Grand Cayman Travel Guide

The Cayman Islands are officially my favorite Caribbean spot! I have been to Antiqua, The Bahamas, Jamaica and St. Thomas but Grand Cayman takes the cake! It’s a quick flight from the South, the transport from the airport to Seven Mile Beach is a breeze, the weather is phenomenal, the beaches and water are the prettiest I’ve seen and the food is INCREDIBLE! Here are a few tips and tricks for traveling to Grand Cayman plus ideas on where to stay, where to eat and what to do! I am living to get back down there and continue this guide!

GETTING THERE

We learned the hard way that there aren’t a ton of flights into Grand Cayman. My advice would be to not take the last flight in from your connecting city. We had the last flight from ATL to GCM and because our plane from GVL was delayed for 3 hours we missed it and couldn’t travel until the next day. Flight schedules aside, I will say that GCM is quite possibly the easiest Caribbean airport I’ve ever flown into and out of. There aren’t many food options (Subway is literally it) but it’s so clean and nice and simple to navigate!

Another tip when traveling to Grand Cayman is that you don’t need to book a private transfer to your hotel. Taxis are regulated by the government and offer standard rates for hotel transports. The airport is so close to Seven Mile Beach and will take you about 15 minutes & $25 one-way. We had great experiences taking taxis to and from restaurants but they can add up when you are traveling with multiple people since they charge per-person then.

Seven Mile Beach in front of Beach Suites

WHERE TO STAY

We stayed at Beach Suites and I couldn’t recommend it enough! The island’s first boutique hotel, Beach Suites oozes with charm and sophistication at every corner. There is a delicious restaurant, two pools and a stunning beach area. The staff was incredibly friendly and very helpful. Beach Suites is also right down the beach from The Ritz, which makes walking to happy hour or drinks a breeze. Both of these properties have the best locations on Seven Mile Beach because they are right in the middle and separated from the public beaches and where the cruise ships dock. If you get too far on one end of Seven Mile or the other you just won’t have the relaxing, secluded atmosphere that Beach Suites and The Ritz offer. For example, we walked down to check out the new SeaFire resort and while beautiful, it is literally right beside the largest public beach area on Seven Mile.

Another thing to note about Beach Suites is that the beachfront area is not crowded and we always had our pick of chairs. On the contrary, while The Ritz has an incredible pool, the beach situation is a bit of a cluster. There are at least 500 chairs all on top of each other and we are so type-A that Zach would have been up every morning at 5am fighting for seats and even then you would be all on top of your neighbors. As you can see in my photos of Beach Suites, there is a ton of room on the beach since it is a small boutique hotel with a large beachfront presence.

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

WHERE TO EAT

Cracked Conch & Macabuca Bar & Grill // Hands-down our favorite meal was the Cracked Conch. It is on a bluff right by the water and has the most UNREAL sunset. Every single item we ordered was over-the-top and the prices were very reasonable compared to some places. We all agreed that we could have eaten there every night and be happy. You can enjoy a more fine dining experience at the Cracked Conch or go right downstairs to Macabaca for a more laid-back, bar setting. This setting is unique because there is a dive shop right at the restaurant! While we were eating there were people heading out on a night dive and you can simply walk in and dive in the waters right below the restaurant. Zach and I are both SCUBA certified and want to go back and do a lunch dive and a night dive!

Catch // Catch was recommended to us by a local and has a dreamy, marina-front setting. We ate as the sun was setting and the waves were silently rocking the yachts and boats. My friend and I split the most delicious meal of fish, brussels and whipped potatoes. All of the food was very fresh but also tasted a lot like comfort food. Be prepared to leave with a full belly and relaxed state of mind. If you go I would recommend splitting an entree because for only a $5 up-charge you essentially get two full meals!

Tillies // This is the restaurant at Beach Suites and we ate here quite a few times. On the first night we had a delicious dinner. The staff is so very friendly, the ambiance is unbeatable and they have great drinks. While dinner was superb, I REALLY loved their lunches! They serve these bowls filled with marinated kale, shrimp, chickpeas, black beans and sweet potatoes that are something I still dream about. The breakfast and brunch situation here is also top notch. I had delicious avocado toast, bacon, potatoes and more!

