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Blog Home > Author > Carrie Walker
Carrie Walker
Carrie is a lover of petting stingrays and relaxing on the beach with a good book and cool drink. On her next trip to Cayman, the first item on her list is riding horseback through the ocean. 

It’s one of Grand Cayman’s most popular destinations—Stingray City. Whether you’ve been coming to Cayman for decades or you’re planning your very first time, Stingray City offers unique joys to experience each and every visit. We've put together a rundown of the highlights to help you plan your next trip! 

The “Founding” of Stingray City

The sandbar now known as Stingray City initially attracted these alluring creatures when fishermen stopped their boats there after fishing excursions. While cleaning their catch of the day, the fishermen would often throw the scraps overboard. Before too long, stingrays began to show up to take advantage of all that free food! Over time, generation after generation of stingrays made the trek to the sandbar for a snack, and eventually they grew familiar and friendly with people. 

Nowadays it’s the tour groups who bring the tasty treats that keep the clan of stingrays coming back to visit each day. This year the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation completed their biannual “stingray census” at the sandbar, and they counted 115 stingrays—the largest number ever recorded!

All together there are two sandbars that make up Stingray City—one that is roughly three-feet deep and one that is much deeper. The shallow sandbar is the most popular destination since visitors can comfortably stand while they interact with the stingrays. The deeper sandbar offers the opportunity to dive and swim alongside the majestic creatures. If you’re a diver, you should definitely check it out to experience Stingray City from a whole new perspective.

The Full Experience

Located in North Sound, Stingray City tour-goers get to enjoy incredible open-ocean views on the boat ride there. There are usually several excursions and boats visiting Stingray City at any given time, making it a vibrant and fun atmosphere. The water in North Sound is crystal clear and stunning, so visitors will have a fantastic view of the stingrays as they swim by—some might even brush up against your leg! If you’re uncomfortable with wading out into the water, watching the rays swim by from the boat is still an unforgettable experience.

Before visitors exit their boats and enter the water, they are taught what we like to affectionately call “the Stingray City Shuffle.” Since stingrays swim and frequently rest close to the water’s sandy bottom, it is possible to accidentally injure a ray by stepping on it. While the residents of Stingray City are very friendly, stingrays do still have barbs on their tail that can sting. As a guest coming into the stingrays's home turf, it’s important to be as respectful and mindful of their natural environment as possible. Just keep an eye downwards and shuffle your feet along the sand to keep our swimming friends safe and happy!



If you visit with a tour guide who has experience on how to properly handle the stingrays, they'll help you get up close and personal with one of these incredible animals. Many long-time guides even recognize particular stingrays—several have names, so be sure to ask who you're meeting! You can gently pet the stingray's back while it's being held by a guide, and remember, if you give one a kiss, it's seven years of good luck! ;) Many tour companies also employ photographers who will take photos of you posing with the stingrays for an additional fee, so you won't have to worry about getting your personal camera wet. 

Tour Options

There are many ways to book a tour to Stingray City, from private options for small-groups to large tour excursions. Here are some more in-depth stories about a couple of our recommendations, if you’d like a place to get started on your research. 

Share Your Memories

We hope we've covered the basics of a trip to Stingray City and have you convinced it's a must-do item for your next trip. Have you already visited Stingray City? Do you have a favorite memory from your visit, or did we miss any tips you’d like to share? Are you a first-timer with some specific questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, located on the island’s north side, combines two of our very favorite things about Cayman—incredible natural beauty and rich history! John Lawrus is the General Manager of Botanic Park, and we recently had the honor of taking a tour of this incredible park with him.

John shared with us that Botanic Park, owned jointly by the Cayman Islands Government and The National Trust, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The park was opened by its namesake, Queen Elizabeth herself, in 1994. (John had the honor of meeting the Queen at the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show, where the park took home a Silver Medal!) When it first opened, the only completed attraction was the Woodland Trail.  Since then, the park has grown by leaps and bounds, encompassing 65 acres in total and boasting beautiful features like the Floral Colour Garden, the fascinating Heritage Garden, and award-winning orchids, plus it's home to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program through the National Trust. You can even spot some blues roaming throughout the park!

