Take Your Pick
Bodden Town, Grand Cayman
Guarding My Pirate Booty!!
Pirate Caves - Reputedly used by pirates to store their treasure, Pirate Caves today stores hundreds of Fruit Bats. Visitors with a flashlight in hand climb down a steep ladder, past a treasure chest, and into a red-lighted cave. Walking deeper in, bats startled by your presence, fly past your head to the back of the cave. If you're not a fan of bats, it can be a little disconcerting. The Pirate Cave isn't the only attraction here; there are also dozens of animals including Land Crabs, Hermit Crabs, Agouti, Freshwater Stingrays, Goats, Parrots and more. And be sure to check out the pirate cemetery across the street on your way out.
East End, Grand Cayman
Thar She Blows
Blowholes - When the waves of the Atlantic come crashing on the eastern shores of Grand Cayman, geyser-like Blowholes shoot water into the air as high as 30 feet. The blowholes are naturally formed cracks in the coral rocks and as the waves push underneath the holes, the water is forced up into the air. The bigger the waves, the higher the water shoots out of the blowholes. The waterspouts can be seen from the road or you can climb down the wooden stairs and get a close-up view. Be careful though, every once in a while a huge wave comes in and soaks everything.
East End, Grand Cayman
Ten Sails Monument
Wreck of the Ten Sails - On Feb 8, 1794 ten English sailing ships on their way to America from Jamaica, crashed on the rugged reef near the eastern end of the island. The ships led by the HMS Convert were sailing at night and believed they had passed Grand Cayman. They hadn't. Luckily for the shipwrecked crews, the islanders sprang into action and are credited with saving all of their lives. Legend states that because of their heroic efforts, the people of Grand Cayman were given freedom from taxes by England. Ten Sails Park today features a wonderful "infinity" monument dedicated in 1994 by Queen Elizabeth II, an ocean lookout station, and a couple of wreckage artifacts (from different wrecks).
George Town, Grand Cayman
History of the Caymans
Cayman Islands National Museum - The Cayman Islands National Museum preserves the history of the island with an 8,000 object collection of artworks and cultural artifacts. The art collection is comprised of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and crafts all related to Cayman's history. The Cultural Collection features shipbuilding tools and equipment, cannons, and archaeologically artifacts (from land and sea). The museum is housed in the 6,000 square foot "Old Courts Building" which was built more than 150 years ago. Originally the structure held a courthouse, jail, and 10 box post office all-in-one.
George Town, Grand Cayman
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Atlantis Subs - Climb aboard Grand Cayman's only real submarine, then dive to over 100 feet (almost 20,000 leagues) for a fantastic underwater show. The 48 passenger, air conditioned Atlantis Submarine offers up-close views of star coral, tropical fish, stingrays, sea-turtles and possibly a shrimp or two. The company offers daytime and nighttime tours - and I think everything is better at night. The sub blasts over 20,000 watts of light, illuminating the colorful creatures of the night while they feed. OK, a fish joke. What do you call a fish with no eyes? Fsh.
George Town, Grand Cayman
Ruins of Fort George
Fort George - The Governor of Jamaica received royal instructions to build a fort in the Caymans prior to 1662, but it took until 1790 before construction of Fort George began. The walls of the fort overlooked the harbor, were up to two feet thick and were formed using local limestone and coral. The fort was designed to dissuade attacks by scallywags and marauders using its eight 6 lb cannons. Today there isn't much left of old Fort George, just a small section of the wall, a monument and a tiny wooden building.
George Town, Grand Cayman
Home of the Premier
Capitol Building - Grand Cayman is officially a British Overseas Territory, but they do have their own Capitol Building where the Premier, Deputy Governor, members of Legislative Assembly and other elected officials meet. George Town became the capital of Grand Cayman in the early 20th century, prior to that Bodden Town was where the island's government met. But because Bodden Town was difficult to defend against pirates, the capital was moved here. The current capitol building was constructed in the early 1900s and next to the structure is the historic Clock Tower and Peace Memorial.
Grand Harbor, Grand Cayman
Catching Air at Black Pearl
Black Pearl Skate Park - Located next to each other are the world's second largest skate park and the world's largest free-standing wave park (for surfing). The Black Pearl Skate Park is 62,000 square feet of bowls, pipes and ramps where boarders can fakie and crooked grind until their wheels fall off. The outdoor park features courses for the beginner, intermediate and advanced skateboarder - and they even offers lessons to anyone just starting out. The Surf Park, which cranks out 3 to 11 foot waves, is an absolute blast to ride. No longer do you have to ride out to catch a gnarly wave, it's right here on dry land.
