If a white sand beach alongside tranquil, crystal-clear waters ideal for sunbathing or a relaxing swim is synonymous with paradise, Grand Cayman is the destination. In fact, powdery white sand beaches and colorful coral reefs are the island’s calling cards. Grand Cayman is the largest of the British Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.

1. Barker’s National Park

Barker’s National Park
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Barker’s National Park is situated on the northwest coast of Grand Cayman, a pristine beach bordered by mangroves and lush greenery. A hidden gem, it is known for its isolation and serenity, allowing visitors to escape for a few hours from the hustle and bustle of Grand Cayman’s urban areas. Stretching for miles, this white sand beach meets shallow, tranquil, crystal-clear waters ideal for sunbathing or a relaxing swim. To gain access to this stunning park visitors will follow the road adorned with signage for the Ristorante Pappagallo located just outside the park’s entrance. The park is close to an array of attractions, including the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

23 Limetree Bay Avenue, KY1-1102, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-949-8090

2. Blue Iguana Recovery Program

Blue Iguana Recovery Program
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The Blue Iguana Recovery Program was created as a way to restore a free-roaming, self-sustaining population of Grand Cayman blue iguanas to the wild. They hope to expand their numbers and house thousands of these reptilian creatures in order to protect the native ecosystems. To do this, they welcome visitors to the QE II Botanic Park’s visitors center, where 1.5-hour guided tours are provided daily at 11am, led by knowledgeable docents. This foot safari covers roughly a mile of crushed rock and gravel trails, where visitors will be delighted to view blue iguanas in their natural environments, a magnificent natural forest, a lake, gardens, and various bird life.

Frank Sound Road, East End KY1-1800, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-547-8713

3. Cayman Crystal Caves

Cayman Crystal Caves
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The Cayman Crystal Caves are the Cayman’s oldest geological wonder and have formed naturally over millions of years. Located in a lush tropical forest in Old Man Bay on Grand Cayman, these awe-inspiring underground caves are truly a sight to see. All visitors are given 1.5-hour guided walking tours through the surrounding tropical forest and the three exquisite caves located underneath. The tour boasts impressive stalagmite and stalactite crystal structures, unique formations, wildlife, and fascinating tropical plants. Visitors will see parrots, bats, balsam trees, and air plants. After the tour, guests can visit the gift shop to purchase a keepsake reminder of the experience.

69 Northside Road, Old Man Bay, Northside, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-949-2283

4. Mastic Reserve

Mastic Reserve
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The Mastic Reserve is a preservation project undertaken by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands in order to protect one of the last remaining examples of the Caribbean’s subtropical semi-transitory dry forest. The total area requiring protection is 1,300 acres, 834 acres of which have already been purchased. This is the largest area of unspoiled old-growth dry forest left on the island, featuring an eclectic array of plants and animals native to the Cayman Islands. Visitors are welcome to the reserve to enjoy a guided Mastic Trail Tour in order to learn about this rare and unique forest.

558 South Church Street, Dart Park, KY1-1205, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-749-1121

5. Pedro St James Castle

Pedro St James Castle
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Pedro St. James Castle is a stately 18th century three-story building created using Jamaican slave labor for a wealthy Englishman. The Cayman Islands government took ownership of the property in the 1990s and painstakingly restored it to the 18th century splendor it once had. Today, the doors are open to the public, allowing them to meander through this exquisite property featuring authentic artifacts and period furniture, shining a light onto what life was like on the islands so long ago. Situated on 7 acres of land along the sea, the castle features a multi-sensory 3-D theatre showcasing a presentation every hour, a restored great house, and a Hurricane Ivan memorial.

305 Savannah Pedro Castle Road, KY1-1501, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-947-3329

6. Six Senses Cayman Adventures

Six Senses Cayman Adventures
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Six Senses Cayman Adventures is a dynamic tour company that caters to small groups in order to provide top-quality service. They feature three distinct tours, the Six Senses Eco Tour, the Six Senses Bio Bay Tour, and the Six Senses Early Bird Tour. The latter was designed for those who want to avoid large crowds while exploring the Stingray City Sandbar, the boat’s first stop. Once they arrive at the sandbar, guests will have unencumbered time to hand-feed and play with the magnificent Atlantic southern stingrays. The tour will then take them to the barrier reef to snorkel before moving on to Starfish Point to get up-close and personal with red cushion sea stars.

