Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Wed July 17 2019
Caribbean beach with palm trees, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. (Photo via IreneCorti / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean, located 90-miles south of Cuba. It features outstanding coral reefs and clear waters, making it a favorite destination for divers. The Caymans also feature attractive beaches, many restaurants and tourist-friendly resorts. Grand Cayman is the largest island and home to most of the population and tourism attractions facilities; its two sister islands - Little Cayman and Cayman Brac - are also tourist destinations. Tourists can enjoy their vacations relaxing on the island of their choice, or venture to all three throughout their trip.

Grand Cayman’s beach attractions include Seven Mile Beach, considered one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches. The Spotts beach is great for getting away from the crowds; surrounded by cliffs, the beautiful white beaches also feature a barrier reef that keeps waters calm year-round. Smith Cove offers the convenience of being close to the cruise port to allow more time for enjoying the sun, sand, and snorkeling. The Grand Cayman public beach is a great family destination: offering changing and restrooms, showers, a kid’s playground, beach huts, a water sports operator and Calico Jacks Beach Bar for food and drinks.

Aerial view of Grand Cayman overlooking George Town and Seven Mile Beach to the north.
PHOTO: Aerial view of Grand Cayman overlooking George Town and Seven Mile Beach to the north. (photo courtesy of Don McDougall/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism)

Other Grand Cayman attractions include Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the National Trust's Mastic Trail. George Town features the Cayman Islands National Museum, and the Pedro St. James Historic Site is found in Savannah. Rum Point is a beachside location featuring majestic Casuarina trees; visitors here can enjoy the beach, sample a locally produced snack or a la carte meal or take a dip in the crystal-clear sea.

Diving is the activity of choice in Cayman Brac. The newest diver attraction is the wreck of the 330-foot Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Russian-built, Cuban naval frigate which sank off Cayman Brac’s northwest coast in September 1996. The wreck has become a subterranean home for a variety of marine life; and there are also two other small wrecks off the Brac's coast. However, vacationers seeking simple relaxation can also enjoy the solitude of any of Cayman Brac’s quiet beaches.

Shore-side attractions include the Cayman Brac Museum at Stake Bay and long nature trails. The Sister Islands feature more than 200 bird species, and birdwatching has long been an under-appreciated attraction of this tiny island. More adventurous tourists can enjoy exploring a variety of inspiring caves including Rebecca's Cave, Peter's Cave and Halfway Ground Cave.

Cayman Brac Bluff.
PHOTO: Cayman Brac Bluff. (photo courtesy of Will Burrard-Lucas/Cayman Islands Department of Tourism)

Little Cayman offers exceptional fishing opportunities featuring bonefish, small tarpon and permit. The best fishing is found in Cayman Brac’s South Hole Sound lagoon. Grand Cayman’s Tarpon Pond is normally filled with small, but feisty, gamefish.

Pirates Point, Little Cayman, Cayman Islands
Pirates Point has casual, comfortable units on Little Cayman that cater to both divers and those out for a relaxing holiday. The owner has a Friday night sushi and champagne party at her house.

Little Cayman also has the Caribbean’s largest known breeding colony of the Red-Footed Booby birds and a breeding colony of frigate birds and large heronry. The Booby Pond Nature Reserve is under National Trust protection. Little Cayman also has its own museum, located across from the Booby Pond Nature Reserve.