20 Things To Do In Grand Cayman Island

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A British territory made up of a trio of paradise islands, the Cayman Islands is a dream holiday destination thanks to its white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Popular with everyone from families to honeymooners, Grand Cayman is the country’s central and largest island and is filled with endless things to see and do.

Although the Cayman Islands has a reputation for being very expensive, there are many local activities, attractions and natural sights like the epic beaches, that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Much like their neighbouring Caribbean Islands, the Caymans are perfect for a relaxing, desert island holiday since they’re home to amazing reefs and marine life, hundreds of beaches and sunny weather virtually year-round. Grand Cayman itself also has hiking trails, shopping districts, museums, galleries and historic locations to visit, so there’s no chance you’ll run out of things to do.

Grand Cayman Island, Cayman Islands

Top Tours

Stingray City Experience Plus Two Snorkeling Stops on Grand Cayman

Airport Transfer – Owen Roberts Intl Airport to GeorgeTown or Seven Mile Beach

20 Things To Do In Grand Cayman Island

1- Relax at Seven Mile Beach

Beach And Crystal Clear Waters Of Grand Cayman
Relaxing on Seven Mile Beach is one of the things to do in Grand Cayman Island.

Seven Mile Beach is Grand Cayman’s most famous beach, which attracts thousands of visitors with its sandy shoreline on the island’s western coast, not to mention the swaying palm trees and sparkling water.

Despite its name, it’s actually only around 6 miles long – but that’s still plenty of room to find a spot to relax.

If you’re not staying on Seven Mile Beach and have a rental car, consider visiting from Governors Beach, where there’s free parking, however, the beach is generally easy to access as it’s so popular and is filled with hotels, bars and restaurants.

Recommended tours:

2- Discover History At The National Museum

The Cayman Islands National Museum is in the capital of George Town, in the Old Courts Building.

The museum’s impressive collection includes around 1,500 weird and wonderful items, such as prints, manuscripts, fossils, musical instruments, tools, household items and even animal specimens which come from throughout Grand Cayman’s history and allow you to learn a little more about the history and culture of the country.

The pretty two-story building also has six rotating exhibitions throughout the year.

On the way out, check out the gift shop for locally crafted jewellery, art and souvenirs.

3- Hit The Shops At Camana Bay

Camana Bay is Grand Cayman’s liveliest shopping, entertainment and events district – in fact, it hosts around 600 events per year.

There are loads of dining options for trying local cuisine, bars for a drink as the evening draws in and tonnes of shopping outlets, whether you want some souvenirs, a new swimsuit or a designer bag.

There’s also a cinema, markets and regular celebrations, so it can be a great place to go with kids.

On Wednesdays, there’s also a Farmer’s Market where you can peruse local produce and get a sense of Cayman Island life.

Within the same vicinity is a giant observation tower, but that’s a sight in itself that you can combine into your plans when visiting the area.

4- Meet The Locals At Stingray City

Just like destinations such as Turks and Caicos, Grand Cayman has an area known as Stingray City, which is famous for the hundreds of friendly stingrays that come to the water’s edge which you can swim with and feed.

It’s on a shallow sandbar and there are dozens of tours that go to this location, where there are often up to fifty stingrays at one time.

Your guide will help you hold and feed the stingrays and can share expert facts and information with you.

The stingrays are pretty used to humans by now, so don’t be afraid to get up close for a few photos.

As the water is so exceptionally clear, tours here often double up to also include snorkelling excursions or lunch.

Recommended tours:

5- Catch A Sunset At Rum Point

Rum Point, Grand Cayman
Cruising around Rum Point is one of the cool things to do in Grand Cayman Island.

One of the most quintessential Grand Cayman experiences you can have is a visit to Rum Point.

This beautiful beachside area on the north of the island catches some of the best sunsets in the Caribbean (if not the world!), and during the day, there’s a good selection of delicious local food and drink.

The white sand beach is perfect for sunbathing or pulling up a hammock between two palm trees.

There are also shops for renting water sports gear or going snorkelling and as the sun goes down, try some local rum or a Cayman Islands favourite, the Mudslide, at a beach bar.

If you don’t have a car, Rum Point can be tricky to reach, but lots of tours go here or include it as part of other trips.

6- Admire Rare Bioluminescence

There are a few incredible places in the world where you can spot the unique phenomenon of bioluminescence: Jamaica, Australia, Cambodia, and, luckily for you, Grand Cayman.

On the island’s northern tip is a bay that you can only reach by boat since it’s surrounded by luxury private villas.

There are a variety of companies that do tours to see the bioluminescence, which happens at night.

Make sure to try and head here on a clear night, without a bright moon, as the blue glow in the water is far easier to see.

You can see it either from a larger boat or, better still, go kayaking through the water to get as close as possible.

Recommended tour: Private: Bioluminescence Tour – for six people

7- Pose For Photos At Starfish Point

Tropical Paradise - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Exploring Starfish Point is one of the things to do in Grand Cayman Island.

