cayman islands

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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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 Life Diaries: Britta Bush

Island Life 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!

Insider Guides: Paradise Appreciation with Jade Webster

Insider Guides: Paradise Appreciation with Jade Webster

Hello! I’m Jade Webster and I am extremely lucky to call the Cayman Islands home! Born in the '90’s to a Scottish mum and a Caymanian dad. My younger sister and I didn’t particularly grow up in a district, as we seemed to move quite a bit. Growing up in the Cayman Islands was and still is pretty amazing! 

Highlights from KAABOO 2019

Highlights from KAABOO 2019

It’s official; this past weekend, KAABOO Cayman debuted on the shores of the world famous Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman and made island history. The sold-out event brought together live entertainment fans from around the world while hosting one of the largest festivals of its kind to ever hit the Caribbean. Not only did KAABOO Cayman deliver a top-tier lineup of chart toppers and hit makers such as The ChainsmokersDuran DuranZEDD, and Jason Derulo, but the two-day event also offered guests an elevated weekend for all “five senses under the sun” with live contemporary art installations, culinary demonstrations, top-tier comedy, and health + spa treatments.

What makes Cayman the perfect place for a Wellness Retreat

What makes Cayman the perfect place for a Wellness Retreat

When you finally get to step away from your desk and turn your out-of-office on, the last thing you want to do is worry about actually being able to relax while on vacation. So, stop stressing and book your flight down to Cayman because everything you need to unwind can be found at your fingertips, on our slice of paradise. Haven’t started planning your trip, yet? Here are our top five reasons why Cayman should be your top choice for your next wellness retreat. 

Insider Guides: Growing up in Cayman with Alyssa Gilbert

HI ALYSSA, WHY DON’T YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?

I’m Alyssa Gilbert. I’m 19, from West Bay and was raised as an only child with a half-sister. My family works in legal, government, and IT related fields. My hobbies include shopping, going to the beach, filming videos, reading, and my new favourite: going to afternoon tea.

WE LOVE TEA! SO WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?

Currently, I’m a fashion student at London College of Fashion studying fashion media (styling and creative direction), and creating fashion related content for my Youtube channel, xoallyy 

SO WHERE ARE YOUR TOP 3 PLACES TO GO SHOPPING FOR THE BEST FASHION?

My favorite places to shop in cayman are NKY in Camana Bay, Funky Monkey at Governors Square, and Kirk Freeport for my accessories.

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT CAYMAN?

My favourite thing about Cayman is by far the beach. It’s the only place that I feel at peace and could stay there for hours on end. Not to mention it’s the only place I can get my color back after living in London for a while!

WORST THING ABOUT THE ISLAND? PET PEEVE?

My least favorite things about Cayman at the moment are the lack of untouched land, the ridiculous amounts of litter everywhere, and the pesky mosquitoes in the afternoon.

CAN YOU NAME 4 OF YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS FOR US?

My four favourite restaurants on island are Ragazzi, Casanova, Papagallos and Copper Falls. I LOVE Italian food, and Copper Falls is on a whole other level of deliciousness!

WHAT ABOUT THOSE HIDDEN GEMS? TELL US ABOUT SOME COOL PLACES!

Some “hidden gems” that I enjoy going to for some peace and quiet are the side beaches in East End (through a path of trees on the side of the road) and Boggy Sands. For some good eats, I like Di Kit-Chin Jerk Stand and Grape Tree Cafe.

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FAVOURITE LOCAL DISH AND WHERE CAN YOU FIND IT?

My favorite local dish is Cayman Style Beef with rice and beans and you can find it in my grandmother’s kitchen, Island Taste restaurant, and anywhere else that sells local cooked food.

WHAT ABOUT A COCKTAIL, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO GO FOR SUNSET DRINKS?

My favourite place for sunset drinks is Royal Palms because you have a perfect view of the sunset over the ocean from the bar, and there are 2 for 1 drink specials (which is always a win!)

Insider Guides: Brittany Kelly

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, BRITTANY!

