Elite Traveler Winter 2021

141 etr li at ve eler WINTER 2021/22


RUM POINT On the North Shore of Grand Cayman, this tranquil beach (a snorkeling favorite) draws those looking for a quieter scene. Bring a book to read in the swaying beach hammocks and a picnic to nibble on beneath the shady casuarina trees. About 45 minutes by car from Seven Mile Beach, Rum Point can also be accessed by local ferries. visitcaymanislands.com QUEEN ELIZABETH II BOTANIC PARK This melange of green gardens, trails, a lake and a classic teahouse with jaw-dropping vistas underscores the Cayman’s British influence, while providing an off-beach option for flower lovers and kids that need room to roam. Not a true city, but a collection of shallow sandbars offshore, where numerous wild Atlantic stingrays flap around happily, willing to play with visiting humans — this is a not-to-be-missed adventure. Tours led by registered professionals abound, with visitors arriving by jet ski or glass bottom boat, with diving gear or from snorkeling expeditions. Try George’s Watersports Early Morning Tour to beat the crowds and see the sunrise. thingstodocayman.net THE TURTLE CENTRE Second only to the Stingray City experience in popularity, this educational and recreation complex on Grand Cayman not only informs guests about endangered turtles, but promotes swimming with them in gentle, human-reptile interplay. turtle.ky YACHTING AND FLYING Islands are meant to be seen from the sea. Board one of Cayman Yacht Charters’ sleek ships for a sunset cruise or weeklong jaunt around the territory; customizable itineraries are their specialty. Or, get a bird’s-eye view of the islands with Cayman Islands Helicopters’ bespoke copter capers. Imagine seeing Stingray City from the clouds! yachtscayman.com; caymanislandshelicopters.com botanic-park.ky STINGRAY CITY

MASTIC TRAIL Take a break from the sun on Grand Cayman’s favorite walk. Wild orchids, hermit crabs, frogs and lizards may accompany you along this undulating 3.7-mile pathway, which twists through a haunting subtropical forest. DIVING Fringed by reefs, the islands have a multitude of top dive sites situated just minutes from shore. Expect grottos, steep drops, tunnels, caverns, translucent water, coral galore and intriguing wrecks. Some to try include Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef, a US Navy Submarine Rescue Vessel found off the tip of Seven Mile Beach (look for eagle rays); Bloody Bay Marine Park, off Little Cayman, where Bloody Bay Wall cascades for a mind-boggling mile or more; MV Captain Keith Tibbetts , a Russian frigate submerged off Cayman Brac; and Devils’ Grotto, an extravaganza of underwater crevices, swim-throughs and hideaways, abundant with fish (look for barracudas and parrotfish). visitcaymanislands.com SNORKELING Each island brims with options. Outfitters aplenty lead first-class adventures, some stopping at multiple spots. Book with Crazy Crab for their bespoke, private catamaran tours. Choose Smith Cove or Spotts Beach to snorkel right from the beach. crazycrabcayman.com

Rum Point is a tranquil beach on Grand Cayman’s North Shore


Though the immense Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman stretches across 144 acres on Seven Mile Beach, it lacks that gangly feel of so many colossal hotels. Instead, the resort skews toward the intimate, thanks to its affable staff, attention to detail and clever interior design. Those who love a party, nevertheless, will favor this hotel’s energy and multiplicity of options. In keeping with that larger-than-life theme, the hotel’s 8,000-sq-ft Seven South Suite takes the honors as the biggest hotel suite in the Caribbean. This stunning suite boasts three bedrooms, Bose sound systems, a fully equipped wet bar, lounge, fire pit and private outdoor shower — not to mention a full kitchen, featuring Gaggenau appliances. From $12,500 to $25,000 per night. Contact Leandro Rattazzi, director of sales and marketing,

Each island has spectacular snorkeling

leandro.rattazzi@ritzcarlton.com, +1 345 943 9000, ritzcarlton.com

Photos Don Riddle Images

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