Starfish Point is much like Stingray City, but unsurprisingly, with starfish!

The area, which has super shallow waters, sees hundreds of brightly coloured starfish sitting just under the waves on the sand.

It’s usually included in excursions to Stingray City so that you can tick both off the list in one go, although you can easily reach the area yourself.

When taking photos, try not to touch the starfish or remove them from the water, as they can be stressed out by human touch and die if they’re not underwater, just like fish.

8- Explore The Crystal Caves

You wouldn’t expect there to be eerie caves filled with stalagmites and stalactites in the Cayman Islands, but the Crystal Caves are a must-see while here.

Located in Northside, Grand Cayman, the Crystal Caves include a 1.5-hour journey through three of these huge caves, which have been formed over millions of years.

Inside are hundreds of stalagmite and stalactite formations, wildlife and tropical flora – watch out for bats flying overhead!

There’s also a beautiful lake, and on the way, you’ll learn more about the caves’ history and how they were formed.

It’s one of the most unique things to do on Grand Cayman, and they’ve modernised it a little with a gift shop on the way out.

Recommended tour: Cayman Crystal Caves Tour in Grand Cayman Island

9- Stroll Through Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park

Right in the heart of the island is the expansive Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, which covers a huge 65 acres of land.

There’s a lot to explore here, so set aside at least half a day to discover the nature trails and boardwalks, gardens and various flora and fauna.

These include the Floral Garden, Orchid Boardwalk, Heritage Garden and a woodland trail.

It’s most famous for being home to the Blue Iguana Conservation Facility, creatures which are native to the Caymans and endangered, and there are a few species of native aquatic birds that also live within the park.

Elsewhere, there’s a pretty Heritage Garden, plus a teahouse where you can stop for a snack and a drink.

10- Go Scuba Diving

Diver Off Bloody Bay Wall
Bloody Bay Wall, Grand Cayman island.

There are enough dive sites in the Caymans to do a different one each day of the year, and out of these 365, 240 of them surround Grand Cayman.

With its deep blue waters, underwater caves and grottos, wrecks, reefs and rare marine life, it’s heaven for scuba divers.

If you’re keen to learn, there are lots of PADI dive schools and equally amazing beginner sites, while experts can head further afield.

Check out the USS Kittiwake wreck, Sunset House and Devil’s Grotto, the latter of which is a maze of underwater tunnels and caves.

There’s also wall diving off every island in the Caymans, which is a unique experience if you haven’t tried it before or want to have a go at freediving.

11- Take A Trip To Hell

The Caymans Islands, with their sugar-soft beaches, crystal clear waters and blazing sunshine, are about as far from hell as you can get.

Yet there’s a unique place on Grand Cayman where you can pay a quick visit to Hell.

Named thanks to its unusual black limestone rock formations, which look jagged across the ground, it’s a weird natural wonder but totally free.

The site is in West Bay and is caused by millions of years of salt and lime deposits, which now offer visitors a cool photo opportunity.

The islands have turned this into a proper hotspot now that you can buy Hell-themed gifts and souvenirs in nearby shops, plus, you can even send a postcard back home straight from Hell.

Recommended tour: West Bay Sightseeing Tour Plus Seven Mile Beach Visit

12- Take Part In Conservation At Cayman Turtle Centre

Sea Turtle Eyes And Face
Visiting the Cayman Turtle Centre is one of the things to do in Grand Cayman Island.

The Cayman Turtle Centre is a fun thing to do for adults and kids on Grand Cayman, especially if you’re into conservation.

You’ll get to be up close with giant turtles, feed them and learn more about the rehabilitation efforts to help keep them safe across the islands.

There are seven main exhibits, including a touch tank, but there’s plenty more to explore.

Croc Cove has a massive 11-foot Cayman crocodile, which you can peer at, while there’s also Predator Reef, which has sharks and barracuda.

Elsewhere, you’ll find a butterfly garden, a huge aviary, a turtle hatchery and Breaker’s Lagoon, which is the largest freshwater pool in the Caymans, complete with two waterfalls – you can even view Predator’s reef here from under the water!

13- Go Snorkelling, Kayaking Or Jet Skiing

Happy Woman In Snorkeling Mask Dive, Underwater
Go snorkelling is one of the best things to do in Grand Cayman Island.

You’ll never run out of water-based activities on Grand Cayman, as there are unlimited rental shops and things to do.

If you’re not a diver, head out snorkelling straight from any of the beaches or opt for a longer tour to reefs further away.

Paddleboarding is also extremely popular, with a few companies on Seven Mile Beach that lead tours and classes and rent boards.

There’s also jet skiing, kite surfing, kayaking, glass-bottomed boats, parasailing and more, along with bigger options, like charter yachts and sunset cruises or island hopping.

Recommended tours:

14- Sample Local Spirits At The Cayman Spirits Co.

Skip the Line: Guided Tour and Rum Tasting Experience
Tasting local rum is a fun thing to do n Grand Cayman.