Originally from Canada, John moved to Cayman around 18 years ago to work in Botanic Park. He’s always had a passion for plants since childhood. Though he initially studied finance in school, the pull towards working with nature proved stronger than the pull towards numbers. He went back to school, attending the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture, which is one of the most highly regarded educational tracks in the horticulture field. The coursework was intense, and John said that the students even had room inspections! But he knew the program provided unparalleled job opportunities in the field, so it was all worth it. After graduating, John worked at the UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver before seeing a job opening in Cayman. From there, he's worked his way up from Garden Supervisor to Deputy General Manager to his current position as General Manager today.

John’s passion for preservation and his enthusiasm for the calming power of nature is contagious. As a bit of an “indoor girl” myself, I’m not usually drawn to learning about plant life on my own. But hearing John talk about the origin of certain trees, flowers, and uses for medicinal plants made me realize I've been missing out. I really enjoyed learning about which herbs can be used in teas to help with various ailments. John also told us the story of a particular tree that was knocked over by hurricane winds. The tree was able to withstand the damage and has continued growing, just in a new direction.

My personal favorite part of the park was the Heritage Garden, which pays homage to native plants that have played a huge role in Cayman’s history. (It's also the winner of the Silver Medal from the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show in London!) In addition to highlighting important species like the Silver Thatch Palm, it also includes fruit trees, a medicinal garden, plus an original Caymanian house, owned by the Rankine family circa 1900. John told us that eight members of the Rankine family lived in the cozy iron-wood home—it's a little hard to imagine today! Instead of having a lawn with grass, the home was surrounded by a sand yard, which has been replicated down to the white conch shells lining the pathway to the front door. There’s even a “caboose” kitchen, which is separate from the main house.

Silver Thatch Palm lines the roof of the Heritage House, which is decorated to match how it would have looked in the early 1900s.

As we walked through the park, John shared his favorite aspects of his job—getting to spend time in nature and the ability to provide a beautiful place for others to come and enjoy. He loves being able to work in a place that provides peace and relaxation for others. John says he especially loves the diversity of plant life in the park— beautifully landscaped areas located next to spots with a more “rugged” feel where the plants grow a little more freely.

Enjoy a stroll in the shade on the Woodland Trail. 

John is also incredibly proud of the work being done on the new Children’s Garden within the park. With much-appreciated support from all the Rotary Clubs across the island, construction on phase one began in December 2018, and the Garden Grow Zone was just recently completed. Once it’s finished, the Children's Garden will include awesome features like a sensory garden, splash pad, maze, observation tower, and more. As a father to a young daughter, John said he was very excited to help provide a place where kids can be kids—to play in the dirt, get a little sweaty, and just enjoy spending time outside. He said the design for the park kept children of all personalities in mind—from those who prefer to run around and crawl through tunnels to those who would rather take in their surroundings a little more quietly from a comfy seat. (If you're interested in keeping up with the Children's Park, follow Botanic Park on Facebook for more info!).

When he isn't taking care of the park, John enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter. He likes to relax by going fishing or spending any time around water (which, as we know, Cayman offers the best of all water-related activities!) He also lives on the north side of the island, and gave us a few hints on the best place to grab a bite in the area—he recommends Over the Edge Cafe and Kurt's Corner in Old Man Bay, which is "the truest pub on the island." He recommends even more highly that you get your lunch to-go and come eat it in the park.

A blue happily takes in some sun.

Next time you're on island, we can't recommend a visit to Botanic Park enough. John even says, it's "the most peaceful place on island," especially to take a walk, and who are we to argue with him? So pack yourself a picnic and come take it all in. And if you see John, be sure to ask him to show you his favorite plant in the park!

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Pizza is one of the ultimate crowd-pleasing meals, and when you’re visiting the island you will be spoiled for choice on where to enjoy your next slice. We busted out our foodie journals and tested several pizza places across the island to bring you these recommendations—it was a difficult job, but someone had to do it! :)

Cimboco

Best Salad to Go Along With Your Pizza

As soon as you walk in the doors of Cimboco, you’ll be warmly welcomed by delicious smells of crust being baked in their brick oven. In addition to crisp, Roman-style crusts, they also boast the best Caesar salad on the island, which is served in a chilled bowl and comes with the perfect crouton to lettuce ratio. Be careful, though—you just might be dreaming of Cimboco's for weeks to come! 

