The Cayman Islands might be a modest group of islands in the Caribbean but are nevertheless a beloved tropical paradise visited by two million tourists each year. Most of these visitors are short-term cruise passengers, but only a handful of them come with a sole intention of embarking on an unforgettable aquatic adventure. If you are one of those select few, here is a small guide to adventure activities in the Cayman Islands.
The adventure hotspots
The Cayman Islands, as a group, consists of three islands. The main hub and the largest chunk of land is known as the Grand Cayman and there are additional smaller sister islands that a grouped tightly together – known as Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These are the main adventuring hotspots that offer their own unique share of activities, depending on your mood.
Off the shore of Little Cayman
Little Cayman is the smallest island in the group, yet right off the shore of this little underdeveloped tropical haven lie some of the best diving locations on the entire planet. If you want to go snorkeling and exploring the pristine waters of the Caribbean, this is the hotspot for you. It has over fifty dive sites, along with the iconic Bloody Bay Wall.
Some diving sights go as deep as 1,830 meters, so this is an excellent opportunity for experienced divers who want a challenge. If you are an avid kayaker, there is also a small uninhabited island mere 180 meters off the coast of Little Cayman, which is known as Owen Island. Sunbathing on its deserted sand shores is an amazing award for tenacious swimmers and kayakers.
Little Cayman Source: Serge Melki @ Flickr
Shipwreck mysteries of Cayman Brac
“Brac” is a Gaelic word that means “bluff”, and the shores of Cayman Brac fittingly rise in tall bluffs that look positively spectacular and inviting to all adventurists. The island itself does not disappoint in this regard, as its offshore reefs and shipwrecks can appeal to all aquatic enthusiasts who are excited by an air of mystery that surrounds those haunting husks.
The village of Spot Bay is the heart of Cayman’s unique culture and an amazing opportunity to broaden your horizons by exploring a different culture. Cayman Brac Museum should be another stop at your land-locked trek, as well as Rebecca’s Cave, and a breezy Lighthouse trail. In fact, Cayman Brac has an assortment of interesting caves and you should see to it that you do not miss on exploring any of them.
Source: Lee Shoal @ Flickr
The endless enjoyment of Grand Cayman
The largest island of the group is also the most vibrant place filled with a versatile range of activities, from spending the afternoon on its amazing shoreline in search of interesting people, to enjoying the renowned Grand Cayman scuba diving sessions. Jump on one of the enchanting submarine tours for a comfortable tour of shipwrecks and reefs and go on an unforgettable horseback ride along the sandy beaches.
Of course, you have not been to the Cayman Islands without paying a visit to the incredible Stingray City, easily the most popular attraction in this small corner of the world. In fact, the experience takes “a closer look” of marine life to another level. It is basically a sandbar in Cayman’s barrier reef that is filled with stingrays you can touch and even hold. Historically, the fishermen used to throw the unusable bits of caught fish into the sea at this exact spot and it started attracting stingrays. Over time, the wild animals in this region have gotten used to human presence so much, they are basically like pets. However, do not be fooled – stingrays are still dangerous animals, so do not approach them without the attendance of appropriate personnel.
Source: Scott Hughes @ Flickr
Diving, sailing, kayaking, swimming with stingrays and hunting for forgotten shipwrecks in the deep – these are only some of the wondrous adventures that await you on the Cayman Islands. However, your escapade does not need to be limited to water activities. Hiking, cycling and meeting amazingly welcoming residents can be just as exciting as plunging into the Caribbean depths!