Family Vacations to the Cayman Islands

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Cayman Islands – Family Vacation Guide

You’ll find the Cayman Islands floating almost halfway between Cuba and Jamaica in the Western Caribbean. Grand Cayman is the largest in the group of three islands, followed by easterly Cayman Brac and Little Cayman in the middle.

Whichever you choose, hopping over to explore the others is easy and just one of the adventures which make the Cayman Islands great fun for families.

Why Go

  • History

    The islands are British Overseas Territory and the first language is English.

  • Weather

    Sunny with temperatures of 80˚F year round, most rain in June, July and August.

  • Island Hopping

    A three-islands archipelago made up of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

  • Beaches

    Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is described as the “ultimate Caribbean beach” and its entire length is public and walkable from end-to-end. There are also many more beaches to visit.

  • Scubadiving

    The Bloody Bay Wall coral reef on Little Cayman drops for 6,500 feet underwater, making it one of the most spectacular dive sites in the Caribbean. If diving isn’t for you, the islands are home to many more thrilling family activities.

  • Fun Facts

    Little Cayman is home to more iguanas than people.

  • Resorts for Every Family

    Family holiday accommodation on the Cayman Islands includes everything from Ritz Carlton and Wyndham resorts to Marriott and Westin beach hotels. There are private villas, apartments and heritage island houses.

Where to Go

Grand Cayman

The largest and busiest Cayman Island is still pretty paradise-like and peaceful compared to many in the Caribbean. It’s the most popular choice for families, with big beaches, outstanding coral reef diving, colorful festivals, charming local towns and just about every outdoor activity imaginable. The atmosphere’s lively but there’s a nice balance of warm, island character too, so it’s a good all-rounder for older kids, teenagers and mixed-age group families.

  • Seven Mile Beach stretches along the entire west coast of Grand Cayman. It’s a spectacular natural feature and overlooked by several of the island’s top resorts.
  • The island capital George Town is good for shopping and historic Bodden Town’s where to experience a more traditional side of Grand Cayman.
  • Spend time on West Bay for famous dive sites, incredible hiking, horse riding on the beach and extraordinary bird and wildlife encounters.
  • Grand Cayman’s secluded North Side is the coast for stunning tropical gardens, gorgeous heritage homes and fabulous Starfish Point Beach.
  • Spend time in the east for an impressively rugged coastline, wildlife-rich wetlands, friendly little hamlets and the nothing-else-quite-like-it delight of real Caymanian cooking.
  • Don’t miss: Stingray City, Grand Cayman Turtle Farm, Cayman Island National Trust guided hikes, Pedro St. James Castle, mangrove kayaking, Atlantis Submarines, Black Pearl Skate Park, and snorkeling at Cemetery Beach.
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Little Cayman

The smallest Cayman Island has few human residents and an impressive wildlife population: more iguanas than people. There’s no arguing with its reputation for romance, idyllic honeymoons and weddings, but Little Cayman’s relaxed and beachy vibe works just as well for families and younger kids.

  • Understated opulence and hushed luxury is the tone on Little Cayman and it’s the island for exquisite beachfront bungalows and charming colonial-style family villas overlooking the sea.
  • Almost perfectly flat, bicycling and walking are the way to get around here.
  • Don’t miss: Bloody Bay Wall diving, Booby Pond Nature Reserve, the annual Mardi Gras carnival, kayaking around Owen Island, Point of Sand Beach and island hopping to Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.
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Cayman Brac

The far easterly Cayman Island is the most outdoorsy of all, saying a lot in this active area of the Caribbean. A favorite with divers (novice and experienced), there are over 70 pristine and accessible coral reef sites around the coast.

