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Central George Town is home to an abundance of fun shops, delicious restaurants, and breathtaking ocean views, but did you know George Town is also home to some unique and interesting historic sites? Next time you’re in town on a mission to shop ‘til you drop, take some time to see these amazing historic places!

Mr. Arthur’s Home and Print Shop

At 186 North Church Street, you’ll find a small home and print shop that now operates as a general store. This small, white shiplap shop could be missed if you don’t know what you’re looking for. The shop offers a glimpse at Grand Cayman’s historical architecture and is the perfect place to stop if you need some snacks and drinks while walking through town.

Built in the late 1800s, the store was originally Mr. Arthur’s Home and Print Shop, owned by Arthur Bodden and his family. Known for his spotless white shirt, cap and pipe, Arthur was the first wireless operator and weather specialist on Grand Cayman. The print shop across from his home operated for more than 50 years printing Cayman Islands Government stationary.


Fort George

If you've ever noticed the wooden hut on a tall pole in George Town, you might have wondered where it came from. It’s a unique sight to see while strolling the shops on Harbour Drive, but this small site has a lot of tales to tell.

The hut is actually what remains of Fort George. Fort George was built sometime around the 1790s as a means to protect the island. It’s not clear whether Fort George ever successfully warded off an attack, but it was manned by local militias for many years. Eventually, the site was mostly abandoned and the sand-bottomed fort became a play area for children at the neighboring school. During World War II, a lookout hut was added to a silk cotton tree and was used by watchmen to monitor for German U-boats that commonly patrolled the Caribbean. It was abandoned after the war.

When a developer began to demolish the dilapidated Fort George in 1972, locals dedicated to protecting Grand Cayman’s history protested by standing in front of the remaining structure and eventually saved it.

Now a National Trust protected site, a replica of the lookout house was constructed using pieces of the original that had crumbled over years with no upkeep; it is now one of the more prominent features of a stroll through town, and one passersby ask many questions about.

When you visit, you’ll want to check out the three-panel mural painted by local artist John Broad that depicts three events that represent the strong history of both Fort George and Grand Cayman: an attack by Spanish marauders, a U-boat bombing, and an Easter Regatta.



George Town Step Well

Perhaps one of the easiest sites to miss and most unique in downtown George Town is the George Town Step Well.

When you’re picking out a souvenir cap at Outlet Embroidery Shop in Bayshore Mall, make sure you look at your feet. Viewable through a pane of glass, the George Town Step Well is believed to be one of four freshwater wells recorded in Grand Cayman in the 1700s. The well likely served as the main water source for residents of Hog Sty Bay and ships that docked at the port. The well was discovered by developers in 2003 and was excavated by local archeologists who found remnants of 18th-century pottery, glass, and other treasures. You can even see some of these artifacts outside the shop. The Grand Cayman Water Authority also found the water at the bottom of the well was perfectly good to drink today!


Take a Walk Through Time

If you’re interested in learning more about the history and cultural background of Grand Cayman, these unique sites are must-sees, even if they’re hard to spot at first. Next time you’re wandering through George Town, make sure you take some time to take a trip back in time at these amazing sites.

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Davinoff’s Concrete Sculpture Garden consists of more than twenty super-sized concrete animals. Located on the north side of the island, this drive-up tourist attraction is a great place to take photos with the family—kids absolutely love it. We recently had the opportunity to chat with the man behind the park, David Quasius.

Originally from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, David and his wife Kathy began visiting the island about twenty years ago when they inherited a beach house. The Concrete Sculpture Garden started off as a personal project to keep David busy. He started creating a small sculpture for their garden each year for their personal enjoyment. In 2010, David and his friend Leo Verrett, an artist from Minnesota, decided to make a larger blue iguana sculpture named Ivana the Iguana for the front yard. Once that piece was completed, it started to gain some attention. “People started stopping and I’d go out to chat. I was hooked,” David says. Shortly thereafter, David moved all of the small pieces out into the yard and, as they say, the rest is history.

