Stand on a shallow sandbar in Stingray City as docile stingrays brush gently past your legs. The sandbar used to be where fishermen cleaned fish; now, the stingrays come right up to tourists’ boats. A cruise-organized excursion is the best way to visit this popular attraction.
North of the cruise terminal, Harbor Drive becomes Church Street. Guy Harvey’s Gallery (entrance off the side street) is among this block’s many restaurants and souvenir shops.
Delve deeper than a typical Grand Cayman cruise port guide – embark on an underground adventure through Crystal Caves’s shimmering stalactites and hidden pools, a geological marvel offering a glimpse into the island’s ancient beauty. Prepare to be dazzled by otherworldly formations and breathtaking natural light shows, a hidden gem just a short drive from the bustling cruise port.
This attraction is a newer stop on the Cayman Islands tourist trail, but it’s already gained a reputation as one of the most unique things to do in Grand Cayman. The tour takes you through three amazing caves, each filled with glistening stalactite and stalagmite rock formations that transform each room into an otherworldly piece of natural art.
The crystal structures formed when rainwater dissolved limestone from the cave ceilings, leaving calcium deposits that shaped otherworldly stalagmite and stalactite structures over time. The caves are located inside a rainforest, so you may spot birds and wild iguanas as you explore.
Reviews of the Crystal Caves say the tour guides are very knowledgeable and that the caves themselves are spectacular. However, this attraction is not recommended for those with claustrophobia because of the tight spaces that lead to the caves. It’s also not suitable for children under 10. You must pay an entrance fee and take a guided tour to enter the caves. You can book a tour by visiting the Crystal Caves website.
Stingray City is a shallow sandbar surrounded by crystal clear water filled with friendly Southern Atlantic stingrays. These animals are accustomed to tourists and are very comfortable nearby. You can play with them, touch them, and even feed them. It’s a truly unique and exhilarating experience. Tours to Stingray City are often included in cruise packages. The crowds here peak with cruise ship arrivals and tail off toward the weekend.
Another unique island attraction is the Hell Geological Site, a series of spiky rock formations that give this natural site its name. This geological site is located a short distance from the main town and can be explored on a tour from the cruise port or by renting a car.
Some call it a marine park, some a living museum, and others a zoo. Regardless of its name, it is one of the top must-see attractions in the Cayman Islands.
The facility is close to the cruise port on Harbour Drive and features several exhibits that emphasize the island’s culture and heritage. It is housed in a picture-perfect 1800’s former government building and often gets great reviews from those who visit.
The main attraction is a turtle touch tank where visitors can interact with baby turtles. Some tanks feature turtles at various life cycle stages and educational presentations. The facility also has a predator reef lagoon, a woodland nature trail, and a free-flight aviary that uniquely allows guests to experience the marine and land environment. This attraction is often combined with a visit to Stingray City in a combo tour, making it an extremely popular excursion on the island. This is a fun and engaging activity for all ages. A variety of snorkeling and kayaking excursions are available as well.
Cayman Islands National Museum
The National Museum is a must-see attraction for those interested in the islands’ rich culture and history. Housed in one of the oldest public buildings in George Town, it features a variety of displays and exhibits that explore both the natural and cultural history of the Cayman Islands.
The museum’s exhibits include a natural history gallery that provides a realistic look at the diversity of marine life in the Cayman Islands and a culture and heritage gallery that offers insight into islanders’ lifestyles. There are interactive displays, a children’s gallery, and a gift shop where you can purchase various authentic Cayman Islands souvenirs.
The National Museum is a great place to spend an hour or two early on your cruise, and it’s conveniently located across from the pier where you’ll dock. It’s next to Guy Harvey’s gallery and the Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet. Hence, it makes for a convenient stop after returning from your Seven Mile Beach or Stingray City excursions. You can even hop on the shuttle between the ship and the museum to avoid the walk.
Seven Mile Beach
A top attraction in Grand Cayman, Seven Mile Beach is more than just a place to soak up the sun. It is also the base for several activities and tours that will thrill and delight.
Located on the island’s western side, Seven Mile Beach’s sugar-soft sand is lined by some of the Caribbean’s most luxurious resorts. Guests staying at these hotels have access to the beach, but even if you are not lodging here, you can easily walk the entire length of the shoreline.
Suppose you forgo the usual ice cream, souvenir, and t-shirt shops. In that case, you’ll find several quirky attractions along the shoreline, including Cemetery Beach, an isolated spot at the beach’s northern end sheltered by casuarina and sea grape trees. Another must-do is the Mastic Trail, a 4.6-mile mangrove forest walk that offers a glimpse of the island’s untouched natural beauty. You’ll need to slather on bug spray and be prepared for a lot of standing.
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