Yacht Drive, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-938-3303

7. Cayman Island National Museum

Cayman Island National Museum
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Cayman Island National Museum preserves the rich history of the Cayman Islands, showcasing it through dynamic exhibits, collections, and programs. The core of the museum’s permanent collection is Ira Thompson’s personal acquisitions from the early 1930s. With over 1,500 pieces, it’s an eclectic array of prints, manuscripts, fossils, musical instruments, tools, household utensils, and animal specimens. Located within the oldest public building on the Cayman Islands, this charming two-story Old Courts Building features six unique and regularly changing exhibitions all year round. After exploring the exhibitions. visitors are encouraged to browse the museum gift shop, filled with locally made conch jewelry, crafts, and art prints.

3 Harbour Drive, George Town, KY1-1105, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-949-8368

8. Cayman Spirits Co.

Cayman Spirits Co.
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Cayman Spirits Co. was created by two friends who decided to recreate authentic ocean-aged rum by settling barrels of the spirit on the ocean floor. Situated seven fathoms deep, their aptly named Seven Fathoms Deep Rum was born. Over the years, Cayman Spirits Co. has become a thriving establishment featuring two signature rums and one signature vodka. In 2013 they opened an expansive 5,000-square-foot distillery on Grand Cayman, where visitors can stop by for 40-minute guided tours of the facility. At the end of the tour guests will relax in the tasting room with generous samples of their specialty drinks as well as a seasonal distiller’s special.

68 Bronze Road, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

9. The Observation Tower

The Observation Tower
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The Observation Tower is a stunning 75-foot-tall viewing tower providing magnificent panoramic views of Grand Cayman. Created using over three million Venetian glass tiles, which took roughly one year to hand-cut and eight months to install, it is a simply breathtaking piece of architecture. It also features an elegant double helix staircase, an elevator to access each floor’s view, and several benches scattered throughout to enjoy quiet moments of reflection. The most prominent viewing attraction is the beautiful mosaic mural, which depicts an underwater scene easily recognizable to divers who’ve explored the Cayman’s waters. Children will especially love the view, as they are gifted with a coloring sheet that matches the mural.

10 Market Street, Camana Bay, KY1-9006, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-640-4357

10. Stingray City

Stingray City
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Stingray City is a unique and extraordinary landmark in the Cayman Islands. It is one of the primary exotic destinations for people seeking unusual and exclusive adventures with its shallow sandbar that serves as a home for roughly 50 stingrays. Each of the rays weigh approximately 150 pounds and they are about 5 feet in width, making them a spectacular sight. Each day over 1,500 visitors explore this park, where they can hand-feed the rays as they watch them play along the sandbar. There are also several packages that include trips to the stunning coral reef for a few hours of snorkeling and various exotic fishing excursions.

Seven Mile Beach, KY1-1205, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-322-3400

11. The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
© The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) was established to showcase the visual arts of the Cayman Islands. Although created in 1966, the museum didn’t find its permanent home until 2012. With its vast space, the coordinators were finally able to house all of its programs and exhibitions under one roof. Today, visitors can explore the diverse space, which features several exhibition areas, a library, art studio, multi-purpose room, the Art Café, and an auditorium. On the second level of the gallery they feature their permanent Cayman art collection, which rotates often, and on the first level they showcase their always-changing temporary exhibitions.

Esterley Tibbetts Highway, KY1-1002, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-945-8111

12. Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park
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The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a diverse mix of history, culture, and natural beauty. It showcases the simple splendor of a classic Caymanian garden with the astounding beauty of exotic flowers. Visitors can enjoy a relaxed stroll through the vibrant botanic gardens, lake, and nature exhibits as the pass by highlights such as the Heritage Garden. A stop in the tea house featuring panoramic views of the serene lake, which serves as a natural habitat for the rare Cayman blue iguana, is a must. The lake also houses many unique animals and aquatic birds native to the Caymans, which use the area for breeding.

P.O. Box 203, North Side, KY1-1701, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-947-9462

13. Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co.

Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co.
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Cayman Stand Up Paddle Co. is a locally owned and operated establishment run by watersports enthusiasts who have a passion for showcasing the versatility of the sport. They offer several rental options from hourly to weekly and hand-deliver the boards to any hotel, condo, or villa; this allows visitors to choose which waters they want to explore. For those who are staying along Seven Mile Beach, paddleboard deliveries are free. Their services include SUP rentals, introductory lessons, SUP repairs, kids’ parties, corporate events, and excursion boards for purchase. They also host full moon paddles on Seven Mile Beach once a month, a truly magical experience.

George Town KY1-1103, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-938-4787

14. Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter
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Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter is the largest land-based attraction on the Cayman Islands, featuring several cultural, educational, and entertainment programs each year. The center has seven unique exhibits and animal attractions, including turtle touch tanks, Smiley’s Saltwater Lagoon featuring an American saltwater crocodile, and Predator Reef, with animals such as nurse sharks, barracudas, and tarpons. They also have the Caribbean Free Flight Aviary, Turtle Lagoon, a butterfly garden, and Breaker’s Lagoon – the largest swimming pool on Grand Cayman with two waterfalls and the Turtle Twister Water Slide. Visitors can also choose to take one of two tours, Turtle Exploration and Turtle Adventure .

786 Northwest Point Road, West Bay, KY1-1303, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-949-3894

15. Dolphin Cove Cayman

Dolphin Cove Cayman
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Dolphin Cove Cayman is an educational establishment that offers a swim with the dolphins program. They offer three distinct packages, the Dolphin Royal Swim, the Dolphin Swim Adventure, and the Dolphin Lovers’ Swim. The latter was designed with the whole family in mind as it doesn’t involve getting in the water and instead focuses on the dolphins’ life, their habits, anatomy, and interesting facts. Teenagers and adults might like the Adventure Swim as they’ll get up close and personal with the dolphins, enjoying activities such as riding on their bellies or getting towed while on a boogie board. The Royal Swim is the premier package, with an extensive number of interactive activities.

9A Garvin Road, West Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 866-793-1905

16. Caribbean Culinary Concepts

Caribbean Culinary Concepts
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Caribbean Culinary Concepts offers visitors the opportunity to learn and experience the island’s rich history, culture, and arts while exploring the beautiful Camana Bay and downtown George Town. They offer unique food tours led by knowledgeable guides, the most popular option being the 3-hour George Town and Camana Bay Food Tasting & Cultural Tour. This tour provides five local food tastings, including specially prepared off-menu items and up to twelve locally made rums. The restaurant owners and chefs interact with each group, sharing their experiences and even providing guests with a secret recipe or two to take home with them.

62 Hospital Road, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 800-656-0713

17. Cayman Islands Helicopters

Cayman Islands Helicopters
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Established in 2003, Cayman Islands Helicopters offers an eclectic collection of helicopter tours aboard their underwater-themed Eurocopter AS350 B2. They feature seven popular specialty tours, including Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City, whole island tours, sunset flights with dinner, and the Fly/Dive/Dine. The last is an incredible all-day excursion where visitors will fly to Cayman Brac and be met by professional divers who then take them on a dive to explore the wreck of what was once a Russian frigate, now known as the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts. Afterwards, they will head to Little Cayman to dive on the legendary Bloody Bay Wall with a delectable buffet lunch to follow. The day ends back at Grand Cayman, diving the USS Kittiwake, followed by a sunset snack.

215-245 N Church Street, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-943-4354

18. Kitesurf Cayman

Kitesurf Cayman
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Kitesurf Cayman is the longest running kitesurf school on the island, owned and operated by three friends who love teaching people about their beloved watersport. They offer both private and semi-private lessons, and each session lasts approximately 2 hours. Upon arriving, guests will meet their instructor and then learn how to set up a kite, manage the kite’s safety system, and fly a trainer kite on land. Once this is complete, they will then hit the water with their full-size kite and receive instruction via their radio helmet, which is connected to the instructor’s walkie-talkie. Kitesurf Cayman also offers advanced lessons, hydrofoil lessons, and kite gear and equipment rentals.

