Cayman Islands Travel Guide (My Favorite Winter Getaway)
Trust me, there are many amazing reasons my husband and I have traveled to the Cayman Islands THREE times.
If you’re a vitamin sea lover like me, you need to add the Cayman Islands to your travel bucket list. I’ve travelled all over the Caribbean and there are many reasons why the Caymans continue to make the top of my travel list. This beachy destination is one of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, plus the Caymans are incredibly safe, family-friendly and they’re a paradise for foodies.
Cayman Islands Travel Guide
The Cayman Islands are famous for their amazing dive sites, exquisite cuisine and the world-renowned Seven Mile Beach. The primary language spoken is English and it’s easy to access from the United States – just a quick one-hour flight from Miami or a two-hour flight from Charlotte and you’re there.
The Cayman people are warm and welcoming and are often referred to as “Caymankind” for their hospitality. So really, it’s no wonder this dreamy destination has become one that so many love to visit again and again. Temperatures are typically in the 80s, so it is the perfect spot whether you’re going on a romantic getaway or family vacation.
Pro Tip: Like many of the Caribbean islands, the Caymans use their own currency: 1 Cayman Islands dollar = 1.20 U.S. dollars. While the U.S. dollar is accepted as legal currency at many tourist destinations, keep in mind that change will usually be given back to you in Cayman Islands dollars.
As for when to plan your trip, there are a few things to consider if you’re looking to make your trip more cost effective. Because December through February is the driest time of year, it’s the most expensive. To avoid this and the rainy season, try booking your trip in March or April.
Where to Stay
One of our favorite places to stay in the Caymans is The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort because of its prime spot on the world-famous Seven Mile Beach and proximity to the natural reef of Governor’s Beach (which is great for snorkeling!) The Westin was newly renovated and has the largest freshwater pool and swim up bars on the islands. It’s also been featured on Condé Nast’s Traveler’s Gold List.
The Cayman Islands are known for being the culinary capital of the Caribbean, making it a haven for foodies. Here are some of our favorite restaurants:
Agua Restaurant and Lounge: We’ve eaten at Agua every time we’ve visited the Cayman Islands. There you’ll find flavorful seafood that’s rooted in Italian tradition and inspired by Peruvian cuisine. Reservations recommended.
Luca Restaurant: Not only is the Italian dining there delicious, you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of Seven Mile Beach. Their Sunday brunch is an affair and reservations are highly recommended.
Seven Restaurant: Named after the world famous beach, the dining room and terrace overlook Seven Mile Beach. The food and staff are both exceptional! “Seven blends casual Ritz-Carlton elegance with a dash of Caribbean flair,” and also offers the, “most extravagant Sunday Champagne brunch.” Reservations recommended.
Ristorante Ragazzi: The head chef attended culinary school in Italy and the restaurant and pizzeria are exceptional! (The gluten-free pizzas are wonderful too!) Reservations recommended.
Cracked Conch: You can’t miss the waterfront dining at this restaurant or the flavorful dishes. (It’s a great lunch spot too if you plan to visit the Cayman Turtle Center.)
Pro Tip: Double check your bill before paying as a 15% tip is often already included.
If you’re in need of groceries, check out the Kirk Market where you can get most of the groceries you can find in the U.S. Another great grocery stop if you’re looking for healthy, organic foods is Bay Market.
Must-Do Activities in the Cayman Islands
Since the islands are famous for their white sand beaches and turquoise water, beach visits and water activities are a must.
Snorkeling or diving should be at the very top of your list of things to do in the Caymans. This area is actually widely recognized as the birthplace of recreational diving. The waters are so calm and clear that it’s the perfect spot to see scores of sea life no matter your experience level or age. While on our trips to the islands, we’ve snorkeled with stingrays, nurse sharks, turtles and countless tropical fish. (Don’t worry! The stingrays and nurse sharks are friendly.)
There are 365 dive sites to choose from, but some of our favorites are Cemetery Beach (for snorkeling), Rum Point, Devil’s Grotto, Turtle Reef and the Kittiwake Shipwreck. You can also do a nighttime kayak tour to experience the spectacular bioluminescence.
Stingray City, which is about 20 minutes off the coast of Grand Cayman, is a must visit. Tons of friendly, wild stingrays congregate in this area, so you can interact with them and watch them swim around your legs in the waist-deep water.
If you’re traveling with children, there’s plenty to do in the Cayman Islands! Seven Mile Beach has lots of shallow, calm places to swim. You can also visit the Cayman Turtle Centre, swim with dolphins, explore the Cayman Crystal Caves and check out the water fountains at Camana Bay.