West Bay and Stingray City
Duration: Half Day
The Cayman Islands are blessed with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Caribbean – both above and below the water. This tour will take you to Stingray City on Grand Cayman, where you can snorkel in the warm turquoise waters with the stingrays before moving onwards to see the turtles at Boatswain's Beach. This exciting day of learning and discovery is a wonderful way to keep the whole family entertained during a holiday in the Cayman Islands.
If you can drag yourself away from the stunning Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman, there is so much to see and do on the island. Discovering the country’s rich marine life is just one of the options available. Travelling along West Bay Road will take you past the beach to the town of West Bay, where you can take a boat ride to Stingray City, one of the most popular attractions on the island. Here visitors can enjoy touching and feeding the stingrays before snorkeling amongst the magnificent coral reefs, which are inhabited by hundreds of colourful tropical fish and an abundance of other marine creatures.
Prepare for an unforgettable experience as more than two dozen friendly Atlantic Southern Stingrays approach you in the shallow Stingray City Sandbar area. Standing in only three feet of crystal clear water, you can watch these fascinating sea creatures up close as they surround you, playing and swimming freely with their new human friends. This excursion is suitable for both swimmers and non-swimmers, so everyone can join in the fun.
Our next stop is Boatswain's Beach, a unique, 23-acre adventure marine park on the western side of the peninsula. Here visitors can learn about the native marine life surrounding the Cayman Islands through colourful displays and interactive educational experiences – the main attraction being the Cayman Turtle Farm.
The Cayman Islands were initially named “Las Tortugas,” meaning “the turtles,” by Christopher Columbus when he first discovered the Cayman Islands, because of the vast number of turtles on the beaches. However, the population was dwindling by the early 1900s when the majority were killed for their meat. Recognising that something had to be done, Cayman Turtle Farm was set up in 1968 and has since bred and released around 30,000 turtles into the waters surrounding Grand Cayman. Although many turtles are still bred to supply the needs of the local market as a source of fresh meat, around 40% are released into the wild to help preserve this endangered species.
In addition to the turtles, Boatswain’s Beach is home to many other endemic creatures. Walk through the Aviary and spot beautiful tropical bird species such as the Turquoise Tanager, Green Rumped Parrotlet and Red-Legged Honeycreeper before visiting the Predator Reef to watch the sharks at feeding time. Other highlights include the woodland nature trail, rock pools, waterfalls and snorkeling in the beautiful Boatswain’s Lagoon.
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The government of the Cayman Islands is planning to construct a brand new $150 million cruise ship pier. The government must issue a RFP (requests for proposals) for its development by March, 2017, and an engineering consultant has already carried out an environmental impact assessment. The cruise facility is planned for George Town Harbour in the capital on the island of Grand Cayman.
TEN Arquitectos have revealed the design of a new $250 million mixed-use luxury resort in the Cayman Islands. The resort is being built at St James Point in Grand Cayman by Beach Bay Land Limited on 16 acres, and will include a 1,000-foot private beach, a hotel with 200 guest rooms and 90 residential units.
Interval International has announced that it has added the Morritt's Grand Resort in the Cayman Islands to its portfolio. The resort will be located on a white sand beach on Grand Cayman next to Morritt's Tortuga Club, another Interval affiliate, and it will be designated an Interval International Premier Resort.