Tag Archives: cayman islands

A Quick Guide To The Music, Culture And Food Of The Cayman Islands

You can learn a lot from the Cayman Islands by taking a look at the music, culture, and food here. Whether you’re strolling Grand Cayman’s streets or visiting one of the Cayman Islands’ beautiful beaches, you’ll no doubt come into contact with rhythms, people and flavors that make you take notice.

 

Everything to discover on our islands seems to revolve around great tunes, events, and eats, in fact. The sounds of a kitchen band blending jazz and soul surround you one minute before you’re suddenly emerged in a vibrant street art scene or tempting to relax in a beachside bar.

 

The Cayman Islands’ love of reggae and calypso music leads visitors to become entranced nearly anywhere they go. Festivals throughout the year bring together contemporary and classical musicians, and art galleries present rotating and permanent exhibitions that echo our people’s energy.

 

There is so much to discover on the Cayman Islands and so much to learn about those who call the islands home. Architecture in a full spectrum astounds. From Old World buildings to modern design, it all merges seamlessly alongside the Cayman population.

 

Here is just a quick guide to the music, culture, and food that’s in store for you in the Cayman Islands:

 

Pedro St. James National Historic Site

 

At the Pedro St. James National Historic Site, take a step back in time to experience the heritage and history of the Cayman Islands. Popularly known by residents as “Pedro’s Castle,” the grand great house that sits on the site is the oldest stone structure on all of the islands.

 

Many tales, cultural and historic, come out of and are inspired by this spot. Pedro’s Castle was built in 1780 by Willian Eden, a wealthy Englishman who used the house as a plantation, jail, courthouse and government assembly. Created by slave labor, the site is said to be haunted and jinxed, yet it has survived hurricanes, vandalism, and fires.

 

Cayman Cookout and the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean

 

Many visitors who come to the Cayman Islands want to discover the best food and drink around. It’s no wonder to us locals why they call the islands, in particular, Grand Cayman, the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.

 

World-renowned chefs have their restaurants on our islands and you’ll find amazing artisanal fare nearly anywhere you go. During the first part of every year, the annual Cayman Cookout in January offers some of the tastiest cuisine by some of the most talented chefs on the planet.

 

Many food festivals take place throughout the year on the Cayman Islands, and there are always bars and pubs serving up their delicacies. You’ll meet some incredible master mixologists right here near South Bay Beach Club, in fact. Live music almost always accompanies cocktails on Grand Cayman.

 

Music and the Arts

 

Music, film, visual arts, theatre, design, and fashion are celebrated daily on the Cayman Islands. It’s not hard to find movie screenings, art shows and comprehensive festivals that showcase local and international artistic talent.

 

Enjoy attending art discussions, dress-up events, and other parties and festivities when you’re visiting the Cayman Islands.

 

Need someone to help you plan the perfect visit to our islands? Get insider tips for the best things to do and see on Grand Cayman and beyond by talking to one of our staff members.

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  • November 21st, 2018

Surfing In Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands may not be known as the top surfing spot in the world and they don’t have the biggest waves, but they’re perfect for riding some good swells. The occasional northwestern winds that blow through the islands during winter (December through March) generate powerful waves especially off of Seven Mile Beach.

 

There are some great places for beginners to learn to surf in the Cayman Islands. Most of the beaches have nice sandy floors, which makes dealing with the learning curve a bit easier.

 

From June until November, you’ll usually find the best surf at South Sound Community Centre and at Mariners Cover. These are not the most ideal spots for beginners, though, as there are sea urchins and coral on the bottom that may prove dangerous for the less-than-skilled.

 

Even though the Cayman Islands is comprised of 3 islands, most people who want to surf stick to hitting the waves at Grand Cayman, the biggest of the islands. If not for the surf, perhaps just for the fact that there’s so much to do on Grand Cayman when a surf session is through.

 

Definitely hit Seven Mile Beach and Mariners Cove on Grand Cayman.

 

Seven Mile Beach

 

On Seven Mile Beach, white sand stretches for as far as you can see. The ocean is a beautiful shade of blue, one that you don’t witness that often in nature. Yes, you may have found Heaven here and Heaven definitely should include a few hours of surfing.

 

Seven Mile Beach sits on Grand Cayman’s western shore and it’s a place that many people want to visit, to surf or to just relax and soak in the beauty of the space. For surfing, some may find the waves a bit mild. But, many enjoy the leisurely pace at which they can catch waves and take in a fun adventure.

