10 Can’t-Miss Shore Excursions in the Cayman Islands

Welcome to the beautiful Cayman Islands, where the sun is shining, the water is crystal clear, and adventure awaits! From snorkeling with gentle stingrays to exploring colorful coral reefs, there’s a shore excursion here for everyone. Here are 10 can’t-miss excursions that will take your vacation to the next level. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking thrills or a laid-back traveler looking to soak up the island vibes, these experiences will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So pack your sunscreen and let’s dive in!

1. The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is the premier educational hub dedicated to cultivating visual arts across the Cayman Islands. The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Cayman Islands national art collection is featured alongside a temporary exhibition gallery, lecture theater, education center, art library, sculpture garden, and café. Discover the artwork created by the Caymanian community and delve into the culture with an interactive video located on the second floor, offering fascinating insights about the islands. Visitors can enter the museum at no cost and may stop by the gift shop on their way out. Learn more about the gallery here.

2. Have you ever wanted to swim with stingrays? Well, now’s your chance! Take a trip to Stingray City and swim alongside rays in their natural environment with guidance from trained guides … or drift over the coral reefs of Coral Garden and snorkel above a seabed studded with starfish at Starfish Point. Stingray City offers private and shared packages and complimentary shuttle service from hotels and cruise ships. You can also request to include snorkeling at  the coral reef as part of your package. Learn more about the available tour options here

Stingray City 

3. Experience the perfect blend of nature’s grandeur and the legacy of Old World customs at The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Immerse yourself in the allure and sophistication of a traditional Caymanian garden, highlighted by stunning, colorful, exotic blossoms. The park is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Whether you have just a little time or an entire day, this incomparable sanctuary has something to indulge your senses. There are seven primary points of interest available in the Botanic Park, including the Visitor’s Center, the Floral Garden, the Orchid Boardwalk, the Xerophytic Garden, the Heritage Garden, and the Woodland Trail. Guests can book a private tour and learn more about plant identification and the unusual history of the Cayman Islands. Be sure to book your reservation a minimum of 24 hours in advance to secure your spot. For more information on The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, click here.

4. Save the turtles and explore their natural habitat at the Cayman Turtle Centre, which provides a wildlife conservation experience like no other! Witness the grandeur of green sea turtles, frolic with their lively offspring, and potentially witness the emergence of newly hatched turtles from their nests right before your eyes. The facility is located in Grand Cayman’s West Bay district and is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Guests can explore on two different tours: the turtle safari and the turtle adventure tour. Click here to learn more about what you can expect from both experiences.

5. Travel back in time with a visit to Pedro St James National Historic Site and immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of the Cayman Islands. Also referred to as “Pedro Castle,” St. James was constructed in 1780, making it the Cayman Islands’ longest-standing stone building. The site is located in the Bodden Town district, a 15-minute drive east of George Town. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the national historic site invites guests to walk through its 18th-century Great House and discover the tales of pirate raids, trials, victories, and political struggles it holds. While you’re there, treat yourself to local cuisine and a rum-tasting at the Thatch & Barrel Restaurant. All tours, guided and self-guided, can access the site’s 3D multi-sensory movie theater. Guests can rent the space for weddings or special events with the option to add in-house catering and bar service. Explore seven acres of stunning gardens, soak in breathtaking ocean views, and get ready to embark on a journey of discovery at Pedro St James! Learn more about the site here.

6. For those who want more horsepower than, well, a single horse, ATV riding is a thrilling activity for adventure enthusiasts in the Cayman Islands. The rugged terrain and picturesque landscape make ATVs an exciting way to explore the island and take in breathtaking views. Guests can book a guided tour through the lush mangroves, scenic countryside, and historic landmarks. These usually take approximately two hours and are led by experienced guides. Visitors will ride through mud and dirt tracks while learning interesting facts about the islands’ history, flora, and fauna. ATV riding in the Cayman Islands is an unforgettable adventure that combines fun, nature, and stunning scenery. Click here to book.

ATV Excursion 

7. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner looking to learn the game, the Cayman Islands offer an excellent setting for both. Grand Cayman has two golf courses: North Sound Golf Club, offering 18 holes, and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Course, with nine. Both allow guests to rent equipment and take lessons. Soak in the beautiful scenery and get active! Click here to learn more about the courses. . 

8. Guests who want to explore the island but rest their feet should look at horseback riding! This is an amazing activity for families and couples who want to witness the breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and the nature of the Cayman Islands in places no motor vehicle could reach. There are two different companies that offer horseback experiences. Spirit Of The West offers daytime and nighttime tours along the beach. Pampered Ponies offers a “beach ride tour” or a “beach and swim tour,” giving you a chance to get in the water with the horse and cool off in the Caribbean Sea.

9. Seven Mile Beach is known for its extensive white sandy beaches, crystal-clear water, and diverse range of water sports. It’s an ideal location to catch a spectacular sunset or take a leisurely walk along the beach. Many restaurants and bars give guests a taste of great Caribbean cuisine and beverages. Rent a beach cabana or parasol and enjoy delicious meals, drinks, and snacks seaside. Seven Mile Beach also offers exciting outdoor activities, such as snorkeling and diving, with various rental facilities offering equipment and guided tours. Offshore, scenic boat tours and catamaran cruises operate along the coast, allowing visitors to see the beach from a unique perspective. Click here to learn more.

10. One of the newest natural attractions on Grand Cayman is the Cayman Crystal Caves. You will be guided on a 45-minute stroll through three distinct caves: theopen-ceiling cave, the roots cave, and the lake cave. Once you’ve finished exploring out of the sun, you can find more wonders on a 30-minute nature walk through a one-of-a-kind tropical forest that has grown above the caves. This lush environment boasts stunning tropical flora and fauna, such as strangler balsam trees, air plants, parrots, and bats. A 15-minute break provides plenty of time for you to visit the scenic viewing deck, where you can also browse a snack and souvenir shop. Cayman Crystal Caves is open seven days a week. Guests looking to explore the caves must pre-book before arrival. For more information on the Crystal Caves, click here..

The Cayman Islands — Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman — offer some of the most diverse and exciting shore excursions in the Caribbean. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, there’s something for everyone. From swimming with stingrays and snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Seven Mile Beach to exploring the natural beauty of the islands on horseback, ATV, or by boat, there’s a world of possibilities. Visitors can indulge in the local culture, history, and cuisine while enjoying warm weather and an inviting atmosphere. If you’re planning a trip to the Cayman Islands, make sure to add these 10 can’t-miss shore excursions to your itinerary for an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a longing to come back for more!

To learn more about the Cayman Islands, click here

Julie Bouchner is the Digital Editorial Manager for Porthole Cruise and Travel. She has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, baking, and playing with her Siberian Husky named Ellie.