The picturesque Cayman Islands can often be overshadowed by their bigger Caribbean neighbours, but what they may lack in size, they certainly make up for in experience. Secluded off the south side of Cuba, there are actually three islands in the Cayman Islands territory – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman - and all three have their own distinct personalities, offering incredibly varied activities and scenery.
Having recently flown out to this tropical paradise, our marketing expert Emma shares her first-hand knowledge and has shortlisted her top five things to do on your luxury Cayman Islands holiday - aside from the obvious pristine beach relaxation, of course!
Bioluminescent Bay Kayaking
You might wonder why our first pick of the bunch is a night time activity, given the Caribbean’s glorious sunshine is often its most alluring characteristic, but stay with us. Paddling out to sea when the usual vibrant turquoise of the water is cast into complete darkness is, at first, somewhat of an eerie experience, but what comes next is like nothing we’d ever seen. As its name suggests, Bioluminescent Bay is something of a natural wonder. We’re not scientists, but essentially the specific water conditions here give life to a rare plankton that emits light as a defence mechanism when disturbed. So in more exciting terms, when you swish your hand in the water, it sparkles in an Avatar-esque bright blue. Any Star Wars fans among you will also appreciate the turn of your paddle into an underwater lightsaber – you’re really never too old.
While exploring the Cayman Islands on land is a wondrous way to be immersed among the tropics, a helicopter tour takes things to a whole other level – literally. As you soar over the islands, breathtaking angles of the verdant landscapes rival those that you’ve seen on land, and if you’re not already in admiration of the Caribbean’s crystal waters, you’ll gain a whole new appreciation for them from above. Cayman’s waters (much more than their Caribbean neighbours) are home to raised sand bars and bright turquoise colours, contrasted by sudden changes to deep blue and stretches of coral. As long as you’ve got the stomach for heights, a helicopter flight is our definition of a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Day Trip to Little Cayman or Cayman Brac
Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are the tiny sister islands of Grand Cayman, and are just like the castaway islands of your imagination. While all the hotels and best organised activities are based on Grand Cayman, these two islands are wonderfully immersive, both in terms of nature and authentic Cayman culture. Plus you only have to take a short flight over from Grand Cayman to visit, and you can even be back in time for dinner. Carpeted in lush forest and brimming with birdlife, you can cycle the entire circumference of Little Cayman before settling on a pristine beach. Snorkelling here is another sight to behold, with untouched corals and underwater walls waiting to be discovered. Cayman Brac is even more of a haven for nature lovers, with dramatic landscapes and craggy cliff faces to scale on foot.
Who doesn’t love a brunch these days? If you think a Full English is a treat, prepare for a whole new level of indulgence in the Cayman Islands. Sunday brunch for them is a regular occurrence and an occasion not to be missed. We can personally vouch for the brunch at LUCA Restaurant on Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, with the biggest spread of delicious worldwide cuisine we’ve ever seen, topped off by a beautiful beachfront setting. Fresh sushi, hand carved roast meats, eggs whichever way you like them – nothing goes amiss here. If you’re a fan of the increasingly popular bottomless brunch, wash it all down with a glass (or three) of prosecco. Just make sure you’ve scheduled in a few hours of absolutely nothing for the afternoon!
Boat Ride and Mudslides at Rum Point
When we first heard ‘Mudslides’, we envisaged slipping and sliding through the earthy brown stuff, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. As Cayman’s signature cocktail, these frozen drinks are a bit of a change from the classic Rum Punch that you’ve probably overdone in the rest of the Caribbean. The drink is made up of Irish cream, a splash of vodka and a dash of milk, blended with ice and garnished with a cherry on top. For the best Mudslides on the island, jet across the bay to the North Sound where you’ll find the Rum Point area and plenty of waterside bars – which also happen to be our favourite spot on the island for sunset views.
If you're feeling inspired to plan a luxury Cayman Islands holiday, get in touch with one of our experts by calling 020 3613 5515 or making an enquiry online.