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Updated: Dec 14, 2020





The Cayman Islands are three small islands located in the western Caribbean Sea. The beauty of Grand Cayman lies in its coral reefs that make it just perfect for adventures such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Columbus had originally named the island ‘Las Tortugas’, meaning the land of turtles, as it was almost covered with these creatures. The word Cayman originates from the word ‘Carib’ meaning crocodiles. ‘Caymanas’ means marine crocodiles, which suggests that the island was home to scores of lizards. Caymans have also been associated for a very long time with pirates and buccaneers, who used these islands as their hideouts. The luxuriant beaches with their white sand and crystal clear waters are endless with plenty of activities that you can indulge in on the Caymans. #GrandCayman #GrandCaymantravelguide

I have outlined a detailed plan of (the best of) activities, beaches, restaurants, and hotels that will make your stay on Grand Cayman easy and an incredible extraordinary experience.



30 minutes - pick up rental car.

After you arrive in Grand Cayman at the Owen Roberts International Airport, it will take you only about 30 minutes to get your rental car. You walk outside across the parking lot and there it is.

30 minutes - drive to and get supplies.

There are big grocery stores all over the island. I chose Fosters IGA to pick up supplies on the way to the hotel.

15 minutes to drive to the Marriott hotel on 7 mile beach from Fosters. #GrandCaymanMarriott #Marriott

After arriving at your hotel, you’ll be ready to break enjoy beach at your hotel. When you walk out onto Seven Mile Beach, one of the Caribbean’s most popular and picturesque beaches, the sparkling white sand and intense blue clear ocean will immediately transport you into vacation mode. Paradise starts at Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman.

Marriott beach, pool, and rooms Grand Cayman
Marriott Grand Cayman

The Marriott Grand Cayman is where we stayed. It is a wonderful location if you want the beach steps away from your room and the pool/dining/bar area. The Westin is a good choice also.

Relax after a long trip at the Vista bar Marriott on the beach for a snack.

Marriott Grand Cayman Vista Bar on the beach
Vista Bar Marriott

Walk the beach in front of hotel towards the Beachcomber, a short scenic walk, or take a dip in the pool.

1 mile walk - 22 minutes on the beach.

7 mile beach voted a top 10 Caribbean strand

Grand Cayman Marriott pool at the ocean edge

A&D has a variety of food items at the hotel for happy hour eat inside or take outside to enjoy.

Anchor and Den restaurant inside the Grand Cayman Marriott


6:30 Enjoy a gorgeous setting with scrumptious food with dinner at the Veranda restaurant in the Marriott - opens at 5:30 (Veranda and A & D had different theme nights you can check out)

Restaurant on the beach with great sunsets and the Marriott Veranda Restaurant
Marriott Veranda restaurant

seafood at the Marriott
paella seafood night at A & D Marriott Grand Cayman

Listen to a band at Anchor and Den (A & D) at the Marriott after dinner. watch an amazing sunset and dance the night away.

music, drinks, food, and ocean air at the Veranda restaurant

7 mile beach voted a Top-10 Caribbean strand

perfect sunsets every night on 7 mile beach at the Grand Cayman Marriott Veranda restuarant
Sunset from the Veranda restaurant on 7 mile beach Grand Cayman Marriott




10-11 Enjoy breakfast close to the beach at Marriott AD&D – wonderful crepes made to order!

7 mile beach Grand Cayman Marriott

Now it’s time to explore! Get in your rental car and drive towards the South West side of the island.

Remember to drive on the left.


11:30-11:45 Drive to Smith Cove (10 minutes 3 miles) aka Smith’s Barcadare

Excellent snorkeling and sparkling white sand at Smith's Cove

11:45-12 Snorkel Smith Cove

Smith Cove, located on the South Sound, has it all with a gently sloping sandy beach entry, great snorkeling in a protected cove, picnic tables, shade trees, facilities, and stunning scenery.

Picnics and chickens at Smith's Cove


12-12:10 Drive to Spotts Beach (11 minutes 6 miles)

Crystal clear water for spotting sea turtles, swimming, or snorkeling at Spotts Beach.

12:15-12:45 Snorkel Spotts - it is the a great spot for swimming with the turtles. We saw a couple of large sea turtles.


