If you’re an avid scuba diver, you’ve come to the right place. Considered one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands offer ample opportunities to get up close to the region’s colorful sea life. You’ll find plenty of sites off of Grand Cayman, including the popular Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef and Eden Rock & Devil’s Grotto, but if you’re willing to plan a daytrip to Little Cayman, visitors say the Bloody Bay Marine Park is worth your while. Prefer to sightsee on land? Lace up your hiking shoes and explore the Mastic Trail, or simply don your swimsuit and relax along the postcard-worthy Seven Mile Beach.
Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman)
For several years now, Seven Mile Beach has been lauded as one of the Caribbean’s best beaches. Take one glance at this crescent-shaped shore and one sniff of the soft, coral sand and you’ll easily understand why. Many of Grand Cayman’s best resorts are situated on Seven Mile, and there are a number of casual beach bars and restaurants, a playground, restrooms and showers to boot. What’s more, it’s also a great spot to try snorkeling for the first time – the clear water allows snorkelers to see the vibrant fish and beautiful coral.
Recent visitors enjoyed the calm waves and soft sand even though there were heavy crowds. Reviewers say Seven Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful places in the world, affording ample opportunities to snorkel and stand-up paddleboard, as well as build sand castles and take long walks.
Mastic Trail (Grand Cayman)
If you’re a nature lover, you should definitely add the Mastic Trail to your list of Grand Cayman must-dos. The trail is a 200-year-old gravel path that winds through a native mangrove swamp and a 2 million-year-old woodland area, surrounded by some of the island’s most colorful and rare plant life. The 2.3-mile trail (one-way) is preserved as a flat, beginners hike by the Cayman Islands National Trust, though some recent travelers said there is a section where scrambling is required and as such you’ll want to wear the appropriate footwear. Others recommend wearing bug repellant as the mosquitoes can be relentless. Because it’s sheltered from the sea breeze, the trail can get quite hot and humid. If you’re planning a trip, you’ll have a more pleasant experience if you visit in the morning.
You’ll need at least two or three hours to enjoy the Mastic Trail on a guided tour (held on weekday mornings); each tour costs 25 Cayman Island dollars (or about $30) for adults and 12 Cayman Island dollars (around $18) for kids 12 and younger. Contact the Cayman Islands National Trust to arrange your visit. You can also choose to hike the trail on your own for free, just make sure to pick up a map. You’ll find the trail about 15 miles east of George Town in central Grand Cayman. Parking is free. The trail is accessible every day.
Cemetery Beach and Reef (Grand Cayman)
Cemetery Beach is situated on the northern end of Seven Mile Beach. Secluded from the hustle and bustle and shaded by Casuarina and Sea grape trees, Cemetery Beach offers spectacular views south to George Town and North towards West Bay. Best at sunset when the sky puts on its spectacular display of colour.
Fantastic snorkeling is within easy reach. Swim straight out to the nearest coral head and see what you can find. Sea fans, staghorn coral, sea sponges, nudibranchs, blennies, and a myriad of colourful reef fish to name a few. Further out, you’ll see the dive site of the famous USS Kittiwake.