Soak up some warm sunshine, splash about in crystal-clear waters and enjoy all the great outdoor activities that the Islands offer all year round.
There is so much to see and do on and below the sea that you could easily spend your entire days bathing in its glorious bath-warm turquoise waters. Sea temperatures don’t vary that much throughout the year — usually between 77°F and 86°F (25°C and 30°C) — so visitors never have to worry about it being too cold to dip their toes in!
Top Dive Spot
The Cayman Islands has been singled out by visitors over the years for its spectacular diving. Not only is the ocean teeming with colourful wildlife, but the underwater world also offers scenic coral reefs, incredible wall dives of down to 3,000 feet and man-made attractions such as the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a 330-foot Russian frigate that was deliberately sunk off the shore of Cayman Brac — known locally as “the Brac” — in 1996, and former U.S. Navy ship, the Kittiwake, located just 60 feet below the surface about 200 yards off of Seven Mile Beach. If you prefer the gentle art of snorkelling, take a trip to Stingray City, the Sandbar and Coral Garden with any number of the Islands’ tour providers and get up close and personal with majestic southern stingrays, as well as a whole host of other flora and fauna.
Joel Clark is one of the owners of Cayman Watersports, a service provider of all things watersports, as well as private charter tours. Clark boasts, “We pride ourselves in offering a first-class service to our customers. They can enjoy a safe experience with our high-quality watersports equipment, and the best thing is that we deliver right to the doorstep! We can supply anything from snorkel equipment, paddleboards, WaveRunners and kayaks to personalised boat tours to favourite destinations in our 42-foot Sea Ray Sundancer, which includes a WaveRunner aboard the boat.”
One of the most memorable trips you can take at night is the bioluminescence tour, run by Cayman Kayaks. When the moon is right, guests get to a kayak out to the Cayman Islands’ only bioluminescence bay and see this incredible sparkle-filled natural phenomenon for themselves.
Marvel at Nature
For those who prefer to stay dry on land, there are a ton of great tours and activities to choose from to keep you entertained throughout your vacation. For nature lovers, Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park boasts colourful gardens and a diverse offering of endemic plants, birds, iguanas and more.
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands runs some great tours that will help guests appreciate the impressive array of plants and animals that are unique to the Cayman Islands and, therefore, very special. Kristi Anderson, the National Trust’s marketing manager, gave some background as to what they offer visitors: “To help us maintain environmentally sensitive and historically significant sites, people can choose to witness the world-famous blue iguana at our head-start facility. Your engaging guide will accompany you and introduce you to some of the programme’s star breeders. You can also experience the fascinating tale of how, starting with just a few dedicated people, the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme was able to bring this unique species back from the brink of extinction,” she advised.
In addition, visitors can choose to journey through a memorable historic home that is known to have been inhabited by early missionaries.
“The tour of the Mission House re-creates the living situations of the three families to have owned the home, as well as displaying genuine artefacts known to be owned by the Watler family, who lived there for 77 years,” Anderson said. “You can also take a guided hike through the Mastic Trail, a two million-years-old forest filled with flora and fauna unique to Cayman. These unique tours are a part of our heritage, and you can help us to preserve these treasures by becoming a National Trust member or by booking a tour today.”
If visitors are looking for a little bit of respite from the sun, then a tour around the Cayman Crystal Caves is a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. Set in 200 acres in Grand Cayman’s North Side, Cayman Crystal Caves hold a multitude of magical discoveries beneath the forest in which they lie. Taking a guided tour around the forest and through these amazing naturally occurring caves, visitors can gaze at stalactites and stalagmites glinting mystically in the light from crystal-like deposits that have formed over millions of years and marvel at the clear waters beneath. Please note that all tours require pre-booking.
For even more natural wonders, visit the Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Rising 150 feet tall and offering opportunities for cave exploring, the Bluff on Cayman Brac boasts majestic beauty. And quiet Little Cayman is filled with lush foliage and white-sand beaches.
Go the Distance
The Cayman Islands is an excellent place to race in marathons and triathlons during the Winter season. Athletes like to participate in races whilst the weather is so pleasant during the Winter, in stark contrast to freezing conditions up north! The 2018 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, December 2, consists of a full marathon, half-marathon, four-person relay and a kids’ fun run. For athletes who want to push themselves to the limit, the Cayman Islands Triathlon takes place November 4, and athletes have a choice of two race distances: the full-on Olympic Distance of a 1,500-metre swim, 24.8-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run or the more manageable Sprint Triathlon consisting of a 750-metre swim, 12.4-mile bike ride and 3.1-mile run.
Whatever activities our visitors choose, there’s always a reason to come and visit us and play in the Caribbean sun.
Author: Stephanie Peacock