We’ve quickly learnt there is infinitely more to these alluring islands than the glitz and glamour they are also famed for – picture deserted stretches of palm fringed sand, rainbows of tropical fish gliding through shallows as clear as bath-water and world class diving and snorkelling. So dash some rum into a cocktail, take a healthy helping of local conch stew and follow us to the Cayman Island’s sand-strewn paradise.
The biggest and best known of the three islands, Grand Cayman mixes the rouse of the reggae and rum-loving Caribbean with the elegant sophistication of old-school British glamour. We’re only scratching the surface here but the shiniest of the shiny, happy people can be found on Seven Mile Beach on the island’s west coast, lunching at the luxury resorts, or shading their beach bods on the porch of their glossy villa. With such unbelievably clear water (we had to see it to believe it) diving and snorkelling is the day job while you’re here. If only your job everyday could be playing with giant stingrays, wriggling through the most brightly, naturally lit shipwrecks and seeing dazzling coral with its own rainbow nation of fish. You can even work through the night with a moonlit snorkel amongst turtles, barracudas, parrot fish, and dinner-plate sized starfish, not to mention the bioluminescent wonders of the sea’s micro-organisms. Heading east, you’ll find the tranquil and laidback Cayman Kai and Rum Point with their luxury villas and handful of top-notch bars and restaurants, where you can dabble in an infamous mudslide cocktail before venturing to the east end for a sleepy, traditional Caribbean vibe with very little development.
A forty minute plane ride away on a 15 seat twin otter (with spectacular views), Little Cayman couldn’t be more different from its big sister. Only ten square miles in size and with a population of only 150, this is the untouched desert island that you want to be stranded on. Find untouched, deserted beaches, and Bloody Bay Wall Marine Park, so spectacular that divers come from around the globe to see it (some many, many times). Its bright and diverse coral, turtles, eels, eagle rays and throngs of vividly coloured fish make it the ultimate dive destination. After Grand Cayman’s epic international cuisine (and local cuisine with a twist – conch ceviche anyone?), sample some of the traditional delicacies here with pork stew, conch fritters, and lots of delicious, fresh seafood on the menu.
A ten minute hop from Little Cayman, Cayman Brac is the dramatic, craggy member of the family. Its enormous limestone outcrop which stretches the length of the island includes several amazing caves which are a great treat for anyone with a spirit for exploration. Also the most traditional island, there is none of the commercial tourism as seen on Grand Cayman. With so little development, Cayman Brac is blessed with its mazy mass of caves, pristine hiking trails as nature designed them, rare and richly coloured fauna, as well as the Cayman staple of awesome dive sites and crystal clear waters.