Grand Cayman Island is a Vacation Land of Plenty
By Caitlin Moore
Though they've seen many governmental changes over the years and more recently suffered a devastating hurricane, The Cayman Islands are still capable of providing a lovely and relaxing vacation experience. Grand Cayman is the largest in this inviting cluster of isles in the western Caribbean, and hosts millions of tourists each year. There's a reason for its enduring popularity - many reasons in fact.
First, there's the beach. It's pretty much a given that a Caribbean island is going to have attractive stretches of shoreline, but Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach is a mighty fine specimen to behold. Beach enthusiasts name this as one of the finest in the world, and the ample resorts and activities here cement its reputation as popular, accommodating and a pleasure to visit. The reef makes it fun for snorkeling, the bars will quench any thirst, and any necessary gear can be easily acquired. Quite simply, it's the best.
Top-notch conditions make diving and snorkeling popular activities throughout the island. Seasoned underwater explorers are happy to check Grand Cayman off their lists of places to see in their lives, and newcomers should feel welcomed to give it a try. The water is exceptionally clear and the marine life is abundant around the many reefs and walls. Especially worth a look is Stingray City, where a plethora of friendly stingrays float along the sand bars in the shallows and interact with people in the water. Feed them, touch them, and generally be amazed by these wild and beautiful creatures.
While in this region of the island (the northwest) feel free to stop by the other touristy spots. Hell is a place of strange beauty due to the black rock formations, and it gives visitors something to joke about. Sending a postcard from Hell or picking up a T-shirt satisfies most people's curiosity for novelty well enough. Cayman Turtle Farm showcases thousands of turtles of all shape and size, exemplifying why the Cayman Islands were originally named "Las Tortugas" (the turtles).
The eastern part of the island is less developed, so those of you who enjoy straying from the beaten path might be able to cook up a little adventure or just claim a quiet stretch of sand. Cars drive on the left side of the road here but Americans can rent them (after showing a valid license and paying a fee) or there are buses and taxi cabs readily available in most parts of the island. Tourism drives the economy of Grand Cayman, conveniences tend to be plentiful.
History is another reason to appreciate Grand Cayman. In the capital city there are the Cayman Islands National Museum and Fort George (what remains of it, anyway), and Pedro St. James Castle and the Cayman Maritime Treasure Museum are also worth taking a look at if the island's past is what floats your boat. Colonial influences and indigenous personality come together in an interesting way (as these things usually do) and add another dimension to a vacation that could be all about mindlessness.
Not that you shouldn't spend plenty of time lounging on the beach, sipping fruity drinks or floating in the salty sea. In order to properly forget about work, school, stress and responsibility there must be lots of sunning and a few naps. Indulge in all that Grand Cayman has to offer - you did come all this way, after all.
Another indulgence not to be overlooked is a Grand Cayman Vacation Rental. Dozens of delicious properties are sprinkled around the island like so many accommodating jewels just waiting to be taken up by savvy travelers. Small and modest beach cottages, elegant villas, sophisticated condos and more have a way of opening their doors to reveal a host of unexpected amenities. Who know it was possible to whip up some scrambled eggs, sunbathe on a private deck or stroll to the beach minutes upon waking with a cup of coffee in hand?
Staying in a vacation rental opens up a world of possibilities on an island that is already quite promising. Arrive with a detailed itinerary in hand or let the winds of fate lead you along; either way a trip to Grand Cayman will be a journey that is sure to restore and relax your world weary self.
Visit HomeAway.com and peruse the vacation rentals here and anywhere else you're thinking of visiting.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.