12:45-1 drive to Sunset Reef (12 minutes 6.6 miles)

Sunset reef next to Sunset hotel and Sea Harvest restaurant

Fosters IGA 5 minutes from Spotts beach if need supplies

1-1:30 Lunch at the Sunset hotel (adjacent Sea Harvest restaurant)

sunset hotel great lunch and snorkeling on Grand Cayman

1:45-2:15 Snorkel Sunset Reef by Sunset hotel past Smith’s Cove

There are ladders to climb down and jump right in for great snorkeling. Saw a barracuda in the reef area.

sunset reef at sunset hotel Grand Cayman for great snorkelling

2:15-2:30 Drive back to the hotel (15 minutes 7.5 miles)

SHOPPING OPTION: If you want to get some shopping in - Grand Cayman has some of the best shopping in all of the Caribbean. High end boutiques in Georgetown and Camana Bay offer some of the world’s best brands all tax and duty free. You might want to do this when the cruisers are not in town. Usually the middle of the week.

IN ADDITION: The Observation Tower is a stunning 75-foot-tall viewing tower providing magnificent panoramic views of Grand Cayman. Created using over three million Venetian glass tiles, which took roughly one year to hand-cut and eight months to install, it is a simply breathtaking piece of architecture. It also features an elegant double helix staircase, an elevator to access each floors view, and several benches scattered throughout to enjoy quiet moments of reflection. The most prominent viewing attraction is the beautiful mosaic mural, which depicts an underwater scene easily recognizable to divers who’ve explored the Cayman’s waters.

10 Market Street, Camana Bay, KY1-9006, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-640-4357


2:30-3:30 Time for a drink and chair by the Marriott pool and/or walk steps away to the beach and snorkel the Reef Ball Project Reef.

I saw many colorful fish, some very big!

3:30-5 Relaxation time at the hotel.

5-6 Take a cab to the Beachcomber and/or walk the 7 mile beach area to the Westin for dinner (see below).

7 MILE BEACH In order of walk:

Beachcomber 1 mile 22 minutes to walk

Ritz .2 miles 5 minutes

Westin - superb beach Fodor’s choice 4 minutes 1.5 miles from Marriott .4 miles from Ritz 8 minutes

7 mile beach Grand Cayman
7 mile beach


6:30-8 Dinner at one of the Westin restaurants see below.

Tortuga has live music till sunset every day.

Beach Terrace has music and tapas also.

Ferdinand’s a “Caribbean Casual” restaurant focusing on local foods, spices and flavors. The menu features a “comfort food” approach to Caribbean cuisine with flavors like braised short ribs, jerk chicken pot pie, truffle mac and cheese, conch chowder, sticky toffee pudding and cassava cake. Enjoy dining inside or out with spectacular views of Seven Mile Beach.

Ferdinand's Westin

Take a cab back to the hotel or head to Calico Jack's to check out the local party action (6 minutes north 2.4 miles)

Calico Jacks after dinner Calico Jack’s (dj's on Saturdays)




North of Seven Mile Beach, West Bay is where the mega resorts fade to Caribbean style houses, mom-and-pop shops, and a handful of gourmet restaurants.

9-10 Breakfast at the Marriott or Jessie’s Juice Bar (make reservations A & D for dinner)

Jessie’s Juice Bar – option .2 miles from Westin and Governor’s Beach. If you love smoothie bowls, avocado toast and turmeric lattes, this is your place! There’s 3 of them on Grand Cayman but the one in Camana Bay has beautiful decor, outdoor seating and huge menu! Located on Governor’s Square.


10:30-10:45 Drive to Westin and park (1.4 miles 5 minutes) walk to Governor's Beach (.2 miles 3 minutes).

10:45-11:15 Snorkel Governor’s Beach (see map) and Governor’s Reef.

Tucked in between resorts, the tree-shaded parking lot opens onto a section of Seven Mile Beach that is rarely crowded. There's a reason they call it Governor's Beach: this quiet stretch of sand fronts the Governor’s mansion.


11:15-11:45 Walk to Snorkel Plantana – a stunning stretch of sand (.1 mile 3 minutes walk from Governor’s beach).


12-12:30 Walk back to car (10 minutes) and drive to snorkel Christopher Columbus (1.6 miles) from Plantana (3 minutes).

Kittake wreck is away from the shoreline.

The quieter north side of Seven Mile Beach is where Christopher Columbus Condos is located and not surrounded by high rise hotels. You end up sharing the beach with fewer people.


12:30-1 Walk to and Snorkel Silver Sands (5 minutes .2 miles) – snorkeling good off beach ( .2 miles) from Christopher Columbus.


1-1:15 Drive to Macabuca 7 min 2.6 miles

1:15-2:15 Lunch – Macabuca TIKI bar next to the Cracked Conch (5 minutes-2 miles from Fosters)

Turtle Reef is located here and the snorkeling is great if you have time to jump in.

