Cayman's Wildlife Laws

The latest edition of Destination Cayman 2017 had a great article providing the DOs and DON'Ts as it relates to the Cayman Islands Wildlife Laws. Since these are common questions for our guests, it made sense to summarize here. Everyone that goes on a vacation likes to take home a souvenir, but taking home things you find in the ocean is a little more complicated than taking home a t-shirt. In an effort to preserve the Cayman Islands ecosystem, there are several laws in place to help. If you follow these simple tips, you should be able to go home with a great new Cayman Islands memory:

  1. A very popular souvenir is the conch shell. The law states that up to three shells may be taken home by an individual without special permission.
  2. While turtles are beautiful animals, they are an endangered species. That means that all turtle products are banned, including meat, shells and anything else that comes from a turtle.
  3. The stunning beauty of Cayman is punctuated by the colorful corals in the sea. It is an absolutely no-no to export raw coral. It causes untold damage to the reefs if pieces of coral are broken off. Coral jewelry that you purchase at a Cayman Islands store do not need any special permits and is perfectly legal.
  4. The best tip is to get advice. If you have any questions about an item you want to take home, you should ask someone at the Customs Office at the airport.
  5. The Cayman Islands take great pride in protecting their wildlife. If you are caught taking wildlife out of the Cayman Islands without the proper permits or approvals, it could lead to a confiscation of the items, fine or imprisonment. The laws are very strict, but necessary to protect the beautiful Cayman Islands environment.

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This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joer@cicondos.com.

 

01/29/2017

Camana Bay Ferry Service to Rum Point

Have you ever wanted to get to Rum Point, but not wanted to make the long, winding, hour-long drive from Seven Mile Beach? Have you ever wondered who was going to drive back if you all had a few "Original Mudslides" from the Wreck Bar? Have you never been to Rum Point, but want to give it a try? The answer to all of these question lies in the news that Camana Bay has started a new ferry service to and from Kaibo Yacht Club. 

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While the Kaibo Yacht Club isn't exactly Rum Point, once there, you are just a 2 minute shuttle ride away from Rum Point. The ferry service currently runs every day except Monday with times varying by day. At a cost of just $20 C.I. per person, this is a rather affordable option to get to Rum Point without having to drive or charter a boat. 

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The comfortable boat cruises from Camana Bay through the North Sound and to the dock at Kaibo Yacht Club. From there you are able to hop on a shuttle provided by the ferry service to be at Rum Point in about 35 minutes total. The reason the ferry is not able to drop-off directly at Rum Point is because the dock is in water that is too shallow for the boat.

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Once at Rum Point, you are able to order food from their kitchen, including their terrific mahi mahi wrap or sandwich. This is also the home of the Original Mudslide. The sign famously asks, "Do you serve virgin mudslides?" with the response being "yes we do-a cup of ice is free." (This is why having a boat to get back to 7 Mile Beach comes in handy).

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The next time you are on the island, give the new ferry service a try. After all, you can't really go wrong with an afternoon on the quiet, isolated beach of Rum Point.

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This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joer@cicondos.com.

 

01/08/2017

Southwest Adds Flights to Grand Cayman

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With news last week that Southwest Airlines will begin flights into Grand Cayman, it seemed like a good time to post about all the different ways you can get to Cayman. There are numerous airlines that fly into Owen Roberts Airport in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. The Airport is centrally located on the tiny island and less than 20 minutes away from most condos. Taxi cabs are readily available as you exit baggage claim/customs. 

The airlines with flights from the U.S. to Cayman include Delta, American, JetBlue, United, Air Canada, Cayman Airways and now Southwest. Flight prices to the Cayman Islands are always in flux and obviously different dates/airlines/connections/etc play a role. 

The cities that fly direct to Cayman are broken down below by airline:

Cayman Airways: New York (JFK), Miami, Tampa and a winter flight from Chicago (only runs on Wednesdays and Sundays)

American: Charlotte, Miami, Philadelphia, 

JetBlue: New York (JFK)

United: Houston, Washington D.C., Newark

Air Canada: Houston

Delta: Atlanta

Southwest:(Effective in June): Fort Lauderdale

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to get to Grand Cayman! Once you arrive, you'll soon be able to enjoy the beautifully renovated space as Owen Roberts Airport in Grand Cayman just began phase II of a CI $55 Million project that should be completed in early 2018.

