Grand Cayman City Guide
About Grand Cayman
The Cayman Islands, which are made up of three islands, are a British overseas territory located in the western Caribbean Sea. These islands are an extremely popular vacation destination with a wide variety of holiday makers. Besides being a choice vacation destination, Grand Cayman islands are so well known for their bouquet of off -shore banking facilities; offered by the nearly five hundred banks located in the nation’s capital Georgetown.
Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Island and extends over an area of 78 square miles and hosts much of this Caribbean territory’s population. Grand Cayman and its siblings are well known centers of affluence though unlike other similar resorts, they do not offer the usual trappings of decadence like over the top casinos and wild nightclubs. Instead, the main attractions on these islands are shimmering sand beaches, crystalline waters and coral reefs, which host a plethora of water sport activities like scuba diving, sailing, snorkeling and more.
Where to stay in Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is so small that the entire length of the island can be perhaps traversed within an hour and therefore staying anywhere on the island is the ideal location to move around from during Grand Cayman vacations.
The city of Georgetown is the main commercial center of the island and the main port of call for cruise ships, which touch the Cayman Island. Georgetown does offer a few accommodation options in the form of mid-range hotels and bed and breakfast inns. Most visitors to Grand Cayman who come to the island on vacation, however, prefer to stay on the various other beachfront areas of the island rather than within its commercial hub of Georgetown.
Seven Mile Beach
Located just north of Georgetown is Seven Mile Beach, which is a beautiful stretch of white, shimmering sand beaches that hosts most of the Grand Cayman luxury, spa and resort hotels. The Seven Mile Beach extends over a distance of only about 5.5 miles but it is the most coveted accommodation locale on the island for vacationers. This is due to the fact that the coast of the beach is protected by a reef that ensures that the waters that surround the beach are calm and perfect for the pursuit of popular recreational activities like swimming and snorkeling. Seven mile Beach, additionally, offers many restaurants, bars and various other water sport recreational activities which make it a hot favorite with day trippers on a visit to Grand Cayman as well.
North of Seven Mile Beach is West Bay, which is the second largest town on Grand Cayman. This area of the island is popular with visitors who are looking for more affordable accommodation options as the area offers more reasonably priced dive lodges, hotels and guest house along with a few restaurants.
This town lies between the East and West side of the island and offers smaller, clean beaches, which are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Bodden Town has an old world air about it and offers a variety of discount hotels and other budget accommodation options.
The Eastern End of the Island
This is the most remote and isolated part of the island and provides excellent opportunities for diving and snorkeling. The eastern end of the island is generally the accommodation choice of those to tourists who relish their solitude. These visitors like to be based as far away as possible from the commercial side of the island for it gives them a chance to appreciate the virgin, untouched areas of the island.
Depending on your preference, Fare Buzz can locate the ideal accommodation option for your stay in Grand Cayman, which will naturally be supplied at the best hotel rates that we can find.
Places to see in Grand Cayman
The Cayman Turtle Farm at Boatswain's Beach
When the Cayman Islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503, he named the Islands ‘Las Tortugas’ which translates as ‘Turtles’ as the islands were overrun by these large marine creatures. The Cayman Turtle Farm at Boatswain’s Beach seeks to preserve this heritage of the Cayman Islands for these turtles have been declared a protected species. The farm seeks to provide an ideal breeding environment for these turtles. Breeding season for these turtles usually lasts from May to October and during this time, the turtles usually lay their eggs on the nests they dig beachside. These eggs are then transferred to the farm’s hatchery where they are monitored in a controlled environment. Visitors can tour the turtle farm as well as enjoy the many other attractions of Boatswain’s Beach like the marine park that offer 23 acres of reef lagoon, a nature trail, a swimming lagoon and many bars and restaurants.
Pedro St James Castle
Pedro St James Castle is touted to be the oldest building on Grand Cayman, which is believed to have been constructed by an Englishman who arrived here in 1765. This edifice, a three storey structure, which is surrounded by lush tropical foliage is associated with important events of the island’s history and is commonly referred to as the ‘birthplace of Democracy’. For instance, in 1831 the decision to vote for elected representatives was made here and then four years later the Slavery Abolition Act was also read on the very same premises. The building has now been restored and is promoted as an important landmark on the island.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park extends over 65 acres on the North Side of Grand Cayman Island. This park is a verdant paradise, which is home to much native flora and fauna like 300 species of indigenous plants and flowers and wildlife like the elusive and endangered Blue iguana, parrots, herons, coots and the rare West Indian Whistling Duck.
