Bodden Town and North Side
Duration: Half Day
As the largest and most cosmopolitan of the three Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman has a myriad of sights and attractions for tourists to explore. George Town and West Bay are amongst the most visited areas on the island, but there is so much more to discover if you venture further. This tour will introduce you to the historical highlights of Bodden Town, the first Capital of the Caymans, before travelling onwards to North Side for relaxation on the beautiful Rum Point beach.
The beautiful area that stretches from George Town to West Bay is extremely popular with tourists, but this is unfortunately all that some visitors ever get to see. The more adventurous traveller will uncover so much more by exploring further, including historic gems such as Bodden Town, Grand Cayman’s old capital. This quaint town was named after the Bodden family, who were early settlers on the island in the mid 17th century. In its day, Bodden Town boasted a fine natural harbour which was protected by the reef, but the threat of an invasion from pirates and the Spanish meant that better defences had to be put in place.
Today visitors can see the ruins of the Slave Wall, which was built by slaves to defend the town against invaders; Pedro Castle, the oldest building on the island, the old Guard House and Gun Square, all of which serve as reminders of the town’s turbulent past. The recently restored Mission House, one of the oldest surviving dwelling houses in the Cayman Islands, is also well worth a visit. Displaying an interesting collection of historical artifacts, this historic venue will give you a fascinating insight into the rich history of the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands have long been associated with pirates, and one of the most well-known family attractions in Bodden Town is its Pirate Caves. Located on the south shores of Grand Cayman, these natural limestone caves were reportedly used by pirates to hide their treasures, although nothing has been found aside from bones and cannonballs. A network of caves and tunnels are believed to have once been connected to the sea, although their entrances have mostly collapsed during storms over the years. Across the street you can also see the alleged pirate graves, which were carved from rock in the shape of small houses by slaves.
Moving onwards, we make our way north to the famous Rum Point beach, which is far less crowded and undeveloped than its rival Seven Mile Beach, but equally beautiful. Blessed with pristine white sands, picturesque casuarinas trees and clear shallow waters, this is the perfect island getaway. Spend time relaxing in one of the hammocks on the beach, or cool down with a refreshing swim in the alluring Caribbean Sea. The more adventurous can enjoy some of the best snorkeling on the island along the nearby reefs, which host an abundance of marine life. If you are looking for an unspoilt paradise during your holiday in the Cayman Islands, this is it.
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Luxury hotel operator Mandarin Oriental has revealed plans to open a new resort on Grand Cayman, the largest of the tropical Cayman Islands in the western Caribbean. Slated to open in 2021, the new 100-room beachfront resort will be the company's second hotel in the Caribbean.
The island of Grand Cayman will host a brand new festival in 2019. The Kaaboo Cayman will make its debut on 15th and 16th February 2019 on the picturesque Seven Mile Beach and will be a mix of music, comedy, and entertainment. The line up so far includes Duran Duran, Bryan Adams, Counting Crows, Flo Rida, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Salt-N-Pepa, Wanda Sykes, and David Spade.
The Cayman Islands are already recording successful tourism numbers this year. According to preliminary numbers from the Department of Tourism, the island nation received 39,185 stayover visitors in January, which was a 23.87 percent increase compared to the same month in 2017. It was the country's most successful January ever, and the eighth consecutive month of record-breaking growth.