 

The Best Times to Surf in the Cayman Islands

 

Any time of year is great for surfing in the Cayman Islands if you’re a beginner. Average swells are anywhere from 3 to 5 feet. If you’re looking for waves larger than that, visit the Cayman Islands between December and March. Keep in mind that late summer and early fall are our hurricane seasons and you may beat a tropical storm or two.

 

Part of the beauty of the Cayman Islands is that flat spells are just another excuse to enjoy the slow island life that we all treasure here. If the waves get too tame for you, hit up one of the restaurants or bars around Seven Mile Beach and South Bay Beach Club.

 

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  • November 6th, 2018

20 Fun Facts About The Cayman Islands

Ready to visit the Cayman Islands? While you’re counting down the days to your trip, prepare for the fullest adventure here possible by studying up on these 20 fun facts about the Cayman Islands. You’ll learn a little bit more about our culture, which will only help you enjoy your stay even more than you thought possible.

 

  1. There are more than 100 nationalities living in harmony in the Cayman Islands.

 

  1. Our country code is easy to remember. Just dial 345 before making a call to anywhere on our islands.

 

  1. There are no nude beaches on the Cayman Islands. Alcohol is allowed on the sand, but the legal drinking age is 18.

 

  1. The Cayman Islands’ currency fixes to the US$. Our paper currency features a photo of Queen Elizabeth II along with our Coat of Arms that includes a turtle, pineapple, and shield.

 

  1. The Banana Orchid is the national flower of the Cayman Islands.

 

  1. Our stunning Silver Thatch Palms are our national trees.

 

  1. If you want to sing our national song in a bar or anywhere, really, you’ll want to know the words and tune of “He Hath Founded it Upon the Seas.”

 

  1. You’ll find the highest point on all 3 islands on Cayman Brac. It comes in at 140 feet above sea level!

 

  1. Cayman Brac comes from the Gaelic phrase “craggy bluff” because it has a huge Limestone cliff.

 

  1. Liquor stores in the Cayman Islands are open until 10 p.m. You won’t be able to buy any wine, beer or spirits on Sunday at all so stock up!

 

  1. There’s supposedly a treasure on our islands that Neil Walkers, Henry Morgan, and Edward Blackbeard left behind when the pirates occupied Cayman Island in the 18th century.

 

  1. Seven Mile Beach, our islands’ most famous beach, is not actually 7 miles long. It spans 5.5 miles!

 

  1. Christopher Columbus had a good year in the Cayman Islands in 1503. He stumbled upon the islands and named Cayman “Las Tortugas,” Spanish for the turtles he saw all around.

 

  1. The first election in the Cayman Islands happened on December 10, 1831. Roughly 933 people voted.

 

  1. Cayman Crystal Caves, a relatively new tourist attraction in the Cayman Islands, are natural caves that have only been recently discovered and cleared for transit.

 

  1. Hell is officially located in the Cayman Islands. Actually, it’s a top tourist destination in West Bay and it’s a coastal spot with black limestone and rugged edges.

 

  1. Cuba is our nearest neighbor residing about 227 miles north of our beautiful Grand Cayman.

 

  1. Grand Cayman plans to offer 365 dive sites for locals and tourists someday.

 

  1. The 4-mile-deep Cayman Trench is not very far from Grand Cayman but not many divers venture there.

 

  1. If you’re going to rent a car on the Cayman Islands, remember to drive on the left side of the road!

 

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  • October 16th, 2018

5 Things To Know Before You Visit The Cayman Islands

Your visit to the Cayman Islands is sure to be a magical one, but there are some things you can do to make sure it’s as flawless as possible. Our islands are laid-back yet posh, filled with pubs and dotted with charming theatres. To enjoy it all to the fullest, prepare yourself for a Cayman experience by noting these 5 things to know:

 

  1. Go Mostly Casual with Clothing

 

The Cayman Islands call for mostly casual attire and lots of beachwear. Think of shorts, tank tops, sundresses, bathing suits, and flip-flops. The temperature on the islands is quite balmy year-round, so you’re not usually going to need traditional winter clothing. During July, it’s typically around 100F/37C and January often sees weather that’s a still-warm 70F/21C.

 

Even though you’ll probably be at the pool or on the sand for the majority of your trip, you may still want to step out to a nice dinner or see a theatrical production. For those evenings, make sure you have some special dress shoes and clothes to look and feel good in.

 

  1. U.S. Visitors Shouldn’t Need to Buy New Power Plugs

 

The Cayman Islands are a British Colony and people drive on the left here, but we coordinate with the United States when it comes to power plugs. If you’re from the U.S., you can bring your power units from home to charge your laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Travelers with other types of power plugs are wise to bring a multi-board converter plug that can charge all necessary gadgets.

