How to Spend a Long, Active Weekend on Grand Cayman Island

Cayman in the News 13 December 2018
If you@re looking for a slew of adventure activities in the Caribbean, a good bet would be a visit to Grand Cayman Island. Only a 3 hour direct flight from New York, Grand Cayman is replete with marine and land-based adventure.

Article by Adrienne Jordan

If you’re looking for a slew of adventure activities in the Caribbean, a good bet would be a visit to Grand Cayman Island. Only a 3 hour direct flight from New York, Grand Cayman is replete with marine and land-based adventure. For example, you can dive or snorkel the former submarine rescue ship, the Kittiwake-sunk in its final resting place off Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. You can also snorkel with stingrays in Stingray City, or choose to take a walk through the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Also, indulge in some healthy eats at places like Coccoloba and Lobster Pot to round out your long weekend visit.

Take a Dive

In the Georgetown area of Grand Cayman, you can take a morning dive with the PADI-certified instructors at Sunset Divers. You might agree with your instructor to try out a shore dive, which involves taking a giant stride into the ocean and 10 feet very deep of sand and hard pan (solid ground). Start off the reef at 20 feet, and then gradually descend into healthy coral with beautiful topography like sponges, sea fans, and gargonia.

The mini wall slopes down to 35 feet, and you will see a 50-foot-tall bronze mermaid with a placard commemorating scuba diver's service during wartime. Some of the marine life spotted during the shore dive could be garden rays, Queen angelfish, Peterson shrimp, and the rare pipehorse.

Embark on a Snorkel

During the Stingrays & Sunset Excursion by Red Sail Sports to stingray city, you can hold the 3 foot long rays in your arms and kiss them for 7 years good luck. Look out for the friendly Scarlett (tour guide, Melissa’s favorite) who will hang out in your arms for almost an hour. Second stop on the tour is to snorkel in Coral Gardens with stingrays, rainbow fish, and schools of other tropical fish swarming the boat.

Walk Through Nature’s Landscapes

At the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, you find a botanical garden that lays out to 35 acres of colorful and green flora. They also have a cordoned off area with will be the future site of children's garden. Take a walk through the Heritage Garden, which includes a gravel path with landscaping and an example of a historic Caymanian house.

The spectacular, manicured garden contains gems like Banana orchid – the national flower of the island; Giant Flour Sack Tree; Mahogany Tree, Butterfly Bauhinia, and Cardinal Creepers. You may also come across a Silk Floss tree that fell over during Hurricane Ivan a year ago.

Where to Eat

At Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant, you enjoy lunch overlooking the water. Start with the Mahi and king crab legs, and for a main course, order the seafood pasta in garlic sauce (includes shrimp, scallops, and mussels). The restaurant’s two level balcony overlooks the Yacht Club Marina and is helmed by the gregarious Gundejal from Austria as head chef.

The outdoor terrace at Lobster Pot overlooks a jetty flanked by calm waves of the West Caribbean Sea splashing on rocks and small boats moored in the distance. The restaurant’s Cayman Trio includes broiled lobster tail, garlic shrimp, chefs vegetables, and plantains. Next door, you can see the Catboat Club from the open air venue, which was a place that previously built boats. You can catch on most evenings, senior Caymanians playing dominos, and without warning, the Lobster Pot rings a dinner bell between 7:30-8:00- not for people but to alert onlookers to see tarpon feeding of fish scraps from the kitchen.

At the Kimpton Seafire Resort & Spa, you can choose to eat at the Mexican restaurant, Coccoloba, which sits on the beach. A popular item at the venue includes the Braised chicken with brown sauce, rice, and roasted vegetables. Or, if you happen to visit for breakfast, Avecita is a dining venue with floor to ceiling windows. Order from the buffet or a la carte. Great choices are the scrambled eggs, potatoes, green salad, and the pancakes.

What to Pack

  1. Misfit Vapor 2 Smartwatch has activity tracking; heart rate tracking; you can also play music with the phone-free music player.
  2. OOFOS OOlala Sandal is a great way to get a walk in with a comfortable sole with their patented footbed.
  3. For a walk through Grand Cayman’s botanical garden, the Timberland Mendum Pond 22-Liter Backpack is lightweight and easy to pack in your main luggage.
  4. For a comfortable dive in warm water, you can wear Lululemon’s Will the Wave Long Sleeve One-Piece. The soft fabric makes wearing dive gear a chafe-less experience.

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