Grand Cayman, the largest island of the Cayman Islands, is just a short flight from Miami, making it the ideal Caribbean weekend break. Besides relaxing on the beach, you can also sight-see, shop or experience the beauty of the underwater world. These though are my favorite experiences on Grand Cayman.
Let's start with the famous Seven Mile Beach, on the west side of Grand Cayman. It is often mentioned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world thanks to its endless stretch of white sand. You can sit back, relax and read a book or just soak up the sun. If you like being more active, there are plenty of options to choose from, for example stand up paddle boarding or snorkeling. The advantage of trying something new like this is that the warm water of the Caribbean Sea isn’t the worst to fall into when you are trying to stand up on your paddle board, it might even be refreshing! Most of the big resorts are located along this stretch of beach, as well as some of the best restaurants on the island making Seven Mile a great place to spend the entire day.
According to locals, decades ago fishermen coming back from a day on the water returned to the shallow waters of the northwest corner of Grand Cayman’s North Sound to clean their catches, throwing squid and fish back into the water. Before long they noticed mammoth beasts congregating, attracted by the new food source. These weren't monsters though, they were gigantic stingrays and those fishermen started a tradition that continues today.
Stingray City is the most popular attraction on Grand Cayman, attracting cruise passengers and resort guests alike. Take one of the many catamaran tours offered to the sandbar and enter the crystal clear water and play with the beautiful stingrays as they glide effortlessly around you. You can even feel their soft skin and give them a belly rub for good measure. There is nothing quite like this unforgettable experience.
Once you've had your fill of the sand and sea, make your way to George Town, the capital of the Cayman Islands. Here your spirit will be uplifted by the bright and colorful Caribbean-style buildings. You can wander around the charming town and go shopping crazy, from souvenirs to designer clothes to jewelry and local crafts, they have it all.
Be on the lookout for special events like Pirates Week and Batabano. Pirates Week Festival is the National Festival of the Cayman Islands and it's held during the month of November, usually for 11 days. Batabano or Cayman Carnival Batabano is the Caribbean Carnival held in the Cayman Islands in May. During this time there are two parades in Grand Cayman and the entire island takes on a party feeling.
FunFact: The word Batabano comes from the island's history in turtling as it is the word given to the tracks turtles leave when they drag themselves on the beach to nest in the sand.
Which activity do you want to try first?
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There's nothing more Isabelle loves than traveling the world, camera in hand, experiencing new adventures and discovering new destinations. She aims to be an inspiration and help others in their ventures to explore the world. Follow Isabelle at Isabelle's Travel Guide, on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
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