Widely known as one of the top dive destinations in the world, the Cayman Islands also offers an array of activities and sports that do not take place under the water. For those who have a robust taste for life and want to experience adventure and exhilaration -- the trio of islands has the supreme recipe for sports enthusiasts in water, land or sky.
In the Cayman Islands there’s no limit to the number of things you can see and do. Watersports centers offer a variety of “beach toys” in convenient locations including major hotels. Depending on the location, these might include sea scooters, view boards, sun searcher floats, banana boat rides, paddle cats, paddleboats, or water-skiing.
Visitors can enjoy a bird’s eye view of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach and some of the most beautiful crystal clear sea in the world when parasailing in the sky. In addition, small watercraft, such as kayaks, wave runners, aqua trikes and windsurfing boards offer a challenge to those who wish to be closer to the surface. Grand Cayman’s East End, North Sound and west coast combine to create an ideal range of conditions for windsurfers of all levels. Avid windsurfers rate the four miles of reef-protected shallows on East End as the best location with its trade winds of 15-25 knots in the winter months and 10-15 knots during the summer. Also in the North Sound, adventure-seekers can take a trip through the mangroves with Cayman Kayaks. This eco-adventure kayaking outfitter offers visitors a chance to explore the mangroves throughout the day from early morning to sunset to evening, with the light of the tropical moon to lead the way. For those on island during the darkest nights of the month, Cayman Kayaks offers bioluminescence tours, where light (or glow) is created by living creatures’ internal chemical reactions resulting in what looks like under-water fireworks.
Refreshing breezes, turquoise waters and sensational voyages are some of the features of sailing in the Cayman Islands. Whether its relaxing on charters or sunset cocktail cruises, rollicking aboard a “pirate” cruise on the Jolly Roger, or challenging oneself in a sunfish or Hobie Cat, guests can find a way to enjoy island sailing. Special theme cruises on larger catamarans and boats off Seven Mile Beach or in the North Sound are also available. Sailboats can be chartered for private or group functions.
At Rum Point, guests who don’t wish to go “under the sea,” can enjoy a ride on the MV Reef Roamer, a 34-foot, 26-passenger glass-bottom boat, which has a great view of the bountiful aquatic life within these tranquil waters. Although Rum Point has a variety of “beach toy” rentals, one can simply relax in a hammock on the beach and enjoy drinks and snacks from The Wreck Bar.
If visitors don’t want to get in the water they can find many sports to keep them occupied. With its flat grade, walking is a common activity in all three of the Cayman Islands. Restaurants, grocery stores, and shopping in George Town are all within walking distance of major hotels. The Mastic Trail or Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park offer the opportunity to walk and enjoy nature’s wonders at the same time, or they can provide more vigorous hiking. On Little Cayman there is the mile-long Salt Rock Nature Trail where visitors can see orchids, cacti, and mahogany trees, as well as iguanas, blue land crabs and more. In Cayman Brac hikers can take the more challenging trails up the 140-foot high Bluff, or experience a self-guided tour in the Parrot Reserve where they just may spot the endangered Cayman Brac Parrot.
Biking is another fun and great way to see the islands. Each island has operations which offer bicycles for rent. Little Cayman is a favorite of bicyclists because nearly every accommodation offers complimentary use of bikes to its guests. Horseback riding offers an excellent opportunity to see some of the island’s quieter sections and to enjoy a ride on the beach.
A new attraction found on Grand Cayman is Black Pearl Skate and Surf Park. With 52,000 sq. ft. of concrete bowls and half and quarter pipes, it is one of the largest skate parks in the world. The park contains three different courses for different levels of experience all of which are lit at night and supervised at all times. Parents can rest assure that their teens are not only having a great time, but are safe as well. The Waveloch Surf Machine is the other aspect of the park that is sure to please teenagers. The Waveloch creates a standing wave generated by a flow of fresh filtered water to create different sized waves. It is the only wave machine in the world that creates 11 foot waves! Gear and protective equipment is provided by the park for both skating and surfing. Summer camps and visiting pros also make the Black Pearl an appealing attraction for teens
Tennis players, cyclists, joggers, runners and other sports buffs will find companionship and often competitions in the islands. Rugby and Cricket matches are also popular and played in Grand Cayman.
The Britannia is situated in the heart of Seven Mile Beach at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman. This is the first Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the Caribbean. As you would expect from a course designed by a legend, it is the very best in every aspect of play, featuring grassy mounds, rolling dunes, lakes and oversized bunkers. It has all the natural challenges and hazards of a traditional seaside course, but it has uniqueness as well. It gives golfers the feel of playing a regulation course on an executive layout.
Blue Tip at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman is the latest masterpiece from Greg Norman’s design. Open only to guests of the resort, this world-class nine-hole golf course has earned a reputation as a “Caribbean Monster.” The course, spread over 120 acres, has a challenging terrain, diverse layout, natural beauty, and plenty of surprises to keep even the most experienced golfer intrigued.
Sister Islands Sports
Cayman Brac has four interesting caves for exploration: Rebbeca’s, Peter’s, the Great Cave and the Bat’s Cave. These caves served as shelter to some, from the rare, but severe storms that have crossed the islands over the past 200 years. There are also 35 nature tourism sites on this island to be explored.
On Cayman Brac, Edmund "Money" Bodden and Lemuel Bodden (specialize in bonefishing off the south coast) and Frankie Bodden and Delroy Steve Bodden are happy to work with light-tackle enthusiasts who bring their own tackle.
Of the three islands, Little Cayman remains the destination best prepared to accommodate skilled anglers who want to sample a variety of action. Year round, depending on weather conditions, anglers can catch bonefish weighing an average of 3-6 lbs. Tarpon weighing up to 20 lbs can be caught in the land-locked brackish pond, whereas permit weighing up to 35 lbs. can be found in the flats off the north and south coasts. Only a few minutes offshore fisherman can catch tuna, wahoo or marlin.
While good deep sea fishing exists right offshore for gamefish including blue marlin, dolphin, wahoo, tuna and barracuda, Little Cayman's main attraction for anglers is light tackle and fly-fishing. Interested anglers must bring their own fly-fishing equipment, but other light tackle gear is available. The largest schools frequent the shallow areas of South Hole Sound near Owen Island. Bonefish can be spotted in areas known as muds, patches of water where the sea looks milky from the fish churning up the bottom while feeding. These are especially visible from the air on approach to the island. Excellent fishing guides are available on all three islands, but Little Cayman is recognized as the best island to sample all three types of light-tackle gamefish action, from bonefish, small tarpon and permit, weighing up to 35 lbs.
As you can see the Cayman Islands offers land and water sport possibilities that are endless and ready to be enjoyed!
Information provided by Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.