Cayman Islands is a group of 3 islands - Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Nestled in the turquoise waters of western Caribbean, the average temperature around the year is about 82 degrees. With a total area of about 100square miles, the islands are ideal especially if you are interested in diving and snorkeling.
Since you have planned a 11day trip here, you will have ample time to explore all 3 islands to your heart's content. Of the 3 islands, Grand Cayman is the largest. North Sound, a 35 square mile, shallow lagoon, protected by spectacular reefs is the most striking feature here. Cayman Brac houses a massive central limestone outcrop which rises steadily along the island contributes to its spectacular terrain. Little Caymen is the smallest island just about 10 sq miles.
The impressive Cayman islands are a great place for divers and snorkelers and for those interested in the treasures under the water. If you are a little less adventurous, the crystal clear waters will allow you to see some of the treasures without breathing equipment. Those for whom the sea holds no charms, there are the beaches, historical sites, a rum cake factory, and gardens to enjoy.
Considered to be the best beach in the Caribbean, you would definitely not want to leave it once you come here.
The name is a misnomer since it actually is just about 5.5 miles. You will be tempted to stretch out on the beach chairs. The calm, crystal clear waters have a soothing effect and make you feel relaxed. There are a number of condos and plush resorts and Australian pines dot the background. The beach offers a number of facilities for water sports. At the north end is the Cemetery Reef which is a good spot for snorkelling.
This is a group of short, black, limestone formations in the Grand Cayman Island. They have evolved from shells and corals solidified by salt and lime deposits. You will be able to see petrified forms of sea life that could be up to 20 million years old.
Though you would not be allowed amongst the limestone formations but there are two viewing platforms.
As one of the visitors here say:
Hell is a small touristy stop on Grand Cayman in the West Bay that has a post office and a couple of gift shops, but the main attraction is the large field of jagged shoreline of lava rock with lots of lizards and iguanas. The shops have plenty of T-shirts, post cards, mugs and the rest of the usual tourist type items. Just behind the shop is the ocean and the ironshore lava rock which is where Hell got its name. Be sure to get a photo with the little devil and mail a postcard to a friend back home from Hell. The whole place is a quick 30 minute fun stop and photo opportunity. We had fun posing with the devil cutout and saying Hell a lot while we were there.
Opened in 1994 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, this 26-hectare heritage garden boasts a vivid array of cacti, shrubs and native flowers. The park has become the focus of a conservation program to protect the endangered Cayman blue iguana. The annual Orchid Show held here is eagerly awaited.
The park is open from 0900 to 1730 hrs ( last admission at 1630 hrs) during the period of your stay
For more information click here for the park's website
A little off the beaten path activity here would be kayaking. An hour away from the Seven Mile Beach is the tranquil North Side. Here you could go on an eco-tour of the protected mangroves. The tour is conducted by experienced guides while you paddle your own kayak. This 2 hour tour lets you go through the shady inlets and enjoy the underwater life. Turtles, lobsters and large starfish will surely be sighted.
Alternately you could take a night tour, called bio-iridescent tour . The tour departs from Kaibo and the high point is the algae which illuminates the plant and water life. There is a public park at Kaibo so you could even combine this tour with a picnic or snorkeling off the shore. This is also the best place on Cayman for shelling.
Georgetown, the capital Grand Cayman can be explored in one afternoon. The attractions here include the Cayman Islands National Museum which is in a restored building. Do check out the Tortuga Rum Company and try their rum cakes - they will leave you asking for more.
Beneath the sparkling waters off Grand Cayman lies the Stingray City. Located about 2 miles from the island’s northwest tip, there are about 50 sting rays here accustomed to human contact, so you can actually touch them and even feed them (though the conservationists would not like you to do the latter)
Also there have been more than 140 shipwrecks in the waters of the Cayman Islands because of the reef structure under water. If you are interested in diving, these sites are there at the bottom of the sea for you to discover and explore.
Then there is a submarine dive on the Atlantis. In case you are not for diving, you could go on board Atlantis, an 80 ton submersible that can hold 48 people. You will be able to see the tropical fish in their splendor and the fabulous coral gardens without getting wet. There are even Atlantis voyages after dark! For more information on this tour, click here.
There is a wide range of eating options available here. Local cuisine is very popular in these islands. I couldn't find much information on street food per say. But I found lot of options where you can taste local cuisine.
Here is an excerpt:
The Cayman Islands has a great selection of local fare which can be from our favourites of Conch Stew,Turtle and Cayman Style Beef. We have something different and delicious for everyone to try. Check out our listings below to find some great restaurants that offer the islands best Caymanian and Caribbean food.
(Source: Cayman Islands)
Here are my suggestions for local cuisine:
Location: Rum Point, Phone 345/947-9412
If you want to have a quiet Sunday brunch or a relaxing evening dinner this is the place to be.