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joer@cicondos.com.

07/31/2016

The History and Evolution of the Cayman Islands

When I began going to the Cayman Islands more than 35 years ago, it wasn’t quite what it is today. Sure it had beautiful blue sky, turquoise ocean, and pristine sand.

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None of that has changed. However, the island has changed a lot. 35 years ago, you could walk miles down 7 mile beach before you saw another person. If you wanted meat? You brought your own. If you wanted to make a phone call? You searched high and dry for a pay phone. If you wanted to watch TV? Yeah, right. Needless to say, things have changed. 

Believe it or not, Christopher Columbus founded Grand Cayman back in 1503 during a voyage to the "new world." Due to the abundant amount of sea turtles, he coined the term Las Tortugas for the name of the islands. The turtle remains a face of the island to this day.

Despite Columbus’ findings, the Islands remained uninhabited until the 17th century. The first people to settle on the island were pirates, shipwrecked sailors, and slaves. Finally, in the 1730’s, Great Britain took control of the Cayman Islands. The first census taken in 1802 showed a population of 933 people on Grand Cayman, 545 of which were slaves. 

This British colony is located about 400 miles south of Miami, 180 miles south of Cuba, and 195 miles northwest of Jamaica.

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Due to its close proximity to the islands, Jamaica became a key country to the Cayman Islands’ development. Initially, the Cayman Islands were administered as a dependency of Jamaica. However, they became an independent colony in 1959 and are now a self-governing British territory. Several Jamaicans make the Cayman Islands their home today.

Cayman has become a very wealthy island that continues to advance and become more modernized. It has been amazing to see the transformation in the last 35 years from a very uninhabited island with little development to the island we know today. Now the island is equipped with several supermarkets, cell phones, cable TV, fitness centers and even wi-fi internet connections. As people continue to visit this beautiful island, they will continue to see changes, but perhaps none as drastic as the island has seen in the past 35 years. 

03/22/2015

Welcome to Grand Cayman

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I come across a lot of articles, pictures and videos on the Cayman Islands, but very few capture the island like this short video. The beautiful island of Grand Cayman features Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City and Rum Point and all of them are featured in this very unique video. It begins by the airport and takes you on an exclusive tour of all that the island has to offer, accompanied by music.

It features the pristine Seven Mile Beach, the colorful waters of the Caribbean Sea and the gorgeous daily sunsets. Words don't really do the video justice, so I suggest clicking on the link and taking a look for yourself! Enjoy!

02/23/2014

Caribbean Beach BBQ at Kaibo

Looking for something a unique Cayman Islands dining experience? Every Tuesday night from 6:00-9:00, Kaibo has a Caribbean BBQ party. For just $25, it is an all you can eat buffet, featuring island style BBQ chicken, Cayman style fish, spicy jerk pork, Cayman oxtail, Caribbean potato salad, rice & beans, corn on the cob, house salads, Caribbean pasta salad, fresh baked cookies and Cayman Tortuga rum cake. There are also 2 for 1 Rum Punch and beer bucket specials. Maybe even better than the food is the live local band. They play a mix of Reggae and Caymanian local music and it is quite impressive with people dancing (lots of families with kids) and even a limbo stick down by the water. Since it starts at 6:00pm, I recommend getting there early to get the freshest of the food. Enjoy a BBQ dinner, Caymanian style right on the ocean!

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This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

02/09/2014

Cayman Islands Represented in Sochi Olympics

It's not quite four Jamaican sprinters in a bobsled like the popular movie, Cool Runnings. However, the Cayman Islands have an olympian in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. What event could a Caymanian possibly compete in during the winter Olympics? As Sanka famously said during the 1993 movie, "you mean winter, as in igloos and eskimos and penguins and ICE?" Despite the logistical challenges facing a Caymanian to train for the winter Olympics, Dow Travers will be competing in this week's Alpine Skiing events.

