The Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the Western Caribbean, offers world-class diving at its breathtaking coral reefs, fishing in its azure-blue waters and tanning on its powder-white beaches. In any other location in the world, those would be enough to make it a can’t-miss destination. However, there is so much more here, including destinations you won’t see anywhere else in the world.
Here are five of our favorites:
Seven Miles of Paradise
There are a lot of great beaches in the world. However, many are interrupted by natural impediments, commercialism or private property. Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman poses no such threats. In fact, this pristine stretch of coral-sand beach, azure ocean waters and few, if any, private vendors is as uninterrupted as a beach can be. Stretching along the island’s west side, this unspoiled expanse makes visiting the Caymans worth it all by itself.
No Sting Anywhere
When’s the last time you went swimming with stingrays? No, we’re not crazy, just crazy in love with Stingray City, one of the few places in the world where you can be up close and personal with these remarkable creatures. Imagine wading in three feet of water with more than two dozen tame stingrays above a picturesque sandbar in tranquil tropical waters. It’s an activity you and your entire family will never forget.
Go to Hell
We don’t mean that figuratively, but literally. In this case, Hell is a town in West Bay, Grand Cayman, comprised of about a half of a football field-sized area of short, black limestone formations that someone once remarked must be similar to what hell looks like. Although you cannot walk on these formations, there are platforms where you can get a bird’s eye view. In addition, visiting the blood-red-painted post office and sending a postcard to your friends or family with the postdate from “Hell” is worth the trip itself.
The Shell Game
Cayman Turtle Farm is another destination that allows you to swim with amazing sea creatures. This conservation and breeding center provides a safe habitat for green sea turtles and endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles, and raises turtles for local consumption to help minimize poaching.
More Than a Zoo
Grand Cayman Q.E. II Botanic Park is home to breathtaking flora and fauna, as well as the endangered blue iguana. You’ll never see this combination of palm gardens, orchids, flowers, lily-topped ponds or palm gardens anywhere, nor the lizards, snakes, turtles, agoutis and birds who make this habitat home.
There are many reasons to visit the Cayman Islands, and we’ve only mentioned a handful. Really, though, how many more do you need?