In June 2016, my sisters and I surprised our mom with a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands. She had actually taken all of us a few years earlier and fell in love with the island!
She had mentioned to us many times over the years that she would love to go back…so, we decided to surprise her with a trip for her birthday! She was so excited she started crying!
We found a “beach cottage” on the North side of the Island in the small community of Cayman Kai. It was big enough to accommodate all 5 of us. It was called Sea Lodge Cottages...we stayed in cottage #24.
Our first view of the island
After landing, claiming our luggage and picking up our rental car, we headed to our cottage.
We found it a bit challenging trying to remember to drive on the opposite side the road!
Read here about the driving license rules for visitors and here for driving tips.
Tip: Download the app Maps.me for a free GPS that works offline – it doesn’t use your data nor does it require WiFi. Download the WhatsApp to keep in touch with family/friends for free..however, it requires WiFi to work.
The cottage had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, eat in kitchen, living room, screened in front porch and a huge screened in lanai.
The property had a total of 12-16 cottages in 4 separate buildings. It also had it’s own private beach. The Sea Lodges are built in a V formation so that each of the units have direct view of the sea.
After arriving to our cottage, we unpacked and headed to check out the private beach area. It was nice but very rocky and had lots of seaweed.
We then headed to one of our most favorite places on the island, Rum Point. It was only about a 5 min drive from the Sea Lodge Cottages.
Rum Point is known for it’s soft white sand and crystal clear shallow water ….it’s a peaceful escape from the crowds at Seven Mile Beach. The snorkeling here is average. It was better the first time we visited. There’s a gift shop & a beach side restaurant called The Wreck Bar & Grill.
Rum Point also offers changing rooms, showers, huts, hammocks and volleyball nets. It’s about 45 minutes by car from most hotels and the cruise terminal. It’s also accessible by ferry.
After leaving here, we headed back to our cottage to prepare for a Bioluminescence tour that we had booked before arriving to the island. I had visited the Caymans about 4 times prior to this visit and had never heard about this tour.
We booked with Sweet Spot Watersports for a cost of approximately $275 for the five of us. The tour was 2 hrs long and included a stop at Starfish Point, the famous Bio Bay and a visit to a 2nd type of Bioluminescence called the Disco Shrimp, which was a totally different type of glowing organism.
Sadly, I was unable to photograph the bioluminescence with my camera! But here are a few shots I took during the tour.
It was amazing to see the water glowing! We even got to jump in and swim….every time we moved in the water, it would light up! We all really enjoyed this tour!
Ater our tour, we called it a night.
The next morning we hung out at the cottage & stayed on our private little beach for a little R&R.
The next day, we had a cave tour booked. This is one of the newest nature attractions on the island. This was another tour that wasn’t available during our first visit to the island.
We booked with Cayman Crystal Caves Tour for a cost of around $200 for all 5 of us.
The tour lasts approximately 1.5 hrs. You get to visit 3 different caves… the open-ceiling cave…
The Roots Cave,
and the Lake Cave.
In each of the caves you’ll see stalactite and stalagmite crystal structures and otherworldly formations made by single drops of water and the slow passage of time.
You only have 45 mins to visit the 3 caves
After exploring the caves, you have 30 mins to explore the nature walk through the unique tropical forest under which the caves formed.
Among the forest are tropical plants and animal life including strangler balsam trees, air plants, parrots, and bats.
There will be 15 minutes of free time to explore the viewing deck where there’s a snack and gift shop.
The tour guide showing my mom how to weave
Crazy story, our tour guide for the cave was the same tour guide we had on a snorkel tour we did when we had visited several years earlier…so we had to get our picture with him!
After the cave tour, we headed back to Starfish Point. We spotted lots of starfish and other little creatures!
After leaving Starfish Point, we headed to the hotel we had stayed at during our first visit to the island, the Reef Resort. We decided to try out the snorkeling here and just hang out on the beach.
We fell in love with this place on our first trip and had wanted to stay here again but it was a bit more than we wanted to spend.
Since it was late, we decided to eat dinner at the hotel’s outdoor restaurant. I ordered the chicken quesadilla with fries for $13.50. The restaurant offered lots of options and it took me a while to decide!
Click here for the restaurant options at the Reef Resort.
After we ate, we walked down to the end of the pier and enjoyed the views.
We then decided to call it a night and headed back to our room.
The next day we had planned on going into Georgetown, the capital of the Cayman Islands. It was about a 45 min drive from our cottage.
Click here & here for things to do in Georgetown.
We had brought our snorkel gear with us and decided to snorkel to the wreck of Cali. It’s about 40 yards offshore and in 20 ft of water…so it’s only recommended for experienced snorkelers.
