Heavenly Beaches & More
Grand Cayman’s celebrated Seven Mile Beach begins just north of George Town—a short drive from the cruise terminals. It is one of the best stretches of sand in the Caribbean, but the name stretches the truth a bit. The beach is actually only five and a half miles long.
However, the misnomer is easily forgivable. Placid water in varying translucent shades of aquamarine laps at the dazzling shore, which is graced by tall casuarina trees offering shaded respite from the tropical sun. The beach hosts an abundance of activities. The calm, shallow waters make it perfect for families; small children can spend the day splashing at water’s edge. Active adults can choose from a wide array of water sports, including kayaking, parasailing, and jet-skiing, while tranquility-seekers can either enjoy a leisurely lunch under the gently swaying palm trees at one of the resorts or lounge on the sands. Placid waters in varying translucent shades of aquamarine lap at the dazzling shore, which is graced by tall casuarina trees offering shaded respite from the tropical sun.
Yes, Seven Mile Beach is nothing short of heavenly. But it’s only a quick trip from the beach to get to Hell, a spiky rock formation at the north end of West Bay Beach. The darkened shards of limestone and dolomite could be the backdrop from Dante’s Inferno, especially at sunset when light reflecting off water in the natural pools resembles a burning hellfire. Pick up a cheeky postcard at the Devil’s Hangout gift shop and send it from the local post office, where all mail is postmarked “Hell, Grand Cayman.”
The northern tip of the West Bay district is a little less developed than its beachy neighbor. The area offers ample opportunities for 4×4 adventures and other active outdoor pursuits. Explore the rugged coastline and the palm-covers lanes.
The region also has an abundance of themed attractions, such as Boatswain Beach and the fascinating Cayman Turtle Farm—the only green sea turtle farm of its kind in the world. The turtle is an integral part of the Cayman Island’s culture and history. Depictions of turtles decorate the official flag, seal, and currency. When Christopher Columbus first came upon the islands in 1503, he was mesmerized by the number of turtles in the surrounding waters, leading him to dub the islands Las Tortugas.
The turtle population dwindled over the centuries, but the numbers are now on the rise thanks to the efforts of the Cayman Turtle Farm. Since the farm started releasing turtles back into the wild, sightings of sea turtles by divers and local residents has been more common. Hundreds of green and hawksbill sea turtles ranging from newly hatched yearlings to giant breading elders weighing over 600 pounds thrive on the farm.
The 23-acre research-and-conservation park is fun for the entire family, with interactive pursuits including swimming pools, touch tanks, a shark aquarium, an aviary, a nature trail, restaurants and a bar, and gift shops. At the nearby Tortuga Rum Cake Factory, guests can watch the cake-baking process and sample a variety of rum cake flavors. This factory produces the majority of the souvenir rum cakes for sale in George Town.
In the West Bay area, you can frolic with dolphins at two parks: Dolphin Cove and Dolphin Discovery. Both attractions invite guests to spend a day in the water with the friendly marine creatures while professional photographers and videographers capture the unique fun.
Visit Cayman Turtle Centre, home to more than 11,000 green sea turtles. Swim with yearlings in the lagoon. Enjoy lunch at Schooners Bar and Grill, then continue to the town of Hell to see a unique rock formation said to be over 2 million years old.
Board the Atlantis submarine for a 40-minute underwater voyage where you’ll be enveloped in a rainbow of tropical fish at a depth of 100 feet. It’s a photo op like no other.
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