What’s up guys! Are you excited August is about to end and the fall season is coming? I AM! It’s been a long and unforgettable summer, I visited so many new places and met really cool people but my skin needs some time off from sun exposure and sea salt water! Hubby and I just recently came back from our vacay to the Cayman Islands, the Caribbean Sea never disappoints us!
When booking our Anniversary trip I was looking for a new destination that could offer luxury, white sand and crystal clear water. We are suckers for crystal clear water. I was deciding between Grand Cayman and Turks n Caicos, both by the Caribbean Sea, until I found out of the existence of the Crystal Caves in Grand Cayman, those sold me right on the spot.
I wasn’t aware that Grand Cayman is almost new to tourists, many resorts are under construction and the Crystal Caves were discovered only 3 years ago. The Islands are part of United Kingdom and attracts visitors from all over the world, mainly Americans, Italians and English tourists. The official language of the Island is English. With a cute English accent.
Hat: Tenth Streets Hats
For this vacay, we decided neither of us wanted to adventure driving a rental car since they drive like in England, on the right side of the street. I could since I’m left handed, but we preferred avoiding tragedies XD
WHERE TO STAY
I booked our stay at the Kimpton Seafire resort and Spa by the famous Seven Mile Beach. The resort was new and modern, the staff very kind and friendly, they welcomed us with champagne and guided us through the hotel and its facilities. Our suite was nice and well decored, my favorite part was the oceanfront view from the oversized balcony and the well-furnished minibar.
The hotel had a big pool but honestly, I’m not a big fan of resort pools, so we headed immediately to the beach where we found Coccoloba, an oceanfront grill and bar where we dined several times for lunch. Their specialty is Ceviche with the catch of the day and fish tacos. Oh, and their natural pineapple squeezed juice. The beach wasn’t too crowded and very well organized, they offer several water activities such as jet ski and banana boats.
WHERE TO EAT
On our first night we headed to a notorious restaurant called “Catch”, the food was sensational and the menu had lots of signature mediterranean and Italian dishes. I got hubby into sharing several appetizers in order to be able to taste different flavors. I think we tried like 6 appetizers, one tastier than the other. What I love about the authentic Italian is the simplicity in preparing seafood dishes. No need for butter or deep fry. Just simple with some olive oil and lemon. I highly recommend you to check Catch if you’re in Grand Cayman, make sure you make a reservation since it’s always very busy.
When I am in a new Country, I try to taste as many flavors and visit as many places as possible, that’s why I chose a different restaurant every night. Although I have to admit most of the times I stick to Italian restaurants 🙂
On our second night, we dined at “Agua”, rated one of the best seafood restaurants of the entire Island. I know now why… The food was incredible!!! It’s located by Camana Bay, a touristic strip with many stores, bars and comfort food. We had octopus, ceviche (a must), sea scallops, local veggies and the catch of the day, snapper. I wanted to keep eating, everything was so good!! Plus, the waiter was Italian, it was a pretty nice surprise to be able to speak Italian in the Caribbean!
On our third day, we rented a sailboat for the day and for lunchtime we ate at “Abacus”, another nice little restaurant by Camana Bay that offers to different menus for lunch and for dinner. I stayed somewhat light and ordered just a few appetizers and a salad with grilled shrimp. Tasty and fresh.
For our last date night in Cayman, I chose a very famous (Italian) restaurant- beach club called “Bacaro”, super busy and a little loud, but chose to be seated outside and the environment was just perfect. The food was incredible too. Amazing romantic experience.
WHAT TO VISIT
The older I get, the more I enjoy shorter trips than long ones. It gives me the motivation to go out and explore the beauty of the place. I won’t lie to you, I used to be a beach crab, I would lay on the beach by the sea the entire day and would not make any pans outside the hotel because most of the time they would be early morning activities. Those days are far gone! In this trip, we squeezed in so many different activities! We only stayed 4 days but it felt like a whole week! The main attraction of Grand Cayman is the Seven Mile Beach located on the west side of the Island. All the best hotels are located there, for a reason. The beach is public and free.
