For water lovers, Grand Cayman is a paradise brimming with countless sea-based activities. In fact there are so many things to do in the warm crystal waters surrounding our small tropical island it's hard to know where to start. Luckily we've done all the leg work and created a one-stop guide to Grand Cayman's 'liquid' attractions.
1. Stingray City - you just have to visit the famous Southern rays at the shallow sandbar. There are many ways to get out there, but two of the best options would be a private charter boat or, for the more adventurous, a jet ski excursion.
2. Starfish Point - the home of the red-cushioned sea stars. Starfish are everywhere at this tiny sandy outcrop. Just don't take them out of the water.
3. Kaibo Beach - a great beach restaurant with a chilled-out vibe, live music and BBQs.
4. Mangroves - there are many ways to explore the mangroves and natural eco-systems around the North Sound including kayak tours, boat charters and jet ski tours.
5. Snorkeling - see below for a list of some the best snorkeling sites around the island.
6. Beaches - although everyone knows about the sugar-white sands of Seven Mile Beach, there are some smaller beaches and coves that could easily be visited. Smith's Cove is a lovely inlet in the South Sound area of the island with soft sand, showers and is great for easy-going snorkeling. Rum Point has a delightful beach area that boasts plenty of tree shade, shallow water that's perfect for kids, the infamous Wreck Bar (home of the Mudslide cocktail) and plenty of watersports. The Barkers nature reserve has lots of beach spots for walking, exploring and watching the amazing kite surfers (if the wind conditions are just right). You may also see the horses being riden in the shallow waters. Spotts Beach is the best place to see wild sea turtles in Grand Cayman. It's usually not too busy since it's a little further away from the main tourist areas. Kaibo Beach is located on the north-side of Grand Cayman near Starfish Point and Rum Point. There's a small marina where boats can dock, a restaurant and bar. There is no coral or fish to see here, but the little kiddies will love the tranquil water's edge for playing while the adults drink cocktails!
Grand Cayman's Best Snorkel Sites
a. Aquarium - this is certainly Grand Cayman's finest snorkeling site. It is located about 100 yards NW of Rum Point, just inside the barrier reef. The site extends for about 10,000 sq. ft. and has many large coral heads and formations. It is packed full of colorful reef fish, lobsters and eels. the best way to get to this site is by boat or jet ski. It not advisable to swim as the currents and boats activity make it dangerous.
b. Coral Gardens - this is another good spot near Stingray City. Not as impressive as Aquarium but it is easier to get to by boat or jet ski.
c. Smith Cove - beautiful beach with snorkeling very close to shore.
d. Eden Rock - this popular site is in George Town and has a ladder to access the water.
e. Macabuka - this bar in West Bay has a good snorkel site with ladders going straight intro the water.
The best way to get to the off-shore reefs and Stingray City would be boat or jet ski. Aqua Watersports offers a range of options including private boat charter for up to 12 guests on a luxury motor cruiser, or guided jet ski tours for those who want more action and thrills on the water. www.aqua-watersports.com. Call 345-328-2662 for information and bookings.