Recommendation: BBQ Jerk Chicken Pizza  

The Brooklyn

Top Post-Shopping Power Up 

A must-visit when you stop by Camana Bay to shop, The Brooklyn has a huge selection of specialty pizzas, like the nacho, the bacon double cheeseburger, the Hawaiian, and the chicken tikka, in addition to your standard build-your-own options. Their trendy decor is certainly Instagram-worthy, plus you can watch your pizza bake right before your eyes in their brick oven. They also have gluten-free crust available upon request.

Recommendation: The Fun Guy (featuring 3 different mushrooms and truffle oil)

Boggy Sand Caribbean Kitchen

Closest Pizza Fix

Located just a couple minutes down the road from CCC, you can get your pizza fix the very quickest at Boggy Sand. A TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence winner, you’re certain to love their beautiful decor and cheery service in addition to some top-notch ‘za. Served on a pizza board with an olive oil-covered crust, these pizzas are definitely something to write home about.

Recommendation: Margherita (mozzarella and fresh basil)

Casanova Ristorante

Authentic Italian

For a wholly authentic Italian dining experience, enjoy your meal on the waterfront in Georgetown at Casanova. Really do it up and order a glass of wine or some Limoncello to go along with your delicious pizza—you won’t regret it!

Recommendation: Focaccina (Garlic and Rosemary)

Gino’s Pizzeria

Delivery Right To Your Condo

After a long day splashing in the ocean and sightseeing, you might be ready to kick back, relax in your condo, and have the pizza come to you. Gino’s Pizzeria will deliver their signature pizza, pastas, salads, and sandwiches right to your door at CCC in West Bay—all with no delivery fee!

Recommendation: Gino’s Classic (double pepperoni!)

XQ's

Pizza + Live Music

If you’re looking for some quality entertainment while you enjoy your next piping hot slice of pizza, XQ’s is your place! Every Thursday XQ’s is host to live music by Jeff Japal in their piano bar, and they have a huge TV where you can watch live sports or special events like UFC fights. Plus, they also deliver to West Bay. 

Recommendation: The Godfather (sausage, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms, onions, smoked gouda, and tomatoes—oh my!)

Alfresco

Pizza Right on Seven Mile Beach

Soak in all the beautiful sights and sounds of Seven Mile Beach at Alfresco’s in West Bay. A quick drive from the condos, Alfresco’s is famous for their outdoor dining and local fare like turtle stew and oxtail, but we’re pretty big fans of their pizzas, too! Build your own pizza by choosing from premium toppings like calamari, Gorgonzola cheese, roasted garlic, and more, or keep it simple with a meat lovers or vegetarian pizza—and whole wheat crust is also available upon request.

Recommendation: Seafood pizza (smoked salmon, shrimp, and lobster)

Hungry Yet?

This just scratches the surface of some of the amazing pizza options you can find in Grand Cayman. Which pizza is your favorite—did we miss your go-to spot? Let us know where we should check out next in the comments below.

**And if you’re feeling like a familiar taste of home or have a picky kiddo with you, American staples like Pizza Hut and Dominos are also available for dine-in and delivery.
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Did you know that Grand Cayman is home to one of only a handful of bioluminescent bays in the world? Bioluminescence is a fancy name for “light-up” creatures like fireflies, glow worms, and jellyfish. In Cayman, tiny light-up creatures live in the waters off the north side of the island, a short boat ride away from Rum Point. We recently took an unforgettable tour of the bioluminescent bay led by Tom Watling, who helped us see these enchanting creatures up close.

Tom and Lisha Watling are the owners of Cayman Kayaks, who offer eco-friendly tours of the bioluminescent bay by double kayak or by boat. Cayman Kayak tours run only on moonless or low-light evenings so the experience with the bioluminescence can be as enjoyable as possible. The tours embark from Rum Point, and while it’s a bit of a drive from West Bay, it’s well worth the trip.

