Travel Tips – Grand Cayman Island🇰🇾🐟🏝️🐠🪸🚤☀️

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Check out our Visiting Cayman Youtube videos!

1 – Avoid the crowds. Create your itinerary based on cruise ship schedule @ https://www.caymanport.com/ship-schedules-calendar/

☀️ This will help plan your own Cayman itinerary so you can enjoy attractions without the crowd. As more cruise ships arrive in town, the crowds at major Cayman attractions, such as ‘Stingray City Tour,’ ‘Starfish Point,’ ‘Beach Horseback Ride,’ etc., get bigger.

🐟 Book tours on days when there are less crowds (= on less or no cruise ships days).  I highly recommend Ocean Frontiers https://www.oceanfrontiers.com/ for small group & professional snorkeling trips.

🐴 Spirit of the West https://caymanbeachrides.com/ for unforgettable dreamy horseback ride on beautiful Cayman beach & into ocean!


2 – Maximize your Cayman experience by renting a car!

🚗 This will maximize where you can go to your full potential! When it comes to rental car insurance, our credit card company provided a ‘collision damage waiver (CDW),’ so we only purchased ‘liability deductible coverage (LDC)’ at the rental car company. There are several rental companies right across from Owen Roberts International Airport. Be sure to bring a printout with the terms of any insurance you have; rental car sales agents seem to always try to convince you to buy their coverage, claiming you’re not covered anywhere else. If using a credit card for insurance, print out the terms. If using your own auto insurance from the United States, it almost never covers liability in foreign countries. If your agent says you’re covered, be sure to get it in writing along with specific limits. Make sure to understand your coverage; if you buy their coverage, it might cancel out any other coverage you have.


3 – Driving in Cayman – Stay on LEFT, and learn their roundabout!

🚘 It will help to have live directions on your cell phone. (Unless your rental car has a fancy car navigation!)  We were able to use Waze app and Google Directions on our cell phones while driving in Cayman with ‘AT&T pre-paid phone plan with international add-on‘ which offered unlimited calls & texts, and 5gig of data.

🚖 Avoid Rush Hour. We got stuck in rush hour traffic driving eastward (out of downtown) from west end about 6pm on weekday evening.  I read there is rush hour traffic westward (towards downtown) on weekday morning at about 7-8am.


4 – Accommodation

🐚 We wanted to be in an authentic local area away from commercial/highly developed area of 7-mile beach area.  We stayed at Turtle Nest Inn https://www.turtlenestinn.com/  Beautiful inn (Shhh don’t tell anybody! It’s a secret) on a beautiful location in Bodden Town (kind of “middle” of Cayman island).  Convenient access to all directions and our reservation came with a rental car!


5 – Self-Snorkeling

🪸There are many snorkeling locations all around Cayman island. Some are advisable to go with tour company: not reachable without boat (Recommend Ocean Frontiers https://www.ocean-frontiers.com/ for snorkeling tours) and others are “accessible” on your own: easy shore access.

Here is very useful website Grand Cayman Snorkeling Guide https://snorkelingquest.com/blogs/snorkeling-locations/grand-cayman

🤿Self-snorkeling spots we went. (There are many more we wanted to go, but not enough time!)

  • Smith Barcadere (near downtown) – Just walk in from beach & start snorkeling!
  • Eden Rock (near downtown) – Dive shop & restaurant which has easy access into ocean via ladder.  Swim to white buoys where reefs are.
  • Cemetery Beach (on 7-mile beach)
  • Macabuca (west end) – Dive bar/restaurant with easy shore access into ocean via ladder.
  • Bodden town right off of Turtle Nest Inn

🐠Reputable & reliable snorkeling gear If you like to bring your own, or rent it.

    • Cressi Snorkeling gear (mask, dry snorkel, neoprene anti-slip boots & fins)
      1. Cressi mask & snorkel
      2. neoprene anti-slip boots
      3. fins

🐡And other useful accessories.

    • Waterproof Waist pouch – You can carry your car key, credit card, cash, etc with you while snorkeling.
    • Swim Buoy – T6 20L Swim Buoy Waterproof Dry Bag – If you want to snorkel in a secluded area.
    • GoPro – we have GoPro Hero 12 which is completely water-proof & were able to take spectacular underwater pictures & videos!

6 – Grocery Shopping

On our first day right after we checked in our inn, we went for quick grocery shopping (Foster’s – less than 10 minutes away). Our inn had full kitchen, and we got some breakfast supplies (ready-to-eat-cut fruits, banana, Greek yogurt, kashi cereal, coffee ground & milk).  Easy and quick breakfast without hassle while appreciating beautiful sunrise from our ocean-view room!  We didn’t plan on cooking big meals on our vacation as there are so many eateries around.

We also purchased several 1-gallon water jugs to fill our water bottles.

You could buy sunblocks here if you didn’t bring them.

A little tip! Keep your electrolytes in check with this electrolyte replacement powder. And stay hydrated💦


7 – Dining

🥥Local Eateries we liked & recommend.

  • Vivine’s Kitchen (East End)
  • Heritage Kitchen (West Bay)
  • Captain Herman’s Fish Fry (East End)
  • Over The Edge (North Side)
  • Czech Inn Grill (Bodden Town)
  • Kaibo Beach Restaurant (North End)

8 – Souvenir

🐚Pure Art Gallery & Gifts (near downtown) got special gifts! Hand-made Caymanite jewelry is not to be missed!


9 – Go to Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park

https://www.botanic-park.ky/

You will be awed by colorful floral displays and lush tropical vegetation everywhere you turn. Also see Cayman’s blue iguana “Blue Dragon” at Blue Iguana Conservation Facility inside the park.



Chie

Chie was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan before attending college in Pennsylvania then moving to Cleveland, Ohio, and now lives near Asheville, North Carolina. Despite her metropolitan upbringing, Chie enjoys nature-abundant Western North Carolina living, let alone its warm-hearted locals and cultures. Traveling and exploring are her favorite things to do.

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