 

  1. The Cayman Islands Uses Two Currencies

 

We use 2 currencies interchangeably in the Cayman Islands: CI (Cayman Island dollars) and U.S. dollars. You’ll find that the CI dollar is roughly 20% higher than the U.S. dollar, and you’ll see that our ATMs dispense money in both currencies.

 

  1. Tipping is Expected

 

Tipping is standard practice in the Cayman Islands. In fact, many waiters and waitresses automatically add 15 to 18 percent of the cost of your food to your check. Make sure you check your bill before you pay to see if you should add a tip.

 

  1. There’s More to Do than Visit Beaches

 

There’s no shortage of beaches on the Cayman Islands. From iconic Seven Mile Beach and its glistening white sand to Stingray City, a sandbar in the middle of a beautiful bay, you’re going to have plenty of places to enjoy the sun and to swim. However, our islands are much more than beaches.

 

We love hosting visitors at our restaurants and bars. Many pubs and dining establishments feature live music, another love of the people of the Cayman Islands. Bring your dancing shoes for a night of salsa and settle into a quaint seaside lounge for cocktails with the sunset as a backdrop.

 

The Cayman Islands features festivals throughout the year, such as Carnival Batabano and the Little Cayman Mardi Gras. We protect wildlife on our islands and we’re always excited to share information on native island species like turtles that live in The Cayman Turtle Farm, a conservation and research center.

 

These 5 tips only brush the surface of what you’ll find on Grand Cayman and its neighboring islands. For other tips on visiting the Cayman Islands, feel free to reach out to our staff.

 

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  • October 10th, 2018

Cayman Cocktail Week

Sip samples and celebrate everything cocktail-y at Cayman Cocktail Week 2018. This fun annual event in the Cayman Islands is in its 6th run and, as usual, the word is it will be the best and biggest Cocktail Week to date.

 

From October 19th to the 26th, locals and tourists will gather almost every day to make their own Gin, go on a historical cocktail tour and meet top industry professionals.

 

Not going to be in the Cayman Islands that week? Not to worry! Throughout October, there will be special branded cocktail menus at various Cayman Island restaurants and bars. You’ll also find great deals on high-end cocktail ware at some Grand Cayman shops. Residents and visitors have fun trying drinks they might not normally order and picking up barware they weren’t necessarily planning to buy.

 

Some of Cayman’s best bartenders are out and about during Cayman Cocktail week, creating masterpieces that you’ll only find here on our islands. Quality events, top-shelf ingredients and, of course, amazing cocktails are the focus of this popular Cayman Islands event.

 

Schedule of Events

 

The following are just some of the fun events that will take place during Cayman Cocktail Week:

 

Shopping and Cocktails

October 3, 2018

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

 

Enjoy complimentary cocktails and 10% off all shopping at Carey’s Karma Closet. This annual pre-cocktail week event is a fun way to get into the spirit of Cayman Cocktail Week and it features many bargains, just in time for the holidays.

 

Cayman Cocktail Tour

October 22, 2018

5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

4 Surprise Destinations

 

This cocktail tour comes with a memorable share of 80s music and plenty of cocktails. Dress up in neon and sunglasses or just come to drink and watch others put on a show. Tickets for the Cayman Cocktail Tour are CI$50 per person and include 4 cocktails, bar bites and transport.

 

Cocktail Workshop with Zacapa Rum

October 24, 2018

7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

CI$90 per person

 

This event is all you need to learn about Zacapa Run from Master Blender Lorena Vasquez. Tickets include a welcome cocktail, tastings of Zacapa 23 and XO and a bottle-your-own cocktail masterclass.

 

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  • October 3rd, 2018

Walk & Wag Fun Run On Grand Cayman

On Saturday, October 14th, the Cayman Islands Humane Society hosts its Walk & Wag Fun Run, a Grand Cayman event that will raise money and awareness of animals in need. From 7 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Cayman Islands locals and visitors (furry friends included) will walk, wag and run for a good cause.

 

All of the proceeds of this fun gathering of people and animals benefit the Cayman Islands Humane Society, an organization that has helped shelter, feed and care for abused and homeless animals for more than 43 years.

 

Registration begins at 6:30 a.m. on event day. The price for entry into Walk & Wag Fun Run is CI$25.

