At Grand Cayman, the largest of the Caribbean’s Cayman Islands, cruise ships anchor in the harbor and tender you to shore, just steps away from downtown Georgetown. This is a great place to grab a bite to eat and do some shopping. You’ll have a choice of restaurants that serve savory island fare – steamed fish, conch fritters and curried goat – with beautiful views of the water.
The collection of shops in Georgetown is eclectic, but there’s an emphasis on jewelry, especially diamonds. You can also browse for antiques, salvaged coins, and all the usual duty-free goods, too.
If you’re looking for fresh air and exercise, Grand Cayman is also a great place for outdoor fun. Many visitors head to Seven Mile Beach, a truly lovely (and long) stretch of sand. It can be busy at times, but if you keep walking along the shore you’re sure to find a quiet spot to enjoy the sun and water.
If you’re up for snorkeling, head to Stingray City. This area inside the barrier reef is home to dozens of southern stingrays that you can pet and feed by hand. There’s also a deeper area where you can scuba dive with the rays.
In fact, divers have an abundance of dive sites to choose from around Grand Cayman. One of the most popular is the USS Kittiwake, a former submarine rescue vessel sunk to serve as an artificial reef. It lies about 60 feet down in unbelievably clear water.
Grand Cayman is also great for exploring by bicycle. Rent a two-wheeler and ride to one of several beaches or to the Mastic Trail, where you can hike through unspoiled, old-growth forest. You’ll see rare trees, parrots, woodpeckers, butterflies, lizards, snakes and other native creatures.
The island’s West Bay Loop has an excellent bike trail with stunning ocean views. You can also visit Hell, a small and fascinating formation of rough, blackened limestone. The gift shop and other businesses with “Hell” in their names provide great photo opportunities. A visit to the East End can include a breeding facility for the endangered blue iguana, interesting caves, and dramatic blowholes that spout water high in the air.
A port call in Grand Cayman is usually part of a longer Caribbean cruise that may include Key West, Jamaica, Cozumel and Costa Maya and even Roatan. To schedule a cruise that will take you there, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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