Here is what Frommer's has to say:
One of our favorite watering holes is at Rum Point, which can be reached by boat. Divers and snorkelers, some arriving with stingray "hickeys," join expats and occasional cruise ship passengers to form a varied age group and all appreciate the charms of this laid-back joint. It's the latest reincarnation of an old thatched bar that stood here in the 1950s, during which time a bartender named "Old Judd" is said to have invented the world's first frozen Mudslide. Sunday is the most popular time to visit, when locals arrive in their private boats. In addition to two-fisted drinks, enjoy West Indian food, ranging from conch (fritters or chowder) to jerk-pork sandwiches and juicy burgers. You can eat outside at a picnic table under a casuarina tree. The bartender's special is the Attlee Mudslide. Saturday afternoons from 2 to 5pm is also a big time here, with a barbecue and live entertainment right on the beach. The bar and grill is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
Location South Side, Around the Island, Phone 345/948-1581
Just the place to try authentic Caymanian cuisine. It is open from 11:30am-11pm. You can get a good meal from USD 11 to USD 15 (CI$8.80-CI$12).
Here is what Frommer's has to say:
This bright pink building lures you to its isolated location on the south side of Cayman Brac. While relaxing on the patio at high tide, you can often see sharks in the water. A local favorite, this place serves the food that islanders have eaten for decades. Try such classic dishes as turtle stew with rice and beans, homemade conch fritters, and Key lime pie. Other favorites include sweet-and-sour chicken with fried rice, and chicken or shrimp chop suey. We gravitate toward the catch of the day, perhaps kingfish or mahimahi, which can be grilled or fried and topped with buttery onions and pepper. The prices are among the most affordable on the island. There's also a lively bar with a pool table.
Click here for more options. Apart from the local cuisine, you can try out other options as well. Here are my suggestions:
Located in Ed's Plaza south of Butterfly roundabout near the airport, this restaurant is a few minutes away from downtown Georgetown and Seven Miles Beach. The restaurant serves authentic Mexican food. With the best herbs and quality ingredients, the restaurants offers even the choicest vegetarian food apart from beef preparations.
Here is a review:
Affordable Delicious Meal on Grand Cayman
31 Jul 2009
This little (and I do mean little) restaurant on Grand Cayman was one of the best meals for the price our entire trip. The service was wonderful and personable, the food delicious and we left full and very happy. Our family of six tried a variety of dishes from tacos to burritos and no one could agree which dessert was better, the fried icecream or the chocolate chili cake. Worth the trip. The location is not fancy but it's comfortable and clean. Would visit again!
Located at Breakers, east of Turtle Nest Inn, this oceanfront restaurant is a great place for both lunch and dinner. The staff is very professional and the selection of wine is great.The menu consists of local seafood and Italian dishes.
Here is a review:
This is a marvelous restaurant is right on the waters edge (yes it really is a lighthouse) with an extensive selection of wine and delicious Italian food with a Caribbean twist. That's difficult, almost everything is good, but I'm partial to the gnocchi... And they have great deserts.As for wine, I was raised on reds and the Lighthouse has my favourite... 1998 Caymus. In fact, there are very few wines that this restaurant doesn't have. If you can't make up your mind simply walk into the wine cellar and play 'innie-mennie-minnie-mo'.
Located right on the harbor in George Town, this restaurant has seating both indoors and on the patio. Apart from the great view, it has a casual sports bar kind of atmosphere. The menu is heavy on the appetizers & finger food with the obligatory conch fritters & chowder plus the standard bar fare of chicken wings & quesadillas along with various greens.
Here is a review:
5.0 star rating
Jul 2, 2009
Local dive with the BEST Calamari anywhere. Sit out on the patio, have a beer and order the Calamari. It's located on the waterfront about three blocks to the left of the Cruise docks, next to the Graveyard that is falling into the sea.
Located at Turtle Reef, next to the Tortuga Rum shop in West Bay, the restaurant is on the first floor and offers amazing views of the sea. There is an outdoor bar named Macabuca, and it's hopping, with a down-to-earth menu and friendly staff. The restaurant serves turtle meat and of course, conch.
Here are couple of reviews:
My review of the Cracked Conch
Aug 27, 2010
The restaurant was very nice with a special ocean view. Our waitress made every effort to make our dinner comfortable which was difficult because we had to change tables 2x (once because of the bugs and once because of the heat). was very nice she was really entitled to make it a excellent meal. The food was fabulous I got the Red Snapper and it was very tasty on the top it was nice and crispy and the bottom was soft. The plain bread was also very tasty and you can tell they spend a lot of time making the batter.
Macabuca - if you have three hours it might be ok
Jan 1, 2011
Bad service, slow service, pretty location on the iron shore. Food is good if you can get anyone to take your order and actually bring your food. I wouldn't go back because spending more than 2 hours having appetizers threw the rest of our night off. The waiter was completely unaware - we had to take our check to the host and ask them to please let us leave.