What are the five best things to see and do in the Cayman Islands?

While there is plenty to see and do in the Cayman Islands, our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend these five favorites:  
 
1. Go scuba diving. Grand Cayman is an ideal destination for scuba diving.  Whether you’re a novice or a skilled diver, the Cayman Islands offer a great diving experience for everyone.
 
2. Travel to the sister islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Hop on a short plane ride and explore these islands; they are filled with quiet beaches, cool caves, and exotic flora and fauna.
 
3. Visit Pedro St. James. Take a tour of this castle, which is the oldest house in the Cayman Islands. It’s furnished with period pieces from the 1780s and offers some of the best views of the island. 
 
4. Go to Stingray City. Take a boat to Stingray City to pet and hold the friendly sea creatures.
 
5. Butterfly Farm. Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly and see beautiful exotic butterflies in vibrant colors and different sizes.

  • On September 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see the Cayman Islands in one day?

    It’s easy to see the best of the Cayman Islands in one day. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest starting the morning at Seven Mile Beach, where you can take on water sports like jet skiing. Or, if you’re into snorkeling, rent some goggles and fins and explore the ocean. After the beach, head to George Town for some shopping, and then take a lunch or cocktail break at one of the many restaurants lining the streets there. In the evening, have a fine-dinning meal at Blue by Eric Ripert in The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman and then head to the trendy Tiki Beach for some seaside cocktails.
  • On September 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to eat in the Cayman Islands?

    Get a taste of the Cayman Islands by dining at one of these five Forbes Travel Guide recommended restaurants:
     
    1. Pirate’s Point Dining Room. This spot on Little Cayman opened in 1986, which was six years before the island even got electricity. Today, it blends California and Caribbean dishes, resulting in mouthwatering options like mahi-mahi on top of polenta with tomato-herb marinara and crispy onions.
     
    2. Blue by Eric Ripert. Located inside The Ritz Carlton, Grand Cayman, this restaurant from celeb chef Eric Ripert offers a seafood-inspired tasting menu with wine pairings.
     
    3. The Brasserie. This restaurant in George Town couldn’t get any more local — it catches its own fish and grows its own herbs and vegetables. The menu constantly changes, but go for options like snapper ceviche and pepper pot soup.
     
    4. Ristorante Pappagallo. Know for its romantic vibe (and, thus, its reputation as a popular proposal spot), Ristorante Pappagallo is located in a secluded area of West Bay. The restaurant itself is a thatched-room hut, and the food is Caribbean-infused Italian cuisine.
     
    5. Grand Old House. One of the most elegant restaurants on the island, Grand Old House is located on a former coconut plantation in George Town. Here, you’ll enjoy fine dining service and modern spins on Caribbean cuisine.
  • On September 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to stay in the Cayman Islands?

    With three islands to choose from — Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac — there are plenty of luxurious places to stay on the Cayman Islands. Here are five that Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend:
     
    1. Grand Cayman Beach Suites. A boutique hotel that feels like a ritzy all-inclusive resort, Grand Cayman Beach Suites features a 24-hour gym, a shopping center, a spa, two fine dining restaurants and a swim-up bar. But our favorite part of this luxe hotel is the suites, which all feature high-tech amenities and balconies with ocean views.
     
    2. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. With 365 rooms, this massive hotel (the second largest on the island) caters to your every need — whether you’re using the complimentary kayaks or nursing a cocktail at the bustling beach bar. Make time to dine at Blue by Eric Ripert, a great seafood restaurant from the Five-Star chef.
     
    3. Southern Cross Club. For a more intimate experience on the Cayman Islands, check in to Southern Cross Club, which boasts just 12 rooms and a fishing-lodge feel. You’ll enjoy rustic décor, along with plenty of opportunities for diving, boating and fishing.
     