We took the boat tour of the bay, and the boat itself was almost as neat as the tour! Tom’s boat, Moonless Moments, might look like a regular catamaran at first glance, but it was custom designed with the touring experience and the utmost safety of the bioluminescence in mind. The boat is electric, which protects the organisms from harmful fuel emissions, and its walls are high and painted black to help block out nearby streetlights. Panels in the floor of the boat pop out, allowing tour goers to get up close and personal with the bioluminescence without swimming in the bay. Tom explained to us that everyday things like sunscreen, lotions, perfumes, and hair care products are harmful to the bioluminescence, so swimming in the bay is strongly discouraged and tour goers are advised to avoid or wash off any sunscreen or lotion beforehand.

As we entered the bay, Tom passed around a paddle to put in the water. When we looked over the side of the boat, suddenly the water surrounding the paddle lit up a bright blue. It was impressive and beautiful, and that was just the beginning of the light show. Once the boat stopped inside the bay, Tom popped out the panels in the boat’s floor, and we were able to play in the water and see the bioluminescence up close. With every swipe of my hand, dozens and dozens of little creatures lit up blue along my movements like fairy dust. Though small, the light provided by these creatures is mighty!

Tom and a friend kayak in the bioluminescent bay (Courtesy of Cayman Kayaks

Though the organisms in Cayman’s bioluminescent bay haven’t been studied officially, Tom told us that they are believed to be Pyrodinium Bahamense. Dr. Michael Latz of the Marine Institute in San Diego, California, toured the bay with Tom and noted that the organisms were very similar to those in another, extensively studied bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico—Mosquito Bay. Though he didn’t put the Cayman creatures under a microscope, he felt there were enough similarities to hypothesize that Cayman is also home to the Pyrodinium Bahamense.

In addition to the magic of the bioluminescence, getting to chat with Tom during the tour was a treat in itself. He told us that his parents first visited Cayman from Canada on their honeymoon in the 1980s and immediately fell head-over-heels for the island. It would be almost a year before they went back home at all! As a first-generation Caymanian, Tom is a strong advocate for protecting and conserving Cayman’s natural beauty. He recalls the first time he really noticed the bioluminescence, saying, “I was out on my back out on a dock looking up at the stars—the star gazing is great this side of the island. I went to shore and picked up a coconut and brought it to the end of the dock, threw it up in the air, and watched it splash. It didn’t splash as per usual, though—it glowed, sparkled, and because the end of the dock was in shallow waters, shoals of fish shot out from every direction of impact from the coconut hitting the surface. Phosphorescence! I thought to myself. Incredible!

When asked what it is about the bay that invokes such passion in him, Tom answered, “It’s the small things that makes the muscle behind my eyes tighten and my heart squeeze into tears of joy. That is what Cayman’s wildlife is all about to me—the knowledge of what you are looking at, and then getting up close to the tiny life structures and truly appreciating these life forms.”

A naturalist in every sense of the word, Tom shares his passion for nature with those on his tours. One of my favorite moments of the tour was when he stopped the boat and took the time to point out some of the constellations in the sky above, gently encouraging each of us to take a few moments, breathe in the ocean air, and be present in nature.

With Tom after our tour. 

Next time you visit the island, I highly recommend you book a tour of the bioluminescent bay—it will be an experience you won’t soon forget! And if you’re interested in helping keeping the bay happy and healthy for generations to come, you can read more about how you can support Tom and Lisha’s efforts here.


*Cover photo courtesy of Cayman Kayaks
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The blue iguana is a beautiful and important animal native to the Cayman Islands. The blue iguanas, or blues, were once faced with extinction, but are now on their way back to a stable, healthy population. We were lucky enough to get some insights into how the blue iguanas are being revitalized from Nick Ebanks. Nick is the Operations Manager of the Blue Iguana Recovery, which is an initiative of The National Trust for the Cayman Islands. The recovery itself is located on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park on the north side of the island, about a 45 minute drive from the condos.

