The Cayman Islands’ Red Ensign is flown by more superyachts than any other, thanks to the protection it affords, but did you know that a visit to these spectacular islands makes for a memorable and fun-filled travel experience?
Located in the sun-drenched western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands offer a luxurious tropical getaway coupled with barefoot elegance.
Journalist and long-time resident, Joanna Lewis, shares her top four things to see and do during a luxurious Cayman Islands yacht charter.
1 – Sample lip-smacking fare
Cayman is dubbed the culinary capital of the Caribbean, and for good reason too. Boasting world-class restaurants alongside a roster of highly skilled culinary experts from around the world, a Caribbean yacht charter to the Cayman islands is a must for foodies.
For those looking for exceptional fine dining check out Blue by Eric Ripert at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the Caribbean’s only AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Headed up by famed chef Eric Ripert of La Bernardin, New York, feast on exquisite seafood coupled with the Ritz-Carlton’s legendary service.
Oenophiles will delight at Grand Old House, an award-winning waterfront restaurant that boasts one of the largest wine collections in the Caribbean, including some incredibly rare vintages from across the globe. Alternatively, revel in the island’s only Chef Counter dining experience at Ave, located in the newly built five-star resort Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa along world-famous Seven Mile Beach.
Of course, you’ll also want to sample some of the Cayman Islands’ delicious local cuisine during a Cayman Islands yacht charter. Popular spots include the Heritage Kitchen and Grape Tree Café, renowned for serving up some of the best fish fry coupled with spectacular sea views. Alternatively, book in for a private food tour with PRIME Food Tours and discover some of the island’s best hidden gems.
Tip, if you’re in the Cayman Islands during the month of January be sure to attend the legendary Cayman Cookout, boasting a roster of celebrity chefs from around the world.
2 – Play with the friendly rays
No Cayman Islands yacht charter would be complete without visiting the world-famous Stingray City sandbar. Located in the North Sound, a trip to Stingray City offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with these friendly rays in their natural habitat.
Slip into the crystal-clear shallow waters and watch as these gentle giants swim around you. Feed them a tasty titbit – they love fresh squid – or give them a gentle rub on their smooth velvety underbellies. You can even hold them and give them a kiss; said to bring seven years’ good luck!
After, do what the locals do, and head on over to Rum Point and sip on one of the bar’s legendary Mudslides – a heady mixture of vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey’s Irish cream, soak in the crystal-clear shallow waters, or simply snooze in one of the many hammocks under the shade of a palm tree.
3 – Enjoy a Cayman Islands yacht charter to the sister islands
The sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are located some 90-miles north east of Grand Cayman, so can easily be reached in a day during a Cayman Islands yacht charter.
The Brac boasts a population of some 2,000 residents, while Little Cayman around 200. On both of these paradisiacal islands life is taken at a leisurely pace. Don’t be surprised if people wave at you from their car or bicycle, or simply stop and shoot the breeze with you!
Cayman Brac is dominated by a towering limestone bluff that rises dramatically out of the ocean. Caving is a popular activity and there are a huge number of caves to discover – you may even find hidden treasure as some were used by pirates! Another popular activity is rock climbing, with Cayman Brac now rated as one of the best exotic climbing destinations in the world, making this a must with adventure lovers during a Cayman Islands yacht charter.
On Little Cayman, birdwatching is a popular pastime. The island is home to the largest breeding colony of red-footed boobies. View them at The National Trust’s Booby Pond Nature Reserve, a 200-acre site of international importance. Of course, you would need a powerful pair of Binoculars to be able to fully appreciate them from a distance. Birds are notoriously finicky creatures, so you can’t get too close to them.
The island is also a magnet for divers. Home to world-famous Bloody Bay Wall, a sheer drop-off filled with stunning corals and an abundance of marine life, no Cayman Islands yacht charter would be complete without sinking below the waves.
4 – Check out the ‘blues’
The Cayman Islands’ incredibly rare and critically endangered Blue Iguanas recently garnered international fame during the Prince of Wales’ 2019 royal visit when he gave blue iguana ‘Peter’ a gentle tickle in-front of press from around the world.
These prehistoric creatures are Grand Cayman’s largest native land animal and can only be found by visiting the Queen Elizabeth II Royal Botanic Park in North Sound during a Cayman Islands yacht charter.
Just two decades ago these fantastic creatures were facing extinction when it was estimated just 10 remained in the wild. Thanks to the hard work of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands’ Blue Iguana Recovery Programme the blues are being brought back from the brink of extinction.
Lucky visitors to the park may see one of these free-roaming critters lazing in the sun. Alternatively, book in for a tour of the park’s breeding facility, where you will get to view the blues up close, while finding out more about this amazing dragon-like creature.
This is just a small round-up of some of the fantastic things you can experience during a Cayman Islands yacht charter, so make sure you add this wonderful destination to your yachting itinerary.
And, don’t forget you can end each fun-filled day on your own private yacht, which, thanks to expert yacht designers, are perfectly designed to allow you to enjoy every destination in spectacular style.