The three Cayman Islands, stretching across a swath of the western Caribbean, are one of the better cruising and chartering destinations, popular in the winter but with a warm sun, turquoise waters and world-class diving and fishing all year long. The reefs are full of tropical life, fishing is called “the national sport,” and the beaches are always white and usually underpopulated.
The Caymans officially are a British Overseas Territory, and they lie south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. Grand Cayman is the largest, and is known for its beach resorts, diving and fishing. Cayman Brac offers diving, and Little Cayman, the smallest, is home to a variety of wildlife, from endangered iguanas to the seabirds known as red-footed boobies; it also has fantastic diving.
To give you an idea of what you can do in the Caymans, MarineMax Vacations put together a seven-day itinerary for a charter vacation. It starts in George Town on Grand Cayman, where you can do all your island shopping and sample the local restaurants. George Town is the island’s capital, and largest city by far, and you can get everything you need there.
Then it’s a cruise to Seven Mile Beach, where 40 dive sites are within minutes. You can swim over to Stingray Cay to see the coral gardens of North Sound, where locals have been feeding the stingrays for 20 years, or stop by the Cayman Islands Turtle Farm to see the giant green seat turtles. Make sure you take your snorkel gear to swim in the lagoon.
Next is a longer cruise to Cayman Brac, and more diving spots and fishing spots, and finally on to Little Cayman. There you can dive and swim in crystal-clear water to more than 50 dive sites, and edge up to an underwater vertical drop of 6,000 feet. On shore, you won’t have to look long to find an iguana; 2,000 of them live there.
Then it’s back to George Town on Grand Cayman, where it’s time for some deep-sea fishing. Head out to the 12 Mile Bank for wahoo, dorado, tuna and marlin. And then book your next charter so you know you’ll be back. Read more: