Starfish, Stingrays, Sand, and Sea: Beach Time in Grand Cayman

Beach Time in Grand Cayman

Which Caribbean island to visit?  It’s a common question I see floating around online and that is a tough one to answer.  With over 30 territories in the Caribbean, there are a lot of decisions to be made!

What makes a great island to visit is, of course, subjective as to what makes an island “the best” for you.  For us, safety is number one, followed by good infrastructure, and of course beautiful beaches.  Grand Cayman kept popping up as one of the “best” islands to visit as a family.  It is safe, has good infrastructure, is family-friendly, and has one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Seven Mile Beach.  Grand Cayman also has several other beaches to visit on the island, which is fun if you want a change of scenery other than what is simply in front of your hotel. 

When we visited

We visited during our spring break one year, in early April, and the weather was beautiful for beaching it!

About The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean, south of Cuba and to the west of Jamaica.  The climate is a warm, tropical climate with temperatures and humidity increasing in the summer months.

Map of Grand Cayman in the Caribbean

The Cayman Islands consist of a group of three islandsGrand Cayman, the largest and most commercialized, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac.  If you’re flying in, you’re going to land at the international airport in Georgetown, Grand Cayman.  It’s possible to visit the other smaller, less touristy islands from Grand Cayman, via Cayman Airways.

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory, although the US Dollar is widely accepted.  Driving is on the left in Grand Cayman, so opposite of the US.  The roads are excellent and we found the driving here was relatively easy.  Having a rental car here was a must for exploring beyond our resort.

Where we stayed

We stayed at the Marriott Grand Cayman Beach Resort, located right on Seven Mile Beach.  The resort was a lot of fun as there are a plethora of family activities going on.  And being right on Seven Mile Beach can’t be beat!  While the beach part in front of the resort was small and crammed full of chairs, we could head a bit further down the beach to find less crowded areas.  The water was clear, turquoise, and calm for the kids to safely swim and snorkel in.

NOTE:  When looking at recent pictures online, it appears the beach in front of the Marriott has disappeared due to tropical storms in recent years.  Double check with the hotel as to the current conditions. 

Our resort, The Marriott Grand Cayman

What To Do in Grand Cayman

Almost all activities on Grand Cayman have to do with the beach or the sea.  It is an island after all!  Below we share some great things to do on Grand Cayman.

Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach is where our hotel was located, so this is where we spent most of our time.  It is a beautiful stretch of sand, and yes it actually measures 7 miles!  We saw many colorful fish right in front of our hotel.  If you aren’t staying right on Seven Mile Beach, make sure you visit it via one of the public access points.

Beautiful Seven Mile Beach in the morning light

Stingray City

This is a must when visiting Grand Cayman!  The very safe Southern Stingrays abound around the islands.  Getting to swim with them is so much fun!  

We went with Acquarius Sea Tours and were very happy with them. 

Our tour met at the Cayman Islands Yacht Club & Marina.  We boarded the boat and headed to the first of three areas we would be stopping at that day.  First, we visited Starfish Point where the water has numerous starfish just hanging around in the shallow, cold water. 

You can see the shallow water where the starfish reside at Starfish Point

Our captain, Mario, was awesome in that he was very adamant that we DO NOT remove the starfish from the water.  We watched as another boat captain encouraged his guests to take goofy pictures putting the starfish in various locations around their bodies.  Not a very respectful way to treat these creatures.  We gently let the kids touch them under water but it was a good lesson for all to be respectful and cognizant in animals’ homes.

Looking for the starfish at Starfish Point

Carefully holding the starfish, not taking them out of the water!

From here, we went to another area that was very deep and had fabulous snorkeling.  We even saw a barracuda!  

Snorkeling the deep water

Finally, it was time to head to Stingray City!  The amount of stingray that were swimming here was substantial!  It look a bit of encouraging to get Ava into the water as she was a bit nervous but did it and took her picture kissing the stingray!  Again, our boat crew were awesome.  They said they will never feed the stingray to lure them, they let them come to us naturally as they are very curious creatures!  We had a lot fun and it was a very unique experience to swim with them.

Stingray City is a popular place!

Braden and a stingray!  These guys are so curious and adorable!

Camana Bay

Camana Bay is a beautiful waterfront area with restaurants, shopping, and even residences.  We enjoyed shopping here as well as dining out along the water, watching the boats leave the harbor area.  We especially enjoyed the ambiance here in the evenings.

Cayman Turtle Center

This conservation facility allows guests to view and interact with turtles as well as other wildlife, such as tropical birds, sharks, and iguanas.

Take a peek at the Turtle Breeding Ground, get a chance to touch the turtles at the Turtle Touch Tank, or swim with the turtles in the Turtle Lagoon.  Besides the turtles, you can check out the birds in the Caribbean Aviary or spot Smiley, a 300 lb American Crocodile residing in Smiley’s Croc Cove.  Beyond the animal encounters, hike a nature trail or splash away at Breakers Lagoon, an outdoor swimming pool that also features a peek into the Predatory Tank where the sharks are swimming about.

Other Beaches

There are many wonderful beaches in Grand Cayman beyond famed Seven Mile Beach.  

We especially enjoyed snorkeling with sea turtles at Spott’s Beach.  This was a nice area with trees offering a bit of shade and grills for cooking up a nice picnic lunch, which we did.  We seemed to be the only tourists here among the locals.

Spott’s Beach was great for snorkeling

Mike and Ava snorkeling with sea turtles!

Sea turtle and a fish catching a ride

Rum Point is another popular spot, on the north of the island.  The beach has powdery white sand, clear water, hammocks, and changing rooms and restrooms.  There are also great dining options here.

Other family-friendly beaches are Governor’s Beach, Coral Beach, West Bay Beach, and Cemetery Beach.  You can’t go wrong with any of them.  The water, sand, and snorkeling is all phenomenal here!

We came back to Spott’s Beach in the deserted evening to snap some pics!

Grand Cayman is a wonderful destination for families.  The beaches were beautiful with calm water so children can safely swim and snorkel.  The excitement of seeing starfish and swimming with stingrays tops the charts!  And with great shopping and dining it really rounds out a wonderful trip to a beautiful Caribbean island.

Read More!

Another wonderful Caribbean island we have visited is Turks & Caicos.  We have a full review of our time there, Pre-Christmas Fun in the Sun at Beaches Turks & Caicos.

We also took a five day Caribbean Cruise and have a full review of that here, A Five Day Caribbean Cruise – Our Experience on Holland America.

During the cruise, we had a very fun day which we document here, A Wet and Wild Adventure in Damajagua National Park.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Mike

    That pic of the kids at Spott’s beach is one of my favorites. I really enjoyed this vacation and hope to repeat it some day! Great post!

    1. Michelle

      Grand Cayman is such a lovely place. I hope for a return trip, too!

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