-end, upscale restaurants neighboring charming, rustic shacks on the side of the road. Pick a country and you'll find a restaurant or cafe that specializes in that particular cuisine and pulls it off phenomenally.
Make sure you try a few of the staple Caymanian dishes like coconut rundown or some of these 10 Cayman-style dishes you need to try. 'Eating-on-the-go' has become a trend in Cayman, check out The best places to get street food in Cayman to track down the best street-eats on island.
Find yourself in Cayman in January, make your way to the festival greens for Taste of Cayman - a jaw-dropping culinary journey that's all about over-indulging in tasty bite-sized snacks, sinful desserts and hand-crafted cocktails.
WHAT TO BUY
- Fresh coconuts from the Farmers Market at Camana Bay (on Wednesdays)
- Tortuga Rum Cake and Tortuga Rum
- Go duty-free shopping in George Town, check out Diamonds International and the local vendors at the fish market
- Caymanite jewelry to take home
- Stock up on beachwear and gorgeous bikinis at Sand Angels in Camana Bay
- A 'Local-ish' T-shirt
THINGS TO BRING
- High SPF sunscreen for long days on the beach
- Proper footwear and hats if you'll be trekking the trails and caves
- Dive gear if you're going diving - although you will be able to rent equipment
- Underwater camera
- Lightweight, cotton clothes as it gets scorching hot during the summer months
More tips for Caribbean travel here.
A FEW CAYMANIAN PHRASES TO KNOW
Courtesy of the Cayman Dictionary - By Kevin M. Goring
1. Ah Wah (ah-wah)
1. Or what? 2. The end of a question 3. yes or no Eg. "You going home ah wah?"
2. Barriss (bah-riss)
1. An abbreviation of the word "embarrassment", to cause disrespect or unkind attention.Eg. "I see one time Harry had get barriss when he asks one gyal fah her phone number n' she tell him she had ah boyfriend."
3. Bobo (boh-boh) - From West Bay
1. A close and personal friend 2. The object of one's affection. 3. a woman's pet name for a boyfriend or close male friend Eg. " I gah plenty guy friends but Derrick is my bobo."
4. Breddren (breh'drin)
1. A close friend, cousin, or family member 2. a trustworthy friend that is supportive and genuine Eg. " Sometimes when I bored I juss go down by my breddren house n' cool out."
5. Charge Up (cha'aje up)
1. Extremely drunk and rambunctious 2. disorderly 3. wildly boisterous 4. turbulently active and noisy Eg. "Don't mess with Renny when he charge up. He doon' business bout nuttin anybody det say anyting ta him, gah get diss out"
6. Duppy ( dup-peh)
1. A ghost, shadow or spirit of a dead person 2. a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting the living. Eg. " I hate walking through chrew town when it dark cuz I 'fraid duppy gah ketch me."
7. Wutless (wutt-liss)
1. worthless 2. without worth; of no use, importance, or value; good-for-nothing. Eg. " Lass night, my neighbah call her husband ah wutless man, cuz he loss his job in den went out drinkin' wit his severamce pay."
8. Stoopidness ( stoop-pid-niss)
1. Pure foolishness 2. annoyances and irritants; trouble 3. really outrageous. 4. uncalled for 5. making no sense whatsover Eg. " I think it's pure stoopidness ta go rent movies when I jess pay $1,599.00 fah ah new DSS system."
9. My Sweetums (mye-swee-dum'z )
1. A nickname for a young baby 2. an expression of passion or excitement for something cute; as in a young baby Eg. look ah my sweetums eh? I lowe he lil' pretty eyes."
10. Horse Laugh ( hawr'se-lahf)
1. an uncontrollable outburst of laughter 2. rough and noisy, jolly or rowdy, clamourous, unrestrained laughter Eg. "Dah time when Samueal had run ta he car in da rain n' slip down in one big puddle ah mud, errybody let out one horse laugh, yih-see."
TUNE INTO LOGIC TV THIS IS CAYMAN ON CHANNEL 36 FOR MORE INFO ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
* NOTE: Some of 'This is Cayman' is sponsored content. Check our disclaimer for more details.