There are many factors that may fuel our thirst for travel. We may yearn for a sense of adventure; to engage in extreme sports and other physically gruelling activities in unfamiliar climes. We might want to completely immerse ourselves in an unfamiliar culture. We may want to mark the most picturesque and most historically fascinating areas in the world off of our bucket lists. But sometimes we might just want to relax amidst gorgeous environments and clement weather. There are many destinations around the world that enable us to do just this, but few consider the extremely picturesque Cayman Islands as a legitimate vacation spot.
The Cayman Islands have long been regarded as a tax haven due to their liberal income tax laws but the association with tax avoidance has given the islands a misleading representation in popular culture. The fair weather, gorgeous landscapes and topographical diversity of these islands mean that whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here. The surprisingly reasonable rental cost makes it a great choice for those looking to invest in a holiday home. But there are also incredible hotels like the Luxury Seafire Resort & Residences make you want to stay forever! Here are just a few of the pleasures that the Cayman Islands have to offer…
#1: Cayman Turtle Farm
Hey, who doesn’t love turtles? While they’re a fairly common sight in the Caribbean, they were so proliferate in the Cayman Islands that Christopher Columbus dubbed the areas “Los Tortugas”. In recent years, however, populations of these wonderful creatures have begun to dwindle and efforts have been made to conserve turtle populations, especially of the now endangered green turtle. If you love these wonderful little fellas and want to see them in a protective and caring environment the Cayman Turtle Farm is the place for you.
#2: Go to Hell… No, seriously
Want to tell your friends an original vacation story while you gather round and sip coffee? Tell them about the time you went to Hell. The aptly named scorched and barren landscape (which looks like Mordor from the Lord of the Rings movies lies near the hard to reach town of West Bay and is notoriously hard to find. While it is free to visit, there are paid guided tours.
#3: Bloody Bay marine park
Like many Caribbean islands, the Cayman Islands are a haven for divers. It’s diverse and spectacular marine life has to be seen to be believed and the Bloody Bay marine park has some of the best diving the area has to offer. While the park reaches depth of up to 5,000 feet below sea level it is accessible to both veterans and neophytes alike.
#4: Walk the Mastic trail
The Cayman Islands have a lot to offer below sea level but there are plenty of spectacular sights to see on land too. Nature lovers should not leave the area without visiting the Mastic trail. The 200 year old gravel path winds around an impressive mangrove swamp and a forest area that’s around 2 million years old and is home to some of the areas rarest and most spectacular plant, animal and bird life.
#5: Visit Stingray City
Stingray City is a shallow sandbar in the middle of the bay where you can encounter wild Southern Stingrays. There are many tour boats that you can take and the crew will usually have squid for you to feed the stingrays. While I usually would er on the side of caution, after all Steve Irwin met his maker with a Stingray, this seems like a once in a lifetime kind of experience and there are raves reviews on Tripadvisor. #DoItForTheGram
#6: Search for Starfish
Get to the beach at Starfish Point early to avoid the crowds and get up close with the colourful starfish in shallow, clear waters. But remember to keep in mind, you shouldn’t man-handle the starfish or take their out of the water. Instead of taking them out, why not grab a cool underwater shot!
#7: Ferry to Kaibo & Rum Point
Take the Cayman Ferries from Camana Bay Harbour to Kaibo & Rum Point to relax, have lunch and the famous mudslide made of Kahlua, Baileys, vodka and at Kaibo, a drizzle of chocolate sauce rolled around the plastic cup.
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