We have been to Grand Cayman three times over the last 5 years and on each occasion we have had a truly wonderful holiday.
Many people have visited Grand Cayman as it is a compulsory stop on most Caribbean cruises. On some days there are as many as 5 of these leviathan ships in Georgetown harbour disgorging Bermuda short and Nike trainer clad overweight Americans to spend their money on Cayman-logo T-shirts and other baubles and trinkets. Nick detests these people with a passion and calls them "Cruise Shitters"! If you only listened to these people you would think that Grand Cayman consists solely of Seven Mile Beach and Georgetown - how wrong you would be!
We always stay miles from the madding crowd at The Turtle Nust Inn in Bodden Town on the south of the island. We cannot recommend the Inn highly enough - Alain & Marleine have a wonderful facility and make us feel so welcome. Eating out in Grand Cayman is very, very expensive, so if you are on a budget then self-catering is a must and the Inn provides your own kitchen as well as a great BBQ set-up. We would urge you to take a look at www.turtlenestinn.com and will whet your appetite with this picture.
After several trips to South Africa we had decided that we wanted a holiday where we could enjoy a safari-type experience, but underwater. After lots of research we arrived at the conclusion that the best places in the world to snorkel straight fom the beach and see the most diverse and spectacular variety of sea life were The Caymans and The Maldives. We chose Grand Cayman as it was easy to get to (direct flight from London). To prepare for our first trip we went to snorkelling lessons held in a pool in Preston - we would strongly recommend lessons if you are considering a snorkelling holiday.
On Grand Cayman you canm drive around the island, park your car anywhere by the sea and start snorkelling. The reefs are sometimes only a few metres from the beach and the currents are usually weak so it is safe to snorkel there with kids. We soon found some favourite sites that we kept returning to - either they were a perfect location for sitting on a beach or, more likely, they had the best reefs! If you do visit Grand Cayman and want to snorkel we would recommend Cemetary Beach (pictured below), Eden Rock/Devil's Grotto, Spotts Cove, Coral Gardens and the reef at the Turtle Nest Inn. Nick can provide you with a military-style plan of how to cram in all the best snorkel sites in one day! We saw so many different types of fish and other sea life, but particularly noteworthy were turtles, nurse sharks, stingrays, lemon rays, moray eels, porcupine fish, and the hammerhead shark that we almost bumped into - about six feet away in shallow water - we have never flippered so fast in our lives!
There is plenty to do on Grand Cayman. We have been to Stingray Alley (The Sandbar) where would can feed and play with stingrays, The Turtle Farm (where turtles are bred for release and for food), the Tropical Gardens, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and, of course, snorkelling!
|Alex out fishing with Captain Herman - Baraccuda & chips tonight!|
|Getting ready to haul up the next fish.|
|At the old Turte Farm (it's been rebuilt since Hurricane Ivan demolished this one) - it really hurts when the flippers whack your hand.|
|Bea scuba diving - she absolutely loved it! How did she manage to get a pink air tank?|
|You are quickly surrounded by fish|
|There was a beach full of starfish|
|A stingray. Those at the Sandbar are almost tame, but there is something special about coming this close to a wild one in open water.|
|Some areas of coral have really suffered from pollution, but there is still plenty of spectacular coral in great condition.|
|A French angel fish - about the size of a large dinner plate.|
|An octopus wedged into some coral. It looked brilliant when it was swimming!|