The Blue Iguana Recovery Program was founded in 1990 as an effort to save the critically endangered species, whose population was down to only 30. The facility cares for and monitors blue iguanas, aids in the breeding process, strategically releases ready iguanas into the wild, and works with research institutions to help ensure genetic diversity within the wild population. In July 2018, the program hit a huge milestone when the wild population reached 1,000 blues. Though the program has successfully saved the blue iguanas from extinction, the work isn’t over. The ultimate goal is for the blues to be able to naturally breed and support themselves in the wild, thus eliminating the need for the program altogether. Nick says, “If we lose our jobs—perfect. That’s the goal.”


The very photogenic Peter

As Nick showed us around the rescue, I asked him a few questions about himself. Nick is a native Caymanian from West Bay. Though he didn’t always expect to be a conservationist, he’s grown to deeply appreciate and respect all forms of living creatures. After a period of time working with bats, he began volunteering at the iguana rescue around four years ago. After getting plenty of on-the-job experience, he worked all the way up to his operations manager position today. When asked what he likes most about his job, he said he really enjoys spending time outdoors, and working with great, like-minded people who are all very dedicated to taking care of the iguanas. He said conservation is very fulfilling and meaningful work, plus it’s an added bonus to be free from the restrictions that come along with an office job.

As we looked around, one of Nick’s coworkers, warden Alberto, joined us. Alberto showed us the “main attraction” blue iguana, Peter. Peter was born in 2003 to wild parents, but he liked to hang around Botanic Park so much that he basically adopted the staff himself! The program recruited Peter as an educational animal since he is so friendly—he enjoys being picked up by Alberto to be shown to visitors and isn’t bothered at all by attention. As I soon learned, Alberto himself is also a bit of a park star. He has a huge heart for the iguanas and is a beloved tour guide, so I’d highly recommend you request him if you stop by!


Alberto and Nick 

In addition to meeting a few of these sweet iguanas, the best thing about the tour was learning all about the animals from Nick. The iguanas blue color can change due to their environment, the sun, their food, and mood. It’s also a great indicator of overall health, so the staff monitors each iguana's color every day. One of the neatest things I saw while visiting was a small territorial spat between two roaming iguanas, Shreddy and Orro. Nick explained that Orro tread a little too closely on Shreddy’s territory, then pointed out how Orro took up a submissive posture and her color turned more light blue as a show of, “Hey, I know you’re top iguana, it’s all good here.” It was very cool to see up close!

As you might have guessed, Nick’s passion for animals and the Cayman wilderness extends beyond just his day job. At home he is fostering a dog named Vinny. He also tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors, doing everything from climbing, exploring, and observing native birds and insects to getting in a game of ultimate frisbee. “I like to keep it nice and simple—busy and simple,” he says. Once he reaches the goal of the blue iguanas being able to sustain themselves in the wild, he'd like to work with revitalizing native bird populations.


A beautiful blue enjoying basking in the sun in Botanic Park

I highly recommend you come visit the blues yourself the next time you’re on island and say hi to Nick, Alberto, and Peter. You can catch one of two daily tours given, Monday through Saturday, or you can schedule a private tour. Then you should see if you can spot some of the roaming blues in Botanic Park! Check out their website for more information about tour times.

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If you’re looking to keep up your workout routine while in Cayman, want to jumpstart a relaxation habit you can take back home with you, or just want to try something new, there are a few fantastic yoga studios on island I would highly recommend. Bliss Living Yoga and Cayman Yoga Club offer a variety of classes seven days a week. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or have never downward dogged in your life, there’s a class that will be fun, relaxing, and challenging for you.

Plan Your Class

You should look at the class descriptions on the studios' websites to see which type of class interests you the most. There are plenty of offerings each day of the week for all levels of yoga skill. The two studios are located between West Bay Road and Esterly Tibbets Highway, near Camana Bay, which is around a ten-minute drive from Christopher Columbus.

Both studios allow drop-in classes, so there's no need to call ahead—just arrive around fifteen minutes before class time so you can sign in at the front desk and get situated. If you don’t want to worry about packing a mat, you can borrow one for the class. A mat is complimentary for your first class, but you can also borrow one for a small fee for successive classes.