  • Cayman Brac is good for historic guesthouses, family villas, spa resorts and traditional beach houses.
  • Thirty minutes by air from Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac is an easy island-hop for diving, rock climbing, caving and deserted beaches.
  • There are over 40 marked trails across the island, graded in order of difficulty, from super-easy to serious hikes.
  • The formidable cliffs in the east of Cayman Brac are permanently fitted with titanium climbing bolts.
  • Don’t miss: free Nature Tours with local guides, Cayman Brac Museum and Heritage House, Cayman Brac Parrot Reserve, Velvety Free-Tailed Bats at dusk and seeing over 200 species of birds.
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What to Do

  • Stingray City, Grand Cayman
    One of the island’s best loved attractions and the most rewarding place in the Caribbean to swim with intriguing stingray. Encounters are up close and kids can even feed the curious creatures.
  • Grand Cayman Turtle Farm
    Part highly respected conservation center and part enormous, interactive aquarium, Grand Cayman Turtle Farm is full-on family adventure.
  • Pedro St. James Castle, Grand Cayman
    In the 18th century, most Caymanian houses were modest thatched affairs, apart from extravagant Pedro St. James Castle. Take a tour of this grand colonial mansion, it’s packed with eye-watering grandeur and good old-fashioned island legends.
  • Blue Iguana Safari, Grand Cayman
    Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park has been instrumental in re-establishing the Cayman Island’s indigenous Blue Iguana population over the past 25 years. Join one of the thrilling National Trust Safaris, hear the full story and meet the iguanas themselves.
  • Kitesurfing, Grand Cayman
    Romantically named Compass Point on the east end of Grand Cayman has excellent conditions for kitesurfing and the Kitesurf Center is where to start with lessons for kids and adults, short courses and kitesurfing holidays.
  • L & M Adventure Tours, Cayman Brac
    Take a night tour of Cayman Brac exploring the island’s eerie network of caves, hearing tales of daring and dastardly deeds and finishing up by a bonfire on the beach with traditional Caymanian feasting and more local storytelling.
  • The Flowers Sea Swim, Grand Cayman
    Every year in June, 100s of swimmers aged eight to eighty take to the warm, Caribbean waters off Seven Mile Beach for the 1.2 mile Flowers Sea Swim. It’s a friendly local event and everyone’s welcome to sign up.
  • Booby Pond Nature Reserve, Little Cayman
    Plenty of giggling over the name’s to be expected, but protecting this legendary bird is no joke. Booby Pond Nature Reserve is an engaging eco-adventure and a fascinating insight into Little Cayman’s conservation work.
  • Cayman Island Submarines, Grand Cayman
  • Cayman Island dive sites are world famous, but scuba isn’t for everyone. Take a submarine cruise and see what lies beneath without getting wet. This is wonderful for younger kids and night cruises are a huge hit with teenagers.
  • Cayman Turtle Divers, Grand Cayman
    The Cayman Islands’ dive sites are some of the world’s most thrilling and, naturally, the islands attract highly experienced divers. If kids are keen to learn, there’s no better place to start.

Educational Value for Kids

  • Take a Paradise Discovered Tour with the National Trust and explore Grand Cayman’s history and natural wonders in the company of a friendly local guide.
  • Spend an afternoon in Bodden Town, the former capital of Grand Cayman and home to several interesting museums including the 18th century Mission House, one of the oldest buildings on the island.
  • Kids hoping to snorkel can explore the wreck of The Cali, a four-mast schooner which sank off the west coast of Grand Cayman in 1944 – Rackham’s Restaurant, just north of George Town, is the best access point.
  • The Mastic Reserve is mysterious, dense and wildlife-rich forest to the east of Grand Cayman, take one of the ranger-guided tours.
  • Visit the lively waterfront town of Camana Bay for farmers’ markets, craft markets, shopping malls and the excellent Starfish Club: a fun and creative kids’ club for under 12s.
  • The Cayman Island’s National Museum is one of the prettiest public buildings on Grand Cayman, the permanent collection’s good fun and there’s a year-round activity program for kids.
  • The Ritz Carlton on Seven Mile Beach has an innovative kids’ program, developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau, which actively engages kids with the Cayman Islands’ unique marine environment.

Getting Around

Driving is the easiest way to explore Grand Cayman and quieter areas like the East End and North Side. There are daily inter-island flights to the Sister Islands; flying time to Cayman Brac is about 30 minutes. Scooters, bikes and boats are best on Little Cayman, where the island’s roads are quiet and almost totally flat.

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