« June 2013 | Main | September 2013 »

2 posts from August 2013

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

Dolphin cove

#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

IMG_8540

 

#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.

IMG_8632

IMG_8627

#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. 

IMG_8597

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.

08/04/2013

The History and Evolution of Grand Cayman

When I began going to the Cayman Islands 30 years ago, it wasn’t quite what it is today. Sure it had beautiful blue sky, turquoise ocean, and pristine sand. 

None of that has changed. However, the island has changed a lot. 30 years ago, you could walk miles down 7 mile beach before you saw another person.

Beach pic

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.

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 30 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 30 years. 

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.