A single class is around $24 USD, but if you think you’ll come multiple times, a class pack might be a better deal. They’ll ask for just a few pieces of information and then you’ll be ready to get your yoga on.

What Should You Bring?

Wear comfy clothes you can freely move around in—t-shirts, tank tops, athletic or yoga pants are all great choices. Yoga is much easier to do barefoot, but you can wear socks if you would be more comfortable. You should also bring along a bottle of water, which you can bring into the studio with you, and a mat and towel if you want to bring your own. The studio will provide blocks, straps, blankets, bolsters, and other props you might need.

What To Expect

After you sign in, you’ll remove your shoes and store your belongings in cubbies—the yoga studio itself is a phone-free zone. Once you find a spot for your mat, you can start stretching or kick back and relax until class starts. Each class is lead by a trained instructor who will talk you through each pose as well as demonstrate proper technique.

I attended classes on two ends of the spectrum, one Flow class at Bliss Yoga Studio and one Power Vinyasa class at Cayman Yoga Club.

Flow

If you’re looking for a way to relax your muscles after a long flight, find some quiet time amid a busy itinerary, or just take your time with a workout, this is a great choice. The flow class is an hour long and focuses a lot on your breath, stretching and holding poses, and the meditative aspects of yoga. It’s accessible to all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Many of the poses in this class were seated, and several props were used, which helped everyone modify poses to suit their flexibility.

My class was an early afternoon session with Janelle. She had a fantastically soothing demeanor and helped me relax my sore, plane-ride-agitated shoulders. I’d highly recommend this class to anyone, but especially for any first timers—you’ll get a good idea of what yoga is all about without getting into many difficult poses.

Power Vinyasa

Power Vinyasa is a rigorous class that focuses on working your whole body and the breath as you move from pose to pose. This hour-long course is designed to make you sweat and really challenge yourself. All skill levels are welcome and anyone can get a workout from this class, but I would recommend that you are already comfortable with flowing between poses (e.g., downward dog into the Warrior series) before attending this class.

Photo courtesy of Cayman Yoga Club

I attended a later evening class with Janine, who included some much-appreciated motivational wisdom within her instruction. She was also incredibly gracious and gave me some tips on improving a pose I struggle quite a bit with. If you're nervous about taking a class, don't worry, your instructor is happy to help and guide you—it's what they're there for! 

Get Started!

Don’t let vacation throw off your fitness resolutions this year. Stop in for a yoga class next time you’re on island, relax, and take that Cayman vibe back home with you! And don't forget you can also visit a traditional gym or take a bike ride around the island for other great ways to keep active while on the island. 

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One of the best questions you get to ask while visiting Cayman is “where are we going to eat next?” Boggy Sand Cafe is a Caribbean-inspired restaurant, located in the Jacques Scott Market Place, just 1 km from Christopher Columbus and next to the West Bay Foster’s Food Fair. In addition to knock-your-socks off food, the best part of my Boggy Sand experience was getting to meet Farah.

Upon first arriving at Boggy Sand Cafe, we were greeted with a huge smile by Farah, who would be our server. She seated us among an array of cheerful purple and green flower arrangements and joked we could take photos for the restaurant’s TripAdvisor page. Her warmth and humor were magnetic, and before long we were chatting.

Farah is from Jamaica originally, and she came to Cayman in the 1990s to work. When it comes to the island, she “loves everything about it,” from the peaceful atmosphere to all the friendly people, locals and tourists alike. "It's a very nice place to work." Farah has been at Boggy Sand as a food and beverage server since the restaurant opened, around one year ago. She said she’s big fan of the restaurant’s Caribbean menu and it’s bright and modern decor. In her down time, you can find Farah at the gym, where she likes to keep fit and active by doing little bit of everything—weightlifting, cardio, you name it.

While we waited for our food, I noticed that Farah checked on the other guests often, happily making conversation and asking questions with her dynamite smile. Since she seemed to enjoy the aspects of her job so much, I asked her what drew her to serving. “I have a passion for food and service. I love it, so I’m doing it!” she said with a laugh. Making people feel at home and comfortable is one of her great joys, and she loves to be around lots of people. Plus getting to meet so many new and different people at the restaurant is a big perk.

