Grand Cayman Island
December 6-13th, 2001
Grand Cayman is a sparkling jewel of the Caribbean. It is part of the island chain known as The Cayman Islands in the British West Indies. It promises to delight both the adventurous traveler and the sun worshippers alike, and I can tell you that it delivers on both accounts. The beaches of Grand Cayman are brilliant, especially the famous Seven Mile Beach. Whether you are snorkeling from the shore or just basking in the sun reading and people watching you will be very happy with this stretch of sand.
Snorkeling has become one of our favorite things to do so we decided we needed to experience all that Grand Cayman had to offer. We were not disappointed! The abundance of colorful marine life along the reefs was absolutely incredible. One of our favorite snorkel spots was Cemetery Reef. The reef is easily accessed from the shore and is only a short swim out from Seven Mile Beach. The coral here was the best on the island. It was colorful and undamaged and heavily populated by marine life. Among the various fish that we saw are: stoplight parrotfish, queen parrotfish, sergeant majors, needlefish, squirrelfish, butterfly fish, angelfish, glassy sweepers, blue chromis, triggerfish, damselfish, blue tang, snapper, jewfish, filefish, puffers, blennys, wrasse, grouper, a turtle, and an eel. Near the shore we also saw flounder, squid, and a rockfish. Other amazing snorkel stops include Edenís Rock and Devilís Grotto where you enter into the ocean via a ladder built into the rock. The entry can be a little rough here but the things you get to see make it totally worth the trip. The coral formations alone make this a great snorkel stop. The reef contains many tunnels where divers swim through the dark caves. The water here is very deep, close to 60 feet I would say, and that makes some of the life hard to see unless you are a good free diver. But nonetheless the fish are everywhere. The reef is heavily populated with parrotfish munching on the coral and schools of blue tang are everywhere. We also saw many groups of squid here as well.
The highlight of any trip to Grand Cayman has to be a stop at Stingray City. Several tour operators will take you out to this sandbar located in the North Sound where you can swim with the stingrays. We went with Captain Marvin and had an excellent time. The tour included two other stops on the way to Stingray City. The first was at Coral Gardens where you will see many soft coral varieties and even some stingrays. The second stop is at the Barrier Reef where our guide fed a moray eel! It was a sight to behold as our guide coaxed the huge green eel out from its hiding spot under the rocks. Our next stop was the famous Stingray City where you swim, or just stand, among hundreds of stingrays. Your guide will most likely give you squid with which you can feed the stingrays. Their mouths are on their underside so you just hold the squid out with your palm flat and they use suction to pull it from your hand, it feels incredible! But be careful, they can also suck up your fingers with that powerful suction, you will only get a slight hickey if they do but it is a little scary. Swimming with the stingrays is an incredible experience. As they come closer to you they actually beg for squid by flapping their ďwingsĒ which brush up against your body. The feel of their skin is like velvet. The only part of their body that isnít soft is a section right down their back that feels like sandpaper. Donít miss an opportunity to interact with these animals.
Rum Point is another fantastic place to visit while on the island. You can drive there or catch a ferry over to the point. It is a great place to sit and relax in the sun. You can also rent kayaks and paddle around the beach, we were a little disappointed with the small area that they allow you to kayak in but it was still fun.
We hiked on the Mastic Trail and at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and they were quite entertaining. For a detailed report on these trails visit our hiking websiteNatural Born Hikers.
Grand Cayman is a beautiful, friendly, and safe island. We had a great time and recommend traveling to this island if you get the chance. In the meantime, enjoy our photographs.
Click here for info on purchasing photos
Copyright 1989-2008, Natural Born Hikers, All rights
Send comments on this web site to email@example.com