It wouldn’t be a true island holiday without sampling a spirit or two, so the Cayman Spirits Co.

is the perfect place to head for the afternoon.

The company has a fascinating history, started by two friends who wanted to recreate ‘ocean-aged rum’.

They’ve since developed the aptly named Seven Fathoms Deep Rum, which is quite literally aged by dropping barrels down seven fathoms into the ocean.

So far, they’ve got two signature rums and a vodka on offer, which you can learn about in their distillery.

Discover the distillation process, ingredients and techniques involved in making the spirits before trying a few tasters and heading to their store which has lots of bottles and other merchandise you can take home with you.

Skip the Line: Guided Tour and Rum Tasting Experience

15- Hike The Mastic Reserve Trail

Grand Cayman isn’t well known for its hiking trails, but there is one famous one, and that’s in the Mastic Reserve.

The area is a preservation project initiated by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands that protects some of the last remaining subtropical dry forests in the entire Caribbean, covering around 1,300 acres.

The 2.3-mile Mastic Reserve Trail is a fairly easy, steady hike that winds through the area’s ancient forests.

If you’re not keen on doing it yourself, you can also opt for a National Trust guide who can share some local knowledge.

Recommended tour: Small Group E-Bike Grand Cayman Ecological Half-Day Tour

16- Discover Pedro St. James Castle

Pedro St James (Pedro Castle) Grand Cayman
Visiting Pedro St James Castle is one of the things to do on Grand Cayman Island.

Pedro St. James Castle is a National Historic Site on Grand Cayman that’s well worth a quick visit.

This 18th-century mansion was once owned by a wealthy businessman and is known as the ‘birthplace of democracy’ for the Cayman Islands.

However, it was originally built by Jamaican slave labour, after which the Cayman Islands government took over the property and restored it to its 18th-century grandeur.

Luckily for visitors, this means you can now explore the property and admire authentic artefacts and period furniture while learning more about life on the islands hundreds of years ago.

Recommended tour: Skip the Line: Pedro St. James Castle Guided Tour Ticket

17- Climb The Observation Tower

We mentioned the Observation Tower earlier because it’s unmissable if you’re in Camana Bay.

The tower is a 75-foot-tall viewing platform with amazing 360-degree views of the bay, Seven Mile Beach, George Town and the North Sound.

The views aren’t the only amazing part.

It was created with over three million Venetian glass tiles, meticulously hand-cut over a year and installed in eight months.

The mosaic mural is arguably the most famous part, depicting colourful fish and other underwater life.

It’s a relatively new attraction and is free to climb, but there’s also a lift to the top if you can’t quite make it up the stairs in the island heat!

Recommended tour: East Island Tour

It’s not just history that you can enjoy on Grand Cayman, but art too.

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, known as NGCI, is a huge space exhibiting local artists’ works.

It was founded in 1966 and now has multiple exhibition areas, a library and a beautiful outdoor sculpture garden.

There’s also the Art Cafe, where you can stop for a quick coffee or bite to eat, and the art studio, which is often open to adults and kids if you want to do a fun painting or drawing class.

The exhibitions are constantly changing, meaning there’s always some new and exciting art to see.

19- Eat Cake At The Tortuga Rum Company

Mix two of life’s best things, rum and cake, and you get a trendy attraction in the Cayman Islands.

The Tortuga Rum Company, now sometimes called the Rum Cake Factory, has become famous for its iconic cake.

They created a secret family recipe for a rum cake, which has become endlessly popular with locals and tourists, meaning they now make around 5,000 cakes per day to sell locally and to ship off around the world.

Unfortunately, they don’t offer tours, but their bakery on Grand Cayman has a big observation window where you can watch them bake before heading to the next-door shop for a free tasting of rum and cake or to buy some for yourself if it isn’t sold out!

20- Island Hop Over To Cayman Brac And Little Cayman

Dive Master Checking The Mooring In Cayman Brac
Diving at Cayman Brac is one of the things to do in Grand Cayman Island for divers.

For a memorable escape from Grand Cayman, consider hopping over to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the two islands which make up the trio.

These islands offer equally incredible beaches, coral reefs and untouched beauty, largely because many people stay on Grand Cayman.

Many areas are undeveloped, meaning there are hiking opportunities, deserted stretches of sand and some excellent restaurants serving super-fresh seafood.

If you have a while, spend time on all three islands to get the full Caymans experience.

However, many tour companies offer island hopping trips that will take you around the best spots in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman in a day. 

Recommended tour: Private Boat Tours: Customise Your Grand Cayman Adventure!

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India Jayne trainor
India-Jayne Trainor is a British/Australian freelance writer, photographer and contributor to various online blogs and travel websites. She has travelled to almost 30 countries, most recently Cuba and Sri Lanka. Her work focuses on solo female travel, having spent two months backpacking alone through South East Asia as well as living in Germany for a year. Her favourite country to date has been Hong Kong, but she is happy in any country by the ocean. Her next destinations are Uzbekistan and a road trip through the American Mid-West. India is currently based in London, UK.