When it comes to the menu at Boggy Sand, you will be spoiled for choice. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as daily specials featuring extra Caribbean flair. Farah said her personal favorite dish is the jerk chicken, which she says is little spicy, but not overwhelming. Jerk chicken made its way to Cayman from Jamaica, so it also serves as a reminder of her home. 

If you’re looking to really shake up your next meal, Farah recommends the turtle stew, an authentic Cayman dish, adding “you have to be adventurous!” when you’re choosing your vacation eats. My personal recommendation is to start off with some spinach dip, which is served with fantastically seasoned sweet potato chips, and then check out their pizza menu. I had the margherita and I still dream of it now that I’m home—there's no skimping on basil at Boggy Sand!

Farah made us feel so welcome and taken care of during our visit that we didn't want to leave! Though Caymankindess radiates from all around the island, Farah's warmth and cheer was above and beyond. Next time you visit CCC, take the short trip down the road to Boggy Sands for breakfast, lunch, or dinner—or maybe even all three! Be sure to say hello to Farah and ask for her menu recommendations for the day.

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While many of you already know and love her, we’re so happy to tell you more about our very own “moviestar,” Patricia!

Patricia has been with Christopher Columbus since 2007 and has lived in Cayman for over 20 years. Originally from Jamaica, Patricia visited her sister here years ago and fell in love with with the island. She says her favorite part about Cayman is two-pronged—the people and the beaches, and even better is getting to meet new people on the beach! Her love of the beach also extends to her recommendations for guests—she says the number one thing every visitor should do is just kick back, relax, and take in the beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Once you’ve gotten in some vitamin sea, then you should check out the Turtle Farm.

As our regulars can attest, Patricia is a fantastic ambassador for the condos. She loves to take care of guests, always making sure everyone feels like they’re coming home when they arrive at CCC. “Making things nice for our guests,” she says, “that’s me, that’s who I am.” She recounted one memorable experience, when she helped a guest who was getting married on the beach. Patricia saw that nothing had been decorated yet, so she decided to help out to make sure everything was done well and in time for the ceremony. When the guest saw the decorations in the gazebo, she exclaimed, “Oh, our decorator did a great job!” Patricia, who didn’t know a different decorator was coming, told the bride-to-be that she’d actually put up all the decorations. Surprised but thrilled, the guest said she would have to tell other brides to just have Patricia handle the decorating because she did such a fantastic job!

For fun, Patrica loves to swim in the ocean with her German Shepherd, Bogie, and dance the night away. While reggae and salsa music are some of her favorites, she isn’t picky when it comes to dance music—she'll dance to anything and with anyone who wants to join in. She says she loves to dress up and enjoy all that Cayman nightlife has to offer. In order to fuel up for all that dancing, she enjoys stopping by her favorite restaurant, Catch, for some crab legs or other seafood. From the food to the atmosphere to the ocean views, Patricia says Catch is “amazing.” (You can read more about the owner of Catch here.)

In case you were wondering, Patricia’s “moviestar” nickname comes from her featured role in our Christopher Columbus Condos video (which you can watch here!), plus her fabulous and vivacious personality. If you ask nicely, she will no doubt give you an autograph!

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Give a warm welcome to Josephine! She is our newest Office Assistant, who will be greeting you when you check in for your next visit.

Josephine has lived in Cayman for over thirty years. Originally from Jamaica, she moved to Cayman after college, where she got her degree in hotel management. Starting out, Josephine worked at the old Cayman Holiday Inn, the inn on the beach, where the Ritz Carlton is now. While working there, Josephine first met our very own Lisa Hernandez! When that hotel closed, she spent around fifteen years in the banking industry. But after being outside of the hotel business for years, Josephine realized she missed hospitality. “Tourism is my passion,” she said. And lucky for us, she reconnected with Lisa and joined us here at CCC!

Since starting in May, Josephine says she’s really enjoying the whole Christopher Columbus package, from meeting all the guests to the wonderful staff to the grounds itself. “The property is so pristine—who wouldn’t want to work here?” She also adds that “the staff is very nice and knowledgeable, very professional.” Another one of her favorite parts of the job is being so near to the beach and the ocean—and who could disagree on that?

