Why the Cayman Islands Are a Golfer’s Paradise
The Cayman Islands rank among the Caribbean’s most affluent and stable countries. You’ll find a surprisingly low crime rate, and panhandling and aggressive souvenir hawking are rare.
Until recently, the Cayman Islands were primarily known for their stunning beaches and brilliant diving. But 19-year-old Aaron Jarvis is changing that, becoming the country’s first golfer to compete at Augusta and earning a spot in The Open Championship this summer.
You might think of the Cayman Islands as a paradise for a specific type of golfer who wants to play 36 holes daily and doesn’t mind blisters and back spasms. But this Caribbean destination offers more than just the world’s finest Cayman Islands golf courses.
You’ll find the first Jack Nicklaus signature course in the Caribbean at Royal Blue, which is part of the spectacular Baha Mar resort on Grand Cayman. The system offers breathtaking views and a variety of challenges.
North Sound is another 18-hole course designed by Roy Case, located right on the coast with stunning ocean views. The system takes advantage of cooling Caribbean breezes and features a variety of holes, from challenging to easy.
If a full-size course isn’t your cup of tea, you can also play a jungle-themed mini-golf course in the heart of George Town. You might even encounter a Green Iguana on your next round. These tropical reptiles are often basking on the fairways or scuttling across the greens.
The Cayman Islands have some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable snorkeling adventure or want to relax on the beach, the Cayman Islands offer endless gorgeous beaches that will leave you speechless.
Seven Mile Beach, on Grand Cayman’s west coast, is a 5.6-mile stretch of pristine sand lined with luxury resorts and is a magnet for beach sports like volleyball. Snorkelers flock here, and you’ll find abundant marine life in the warm, clear waters.
A boat ride from Rum Point takes you to Stingray City, a peculiar series of sandbars where visitors can jump into the water and mingle with wild Atlantic stingrays. They’re known to give you slimy hugs and wet kisses but don’t forget that they are still wild animals and must be treated with respect.
Barkers Beach in the northern part of Grand Cayman is a nature lover’s paradise with mangrove wetlands and woodlands that provide habitat for herons, terns, warblers, woodpeckers, and other birds. During windy months you might see kite surfers sailing on the waves here. Or head to Little Cayman’s unspoiled Owen Island for a day channeling your castaway fantasies on a secluded beach.
The Cayman Islands are renowned for their fantastic food. The islands have diverse restaurants featuring unique Caribbean and world cuisines like Thai, Japanese, Indian, and Italian. The islands are also known for their incredible seafood. You’ll want to try local dishes such as conch soup, ackee, saltfish, a fish fry, and cassava cake during your stay.
Agriculture isn’t a primary industry, but the main crops are citrus fruits, bananas, and plantains. Coconuts, yams, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes are grown as well. Many people also raise livestock, such as goats and chickens. In addition, the islands have a government-operated turtle farm where they raise and harvest leather, meat, eggs, and shells. The islanders’ chief occupations are clerical, service work, and construction.
Seafood is a staple in the Cayman Islands, and many local favorites are delicious and less expensive than seafood in other parts of the Caribbean. You’ll enjoy grilled or sauteed mahimahi (the local name for mahimahi, a firm white fish) and marinated red snapper.
Caymanians cherish their Caribbean culture and traditions while advancing firmly into the 21st century. This is evident in the local live entertainment calendar, with events, including art exhibitions and comedy shows.
The islands are also renowned for their incredible food, dub the Cayman Islands the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Local cuisine includes fantastic fresh seafood and exotic Caribbean fruits.
Expatriate workers are a mainstay of the economy, with foreign nationals filling roles in the civil service, financial industries, hotels, restaurants, and water sports outlets. They and their families form the majority of the population.
To learn about the islands’ rich history, head to the National Museum in George Town. It’s open daily and is a treasure trove of Catboats, coins, stamps, fantastic stuffed birds, and traditional clothing. It also houses the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, which is dedicated to preserving natural environments and historic sites. The Trust offers tours to discover places like the Mastic Trail and Blue Iguana Conservation. The National Trust also hosts visiting scientists to share their expertise with the Cayman Islands community.
The Cayman Islands offer incredible weather year-round. Average temperatures stay in the 80s, and a cooling breeze off the sea keeps things comfortable.
The islands are sheltered from hurricanes by their location in the western Caribbean, but they have an annual rainy season from May through November. Rain usually only occurs in short showers, and even then, it’s rarely heavy enough to dampen your day on the beach.
Visiting the Cayman Islands is an experience you’ll always remember. Whether you prefer a brisk bike ride along Seven Mile Beach or a lazy afternoon in a hammock with a book and the waves lapping at your feet, there are endless opportunities to enjoy the Cayman Islands in a way that’s uniquely yours. Work on your tan on the gorgeous sand, try a local beer or cocktail at a beach bar or explore the ocean’s wonders while snorkeling to discover a coral reef you’ve never seen. Whatever you choose to do, the stunning vistas and warm sea will take your breath away.