IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, BY STEPHEN CHRISANTHUS
THE WATERS OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS ARE SOME OF THE FINEST I HAVE ENCOUNTERED ANYWHERE; CRYSTAL CLEAR WHEN YOU’RE SUBMERGED, CARRYING HINTS OF SPARKLING AQUA WHEN GAZED UPON FROM THE BEACH OR BOAT AND MAGNIFICENT, TRANSLUCENT BLUES IN THE DEEP.
When it comes to deciding on an island getaway destination it can be difficult. Where do you start? For me it’s the beauty and tropical waters. So when it came time to pick my next island expedition, it was so clear – literally.
The waters of the Cayman Islands are some of the finest I have encountered anywhere; crystal clear when you’re submerged, carrying hints of sparkling aqua when gazed upon from the beach or boat and magnificent, translucent blues in the deep. The ocean floor, coated with soft white sand holding hints of pink is the optimum canvas for the liquid strokes of turquoise glass that flow above. The temperature is perfect. It’s easy to get into but still refreshing. It’s the water you see in the movies and say out loud, “I want to go where the water is like that.”
You have the perfect natural aquarium for sea life and boy, is there plenty to see. The snorkeling is great anywhere right off the beach, but there are some places you can’t miss. One is Stingray City, and the best way to get there is take an excursion with Red
Sail Sports. They offer a variety of different times and activities throughout the week and weekend. I suggest the Stingray Sandbar and Rum Point Tour.
The Red Sail crew is composed of competent sailors from around the world, and they have a fleet of nice catamarans.
They provide a very pleasant cruise to the various locations, also offering an onboard bar for those who wish to loosen up before the activities. Once you reach the stingray
greeted by waist-deep, clear waters and a swarm of happy stingrays eager for human interaction. The shallow waters and harmless pets make for a very cool and safe experience for the whole family.
Once departing the sandbar you take a nice voyage to famous Rum Point. There you will find more great snorkeling, watersports and fun outdoor, casual dining. It’s a great way to spend the day. The crew then sails you home and transports you back to the hotel by van.
sand bar you will be The beautiful waters that surround the coast of the island and hold the locals as willing captives is just the beginning. There are some very snazzy hotels and inland activities. The island’s newest sheik hotel is the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa. Less than a year old, this resort smells new. Named for the fiery sunsets that set the horizon aglow nightly, it is a beautiful property from valet to veranda. But the staff is what really sets it apart. They will spare no effort to assist you, and they almost feel like friends you’ll keep in touch with by the time you check out. They have 3 great restaurants onsite. The Coccolobo on the beach is the one for daytime fun; it offers Mexican fare with a selection of refreshing salads and tacos. For dinner hit Avecita for Spanish tapas -inspired dishes or Ave for fresh local seafood and produce.
If you feel like getting out of the hotel for dinner, try Morgan’s and the Cracked Conch. Morgan’s is situated on the water and has a large selection of nightly seafood specials. The laidback but upscale atmosphere invites you to hang all night sampling their various craft cocktails while kicking off your shoes at some of the tables located on the sand.
The Cracked Conch is a charming restaurant situated on the rocks in West Bay. The crashing water provides for dynamic views during dinner. The menu takes advantage of locally sourced ingredients, and, of course, the seafood is excellent. I suggest the spicy octopus. They also have a robust wine menu, and the chef has taken a nontraditional approach to some traditional desserts.
If you’re not ready to call it a night after dinner then Cayman has a couple of options. Haven’t gotten
THE LAIDBACK VIBE IS SO INFECTIOUS YOU MIGHT NOT WANT TO LEAVE.
enough of the beach? Calico Jacks Bar and Grill has a lively crowd of locals and sits right on 7 Mile Beach. Kick off your shoes, listen to some good tunes, maybe even take that final dip of the day. If you’re ready to dance the night away, Lillie’s is the nightclub to do it. Open late and offering a variety of music, it’s a fun place to let loose.
The island is small and easy to get around so don’t be afraid to venture out because there are some cool attractions to see. They do drive on the left side of the road, so if you’re not familiar with that style show caution at the roundabouts. One place you can try is the Crystal Caves. They are a spectacular series of caves that give a glimpse of Cayman’s oldest landmark. They offer guided tours throughout the day and are a great escape from the sun for a few hours if you need a break. If you are out on that side of the island, check out the Blow Holes, too.
The Cayman Islands are a gorgeous, aquatic oasis. Go and enjoy any kind of water activity you can think of. But the amazing clear sea is only the beginning. Check out the attractions, dine in some great restaurants, and enjoy the island life. The laidback vibe is infectious and you might not want to leave.