Two million tourists take Cayman Islands vacations each year. Most of them are cruise-ship passengers, who spend a few hours shopping, sunbathing or swimming with stingrays, before pulling out of port. Others hunker down near Seven Mile Beach, enjoying their all-inclusive resort on one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful stretches of sand. Cayman is definitely a cosmopolitan place – with nearly half the population is from somewhere else – but its rich local culture is alive and well, especially in Bodden Town, East End and Cayman Brac. Explore the North Side and the Sister Islands to discover lush forests, diverse bird life, mysterious caves and untrammeled beaches. Under the waves lie amazing underwater walls and accessible shipwrecks. Dive in. It takes only a small sense of adventure to uncover Cayman’s greatest treasures – the warm hospitality and the fantastic natural phenomena above and below the sea. For more information the beautiful beaches of the Cayman Islands, visit our Greater Antilles Travel page. The Cayman Islands are part of the islands that make up the Greater Antilles.
Cayman Islands Weather – When to Visit
August is the hottest month in Grand Cayman with an average temperature of 85°F. The best time to visit the Cayman Islands is between March and June when the hotel rates drop. January and February are the coolest months with average lows in the high 60s. The rainy season runs from May through October, although showers usually only last for a few hours at a time. The islands’ location in the western part of the Caribbean shields them from being hit too hard by the annual hurricane season, which lasts from June to November. If you don’t want to sacrifice weather for a break on hotel prices, plan a trip for the region’s dry season, which runs from November to April.
Best Cayman Islands Beaches
Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman
With sparkling waters and coral sands, this shoreline is home to many of the Caribbean’s most luxurious properties. Along the shoreline, you’ll stumble on restaurants at the resorts and several beach bars. Seven Mile Beach has many water sports available for fun in at the beach. Seven Mile Beach gives you every chance to enjoy what Cayman is all about.
Point of Sand, Little Cayman
Also known as Sands Point, this idyllic beach on Little Cayman is the kind of place where you throw down a towel, slather on sunscreen and then slowly wade into water that’s so shallow, and clear you just might just close your eyes and shake your head to make sure you’re not dreaming. And because Little Cayman is more popular with divers than sun worshippers, you’ll likely find you have Point of Sand pretty much to yourself.
Rum Point Beach, Grand Cayman
Home to the Wreck Bar & Grll – famous for its Mudslides (vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s and ice), which go down as easy as a milkshake so know your limits. This Grand Cayman beach is a popular spot to relax and have lunch. It’s also a great place to enjoy water sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling.
Owen Island, Little Cayman
Located just off the southwest coast of Little Cayman and completely uninhabited, Owen Island is ideal for spending a day channeling your castaway fantasies. It’s accessible only by boat, so you can sail over or arrive by kayak, and is a tranquil spot for a picnic and an afternoon of snorkeling (bring lots of water and sunscreen since there is no shade). If you want to explore some rocky tide pools on one side of this 11-acre islet, wear sturdy sport sandals.
Smith Cove, Grand Cayman
The word cove implies that this beach on Grand Cayman might be tiny and tucked away. It is indeed small and photogenic, but it’s also within two miles of the dock where cruise passengers are ferried over from their ships anchored offshore. Located just south of George Town and officially known as Smith’s Barcadere, this pretty beach has vivid turquoise water edged by limestone formations and offers public restrooms, showers and picnic benches.
Cayman Islands Tours & Activities By Viator
Starfish and Stingray City Adventure with Snorkeling
Visit three Grand Cayman attractions on this tour to Stingray City, the Coral Garden, and a location where you can snorkel with starfish. You’ll have the chance to swim near stingrays in their natural environment and enjoy the clear Caribbean waters of the Cayman Islands. Snorkeling gear and transportation from the cruise terminal and hotels in George Town and the Seven Mile Beach area are provided. Read more about Cayman Islands Stingray City and Starfish Snorkel Tour
Guided Tour of Cayman Crystal Caves
Trek through the stalactites and stalagmites of the Cayman Crystal Caves on this 1.5-hour guided group tour, which departs every hour between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Learn about the native flora and geologic history from your guide as you go. Read more about Guided Tour of Cayman Crystal Caves
Grand Cayman Catamaran Cruise with Snorkeling at Stingray Sandbar and Reef
Sail to the Stingray City Sandbar aboard a luxury catamaran, then snorkel over coral beds on this fabulous aquatic adventure. Explore the underwater world of Grand Cayman where southern stingrays glide gracefully by in the shallows. You can touch the gentle creatures before searching for more marine life at the barrier reef — an unforgettable experience. Snorkel gear included, with beverages available for purchase from the cash bar on board. Read more about Grand Cayman Catamaran Cruise
Seafarer Adventures Grand Cayman Bioluminous Tour
Combine two of Grand Cayman’s natural attractions—Starfish Point and the Bioluminous Bay—on a tour from George Town. Departing via boat from the Cayman Island Yacht Club, cruise over to Starfish Point to hang out on the beach or the boat; you are welcome to bring your own snacks or drinks to enjoy. Once the sun sets, head to the Bioluminous Bay to swim, snorkel, and learn about the natural phenomenon that makes the water light up. Read more about Grand Cayman Starfish Point, Bioluminous Bay Tour
Grand Cayman Sunset Catamaran Sail
Sail into the sunset on this evening cruise from Grand Cayman. Take in stunning views of the white-sand Seven Mile Beach as you sip drinks from the full cash bar and munch on the provided appetizers. As the sun drops towards the horizon, watch the colors change and feel the tropical island breeze on the deck of the catamaran. Relax and enjoy this end to another day in paradise. Read more about Grand Cayman Sunset Catamaran Sail
Best Cayman Islands Restaurants
Agua $31 – 60
Its young, international chefs emphasize seafood, preparing regional dishes from around the globe with a Caymanian slant, emphasizing Peruvian and Italian specialties from tiraditos to tiramisu. Wine selections from lesser-known regions often represent good value, with 20 offered by the glass; the bartenders also creatively pair cocktails and food. Free tapas at happy hour and the three-course lunch menu are steals. Telephone: 345-949-2482 Web: Agua.
