TRAVEL TIPS: Under the Sea in Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is famous for its beautiful beaches and its friendly stingrays. Seven Mile Beach is one you’ve likely heard of. A public beach just north of George Town, its gorgeous white sands are marked with resorts, bars, restaurants, visiting tourists and daily cruise ship passengers. It has become popular for good reason, and isn’t a bad choice when visiting the island, but there are many other options when choosing where to go and what to do in Grand Cayman on vacation.
While Rum Point Beach can’t be defined as quiet, it is certainly less tourist laden than Seven Mile, and with fewer luxury resorts and commercialized businesses, it has a far more laid-back, chill vibe if that’s what you’re looking for. Here you’ll find beach hammocks and casual restaurants. It’s a 45 minute drive from George Town to Rum Point, so if you have a car or want to hire a driver, it’s a great excuse to see much of the island. If you’d rather, you can also take a ferry from Camana Bay in George Town to Kaibo Yacht Club for only CI$20 (roughly $24 USD) roundtrip! The ferry to Rum Point runs Tuesday – Sunday with multiple departures per day, making this a doable option for those with limited time.
About 2 km from Rum Point Beach is Kaibo Beach, which has thinner crowds despite having a beach bar, restaurant and marina. If you walk out to the end of the cay, you’ll reach Starfish Point, where gigantic, colorful sea stars bask in the clear, shallow waters.
When visiting the Caribbean, travelers often like to get up close and personal with marine life. Since Stingray City is so popular (and admittedly a very amazing experience), it has to be mentioned when prioritizing to-dos here. There are endless tours you can book, but unfortunately they’re not all created equal. Our best travel tip is to do your research ahead of time and if possible, charter your own boat. For a family or group of friends you can find something for $35 per person. (Buddy up with other travelers to save money!) This way, you can create your own itinerary and spend as much time with the stingrays, starfish or turtles as you like. You also won’t be bamboozled into paying for extras like photo-ops, or herded around like sheep, which can spoil the excursion altogether.
Grand Cayman is home to more than 400 dive spots, so it’s a scuba diver’s paradise. Whether you’re certified or you want to dip your toe in with an easy snorkel, travelers have many options. One unique and special place is Macabuca, which is almost as far north on the island as you can go. It’s part tiki bar/part dive shop so you can order up some fresh fish and then jump right into the water! Macabuca is also right next to its big brother, The Cracked Conch Restaurant (and Sundivers dive shop). If you can, sunset is a must here, with daily happy hour specials and live music on the weekends. It is also very close to the turtle center if you want to make a pitstop there. Personally, an afternoon spent snorkeling, followed by rum punch and some jerk chicken or the catch of the day sounds like a perfect day in the Cayman Islands.