The wreck of cali is a ship that sunk in the 1940’s after it sprung a leak. The ship was carrying 30k bags of rice so when the water reached the rice, the rice started to expand and the ship couldn’t withstand the weight and eventually sunk in the harbor.
There was a small ladder you had to climb down to get into the water….there were several, huge tarpon swimming near the ladder which made it a bit terrifying to get in the water.
I highly recommend you wear a life jacket or take a floating device if you snorkel here.
After snorkeling, we decided to eat lunch. We found a restaurant right on the water’s edge.
Look at this view!
After lunch, we ordered a yummy dessert because, as everyone knows, calories don’t count when you’re on vacay! 😄
We then decided to drive around and check out some of the other beaches on the island.
Click here to see all the beaches in the Grand Caymans
We stopped off at Spotts Beach to check it out ..Spotts Beach is a good place to spot turtles but it had too much seaweed for us
So, we headed down to Smith Cove beach and snorkeled for a while.
After spending a few hours snorkeling and relaxing, we decided to end our day back at Rum Point.
On our way to Rum Point, we spotted a fruit stand so we decided to stop and check it out.
After arriving back to Rum Point, we decided to have dinner at the Wreck Bar & Grill and watch the beautiful sunset!
The next day, we stayed on our private beach at our cottage…..
That evening, we decided to go back to a restaurant that we had eaten at the first time we visited, called The Lighthouse at Breakers.
We chose this restaurant the first time we visited because they had outside seating right on the water …sadly, this time, they had the outside seating closed off because it had rained. 🙁
We did get seated by a window so we had a nice view of the water…so, life was good! 🙂
The restaurant had an elegant feel to it…I loved all the sheer curtains!
Since my mom was paying, I went all out and ordered the Lobster tail on Ravioli! 😉 It was so good. It was covered in goat cheese, sundried & garlic tomatoes with a basil oil…the cost was $36….but again, I wasn’t paying, so whatever… 😉
Of course, we also had to order dessert since calories didn’t count…we ordered a variety and shared.
After dinner, we headed back to our cottage and called it a night.
The next morning, I walked down to our private little beach and saw signs that turtles had been there! Too bad we didn’t get to see them. 🙁
Turtles are iconic in the Cayman Islands, and they have played a significant role in the history of these islands. Sea turtle nesting season is May – November.
There are four types of sea turtles found in Cayman waters – green, loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.
We decided to spend part of our day in Georgetown shopping for a few souvenirs.
We spotted a few iguanas…. Iguanas are all over the island!.
After walking around for a couple of hours, we decided to head to a nearby beach. On our way, we passed a stand selling fresh coconut water… so, of course, we just had to have one!
Well, that was a waste of $3…so nasty! But hey, we looked super cute posing with our coconuts! 😉
We decided to spend the rest of our day laying on the beach with the chickens…so relaxing!
After a relaxing day with the chickens, we headed back to our cottage…on the way, we spotted hundreds of crabs crossing the road!!
It was crab season in the Caymans and these little guys were everywhere!
Crabs make their appearance between April and June and take to the streets from the back lands, making their way across the busy highways to the sea ..often, they are squashed by cars while trying to cross the roads.
Yes, we squashed several….we couldn’t help it..they would run right under our tires! 😉
Crab hunting is really big in the Caymans…the crabs are mostly caught at night. To avoid capture, a crab will protect itself by putting up its two defensive claws. Believe me, they are intimidating!! 😬
The next morning we spent a few hours relaxing on our private beach..
A few shots of our cottage and beach
Later, we decided to head back to our favorite place, Rum Point…sadly, it was our last day on the island. 🙁
We loved it here…the water is so beautiful!
We ordered lunch at the Wreck Bar & Grill….I love how the menus are attached to a coconut!
I ordered the grilled chicken wrap with fries….yum!
Our view while eating lunch!
After a very relaxing day, we headed back to our cottage to get packed up!
The next morning we headed to the airport…it was so small, we had to walk to the plane…
We think they were pumping sleeping gas in the plane so they didn’t have to serve us! 😉
We had a great time together and will cherish the memories we made!
Goodbye Caymans…it was fun!!
Thanks for reading!
Other things you can do on the island:
Stingray City & snorkel tour – Read reviews here
A visit to Hell
Queen Elizabeth’s Botanical Garden
Turtle Farm – Read reviews here
Dolphin Discovery – Read reviews here
Pedro St James Natural Historic Site
Best Snorkeling Spots – My personal favorite is Cemetery Beach
Best tours on the Island
Best Hotels on the island
Best Car Rental Company
Ten best Restaurants on the Island – My personal favorite is the Sunshine Grill!
The best activities for children click here
Most romantic things to do click here