    4. Cotton Tree. Located in a secluded part of West Bay, Cotton Tree is a small boutique hotel that’s lined with pastel-colored cottages. Each one comes with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, private patios and high-tech perks like iPod docks and Wi-Fi. There’s also a freshwater pool onsite, and the famed Seven Mile Beach is just a 10-minute drive away.
     
    5. Caribbean Club. These oceanfront villas have large bedrooms, private balconies and fully equipped kitchens. But our favorite part of the Caribbean Club is the pool and cabanas that overlook Seven Mile Beach.
  • On September 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to stay in the Cayman Islands?

    With three islands to choose from — Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac — there are plenty of luxurious places to stay on the Cayman Islands. Here are five that Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend:
     
    1. Grand Cayman Beach Suites. A boutique hotel that feels like a ritzy all-inclusive resort, Grand Cayman Beach Suites features a 24-hour gym, a shopping center, a spa, two fine dining restaurants and a swim-up bar. But our favorite part of this luxe hotel is the suites, which all feature high-tech amenities and balconies with ocean views.
     
    2. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. With 365 rooms, this massive hotel (the second largest on the island) caters to your every need — whether you’re using the complimentary kayaks or nursing a cocktail at the bustling beach bar. Make time to dine at Blue by Eric Ripert, a great seafood restaurant from the Five-Star chef.
     
    3. Southern Cross Club. For a more intimate experience on the Cayman Islands, check in to Southern Cross Club, which boasts just 12 rooms and a fishing-lodge feel. You’ll enjoy rustic décor, along with plenty of opportunities for diving, boating and fishing.
     
    4. Cotton Tree. Located in a secluded part of West Bay, Cotton Tree is a small boutique hotel that’s lined with pastel-colored cottages. Each one comes with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, private patios and high-tech perks like iPod docks and Wi-Fi. There’s also a freshwater pool onsite, and the famed Seven Mile Beach is just a 10-minute drive away.
     
    5. Caribbean Club. These oceanfront villas have large bedrooms, private balconies and fully equipped kitchens. But our favorite part of the Caribbean Club is the pool and cabanas that overlook Seven Mile Beach.
  • On September 27, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where is the best shopping in the Cayman Islands?

    Some of the larger resorts on the Cayman Islands have on-site shopping stores; but if you want to go on a small shopping spree, the place to go is the capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town. Here you will find a mix of duty-free products like perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry, photographic equipment, china and crystal, as well as high-end designer brands like Gucci and Cartier. The area is also sprinkled with local vendors, liquor stores and restaurant establishments. Since George Town is also where the cruise ships dock, it can get pretty busy with tourists on certain times of days. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend going in the later part of the afternoon, when the crowds start to dwindle down.
  • On July 9, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best beaches on the Cayman Islands?

    Seven Mile Beach might be the most popular, but the Cayman Islands are filled with plenty of great beaches for sunbathing and snorkeling. Here are five that Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend:
     
    1. Seven Mile Beach. Starting with the most obvious and most popular choice, Seven Mile Beach is known for its beautiful coral sand. A long-time Caribbean favorite, it’s lined with hotels and provides plenty of water experiences including boating and snorkeling.  
     
    2. Cayman Kai Beach. This beautiful beach located on the northern tip of Grand Cayman is similar to the Seven Mile Beach, except without all the crowds. Here you will find a few dining options and activities like scuba diving. 
     
    3. Rum Point Beach. This popular beach located on the North Side of Grand Cayman is great for snorkeling with the kids, yet it’s also good for other water sports for adults. If you want to relax in the shade, just sit under one of the palm trees on the beach or take a break at one of its famous bars, The Wreck Bar.
     
    4. Smith Cove. Conveniently located near the shops in George Town, this beach makes it easy to take a break from the sun. But be prepared for crowds — this spot is often filled with tourists just coming off the cruise ships that dock here.
     
    5. Heritage Beach. While this beach is 40 minutes away from the main resort area and not ideal for swimming, it is good if you’re looking for a place to picnic. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to catch on event, since it has a stage for concerts.
  • On July 9, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best thing to bring home from the Cayman Islands?