The 26 year old was born in Grand Cayman. He has been donned the nickname, The Ginger Ninja. The 2014 Sochi Olympics are his second Winter Olympics after he became the first ever Caymanian to participate in the winter Olympics in Vancouver in 2010.

After an exchange program in France at the age of 14, Travers took up skiing. He was told by coaches that he had a chance to be an Olympian some day. He spends his time training split between Grand Cayman and Aspen, Colorado. When he's not skiing, he plays rugby on the island.

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Despite the cold weather in Russia, Travers led the Cayman Islands delegation wearing flip-flops and shorts at the Opening Ceremony on Friday night.  When you are watching the Olympics this week, take notice during the Alpine skiing events and look for one of Cayman's own, Dow Travers. 

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

01/05/2014

Baby….It's Cold Outside!!

Every winter, there is a stretch of cold weather that makes people long for a tropical vacation. This year, the cold weather is colder than ever and the trip might be needed more than ever. Take a look at some of these wind chills (what the temperature feels like when factoring in the wind) expected tomorrow morning.

Green Bay, WI:  -51 degrees F

New York, NY: 13 degrees F

Minneapolis, MN: -55 degrees F

Anchoraage, AK: 30 degrees F

Austin, TX: 24 degrees F

London, England: 46 degrees F

Calgary, Canada: -14 degrees F

If that doesn't send a chill down your spine, I don't know what will. While those parts of the world will be bundled up inside their house, the weather tomorrow in Grand Cayman calls for 84 degrees and sunny. For those coming from Minneapolis, that's 139 degrees warmer!! Book your flight now.

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This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

11/03/2013

Pirates Week 2013

Every November, the Cayman Islands have a celebration that turns the island upside down. It is the annual Pirates Week Festival. For the 36th straight year, Pirates Week will kick off this month. The event spans 11 fun packed days beginning Thursday, November 7th and includes music, parades, contests, fireworks and more. With an 11-day celebration, there is something for everyone of all ages.

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Thursday the celebration kicks off with a Pre-Pirates Week Happy Hour at Breezes by the Bay on Thursday, a beach BBQ, and a Pre-Pirates Week Kick off Party at the Wharf with a live band.

Friday includes  a Happy  Hour, Street Dance and Food Festival on Harbour Drive and concludes with a fireworks display. There are numerous events over the 11 day span.

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Finally Saturday, November 17th is a culmination of an excellent week with another extraordinary fireworks display. Saturday night ends with a Street Dance Finale and another teen disco.

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So whether you've never been to Pirate's Week or been there many times, you can see that there is plenty for everyone to do. It's still not too late to get down to Pirates Week 2013, or you can start planning a trip to the 37th annual Pirates Week in November of 2014.

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to wrtie about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

 

 

 

09/08/2013

Billy Bones Pool Bar

One of the best things about Sunset Cove Condominiums is having full access to the most popular swim-up bar on the entire Island. Everyone can enjoy Billy Bones, regardless of what you are looking for. When I get off the plane, the first thing I do is get my swimsuit on and head over to Billy Bone's for some lunch. 

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Whether looking for a great sandwich, a rum punch, or an evening of entertainment, Billy Bones has it all! Children love the ability to swim up to the bar and not have to take a break from their swimming to get lunch. They offer hot dogs, grilled cheese, and quesadillas that kids can enjoy. Kids usually think it is pretty "cool" to be able to eat their lunch while sitting in the water (I know I did).

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Adults love to use Billy Bones as a place to socialize. There is never a lack of activity at the "water side" of the bar or the "land side" of the bar. They have friendly bartenders who can mix any island drink ever created. In addition, there are 3 big screen TVs that show popular American sports, including NFL football, basketball, and baseball. Some other menu items that adults enjoy are the mahi-mahi sandwhich, flatbread pizzas, and delicious wraps. 

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In addition to hanging on the "water side" of the pool bar, there is a full seating area on the "land side" if you aren't in the mood to get wet. They often host poker tournaments, parties, and games on the land side during the evenings and even have live music on certain days.

