August 20, 2019

Cayman Islands activities

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Offers Diverse Activities on Land and Sea

Scuba diving is a signature Cayman Islands activity. (photo via RLSPHOTO/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

From Travel Pulse

While it attracts millions of visitors annually by land and sea, the Cayman Islands remain relatively little-known to many North American travelers.

The easygoing British Overseas Territory, actually an archipelago of three islands in the western Caribbean Sea, offers a distinctive mix of natural beauty and local charm, highlighted by Seven Mile Beach, one of the Caribbean’s most picturesque and popular beaches. Surrounded by cliffs, Spotts Beach offers a peaceful reserve away from crowds. A barrier reef keeps Cayman waters calm year-round.

Other attractions include 65-acre Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and the National Trust’s Mastic Trail, a two-mile footpath through unspoiled woodlands in North Side. George Town is a shopping and commercial center that also features the Cayman Islands National Museum.

Sister island Cayman Brac features a variety of inspiring caves and nature trails, including a mile-long nature trail adjacent to Cayman Brac’s 281-acre Parrot Reserve. Cayman Brac is also home to small, charming homes restored in traditional maritime-inspired architectural styles.

In addition, Little Cayman offers exceptional fishing opportunities while exceptional fishing opportunities can also be found in Cayman Brac’s South Hole Sound lagoon.

Here are four distinctive Cayman Islands activities:

Stingray City: Perhaps the signature Cayman Islands experience is a trip to Stingray City, a short boat ride from the capital of Grand Cayman. Excursions to the shallow-water group of sandbars provide visitors with opportunities to wade in cobalt-blue waters as they feed, take photos and swim with gentle stingrays, nicknamed the “puppy dogs of the sea.”

Tours of the protected area are led by licensed guides, and the stingray population is monitored to ensure the species’ health. Several local dive operators offer excursions to the site.

Cayman Islands
Stingray City is located minutes off the capital of Grand Cayman. (photo courtesy of Cayman Islands Department of Tourism)

Turtle Release: Sea turtles are a protected species in the Cayman Islands; the island’s residents have interacted with sea turtles since at least the 15th century, utilizing turtles as food. The species has also become a Cayman cultural symbol and tourist attraction.

The Cayman government maintains a variety of initiatives to safeguard the species, including monitoring programs that engage local schools, civic organizations and businesses sponsors. Volunteers from the public are trained to assist with beach nest monitoring. For visitors, the Cayman Turtle Centreholds a release of hatchlings every November during Pirate’s Week.

Snorkel City: Grand Cayman’s crystal-clear waters offer world-class snorkeling and diving opportunities. West Bay Cemetery Beach features some of the Caribbean Sea’s best unspoiled coral reefs. Visitors can spot and photograph red cushion sea stars in the shallows of Starfish Point, and later stroll along its golden sands.

About 45 minutes by car from most Grand Cayman hotels, Rum Point features a white sandy beach with shallow, clear waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Beachside shade trees, picnic tables and food vendors complement the splendid natural surroundings. Travelers will also find volleyball nets, changing rooms and showers.

Dive enthusiasts can plunge the shallow depths off Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman to encounter the USS Kittiwake, 251-foot, 2,200-ton former submarine rescue ship was launched in 1945 and decommissioned in 1994. The former military vessel is a popular site among divers, snorkelers and free divers alike.

Down Under: The Cayman Islands is a nature lover’s paradise – home to a multitude of amazing caves where you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures formed over the passage of time as well as a variety of plant and animal life.

Over 100 caves are situated amidst lush tropical vegetation in the North Side of Grand Cayman, including Crystal Caves. Cave systems run the entire 10-mile length of Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman’s smaller sister island.

Guided tours are widely available and enable spelunkers to explore the island’s dramatic caves, including Bat Cave, Peter’s Cave and the Halfway Ground Cave. The caves were created over millions of years by rainwater seeping through Cayman Brac’s porous limestone, carving out fissures, sinkholes and caves.

For more on this story go to: https://www.travelpulse.com/news/destinations/cayman-islands-offers-diverse-activities-on-land-and-sea.html

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