 

The Walk & Wag Fun Run on Grand Cayman begins on Safehaven Drive just a short distance from South Bay Beach Club. Join animal loving residents and tourists, athletes and just people pledging their time and money, and support the importance of neutering and spaying to end overpopulation of Cayman Island animals.

 

All pets are welcome at the Walk & Wag Fun Run.

 

About the Cayman Islands Humane Society

 

The Cayman Islands Humane Society formed in February of 1972 when a winter island visitor named Dr. Wallace R. Eagle placed an ad in the Caymanian Weekly. He urged and invited all people interested in forming a humane society to attend a meeting where interested parties would discuss ways to alleviate the suffering of abused and homeless animals.

 

Just 2 days later, roughly 16 locals gathered to begin the groundwork for the launch of the Cayman Islands Humane Society and many others showed interest in helping. Initially, the association was an informal one with membership. In November of 1973, the Cayman Islands Humane Society was incorporated as a non-profit.

 

During the early years of the Society, volunteers boarded animals and some pets stayed at Cheval Ranch for their temporary home. A Thrift Shop opened in 1975, behind the public library in a rent-free building, as a way to earn money for the animals.

 

From 1994 to 1997, the Cayman Islands Humane Society rented premises on North Sound road. When that structure was auctioned off in 1997 under bank foreclosure, the Society was able to buy their space due to large pledges from two primary donors.

 

The Cayman Islands Humane Society today houses 37 dog kennels, a room just for puppies, a surgery room and a recover space. There is also a large cat adoption area, a playroom, and a quarantine space.

 

To learn more about the Walk & Wag Fun Run and the Cayman Islands Human Society, contact the Society or come talk to one of our friendly staff members.

 

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  • September 25th, 2018

Is There A Best Time Of Year For A Trip To The Cayman Islands?

Many potential visitors to the Cayman Islands ask us about the best time to visit. In response to this question, we always like to ask in return, “What is most important to you about traveling to the Cayman Islands?”

 

For some visitors, the weather is most critical as they either want to sun on the beach in warm temperatures or visit when it’s nice but not so hot. Other travelers find that their ideal trip to the Cayman Islands is in the non-peak season when they have more of a “run of the island” and there are less crowds.

 

Some plan trips to the Cayman Islands around the lowest airfares and accommodation rates. Others want to work around school schedules and even the fun annual events that take place on the Cayman Islands.

 

So, if you’re wondering when the best time of year is to visit the Cayman Islands, consider the following:

 

The Weather is Warm Year-Round

 

Our islands are warm nearly any time of the year, with average highs holding in the 80s F. January and February are the coolest months on the Cayman Islands and you’ll usually enjoy temperatures in the high 60s or mid-70s then. It rains between May and October, but showers typically only last for a few hours at a time. The western islands are generally sheltered from hurricanes, which usually run through the Caribbean from June to November.

 

This means that if you want to sunbathe on the beach, swim in our gorgeous waters, enjoy dinners on the beach and hit the pool all afternoon, you can probably participate in these activities no matter when you come to the Cayman Islands. Snorkeling, taking part in water sports, hiking and other outdoor adventures are part of the year-round culture in the Cayman Islands.

 

Air and Accommodation Rates Drop in the Off-Season

 

You’ll find the best deals on accommodation rates in the Cayman Islands between March and June. This is our “off-season” if you want to call it that because it’s really always “on” on our islands. If you’re looking to get to our islands for a reasonable price and stay in the ultimate lodging for a great deal, plan your trip for a stay between March and June.

 

You may be able to book a first-class plane seat and a spacious, residence-style accommodation at unheard-of prices during these months. Then, you’ll have more budget money to spend on our cool island cocktails and special souvenirs to take back home with you.

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  • September 18th, 2018

Experience the Best of the Cayman Islands With This Customized Itinerary

The Cayman Islands offer an abundance of things to see and do. So much so that many travelers have a hard time choosing what to experience first. From beaches and botanical parks to shopping and dining, there are plenty of ways to make a trip to the Cayman Islands exactly what you want it to be.
If you’re ready for fun on our islands but aren’t quite sure where to begin your adventure, consider following our customized itinerary. We’ve curated a list of some of the top attractions and activities, and some lesser-known gems that will surely be memorable.
Stay a weekend or a week. Squeeze the good times into a couple of days in the Cayman Islands or enjoy a more leisurely experience.
Cayman Kai
Visitors come from around the world to lay out on Cayman Kai and relax in the privacy of this beautiful beach. Cayman Kai sits on the northern tip of Grand Cayman, and it provides the epitome of island life. This secluded beach features stunning sea views and it’s great for swimming. Participate in water sports, splash in the lagoon, and linger under swaying palm trees.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Head to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park to take in natural beauty along with history and culture. This pretty park showcases the simple elegance of traditional Caymanian gardens, and it highlights exotic floral displays. Guests who visit the park leave with an appreciation for nature and preservation, a delicate balance that must be considered by all island inhabitants.
Camana Bay

