38. Cayman safari
Safaris are not restricted purely to the plains of Africa … in Cayman we have our own versions. Cayman Safari Adventures offers an “open air” jeep safari for groups of 4-8, with knowledgeable Caymanian guides. The tour takes you around the island and past historical and geological sites. Tour options include a Crystal Caves and Nature Park tour: a half or full “East tour” focusing on the sites of the eastern districts; a West Safari which heads up to West Bay; and a Rum Point Adventure.
39. Black Coral
Hidden away off South Sound Road, a small wooden building on the beach side hides a treasure trove. Carey’s Black Coral Clinic is run by Carey, a man with quite a few stories to tell. Harvesting or collecting coral, including black coral, is illegal, so Carey, like other Cayman artisans, relies on hoards he collected in years gone by.
Not only does Carey’s offer Black Coral at reasonable prices, the roof of the hut holds a surprising sight. Thongs are strung in the rafters covering the entire ceiling, as part of Carey’s attempt to be in the Guinness World Book of Records. Visitors can either contribute to the cause, or just enjoy the photo opportunity.
40. Treat yourself
Treat yourself to a fine dining experience at one of Cayman’s high-end restaurants. If you’ve been frugal so far this year, take the opportunity to splash out in the run up to the quiet months at a fine establishment such as Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Cayman’s only AAA Five Diamond Award restaurant, Blue offers the finest seafood experience as well as daily three- and four-course a la carte menus and a seven-course Eric Ripert tasting menu. It also has a six-course tasting menu on Thursdays over summer. Take advantage before the restaurant closes for its annual break at the end of August.
If you’re traveling out to East End to escape the crowds, stop at White Sand Water Sports, located on the Queens Highway. The watersport outfit provides the Jetovator, which is similar to the water jetpack, but is sat upon, and is simpler to use. Most people are able to independently use the Jetovator in ten minutes, with the passenger being able to fly up to 25 feet into the air and dive down into the water as well. All riders are accompanied by a trained guide who is able to control the Jetovator to suit individual levels of skill.
42. Mastic Trail
This 2.3-mile route through the Mastic Reserve in North Side offers a chance to see Cayman’s flora and fauna, much of which may not be so easily viewed in the more developed districts. The trail came into existence over 100 years ago, starting as a mahogany log and beach rock causeway, and was a main thoroughfare until Frank Sound road was opened. Now it gives locals and visitors alike a path from which to view a variety of natural habitats; rare trees such as the Black Mastic; as well as geological features and a plethora of wildlife. Guided tours or self-guide brochures are available through the National Trust.
43. Dive the East End
Cayman has hundreds of dive sites off its shores and many generally stick to those on the western side for convenience. Take the opportunity over summer to go further afield and head out to the eastern districts to take advantage of the underwater offerings on the other side. Here, at sites such as Babylon, Fish Tank, and The Maze, you are quite likely to see reef sharks gliding along. Make a day of it by hitting one of the many eastern restaurants on the way back for some well-deserved grub.
44. Pedro St. James
Built by William Eden in 1780, Pedro St. James has since been used as a courthouse, jail, government assembly and restaurant. Its moniker as the “birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands” was earned due to it being the venue for the decision to form the first elected parliament, as well as the venue for the issuance of the proclamation to end slavery in the British Empire.
Visitors can walk through the house, learning the history of Cayman and the “castle,” watch a multisensory 3-D theater experience, as well as enjoy the surrounding seven-acre grounds.
45. Chow down on local fare
Cayman’s selection of gourmet restaurants often overshadows the island’s fabulous selection of local haunts serving up lip-smacking traditional Caribbean cuisine. One of our favorite spots for traditional fare is Grape Tree Café. Located right on the waterfront at Bodden Town, this rustic beach shacks serves up some of the best fish fry. Enjoy it right on the pristine sandy beach under one of the many shady cabanas.
46. Bioluminescence Bay
Bioluminescence Bay in North Sound offers a perfect spot to witness tiny marine organisms emitting light, especially when disturbed by the wave of a hand in the water, or kayak paddles slowly cutting through. The best time to view the sparkling effect is on nights with a new moon as they will be the darkest. A few outfits offer kayak tours, including Cayman Kayaks and The Sweet Spot. Their knowledgeable guides will educate the group on the bioluminescence, and visitors can start or end their evening with a meal at Kaibo or Rum Point Restaurant.
47. Play tourist for the day
Nothing gets you away from the daily stresses of day-to-day life like playing tourist for the day. Hire a Jeep and put the top down so as you can feel the wind in your hair, and check out some of Cayman’s most popular sites. A drive out to Rum Point or Kaibo is a must. Soak up the sights on the drive out and enjoy a spot of lunch along the way. Be sure to also stop off at Starfish Point and feel the sand between your toes.
48. Get in shape
Everyone talks about getting in shape for swimsuit season, i.e. summer, elsewhere in the world. In Cayman, it’s swimsuit season all year round, and a lot of people actually use the summertime to get in shape for gala season, which begins in October.
It’s pretty hot outside, so if you don’t fancy jogging along the beach or going swimming to tighten up your muscles, take a look at one of the many gyms on the island. Most offer cardio as well as weight training, along with classes to keep boredom at bay.
49. Locked Inn
Whether it’s with family or friends, “Locked Inn” is a fabulous brain-teasing escape room that’s bound to get your thinking cap on. Up to a group of six enters a themed room and has 45 minutes to find clues and solve puzzles in an attempt to escape. Themed rooms change on a regular basis, and include The Asylum, Pirate’s Cellar, and Death Row. Do you have what it takes to escape, or will you be “locked inn?”
50. Maritime Trail
This land-based self-drive tour takes followers around all three islands, educating them on maritime events and locations that are important in the seafaring history of Cayman.
A total of 36 archaeological maritime sites in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman make up the Maritime Heritage Trail, including wreck sites, lighthouses, examples of maritime architecture and a historic fort. Brochures for the trail are available from the Cayman Islands National Museum bookstore and the National Trust of the Cayman Islands.