Macabuca Tiki Bar at Turtle Reef North Grand Cayman

Turtle reef is among the best shore sites for both scuba diving and snorkeling. This mini wall runs parallel to shore making for easy navigation. Both the 60 ft. mini-wall and the 2000 ft. deep wall are within swimming distance from the sheltered lagoon accessed at the bar of Cracked Conch Macabuca.


2:15-2:30 Drive to Barkers National Park 7 miles from Fosters (7 minutes 2.3 miles)

for sightseeing.

Barker's National Park is a quiet paradise in West Bay. Barker's is an undeveloped area full of mangrove trees and peace and quiet. A pristine beach situated on the northwest coast of Grand Cayman. A hidden gem, it is known for its isolation and serenity allowing visitors to escape for a few hours from the hustle and bustle of Grand Cayman’s urban areas. Stretching for miles, this white sand beach meets shallow, tranquil, crystal- clear waters ideal for sunbathing or a relaxing swim. To gain access to this stunning park visitors will follow the road adorned with signage for the Ristorante Pappagallo located just outside the park’s entrance.

The park is close to an array of attractions, including the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. 23 Limetree Bay Avenue, KY1-1102, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Phone: 345-949-8090

2:30-3 Barkers sightseeing

3-3:30 Drive back to hotel (13 minutes 6 miles)

3:30-6 Relax

6 pm Enjoy dinner at the Marriott A & D and watch the sunset

(tapas, crepes, sushi, roasted cauliflower, etc.)

7 pm Marriott Beach bonfire with s’mores

Marriott Grand Cayman bonfire and smores on the beach
Smores on the beach at the Marriott Grand Cayman




Grand Cayman's North Side features a string of lovely beaches.

The most popular, Rum Point, offers a chilled out atmosphere. They are famous for their mudslides here. Also, you will find NORTH SOUND GOLF CLUB.

9-10 Breakfast at the Marriott or head over to Coconut Joes close to the Marriott (personally, I couldn't get past the nutella crepes I custom ordered every morning at A&D.)


10:30-11:30 Drive to Cayman Kai (48 minutes 27 miles)

This Secret quiet beach lies on the north coast of Grand Cayman roughly 1 mile east of Rum Point.

rum point at Cayman Kai snorkel Grand Cayman
Cayman Kai Beach

11:30-12 Cayman Kai Beach sight seeing


12-1 Drive to Rum point (1 minute .3 miles) and Snorkel rum point – you will also find bar food and drinks here as well at the Wreck Bar.

Island lore attributes the name Rum Point to the casks of the namesake spirit that washed ashore when a cargo shipwrecked on Grand Cayman’s barrier reef.

The point’s white sand beach is shaded by a grove of Casuarina pines, and surrounded by the island’s finest shallow coral reef. Snorkelers can make a 30- yard swim from shore across a meadow of sea grasses to coral heads that begin in depths as shallow as five feet. The seascape includes stag horn, elk horn and brain coral, along with a variety of colorful soft corals, sea fans and sea whips. The reefs are patrolled by schools of rainbow parrot fish, blue tang and queen trigger fish. Because this site is less than a half-mile from Grand Cayman’s famed Stingray City, snorkelers may also catch the occasional glimpse of a passing flock of rays.

Wreck bar at Rum Point

Here we saw someone feeding stingrays and snorkeled out to find several large stingrays swimming around. You don't need to go to Stingray City with the crowds to find them. They are right here!

This is the place you can return to in the evening for a unique kayaking adventure on Grand Cayman’s bioluminescent bay. Thousands of tiny microorganisms glow in the water, brightening with each sweep of your paddle or hand in the water. The effect is most pronounced on dark nights—ideally when there’s no moon or a new one—so be sure to check out Cayman Kayaks to confirm.


Drive to Kaibo Beach Bar (4 minutes 1.2 miles)

1-2 Lunch Kaibo beach bar and grill

(You can take a water taxi from Camana Bay to here for a dinner for a Tuesday night beach bash).

Kaibo beach bar


2-2:30 Drive to Starfish point to snorkel (2 min .4 miles) in nearby coves, the Bio luminescence Bay is just around the point.

Saw many starfish. Nice quiet beach if you go on a day when the cruise ships are not in town.

see starfish at starfish point Grand Cayman

2:30-3:30 Drive to Marriott (53 minutes 29 miles)

3:30-5:30 Relax at hotel

6-7 Walk to the Royal Palms for happy hour 5-7 on Mondays (2 min .4 miles) (8 minutes to walk) south of the Marriott,

(Don’t eat here - just enjoy drinks and the view. Party atmosphere. Food had flies all over it and not very good.)

Royal Palms Grand Cayman

Back to the hotel for another perfect sunset on 7 mile beach.

Sunset 7 mile beach

Sunsets are around 7 pm in the summer.

Check out Peppers for dinner across the street from the Marriott. A great value $10 Caribbean feast with lots of jerk items.




Long stretches of beach that are much less crowded than the west side. Located in the middle of Grand Cayman’s less visited East End.

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a wonderful spot to Zen and zone out, strolling through its beautifully curated and kept gardens, ranging from a selection of Caribbean palm trees to orchids. The Blue Iguana Recovery Program also runs fascinating tours, daily (except Sunday) at 11 am, of the small habitat tucked away inside the park.

9-10 Breakfast at the Anchor & Den- Marriott

10-2:30 Hang out at the Marriott hotel pool and beach

spectacular beach and pool at the oceans edge sitting at the Marriott Grand Cayman

rent a paddle board at the Grand Cayman Marriott

2:30-3:15 Drive to the Queen Elizabeth botanic gardens (Northeast 36 minutes 19 miles).


3:15-5:30 Botanic Gardens

The park boasts an array of exotic flora and foliage: large-flowered magnolia, endemic Ironwood, rare and endangered Trichilia trees, fragrant PlumerIa Frangipani and wild orchids to name but a few. Enjoy a leisurely walk through these magical gardens, sit beside the lake and take in nature's splendor. The gardens are open to the public daily. Take mosquito repellent.

stroll through Queen Elizabeth botanic gardens Grand Cayman

5:30-6:15 drive to hotel 36 minutes 19 miles

Watch sunset at your hotel on 7 mile Beach.

7:15-7:30 Drive to Dinner Vivo West Bay – (15 minutes 6 miles) from hotel.

A vegan-friendly cafe located on the water’s edge on the island’s northwest side. The meat-free menu items are extensive and are promoted with icons of a pig, chicken, and cow that say, “We are not ingredients.” Two not-to-miss items are the vegan calamari (deep-fried local coconut with spicy tomato sauce) and the Vivo Piadina (homemade Italian flatbread stuffed with vegan seitan bacon, avocado, tomato, arugula, and vegan Thousand Island sauce). Brunch on the beach is one of Grand Cayman’s real treats. Vivo, located in West Bay, offers a wide variety of brunch options that will satisfy any hungry diner. Highly recommended are the coconut pancakes as well any one of the house specialty lion fish dishes.

Another option is Kaibo’s Beach Bar & Grill for the Tuesday night barefoot beach bash.

Water taxi to Kaibo beach for the Tuesday night beach bash. Leave 6 pm sharp from Camana Bay (3 minutes 1 mile from the Marriott). Dance on the sand, under the limbo pole and join the conga line! Authentic Caribbean Party every Tuesday 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm.

The BBQ buffet – of local recipes and ingredients – includes fresh fish, a variety of meats, vegetarian’s options, salad bar and sweet section.

Local band ‘Bonafide’ play Cayman’s favorite soca, calypso and reggae songs, to get you dancing, limboing, and if you’re feeling flexible, doing the conga!




The last day! By now you've had all the adventure you can handle. Today is the day to stay at the hotel on 7 mile beach, enjoy the crystal clear waters, and relax.

9-10 Breakfast

10-1 Snorkel Seven Mile Beach

Excellent Snorkeling steps away from your hotel pool at the Marriott Reef Ball Project Reef. If you love yoga, try the yoga in the water or just hang out on the flotation devices provided by the hotel and watch with a drink in hand.

yoga Grand Cayman Marriott beach

The pool is right next to the beach so going back and forth is extremely easy.

beach view from the pool Grand Cayman Marriott
view from the pool

1-2 Lunch at the Vista pool bar.

2-4 If you want to see more, walk the 7 mile beach area to the Westin - see below. 1 hour 6 minutes round trip total 3.4 miles.

7 MILE In order of walk:

Beachcomber 1 mile 22 minutes to walk

Ritz .2 miles 5 min

Ritz Golf Course 2 min

Westin - superb beach Fodor’s choice 4 minutes 1.5 miles from Marriott .4 miles from Ritz 8 minutes.

6 pm - Enjoy dinner and a brilliant Cayman gold and red sunset on your last night from the Veranda restaurant at the Marriott.

7 mile beach sunset Grand Cayman


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