To Josephine, the best thing about the island is its people. “Cayman is the people. Everyone is very real. It’s why people keep coming back to visit.” She appreciates how friendly and kind Caymanians are, noting that not everywhere in the world is so welcoming and hospitable. Caymanians are the face that truly makes the island the paradise that it is. 

If you’re a first-time visitor, Josephine recommends that your first stop should be, of course, Christopher Columbus. But next should be Stingray City. “There’s nowhere else like it in the world. If you come to Cayman and don’t go to Stingray City, you’re missing out.” Josephine loves to visit Stingray City herself, and also enjoys stopping off at the Coral Gardens to admire all the amazing plant life and flowers in the ocean. “It’s an experience. So beautiful!”

In her free time, Josephine enjoys her hobbies. She has a green thumb and relishes time in the garden in front of her house. Passers by enjoy admiring all the flowers, plants, and vegetables she's tended. Her favorite flower is a gladiolus, which comes in all colors. Gladiolus flowers grow really well back in her native Jamaica, but they have a little more trouble blooming from year to year in Cayman. Her Christian faith is also a huge part of her life. Josephine enjoys sharing the Bible and teaching others about God. When she takes a moment to recharge, her favorite snack is avocado with tomato and cucumber, or avocado toast—yum!

Don’t forget to introduce yourself and make Josephine feel welcome next time you’re at the condos!

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Usually when someone tells you to “go to Hell,” they don’t mean it kindly, but I promise I have the best of intentions with this recommendation. Hell, Grand Cayman, is a fun, quirky destination (technically a town!) that will leave you spoiled for choice when it comes to silly photo opportunities, unique souvenirs, and puns.

Driving down the highway to Hell takes about six minutes from the condos. When we arrived, it was far from a cold day. We stopped in at a gift shop and were soon greeted by Mr. McDoom (real name!). He gave us very stylish plastic devil horns and pitchforks to wield while he took us around. Originally from Jamaica, Mr. McDoom moved to Cayman as a child, and he and his family have owned the property for over 40 years. They love talking to the hundreds of visitors that come each day, typically large groups on cruise ship excursions. We were lucky enough to arrive at a slow time, so we got a solo tour and greatly enjoyed Mr. McDoom’s hospitality and sense of humor. Helluva guy!

American Gothic, Reimagined—2017 

Hell itself is actually a dark, jagged rock formation. Mr. McDoom explained that the formation was likely a reef at one time many, many years ago, but erosion and time wore away bits and pieces, giving it the strange volcanic rock-like appearance it has today. If you’re wondering how the attention-grabbing name was decided on in the first place, we owe it all to a British Commissioner who toured Grand Cayman in the early days of settlement. When he saw the bizarre formation, he exclaimed, “My God, this must be what Hell looks like!“ Since the experience seemed to shake him quite a bit, my best guess is that shortly thereafter he took off like a bat outta. . . well, you know. 

While visitors can’t walk on the rocks because of safety concerns, iguanas take full advantage of basking in the sun on the formation.

Hell-bent on finding some one-of-a-kind souvenirs, we made our way inside the McDoom's gift shop. Remember, there might be Hell to pay if you forget a souvenir for your friends after visiting Cayman. Luckily there are tons of options to choose from—shot glasses to t-shirts to fridge magnets to hats. My favorite part was picking out postcards to send back home to my family. Hell even has its own post office, so lucky recipients will receive their greetings with an amusing, Instagram-worthy postmark. Mrs. McDoom met us at the register, and she was wonderfully friendly. We chatted about our trip so far, and she recommended a few of her personal favorite hidden gem restaurants around West Bay. 


So if you have a little Hell to raise, make the short trip from the condos and visit with the McDooms at Hell, Grand Cayman. 

There's another gift shop across the road called The Devil's Hangout, where you may even find the devil himself. The owner Ivan is usually dressed in full devil costume and always ready for a photo opp.  All in all we think you'll have a hell of a time!

Red Hell Building with Devil in shorts

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