Kaibo Beach Bar // Pretty much every review I read for Grand Cayman said that Kaibo was a must. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about it. We booked the Tuesday night island BBQ and followed the internet’s instructions of taking the water ferry from Camana Bay. This made sense because it would have taken forever and a load of money to drive over to Rum Point via taxi. However, the evening was a wee bit of a ripoff and I think I would have rather just sat and had a happy hour watching the sun set and going to dinner somewhere near Seven Mile Beach. I think if you are traveling with a big party or a family then it would be great because it’s an easy thing to do with a group. The buffet was delicious, they had a live band and there was plenty of room for kids to play. It just wasn’t quite the festive experience I was hoping for but again, I think that all depends on the crowd! I would like to try it again just for lunch instead of dinner.

Royal Palms // This was a short walk from Beach Suites and we ended up eating lunch there twice! It’s definitely more of a “college party” type setting, especially when the cruise ships are at port, but the tacos and drinks are delicious! If you wanted to go dancing in the evenings they have DJs, salsa and more nightly starting around 10pm.

Bar Jack @ The Ritz // This was the best sunset we had all trip and the worst food. We had overpriced margaritas and quesadillas that tasted like they were from Applebees. (Not knocking that but just not what I would have expected). I think they must have been having an off night because I’ve never had drinks that didn’t taste 100% freshly made or subpar food at a Ritz before!

Places we wanted to go but ran out of meals…

The Lobster Pot // This would have been next on our list! It’s a family-owned restaurant on the water and is said to have unreal lobster, mango salad, conch fritters and coconut pie.

Morgan’s Seafood Restaurant // I really wanted to try out their ocean-to-table menu because allegedly this husband and wife duo serve up the freshest seafood caught daily by their own fishermen. This spot is also known for ceviche, famous jerk burger and their key lime pie!

Blue Cilantro // Blue Cilantro also came highly recommended but we weren’t able to make it.

Dukes // Also highly recommended! Seafood and ribs are the entrees of choice at this establishment.

Peppers // If you want authentic food then Peppers is your spot! We didn’t go because it’s not on the water and we were shooting for good eats & ambiance for every meal but all of the locals and tourists alike rave about it!

Catch Grand Cayman

Catch Grand Cayman

Catch Grand Cayman

Catch Grand Cayman

Lunch at Tillies

Dinner at Catch

Lunch at Royal Palms

Dinner at Tillies

Kaibo Beach Bar

WHAT TO DO:

Charter a Boat // We chartered a boat with Mango Jam Charters for a day and hit all the attractions on the water & did a ton of snorkeling. Beach Suites is actually who referred us Sean and we had a great time!

Spott’s beach // You can swim with the wild turtles here! It isn’t close to the other attractions like Starfish Point, Rum Point or Stingray _____ but I wished we could have made it!

Starfish Point // You could rent jet skis or take a boat tour but you can also drive too. I would recommend going on a chartered boat tour because you’re only going to spend about 15-20 minutes there. I mean how many starfishes can you take photos of?  

Smith Cove // This is near Seven Mile Beach and is said to be a great spot for a sunset or to swim.

Stingray City // I am putting this on here only because it’s very popular and not because I recommend it. It’s like a water park wave pool with a million people out in the middle of the ocean on a sandbar and stingrays swimming around. You couldn’t pay me to do it. Stingrays to me are the snakes of the ocean. Yikes!

Scuba Diving // We were with friends who didn’t dive so we didn’t get to dive this trip but we plan on going back ASAP to visit one of the over 360 dive sites. I want to check out the Kittiwake artificial reef, Babylon canyon, Devil’s Grotto & Eden Rock!

East End Blow Holes // Another attraction I would like to see with more time to spend would be these blowholes.  They are located along the coastal rock that sprays water up over 20 feet into the air on a good day. 

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Beach Suites Grand Cayman

Water Ferry to Kaibo

Snorkeling (Don’t Worry We Put It Back)

Stingray City

Snorkeling

Starfish Point

Thanks for reading! I hope you get down to Grand Cayman sometime soon! I know I’m hoping to get back, ASAP!

– Cristin