Our second day started quite early! We met our tour guide to the Crystal Caves at the lobby at 7.30 am (whaaaaaat?!). We drove in a 1970’s Land Rover safari jeep for 40 min with 2 other couples to see the infamous Crystal caves that have been discovered only 3 years ago! We got to see 3 caves but there are around 100 caves untouched and not open to the public. It was absolutely worth it waking up that early. They were situated in the middle of the jungle, where hundreds of mosquitos reside. And they were hungry. Hungry for human blood. I got 20 mosquito bites all over me even if I sprayed the anti-mosquito bites everywhere!
The caves were breathtaking, some of them naturally leak water and host lots of bats hiding in the darkness. Only a few times in my life I’ve been so mesmerized. If you’re planning your vacay to grand Cayman you must visit the Crystal caves!
Sting ray city is another must see! So many beautiful creatures from a close distance! You can swim and take photos with them. I was a little scared at first but then got really excited.
Turtle farm is another attraction created to offer tourists the chance to swim with turtles and also hold them. Make sure you get there early, they close the swimming activity by 2.30pm and we missed it nay 10 mins. In the same farm there’s a predator reef where we got to see a purple nurse shark. But honestly the tank wasn’t in great condition and the space for the fish wasn’t too large. It was really hot and humid, both of us were miserable and couldn’t wait to head back to the hotel. Honestly it was a nice experience get to hold a turtle but it’s heartbreaking to see the tiny space they actually have to live
Another attraction of the Island is the Dolphin center, but we completely skipped it as we were told it’s sad to see how tiny the tanks are. I am not vegan but I don’t support animal cruelty either.
When we headed to the turtle farm from the hotel they had us jumping in a mini van that dropped us off with no problem. When we’re ready to head back, we jumped on the same mini van! We later found out it was a public bus for locals and drove us around the entire island! At first, we panicked! Then we decided to enjoy the ride and pretend we were locals Among the others. Thank God it’s a super safe area, things could have turned bad quickly otherwise!!!
Camana Bay, as I mentioned before, is a shopping area to enjoy in the late afternoon or at night! Some bands are playing on the weekends, there are coffee shops, a cinema and lots of bars and pizza places around.
George Town is another shopping area for tourists but we didn’t have the chance to visit it. Next time!
Spot Beach is highly recommended by locals as you get to swim with starfish! It’s on the other side of the hotels’ area, about a 40 min drive by car. We visited by boat and we loved it, it was crowded at all and we were able to see dozens of them.
If you like snorkeling you can book your experience with other tourists on a boat or rent your own boat to make it a more romantic experience. At the marina different companies offers different options for different price ranges.
We rented a sailing boat of 46ft with a friendly captain that took us to Stingray city and spot beach. On our way back we encountered a tropical thunderstorm in the middle of the ocean that if it wasn’t for the too many Hollywood movies I’ve watched in my life, I would have found romantic, instead, I thought we were gonna shipwreck and die.
Many of you asked me on instagram how do I keep my skin exposed to the sun for so long avoiding damages.. I protect my arms and my hands with waterproof 100spf by Neutrogena and I apply to my face every 90 min the 50spf “Dynamic Skin Recovery” by Dermalogica. I love its consistence as it’as not too greasy and the skin absorbs it very well. I still got tanned but avoiding the damaging part 🙂 I always apply it on the neck and decollete.
WHERE TO PARTY
I love dancing and partying once in a while. But this trip had no space for late nights since every morning we had planned a different activity. The two most popular clubs of the island are “Kaboo” and “The Jungle”. We didn’t go to either of them so I can’t really recommend them but if you ask locals it’s the place where to party hard at night. We preferred sipping a drink (non-alcoholic for me) after dinner and by the lounge of the hotel. At some point, you grow up and realize you have different priorities in life. (Like avoiding ruining a whole day in the Caribbean because you’re dealing with a hangover).
Overall, we both had a wonderful experience and loved every minute of our vacay.
Traveling opens your mind and feeds your soul. Travel if you can, it can only get you richer.