Rum Point beach is a marine park that offers numerous shallow sand flats, which are considered to be perfect for snorkeling. Besides snorkeling, the park also offers other water sports like jet-skiing, sailing, and kayaking and more. The beach is also equipped with picnic spots, hammocks and many beach bars, which make it an ideal spot for a day excursion during a vacation to Grand Cayman.
Stingray City and Sandbar
Stingray City and Sandbar are other popular snorkeling sites on Grand Cayman, which should be considered a must-do on any visit to Grand Cayman; especially if you and your group are water sports enthusiasts. The waters around Stingray City are filled with sting rays fish that enjoy feeding on the morsels that the visitors bring them.
Hell is the name given to a small village on Grand Cayman, which is known for its mysterious black limestone rock formations that are thought to resemble the abode of Satan. The residents of the village use this as a great marketing ploy so much so that the village gift shop offers tourists a number of souvenirs that proclaim that they have visited ‘hell’ on their tropical island vacation to Grand Cayman.
Best time to visit Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman experiences two distinct seasons in the form of summer and winter. The summer season in the Grand Cayman extends from May to October with a hurricane season that extends from June to November. This season also coincides with the island’s rainy season. The summer season on the island is the off-peak season and popular with bargain hunting tourists who like to take advantage of the lower hotel rates and the less crowded beaches.
The winter season that runs from December to April is characterized by warm, sunny days which average daytime highs of 75°F. This is the peak tourist season on the island when flight and hotel rates on the island are the highest. However, if you are planning your visit to Grand Cayman with the help of our services at Fare Buzz, you needn’t worry since we offer a wide array of flight and hotel deals for Grand Cayman at all times.
Getting around in Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is accessible via its Owen Roberts International Airport; situated two miles east of Georgetown. Taxis and hotel courtesy shuttles offer transport connections from the airport to various parts of the island. Most visitors on a vacation to Grand Cayman elect to rent a car for the duration of their stay in Grand Cayman as having a car makes it easier to travel around the island. Fare Buzz offers a host of cheap air tickets to Grand Cayman and you may explore the options to save some money.
If you need to rent a car during your visit to Grand Cayman, then Fare Buzz can also organize this service for you. It offers a wide array of affordable car rentals for Grand Cayman. Moreover these car rentals can be booked via its usual booking platforms and the vehicles can then be picked up at any of the outlets of rental car agencies that are located outside the Owen Roberts International Airport.
The alternative to renting a car in Grand Cayman is to use the island’s public transport system which consists mainly of an inexpensive though not very extensive public bus service.
Where to shop in Grand Cayman
Visitors on a vacation to Grand Cayman seem to enjoy spending a substantial portion of their vacation on shopping expeditions.
Grand Cayman is a duty free port and hence offers great bargains for international luxe brands like Gucci, Cartier, Versace and many more. Cardinal Avenue in George Town is the main shopping drag of this port town, which offers outlets of a whole host of big name brands. Besides these designer goods, Grand Cayman offers great opportunities for souvenir shopping as well as. A favorite souvenir shopping locale for visitors is the Pure Art Gallery and Gift store, which is located one mile south of George Town and offers a virtual treasure trove of goodies like locally produced home and lifestyle products. Tortuga Rum Company and Puro Rey are other popular Grand Cayman stores that feature prominently on the visitors shopping radar as they offer highly coveted souvenir products like gourmet rum, rum cake and Cuban Cigars.
Where to eat in Grand Cayman
If you are on a first time visit to Grand Cayman, you must make it a point to partake of the islands unique seafood delicacies like sea turtle, conch and rock lobster, which are listed on the menus of many Grand Cayman restaurants.
The best restaurants for seafood fare in Grand Cayman include Hemingway’s, Grand Old House, Lobster Pot and The Cracked Conch. However, if you are not a fan of sea food, you needn’t worry since Grand Cayman offers a wide variety of restaurants that serve a wide variety of global cuisines besides seafood.
Some of the most popular and highly acclaimed restaurants on the island according to recent surveys include eateries like Al La Kebab(Mediterranean), Casanova’s (Italian), Chicken!Chicken(American) and Gateway of India( Indian).
Nightlife in Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman offers an adequate number of after-dark diversions which are guaranteed to liven up any vacation on the island. The island’s many restaurants often have bars attached to them, which stay open until the wee hours of the morning though the island also offers a many beach bars and live music venues, which are also popular with both tourists and locals alike.