Gun Bay, Grand Cayman
Lots of Chickens
Chickens - What does the island of Grand Cayman and the island of Kauai, Hawaii have in common? Chickens!! And lots of 'em. You will be darn lucky to see a Blue Iguana here, but you are guaranteed to see lots and lots of chickens. The ubiquitous fowl were brought here and set free to multiply by pirates, enabling them to have a have a KFC lunch anytime they wanted. Now personally, I really don't mind the chickens during the day, they pretty much blend into the background. But at night (and all night) the cock-a-doodle-doo every 30 seconds made me consider chasing them for my own late night snack.
North Side, Grand Cayman
Flowers and Iguanas
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park - Opened by Queen Elizabeth II herself in 1994, the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a peaceful and beautiful 65 acre garden filled with magnificent flowers and native wildlife. The main attractions are the 3/4 mile Woodland Trail, the 100 species Palm Garden, and of course the Cayman Blue Iguanas. These iguanas reach up to 5 feet long and can weigh over 25 lbs. The blue-hued miniature dragons are one of the most endangered iguanas in the world, but nearly 50 call the park home. Other attractions include the Visitor Center, Heritage Garden and Floral Colour Garden.
North Side, Grand Cayman
Hiking Grand Cayman
Mastic Trail - To see Grand Cayman as it looked before people arrived on the island, take a walk on the Mastic Trail. The two mile (one way) hiking trail cuts through 750 acres of untouched old-growth sub-tropical forest. In route hikers will see the Black Mangrove wetlands featuring the Mastic Tree, pass over the highest point on the island called "The Mountain" (towering nearly 60 feet), and possibly see the tiny Cuban Tree Frog. The hike is quite strenuous for being just 2 miles long - it took this monkey almost 3 hours. Of course I took my time and chased some enormous land crabs.
Prospect Park, Grand Cayman
Tricky Driving
Driving in GC - Notice anything different about the car in the photo? Besides the exceptionally good looking driver. Yes, the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car. Because Grand Cayman is a United Kingdom territory, people here drive on the left-hand side of the road. I have to say, the driving on the left was easy to get used to, the hard part was that the turn signals were also on the opposite side. And you would not believe how many times I turned on the windshield wipers instead of my signal lights. At least 100. If you rent a car during your stay, the rental facility will issue a Visitor's Driving Permit (there is no test).
Prospect Park, Grand Cayman
Prospect Fort
Prospect Fort Monument - Prospect Fort was the first settlement on the Island of Grand Cayman. The fort was built to protect the island from pirates and protect the island's first governor, William Bodden. On the site where the fort once stood is a large white obelisk with a bronze plaque. To see something a little more substantial, head down the street to the Village of Prospect. Here you will find the Walter Family Cemetery with house-shaped grave markers some dating back to the 1800s. These family plots are affectionately called "Gardens of Memories".
Rum Point, Grand Cayman
A Little Slice of Wonderful
Tropical Paradise - If your vision of a Tropical Paradise is an area filled with white sandy beaches, stunning azure waters and low hanging palm trees held together with colorful hammocks, then Rum Point is for you. This little slice of wonderful has everything you need to relax and enjoy a day of down time. Here you can drink rum in a hammock, drink rum in the shade, drink rum on the pier...well, you get my point. Rum Point actually didn't get its name because rum is served here, but because rum barrels once washed up on her shores. Years ago when rum smuggling was at its peak, sailors would throw the barrels overboard during rough weather and luckily they floated here.
Rum Point, Grand Cayman
Dancing with Stingrays
Stingrays - Stingray City is a "can't miss" attraction. Imagine kissing and hand-feeding enormous wild Southern Stingrays in crystal-clear chest-deep Caribbean waters. This isn't in some swimming pool; Stingray City is located in the North Sound (catch a boat from Rum Point) on a series of shallow sandbars. At one time fisherman cleaned their catch in this area and attracted these beautiful creatures. Today the fishing boats are gone and dozens of tour boats have taken their place. As your boat pulls up to the sandbar, stingrays from every direction fly up to you. Then once you work up the nerve to jump in with water with these shark-like creatures you'll be ready to feed them. I'll admit, the first time I held a piece of squid between my fingers while a five foot stingray vacuumed it out, was a little freaky. But in no time at all we were kissing each other on the cheek.
Savannah, Grand Cayman
Oldest Structure
Pedro Castle - Built in 1780, Pedro St. James Castle is the oldest existing structure on Grand Cayman. The three-story Great house was constructed by William Eden and features 18 inch thick walls, English slate floors, and large shuttered windows. The manor is known as the "Birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands", for it was here that the first elected Parliament was formed in 1831. Through the years the structure was used as a restaurant, courthouse, and jail among others. After falling into disrepair, the historic building was restored in 1996, and the grounds now contain a theater, visitor center and cafe.