Camana Bay is a lively town on Grand Cayman that spans 675 acres between the North sound and Seven Mile Beach. The community is a sea-to-sound “village” with places to shop, dine, live, and play. Pedestrian-friendly and easily accessible via Seven Mile Beach, Camana Bay is an ideal destination for a day, afternoon, or evening. Lush landscaping and welcoming courtyards invite locals and tourists to linger and interact. Visit Camana Bay and pick up fresh produce at the weekly farmers market, sit down to cocktails and live music at a bar, browse jewelry and bookstores, swing an hour away on a hammock, or climb the 75-foot Observation Tower.

Cayman Craft Market

During your visit to the Cayman Islands, set aside some time to go to the Cayman Craft Market in bustling Downtown George Town. This one-of-a-kind market features Caymanian crafters selling thatch bags and hats, authentic island jewelry, paintings and woodcarvings, and much more. Peruse vendors offering local spices, jams and jellies, pickles, and delicious snacks.

Seven Mile Beach

A trip to the Cayman Islands isn’t complete without a visit to the famous Seven Mile Beach, one of the Ultimate Beaches in the Caribbean according to Caribbean Travel + Live and TripAdvisor’s 4th Best Beach in the Caribbean. Seven Mile Beach lies on Grand Cayman’s western side and offers sparkling water, coral sand, and a shoreline filled with luxurious properties.

This is just a small sample of the many things to do and see in the Cayman Islands. If you need more ideas for activities and attractions during your stay, simply ask us!

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  • August 14th, 2018

The Five Best Restaurants to Try in Grand Cayman Island

Sure, you go to Grand Cayman Island for lots of great reasons, to lounge on the warm and lovely white sand beaches, swim, snorkel, fish, and boat in the crystal clear blue waters, relax in the luxurious resorts and hotels, and enjoy the native flora, fauna, and culture. Not to mention the vibrant night life.

But if you’re like most people, visiting Grand Cayman to sample the cuisine is probably at the bottom of your list, an afterthought, if it’s there at all. And that’s a shame, because the island has a reputation for some of the best Caribbean cuisine to be found in those waters, at least among foodies.

As a matter of fact, the food should get top billing, right after the beaches. But find out for yourself. Here are five of the best gastronomic experiences that Grand Cayman has to offer.

  • The Cracked Conch – A popular local destination for over 34 years, the Cracked Conch is located on the waterfront on the North West Point of West Bay, and offers some of the most breathtaking views of the ocean to be found anywhere on the island. It specializes in seafood, Caribbean, and International fare, enjoyed in an atmosphere of island chic, with several spacious outside patios. Prices are affordable, with main dinner courses available from $32-$46. Recommended is the Seared Local Snapper, with chorizo and tomato vinaigrette.
  • Calypso Grill – Sited on Morgan’s Harbour, the Calypso Grill is a cozy option with a delightful contemporary and island decor. Watch the boats sail in and out of the bay as you enjoy the Wahoo Escoveitch, deep-fried wahoo served with Jamaican hot peppers and onion vinaigrette.
  • The Brasserie – This George Town eatery just might offer the freshest ingredients around, as it keeps two of the local fishermen on the payroll to supply daily fresh fish, and grows its own vegetables and herbs, as well as breadfruit and banana trees. Prices are low to moderate, and you should try any of the daily catch grilled over hardwood coals.
  • Catch – One of Morgan Harbour’s newest establishments, opened in 2014, it has an excellent waterfront setting with great views and outdoor dining, and a lounge that’s already gaining a reputation for serving up some of the best cocktails in the area. Prices run low moderate, and one of the house specialties is the Grilled Mahi Mahi at $28 for dinner, served with onion and pepper cous cous, roasted corn, chimichurri, and a selection of organic locally grown vegetables.
  • Morgan’s – Located at the recently renovated Cayman Islands Yacht Club, this restaurant features large, open dining areas and an outdoor patio with views of Governor’s Creek and the local yacht fleet. Known for fresh daily seafood, the prices range from low to moderate. Any of their catch of the day entrees will be a winner, but make sure to try the Thai Seafood Curry, a spicy mix of shrimp, mussels, and scallops.

 

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  • January 18th, 2016