The land side of Billy Bones is open to anyone and is often considered the most popular bar on the island. However, you must be staying on site to utilize the water side of the bar, which keeps the pool off-limits to non-guests, allowing the guests to enjoy the pool without it being over-crowded.

So whether enjoying Happy Hour 2-for-1 rum punch, Thursday night Poker Night, or grabbing lunch with your kids, Billy Bones is a great spot for everyone.

This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.

 

08/11/2013

Cayman's Top Attractions

When someone plans a vacation, undoubtedly the first question is “What is there to do there?” The nice thing about a trip to the Cayman Islands is laying on the beach, soaking up the rays, listening to the waves, and relaxing with an island drink in hand is enough to make any vacation great. However, if you want to get some relief from the sun, here are five must-see attractions on Grand Cayman.

 #5. Head to Georgetown for Duty-Free Shopping: I will admit, I’m not much for shopping, but even I like to visit the shops downtown once per trip. The shops are all duty and tax free, which allows for some great deals not found in the United States. Shop for sunglasses, jewelry, watches, leather, souvenirs, and more. Helpful tip: Visit the shops in Georgetown on a day when there are no cruise ships. You will be able to have several shops to yourself in a small walking radius. You can find out the cruise schedule at: 

Cayman Islands Cruise Ship Schedule

 #4. Swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove: While this is kind of pricey, I feel it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You get to pet, kiss, and hold the dolphins, while learning all about this amazing creature. Plus there is no bigger thrill than floating on your stomach and waiting for two huge dolphins to swim up from behind you at full speed and push you up in the air by your feet (see picture). As a guy asked the trainer when we were there, "What happens if they miss your feet?", the trainer responded, "They won't miss." Let's hope not...

Dolphin Cove Website

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#3. Dine at Casanova’s By The Sea. I don’t typically consider a good restaurant a tourist attraction, but Casanova’s is always a highlight of my trip. This Italian restaurant, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, offers a wide variety of pasta, seafood, and chicken entrees. Tony Crescente, a true Italian, is the owner and prides himself on authentic food from his homeland with family recipes. The service is impeccable and they definitely make every person feel welcome, as though you are part of their family. Whether on a romantic honeymoon get-away or there with a large group, the atmosphere at Casanova's makes this a must-try attraction. Even if you are making your first ever visit to Casanova's, the staff will make you feel like Norm from "Cheers", where everyone knows your name.

Casanova's Website

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#2. Have a mudslide at the Wreck Bar at Rum Point: If you have ever had a mudslide in America or at any other bar in Cayman, you might think it’s pretty good. You haven’t had a mudslide until you try one from the Wreck Bar at Rum Point. The sign at the bar says it best: “How much for a virgin mudslide? Cups of ice are FREE!!” If you can find a captain to take you over via boat, that allows you to enjoy the mudslides without worrying about driving. If you have a rental car, it is about a 45 minute drive across the beautiful scenery of the Cayman Islands along the East End. Whether by boat or by car, Rum Point is a must visit attraction. Spend an afternoon here lounging on the beach and floating in the shallow water, or relaxing in a hammock after a mudslide and a mahi sandwich! Friendly tip from experience: when you are with 7 people---42 mudslides in one afternoon is about 28 too many.

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#1. Take a boat on a snorkel trip to Stingray City. The highlight of any trip to the Cayman Islands is a day on the North Sound. There are several different captains that will take you out. The trip usually starts with a visit to Stingray City for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hold, pet, and play with these fascinating creatures. These create some great photo opportunities as the captains will feed and hold the stingrays allowing them to be held in a calm manner. The next stop is along the coral reef in the North Sound. It is here that you might see lobsters, nurse sharks, and lots of beautiful fish. Finally a stop by the coral gardens to look at schools of colorful fish, sea turtles, and even a moray eel, ends the wonderful day. 

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This blog posting was brought to you by Cayman Condos. For information on any of our blog postings or to inquire about booking a condo, please contact our office at 800-999-1388. Something you love about the blog? Something you hate? Something you want me to write about? Let me know: joe@cicondos.com.