A visit to a tropical island like Grand Cayman requires some planning. Thankfully, the island offers plenty of things to do for tourists of all interests. Couples seeking a more secluded section of Seven Mile Beach can find it on Rum Point’s tranquil shores, while modern shopping and dining hub Camana Bay beckons shoppers and foodies.
Often described as the experience of a lifetime, Stingray City offers visitors an opportunity to interact with Southern Stingrays in their natural habitat. These beautiful animals can be intimidating initially, but once you know what to expect, they are so much fun! You can pet them, feed them squid from your hand (they will vacuum it right up!), and even kiss one! Legend says that if you get lucky enough to have one kiss, you will receive seven years of good luck! Depending on your preference, you can take a catamaran, glass bottom boat, or motorboat tour to Stingray City. Sometimes, combine a trip to Stingray City with other snorkeling destinations like the Kittiwake Shipwreck, Artificial Reef, or Starfish Point.
Whether exploring Stingray City or soaking in Caymanian culture, Grand Cayman has plenty of unique things to do. But if you want to discover this tropical Caribbean, take the time to explore things to do in the Cayman Islands. One of the most unusual is the Cayman Crystal Caves. This natural attraction is one of the newest on the island and features three stunning caves that owe their existence to a surrounding tropical forest ecosystem. Take a 1.5-hour guided forest tour and learn about strangler balsam trees, delicate air plants, and even bats while you walk through the otherworldly caverns and marvel at their stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures. It is an excellent activity for families and children and worth the short drive from Seven Mile Beach. You can also combine this trip with a visit to the Botanic Park and the Mastic Trail.
The Botanic Park
The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a beautiful blend of natural beauty and culture. Located in the North Side district off Frank Sound Road, this 65-acre attraction features trails and gardens adorned with exotic flowers and plants. Visitors can stroll the Heritage Garden, Tea House, and Lake Area for a peaceful experience. As an alternative, visit the Blue Iguana Conservation Facility to witness the threatened species in its native environment. This park also hosts various events throughout the year, including the February Orchid Show and Earth Day. It’s a unique way to explore the island’s nature while supporting their conservation efforts.
For nature lovers, Mastic Trail is a must-see destination. It’s a protected spot that is home to a variety of exotic plants and birds. It is also an excellent place for hiking. The 2.3-mile trail is made up of gravel paths that run through a two million-year-old woodland area. For a fun and unique way to see the island, visit Bioluminescent Bay for a nighttime visit. This small, secluded beach attracts dozens of stingrays. Tours are available to learn about these beautiful creatures and even touch one if you’re brave enough. During the day, check out Camana Bay for some modern shopping and dining. There are plenty of affordable restaurants here, and it’s a great spot to catch some sun. There is also a waterfront Observation Tower that you can climb for fantastic ocean views.
Camana Bay Observation Tower
While Seven Mile Beach is the go-to destination for most visitors to Grand Cayman, there are several other beaches and attractions worth seeing on this Caribbean island. For instance, head to Barkers National Park on the top west side of the island to enjoy a more secluded beach and mangroves. Another place to visit is the 75-foot Camana Bay Observation Tower. Staircases lead up this spectacular building, home to a floor-to-ceiling mosaic depicting Cayman’s reefs and marine life, giving the impression that you are ascending from sea bed to surface. There is also an elevator for those who prefer to avoid climbing to the top of the building. Grand Cayman is full of exotic nature adventures, but this island also offers curated experiences like afternoon tea and paddleboard yoga. In addition, you can take a boat excursion to the magical Bioluminescent Bay, where microscopic organisms glow eerily in the water.
Whether you’re looking for exotic nature adventures or cultural activities, Grand Cayman has you covered. You can meet a 20ft nurse shark at Stingray City, explore the dazzling Crystal Caves, and learn about Caymanian heritage through art at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. The island also boasts gorgeous beaches and other natural attractions. At Seven Mile Beach, calm, shallow waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The more secluded Smith Cove and Governor’s Beach are equally beautiful.
The Camana Bay Observation Tower is another top attraction on the list of things to do in Grand Cayman, with a wide stairwell lined with a fantastical under-the-sea mosaic. You can also check out the Cayman Turtle Centre to see endangered sea turtles. Foodies will love the gastronomic scene, with two major culinary festivals and 200+ restaurants. Enjoy spicy jerk chicken at Cimboco, or dine on plant-based delicacies at places like Grape Tree Cafe.