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
View From Cemetery Beach
Seven Mile Beach - The deep powdery sands and turquoise waters of Seven Mile Beach stretch from George Town on one end to Northwest Point on the other. At almost any point in between, beach-goers can enjoy wonderful snorkeling; hunt for colorful "sea glass"; or set up a chair and let the ocean's rhythmic waves remove their worries. The entire "sevenish" miles are public beach, so feel free to walk as far as you like. One of the best portions of Seven Mile Beach is Cemetery Beach. Because most of the interior of the island is made of limestone (and virtually impossible to dig in), cemeteries are located near the sandy beaches. This particular section of beach is almost always empty and offers a reef for snorkeling within a few feet of shore.
West Bay, Grand Cayman
Island Food
What to Eat - When you come to the island, you have to eat island food. That means fish (grouper, red snapper, orange roughy, sea bass, etc.), conch, jerk chicken, ceviche, snails and anything else that swims or crawls in the sea. Pictured is a meal I had during my visit and features a delicious plate of deep-fried orange roughy with beans and rice, veggies, and an ice cold Caybrew (produced by the Cayman Islands Brewery). Now if it is a little early in the day for seafood, drop by the Tim Buc Tuu Diner for all-you-can eat pancakes. Delicious. And ask the owner if you can see my photo.
West Bay, Grand Cayman
Home of the Batmobile
Cayman Motor Museum - The Cayman Motor Museum opened in May 2010 and displays the personal automobile and motorcycle collection of businessman Andreas Ugland. The 80 vehicle collection includes the original "Batmobile" and "Batbike" from the 1960s Batman TV show, the first car ever produced (a three wheeled 1886 Benz), and a row of sparkling red, mint condition Ferraris. Although I loved the Ferraris, my favorite car in the collection isn't the most expensive; it is the powder blue 1965 Sunbeam Tiger MK1. This little beauty, which is about the size of an MGB, is powered by a small block Ford V8. Mr Ugland can I have this car? I'd look cute in it.
West Bay, Grand Cayman
I Like Turtles
Boatswain's Beach - Boatswain's Beach, formerly named the Cayman Turtle Farm, is a 24 acre marine park that's home to over 16,000 sea turtles. It is the only commercial Green Turtle farm in the world and since 1980, has returned over 30,000 turtles to the sea. Visitors can touch and even hold the turtles (if they dare). But turtles aren't the only attraction of the park; there's a 1.3 million gallon saltwater swimming pool filled with sea life to snorkel in; there's a Predator Tank teeming with enormous sharks and eels; and there's an Aviary and Iguana sanctuary. Be sure to bring a swimsuit.
West Bay, Grand Cayman
Swim with the Dolphins
Dolphin Discovery - If someone asks you if you want to go "swimming with the fishes", you better run because you're going to get whacked. On the other hand, if someone asks you if you want to go "swimming with the dolphins", then prepare yourself for a great time. Dolphin Discovery has a variety of programs that lets visitors swim, kiss, hug, shake fins and be pulled around by these fun loving creatures. The dolphins are almost like underwater dogs, they are so friendly. In addition to interacting with dolphins and watching them do flips, you'll learn about their anatomy and behaviors.
West End, Grand Cayman
Best Rum Cakes
Tortuga Rum Cakes - Every day while this monkey was on the island I consumed at least one Tortuga Rum Cake. They are tasty. The history of Tortuga Rum Cakes first begins with Tortuga Rum - in 1984, the husband and wife team of Robert and Carlene Hamaty started the Tortuga Rum Company. They realized the great profit potential of selling duty free rum to cruise passengers. Then in 1987 Carlene began baking rum cakes at home and in no time was selling the delicious treats to the public. Today there are three bakeries on the island (two in George Town and one in West Bay) all offering rum cakes in chocolate, banana, coffee/rum, and my favorite the original.
West End, Grand Cayman
A Great Place to Visit, but...
Town of Hell - The first question you will be asked when you step into Hell, is "How the Hell are you?" Of course you can reply with "Who the Hell are you?" Hell got its name from the 1.5 million year old black spiky limestone formations that fill a field behind the post office. The formations have an eerie and foreboding appearance that early visitors thought could resemble Hell. This attraction has all the kitschy souvenirs you can't help but buy and an official post office. Here you can send postcards to your monkey friends back home that say "I've been to Hell and back" with the official "Hell" postmark.