sunset

Insider Guides: Local tips from paradise with Alex Cowan

ALEX, WHAT’S HAPPENIN’? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF! WHAT WAS IS LIKE GROWING UP HERE IN PARADISE?

Cayman is definitely an ideal place to grow up. The sense of community while growing up here is my favourite part. “Everyone knows everyone” is a saying you will hear a lot from Caymanians and this is true! Cayman is such a small, tight-knit community and you are not far from the support of family and friends. The safety and beauty of Cayman along with its people make it a perfect place to live and grow.

YOU’RE RIGHT! SO TELL US WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT CAYMAN?

The people of course! There are very few places in the world where you will witness a huge diversity of people from many different backgrounds living together in harmony. We truly are the most welcoming people on earth. We like to call that “Caymankind.” The ability for our people to welcome everyone to our beautiful islands is unique and truly a testament to our lifestyle and attitude.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHANGES YOU SEE ON THIS ISLAND SINCE BEING A KID?

The continuous development. Cayman (especially Grand Cayman) has developed tremendously over the years. The amount of new buildings going up all over the islands with older buildings being removed, has definitely changed how Cayman looks and feels. I remember as a child thinking five stories was high and I now find myself walking past high rises. The amount of development that has happened in Cayman over the years is astonishing and has contributed to our tourism product greatly.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO HERE? AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB/LIFE?

I consider myself an Entrepreneur. I own a few businesses on Island including a 24/7 fitness center and a rideshare web application, which I am hoping to launch very soon. I am also currently doing some part-time work in Real Estate which I am really enjoying. The ability to work on my own schedule is priceless. To do so in one of the most beautiful places on Earth is an amazing bonus.

WE ASSUME YOU HAVE VISITORS, YES? TELL US WHERE YOU WOULD TAKE THE VISITORS FOR SOME DRINKS AND GOOD FOOD?

I would definitely take my visitors to the north side of the island. Rum Point is the perfect spot to have a few frozen mudslides while relaxing in a beach hammock. The drive up also allows for great sightseeing. Back in George Town I would take my visitors to Cayman Cabana, which is a fabulous restaurant on the waterfront serving nice cold cocktails and fresh fish caught by the fishermen who bring their daily catch in right beside the restaurant! They also have a huge selection of unique local dishes. The final place I would take my visitors would be to the northwest point of the island to a bar and restaurant named Cracked Conch Macabuca. You may not be surprised by this but their Cracked Conch (fried conch) is the best on Island. Pair it with a nice cold local beer and a great local bar atmosphere, it’s tough to beat!

AND WHAT ABOUT THE SUNSETS? WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE TO GO?

I have seen some spectacular sunsets on Seven Mile Beach. However, Northwest Point just edges Seven Mile Beach in having the best sunsets on Island. Have a happy hour drink at the bar at Macabuca and watch nature put on a show!

EVERYONE LOVES A NICE DAY OFF, WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOURS?

My ideal days off are spent on the boat on the North Sound. You can’t beat a day on the water! Get some morning fishing in and then spend the afternoon at Rum Point and Starfish Point. Once anchored open the cooler, grab your drink of choice and relax under the sun. Island life at its finest!

PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LOCAL FOOD - WHERE DO YOU GO FOR YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL DISH?

Vivine’s Kitchen in East End is the hot spot for traditional Cayman food. It’s tough to choose a favourite local dish but Vivine’s has it all from Stew Conch to Cayman Style Beef to Cassava Cake for dessert. You name it she has it. Interestingly, her restaurant is her home! Vivine and her cooks prepare island delicacies from her own kitchen. The servers then bring the food out back where her guests are seated around tablesset out in her own backyard. This is a must do for a very traditional Caymankind experience.

WOW! HER PLACE SOUNDS AMAZING! ANY OTHER ADVICE FOR TOURISTS? AS A LOCAL YOU MUST GIVE THEM SOME GOOD LOCAL TIPS! READY AND GO!

Tip #1: Buy and Support Local! Local farmers have so much to offer from fresh fruit and vegetables to fresh beef, pork, honey, hot pepper sauce and everything in between. Get directions for the Farmers Market at the Cricket Grounds and head straight there. Similarly, try our local beers and liquor! We have a lot of great local products to offer.

Tip #2: Mosquito repellent and sunscreen are your best friends. Load up on these two supplies for a more comfortable experience.

Tip #3: Don’t leave out our sister islands! Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are only a short plane trip away and offer so many different activities including caving, rock climbing and fishing. Exploring the caves in Cayman Brac and spending an afternoon on Owen Island in Little Cayman would be the perfect way to end your trip to Cayman.