8 Unusual Grand Cayman Attractions; a Travel Guide

The Cayman Islands have some of the best dive spots in the world, but did you know there were mermaids? This and seven other quirky tourist attractions make this Caribbean island a Getaway Maven favorite. 

Welcome to the breathtaking Grand Cayman, where every moment promises a unique adventure. From diving into crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life to exploring the historic wonders of George Town and savoring local cuisine, we’ll unveil a world of unique things to do in Grand Cayman that will make your visit unforgettable.

Where Is Grand Cayman?

Grand Cayman is a stunning tropical paradise nestled in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. It is the largest and most well-known of the Cayman Islands, which are situated in the western Caribbean, south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.

This beautiful island is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant marine life, making it a popular destination for beach lovers, divers, and those seeking a serene escape in the Caribbean. Grand Cayman’s strategic location in the Caribbean makes it easily accessible by air and sea, welcoming visitors from around the world to explore its unique charm and natural beauty.

Two scuba divers pose underwater with the Mermaid Statue in the Grand Cayman

Unique Things To Do In Grand Cayman

DIVE: Underwater Mermaid Statue

Amphitrite, the 9-foot-tall bronze mermaid known as the Siren of Sunset Reef, is found 55 feet deep in the coral reef offshore at Sunset House Hotel.

Created by Canadian artist Simon Morris, the piece was named by a fourteen-year-old girl who won a trip to the islands for her contest entry. The resort offers diving packages to this and other sites as well as hosting the Cathy Church Photo Center where you can rent underwater cameras and learn how to use them.

Locals also recommend diving with Ambassador Divers, “Grand Cayman’s premier valet dive operator.”

Tourist kissing a stingray in the ocean at Stingray City

GO: Stingray City

One of the most popular cruise ship excursions, Stingray City brings guests up close and personal with stingrays in shallow waters that are so clear you’ll question whether or not you’re in a natural pool.

Multiple tour groups–we went with Red Sail Sports–offer boat trips to Stingray City. Standing on a sandbar in shallow water, visitors interact with southern stingrays.

The only way to have a more exciting marine encounter would be to go to Hawaii to go snorkeling with Manta Rays.

Dozens of the creatures congregate at this feeding spot, and some are so accustomed to humans that they allow people to handle them.

Girl riding horse with tour group in Grand Cayman

DO: Bareback Swim

A horseback ride on a deserted beach is the stuff of dreams, but in Grand Cayman, you can kick it up a notch. Pampered Ponies Riding Tours will let experienced riders gallop on the shore in Barker’s National Park, and even novice riders can experience the amazing feeling of riding bareback into the ocean.

Hell - a Grand Cayman attraction

VISIT: Hell

Get your passport stamped at the most unlikely destination: Hell. Named for limestone formations that are now embellished with a statuette of the devil, the attraction boasts a gift shop, photo portrait stations, and, of course, a post office so that you can send a postcard from the underworld.

Cayman Shoe Tree - Grand Cayman

SEE: Cayman Shoe Tree

Begun as a cautionary statement about litter and recycling, the Cayman Shoe Tree makes for an interesting roadside attraction and a colorful backdrop for a photo opportunity.

Tourists relaxing on chaise lounge at Rum Point in Grand Cayman

RELAX: Rum Point

Named for the rum barrels that once washed ashore from shipwrecks, Rum Point Club’s claim to fame is the invention of the Mudslide. As the story goes, the Wreck Bar came up with the idea of replacing the cream in a White Russian, and so a star was born.

Today, Rum Point is a fun beachside hang-out spot, with good snorkeling, great food, and even better drinks.

Pristine unpopulated stretch of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman

GO: Seven Mile Beach

As one of the most popular spots in Grand Cayman, it might be a stretch to place Seven Mile Beach on a list of unusual attractions. Except that, despite the name, Seven Mile Beach is 5.5 miles long–more than long enough that you can find plenty of quiet corners, especially in the early morning.

HIKE: Mastic Trail

Explore one of the Caribbean’s untouched old-growth forests on the Mastic Trail guided tour offered by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. The hiking trail is a little over two miles long and can take up to three hours to walk, with opportunities to encounter the native Parrot, West Indian Woodpecker, and/or Caribbean Dove amidst rare trees such as Cedar, Mahogany, and the massive Mastic. 

VISIT: Pedro St. James

Pedro St. James, often known as the “Birthplace of Democracy in the Cayman Islands,” is a captivating historical site located just a short drive from George Town. This impressive 18th-century Great House stands as a symbol of the island’s rich heritage and offers visitors a chance to step back in time. Explore its beautifully restored architecture, lush gardens, and informative exhibits that recount the island’s history, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts.

BONUS: More Grand Cayman Excursion

Grand Cayman Local Food - Vivines Kitchen Plate
Authentic West Indian food: ackee and codfish, rice and peas, plantains, and potato salad.

Grand Cayman Restaurants

EAT: Sunshine Grill

Relaxed, open-air restaurant by the ocean’s edge, right by the Underground Mermaid Statue dive. Best Burgers, Fish Tacos, and Painkillers on the island.

EAT: Vivine’s Kitchen

Excellent local food is served at the seaside open patio; arrive early for the best selection. On the East End, it’s a far cry from popular franchise restaurants near Seven Mile Beach.

Locals also recommend:

Cayman Sunset Townhouse
Cayman Sunset at Coconut Bay Townhouses.

Hotels In Grand Cayman

STAY: Cayman Sunset at Coconut Bay

Comfort and easy access to excellent diving make these townhouse-style condos a great choice for families and larger groups. Located a good distance from the action near Seven Mile Beach, this is where to go if you prefer a quieter vacation.

Find condo units on VRBO.

LUXURY: Palm Heights

Newly reopened under a new brand in 2019 (formerly Beach Suites) this boutique hotel attracts a glamorous clientele. Guests rave about spacious suite-style rooms, an excellent location on Seven Mile Beach, and unparalleled service.

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  • Sandra Foyt

    Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, road trip junkie, and award-winning travel photographer. A veteran of many cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the Fossil Freeway, the Extraterrestrial Highway, and even “The Loneliest Road in America.” Sandra is based in Upstate New York, with family homes in California and the Caribbean. Her work is influenced by tropical colors and warm relationships. And she believes that the best travel photography connects us across time, place, and culture.

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