    When you visit the Cayman Islands, one of the best things to bring back home is its famed liquor. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors recommend the national rum of Grand Cayman: Tortuga. And you won’t have any trouble find it — Tortuga liquor stores are sprinkled throughout the island. Another favorite Cayman Islands souvenir is the freshly baked Tortuga Rum Cake, which is sold at the Tortuga Duty Free and Cake Factory on Georgetown Harbor. This company was started by a couple and is now the largest duty–free and retail liquor business in the Cayman Islands. The rum cakes are so popular that they have opened several locations and offer different flavors.
  • On July 9, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the best Cayman Islands food experiences?

    The Cayman Islands offer unique food experiences, filled with fresh fish and local produce. One of our favorite ways to get a taste of the islands is by hitting up a fish fry on the Grand Cayman. Traditional fish fry huts line the streets throughout the island; ask around for a good one or check out Chester’s Fish Fry, which is a popular spot with the locals. Another great food experience is attending a local festival, such as the Cayman Cookout, which was hosted by Eric Ripert in 2012. After Ripert opened his restaurants at The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, he decided to launch this food festival at the hotel and celebrate food, wine and, of course, the beauty of the island. The festival brings prestigious chefs, wine experts and mixologists to the islands to offer tastings and demonstrations.
  • On July 9, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    Where is the best nightlife in the Cayman Islands?

    You’ll find most of the nightlife in the Cayman Islands on Grand Cayman. The large island has several different spots to suit your tastes, ranging from sports and wine bars to trendy lounges and dance clubs. One of the newest hotspots is located on the infamous Seven Mile Beach — the large airy beach bar, Tiki Beach. Go there for the scene and the drinks, but stay for the food (they serve lunch, dinner and midnight snacks). This spacious locale has a laid-back beach vibe and features a thatched roof, long white drapes, comfortable wicker chairs and private cabanas, in case you want to host your own private party with friends.
  • On July 9, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What is the best way to see the Cayman Islands in one day?

    It’s easy to see the best of the Cayman Islands in one day. Forbes Travel Guide editors suggest starting the morning at Seven Mile Beach, where you can take on water sports like jet skiing. Or, if you’re into snorkeling, rent some goggles and fins and explore the ocean. After the beach, head to George Town for some shopping, and then take a lunch or cocktail break at one of the many restaurants lining the streets there. In the evening, have a fine-dinning meal at Blue by Eric Ripert in The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman hotel, and then head to the trendy Tiki Beach for some seaside cocktails.
  • On July 9, 2012
    Forbes Travel Guide Inspector answered the question: Forbes Travel Guide Inspector

    What are the five best places to eat in the Cayman Islands?

    Get a taste of the Cayman Islands by dining at one of these five Forbes Travel Guide-recommended restaurants:
     
    1. Pirate’s Point Dining Room. This spot on Little Cayman opened in 1986, which was six years before the island even got electricity. Today, it blends California and Caribbean dishes, resulting in mouthwatering options like mahi-mahi on top of polenta with tomato-herb marinara and crispy onions.
     
    2. Blue by Eric Ripert. Located inside The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, this restaurant from celeb chef Eric Ripert offers a seafood-inspired tasting menu with wine pairings.
     
    3. The Brasserie. This restaurant in George Town couldn’t get any more local — it catches its own fish and grows its own herbs and vegetables. The menu constantly changes, but go for options like snapper ceviche and pepper pot soup.
     
    4. Ristorante Pappagallo. Know for its romantic vibe (and, thus, its reputation as a popular proposal spot), Ristorante Pappagallo is located in a secluded area of West Bay. The restaurant itself is a thatched-room hut, and the food is Caribbean-infused Italian cuisine.
     
    5. Grand Old House. One of the most elegant restaurants on the island, Grand Old House is located on a former coconut plantation in George Town. Here, you’ll enjoy fine dining service and modern spins on Caribbean cuisine.
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