Blue by Eric Ripert $31 to 60
Choose from six- and seven-course tasting menus (with or without wine pairing); there are also trendy “almost raw” and “barely touched” options. Sensuous options might include lobster with purple cauliflower and macadamia nuts in truffle butter, or seared turbot with braised endive in a clam–foie gras emulsion. The vast wine list showcases heavy hitters, hot new regions, and lesser-known varietals. Telephone: 345-943-9000 Web: Blue by Eric Ripert.
Casa 43 Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar $11 – 30
Start with the savory ceviches, or try such terrific tacos as the Tecate-battered rock shrimp, chicharrón, or fish. Sterling main courses range from salmon quesadilla to a pork chop in tamarind-orange-chipotle reduction. But the two musts are the duck confit chilaquiles and torta de cochinita pibil brimming with avocado, refried beans, pickled onions, and roasted tomato aioli, served with a heaping helping of the signature chili fries. Wash it down with magnificent margaritas. Telephone: 345-949-4343 Web: Casa 43 Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar.
Morgan’s $11 – 30
The menu dances just as deftly from Asia to his Austrian home. Nimbly prepared nibbles include the wildly popular 10-ounce Brie-topped jerk burger and ceviche, but everything from chicken schnitzel to Thai seafood curry is expertly cooked to order. Telephone: 345-946-7049 Web: Morgan’s.
Catch $31 – 60
You might savor the coriander-toasted crispy octopus; the tuna-wahoo carpaccio duo, both exquisite; tenderized thin slices of panko-fried conch; or the house answer to surf and turf: pork belly porchetta and seared scallop with apple and celery all’amatriciana. The standout among the stunners: oxtail ravioli, with sprouts adding just the right crunchiness while local pepper jelly contributes just enough heat. There is a fabulous cocktail list, emphasizing modern twists on the classics, with an excellent wine list. Telephone: 345-949-4321 Web: Catch.
Best Cayman Islands Bars & Nightlife
Minus 5º Ice Bar
You don gloves and a white or black faux fur coat, then step into a futuristic space completely fashioned from ice: the intricately carved walls, the bar, the tables, the banquettes (draped in fur throws), even the shot and highball glasses. An LED light show plays off the ice sculptures, from pirates to palm trees, which the talented artists change every 8 to 10 weeks. The very chill bartenders serve you a shot, then you choose from one of eight cocktails , both included in the entry fee. Telephone: 345-925-4002 Web: Minus 5º Ice Bar.
South West Collective
The pub fare comes at fair prices, whether lunch or such bar bites as smoked oyster dip goosed with lemon and capers or spiced beef patties with rum barbecue sauce. But the drinks are the thing, from loose-leaf teas to global artisan beers, homemade sangria or kombucha smoothies to craft cocktails (as well as the house moonshine). Telephone: 345-946-3004 Web: South West Collective.
West Indies Wine Company
At this ultra contemporary wine store, you purchase tasting cards, allowing you to sample any of the 80-odd wines and even spirits available by the sip or half or full glass via the argon-enhanced “intelligent dispensing system.” Selections traverse a vast canny range of prices, regions, and styles. Telephone: 345-640-9492 Web: West Indies Wine Company.
The kitchen elevates pub grub to an art form, with pizzas, Reubens, and French melts. Locals flock here for free pasta Fridays, karaoke Wednesdays, and live music on Thursdays. You might walk in on a hotly contested darts or dominoes tournament, but the vibe is otherwise mellow at this charming time-warp hangout. Telephone: 345-948-8511 Web: Barracuda’s Bar.