I’m a born and raised Caymanian. My Caymanian roots run deep. My father was born in Jamaica to a Caymanian mother and my mother was born in the US to Caymanian parents. They both moved to Cayman full time in their teens and met while working at Foster’s Food Fair and then got married and had me. 

WHAT DO YOU DO HERE IN CAYMAN?

I’m a film writer & producer. I work in Cayman and the US and I’m currently based in LA. I just wrapped on two feature films in South Florida. In Cayman I produced the Frank E Flower’s short film Tocsin. This short was made with an all Caymanian crew, which was a really exciting and proud moment for me. To have so many talented local individuals working and collaborating on one project was amazing. 

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THAT IS AMAZING! SO WHERE WOULD YOU SEND PEOPLE HERE IF THEY ARE INTERESTED IN THE FILM INDUSTRY?

There are so many talented individuals working in the film industry in Cayman. The thing about Cayman is that it’s so small, so everyone knows or knows of everyone. If you’re looking to get involved in the film industry I recommend going to local film screenings, talking with the filmmakers, camera crew and actors (they don’t bite!) I would also recommend the newly found record label GoldFyr, where local Cinematographer Samuel Lancaster is holding film lessons and they also provide film equipment rentals.

TOP 3 PLACES FOR BREAKFAST?

Anchor & Den Brunch at The Marriott: I am obsessed with this brunch. Their food never disappoints, their atmosphere is so serene and the staff is so lovely. 

Over The Edge: For me, it is a bit of a haul to get there, but the view and their delicious Ackee & Codfish makes the drive worth it. 

Kirk’s Supermarket: They have a full spread and it’s so easy to grab and go. Their cornmeal porridge is pretty delicious as well. 

SO WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE FOR A TRUE CAYMANIAN DISH?

There’s a place in Savannah behind the Wendy’s and Rubis called Chill Spot. I love their oxtail and pepper steak. 

FAVOURITE PLACE TO BE IN CAYMAN AND WHY?

I love being at my grandma’s house. It’s right near the airport, so we can hear the planes landing. She has a lot of large mango and breadfruit trees. Just watching the sunset through those trees reminds me of how beautiful life is on this tiny island. 

WHERE WOULD SEND PEOPLE FOR DIVING? FISHING? SNORKELING?

For fishing and a good time out on the water I would send them to Get Bent Charters. For a simple snorkel I would recommend Smith’s Cove on a calm day or anywhere on the waterfront on a day with no cruise ships in. 

ANY ACTIVITIES PEOPLE SHOULD TRY WHEN THEY'RE HERE?

If you’re interested in local culture and history, check out The National Gallery, The Museum, Pedro Castle and The Botanical Gardens. I’m obsessed with the bioluminescence kayaking tour, it’s absolutely stunning to experience. And Brunch, always brunch.

How to spend a weekend in Little Cayman

How to spend a weekend in Little Cayman

Once arriving the paradise that is Little Cayman, prepare to take in all of what this beautiful little Island has to offer. You’re going to want to get around the Island by bicycle - because the island is only about ten miles long and let’s face it, bikes are much more fun. The first attraction you have to check out has to be Owen Island. It’s an even smaller Island off the south-west coast; basically if you walk along the beach you’ll see it eventually.

10 Caymanian Phrases You Should Know About

10 Caymanian Phrases You Should Know About

One of the best parts about living in Cayman is the locals and the stories they have to tell. Although English is our first language, the Caymanian dialect has it's own unique twist that make this island even more spectacular and special. Taken from 'the Cayman Islands Dictionary' by Kevin M. Goring, and in honour of all the native Caymanians out there, here are a few of our favourite Caymanian phrases.

5 Reasons Why You Need A Cayman Mutt In Your Life

5 Reasons Why You Need A Cayman Mutt In Your Life

Cayman Mutts, or the politically correct term, 'Cayman Mixes' are a special breed of pooch that are like no other.

Loyal, affectionate and scarily human-like, these puppies will steal your heart and have you locked in for life.

Here are just five reasons why you need one of these adorable canines as a companion.