Barkers Beach, West Bay, KY1-1207, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-916-5483

19. Coccoloba Bar and Grill

Coccoloba Bar and Grill
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Coccoloba Bar and Grill is one of Seven Mile Beach's top dining destinations, located directly adjacent to the Kimpton Seafire Resort and Spa. The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef Massimo de Francesca, serves up unique coastal Mexican fare with Caribbean and street food influences, including some of the island's best tostadas and tacos. Delectable entrees include flat-iron steaks, braised adobo-style chicken, coriander-crusted tuna, and the restaurant's signature Coccoloba Burger, which top an eight-ounce beef patty with Mexican-style slaw, oaxaca cheese, and chimichurri sauce. Homemade popsicles are also available to snack on in the restaurant's open-air dining room, along with draft beers, frozen cocktails, and agave margaritas.

60 Tanager Way, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands KY1-9008, Phone: 345-746-4111

20. Tortuga Rum Cake Factory

Tortuga Rum Cake Factory
© Tortuga Rum Cake Factory

The Tortuga Rum Cake Factory is an iconic dessert created by the founders of the Tortuga Rum Company. They made their first rum cake in 1987 using a secret family recipe and it immediately became a hit with the locals. Today, their delectable creation has made its way around the world and continuously draws in visitors to the islands for a chance to delight on the original. The Tortuga Rum Cake Factory has such a huge following that they have to make over 5,000 cakes a day. Guests who visit this pastry shop have the rare opportunity to watch them create these masterpieces through an observation window while delighting on free samples.

North West Point Road, West Bay, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-623-7701

21. Ave

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Ave is the anchor restaurant of the splendid Kimpton’s Seafire Resort in the Cayman Islands, offering breakfast, brunch, dinner, and bar service for resort guests and local tourists alike. The restaurant, which is helmed by executive chef Massimo de Francesca, serves up an approachable Mediterranean-inspired menu crafted with fresh seasonal ingredients. Elegant charcuterie boards complement fine land and sea entrees such as New Zealand lamb racks, 45-day dry-aged burgers, and island snapper platters. Weekend buffets offer sushi selections and a liquid craft cocktail buffet serving up limitless drinks. Visitors can also dine at the restaurant's exclusive Avecita chef's counter, which serves up Spanish-style tapas.

60 Tanager Way, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, The Cayman Islands KY1-1303, Phone: 345-746-4111

22. Acquarius Sea Tours

Acquarius Sea Tours
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Acquarius Sea Tours is owned and operated by a loving couple who have resided on Grand Cayman for over 25 years. They have a deep-rooted appreciation and affection for Stingray City, the Coral Garden, the reef, and the island itself. Acquarius offers amazing snorkeling trips providing old-fashioned service, a spacious boat, and the opportunity to visit some of the most magnificent underwater locales. Visitors will hop aboard the Big John, equipped with a flybridge, full onboard bathroom, and an interior space for children, and begin their 3.5-hour excursion. The tour will take them to Stingray City, Starfish Point, and their choice of snorkeling site, Coral Garden, Secret Garden, or the reef.

Seven Mile Beach, KY1 1202, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-939-8178

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White Sand Water Sports

White Sand Water Sports is an all-encompassing watersports activity center offering a wealth of diverse water excursions. Guests can choose anything from high-speed adventures on one of their Waverunner tours to a more relaxed trip snorkeling the area’s beautiful reefs. For an even more relaxing water activity, they rent water hammocks on the beach, providing a serene sunbathing experience. White Sand Water Sports features six unique water-centered tours, including the Jetovator, an aquatic jet-pack that can reach speeds of up to 25 mph and dive under water for brief periods of time. The Jet Ski Adventure and Wreck Tour, Power Boat Snorkeling, and the Sail Snorkel Safari are also excellent options.

1 Queens Highway, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-938-7263

Spirit of the West Horseback Riding

Spirit of the West Horseback Riding is a small company created in 2004 by Paul and Chelsea Rivers. They have designed four distinct tour opportunities for visitors to enjoy, the Beach Ride, the Caribbean Sea Swim, and the Moonlight Stroll. Each tour’s name accurately describes the trip: The Beach Ride takes visitors on a leisurely horseback ride along the coast and the Caribbean Sea Swim has riders and their horses mostly submerged in the water. The Moonlight Stroll is a night tour where the moon acts as the only illuminating light and the direction is determined by the good senses of the horses.

Bankers Beach, West Bay, KY1-1302, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-916-6488