Since then, David has created a new piece to add to the park each year. Most of these sculptures are of animals that are native to Cayman. When asked about his inspiration, he said he wants to find Cayman animals that appeal to kids. David says that his biggest joy in creating the Sculpture Garden is the sounds of the children laughing in the park. He loves seeing parents and grandparents snapping pictures of the kids with his creations. “To have this happening in your front yard is very neat,” says David.



Today, the Sculpture Park has multiplied and is home to many large concrete sculptures. A few of the sculptures you will see are Finley the mahi-mahi, Henrietta the chicken, and Clawdette the crab (our favorite). David has created a haven for photo opportunities. For example, when he created his newest concrete shark, Sharkie III, he added a concrete inner tube as a prop for a more interesting picture. His goal is to make the park more interactive and a fun place for families to visit.

When asked about his training and how he learned to make these amazing sculptures, David explained that he is a self-taught artist. He says that he comes from an artistic family and they exposed him to making concrete sculptures. His sister is a professional artist, and he learned some of his techniques working on family art projects. Being such an amazing artist, we were surprised to find out that David is actually a retired CPA!

David enjoys the complexities of creating the sculptures. “Each one has its own problems to solve,” says David. For example, he had to figure out how to attach 400 suckers to his giant octopus. We tried to get him to choose his favorite sculpture, but he just couldn’t. He did say that if he could only take four back to Wisconsin with him, it would be the crab, octopus, blue iguana, and the crocodile. With so much work going into each piece, it must be hard to choose a favorite. 

Each sculpture that David creates takes anywhere from six to eight weeks to complete, and the process is fascinating. David starts building each sculpture with an armature made of metal rebar, which he then wraps in a metal mesh. This gives the sculpture its basic shape and acts as a skeleton. Designing the armature is the most important part of the sculpture since the concrete cannot take shape without an armature. When creating a sculpture, David says that most of his time is spent on this step. Once the armature has been completed, it is time to add the mortar and put the finishing touches on the sculpture. Two layers of mortar are added with an additional finishing coat. David even has tutorials on YouTube showing how he creates these masterpieces (here's one about the scorpion!).


Claudette in all her glory.

Since his first visit to Cayman 20 years ago, David says he's loved the whole island, but has an extra special place in his heart for the north side. He describes it as a place where everyone knows everyone, there is very little traffic, and no roundabouts. While the north side may not have all your typical tourist attractions, they do have a really cool sculpture park!

For his next project, David plans to create a sculpture of the national bird, the Cayman parrot. If you stop by to visit the park this winter, you might be able to catch up with David and his wife, Kathy. Since their house is on the property, David and Kathy usually step out to visit when they hear a car door slam or hear children laughing. They love meeting both locals and visitors to the island.

Davinoff’s Concrete Sculpture Garden is open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it’s free! If you are looking for some really cool photo opportunities, stop by for a visit. You can find more information about David and the park on his website.

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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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Finding fresh guava, foraging for almonds, swimming with sea turtles, watching locals slap down dominoes, sipping a 7 Mile Wheat beer... the amount of firsts you'll experience on a tour with Joe Tourist is incredible.

If you're looking to see a different side of Cayman, Gilbert Nicoletta with Joe Tourist will plan an unforgettable day just for you. He customizes all of his tours for individual guests, and after experiencing his All Island Tour on our last trip to Cayman, my husband and I are believers. We can't wait to schedule another tour with Gil.

snorkeling and picking guava

The adventure started as soon as he picked us up at Christopher Columbus Condos. He greeted us with fresh yellow sapote from his yard and some herbs to taste. To loosen us up for the day, he took us by the rum distillery for a tasting. I joked that I hadn't had breakfast and needed some sustenance, so Gil took us by a local food truck for some Caribbean meat pies after the distillery.

Drives between stops were fascinating as Gil told us story after story about about the social, economic, and environmental history of the Cayman Islands. Some stories were personal, others general culture, and still others hilarious tall tales. He explained why so many youth go into banking, how locals refer to time as Before-Ivan and After-Ivan, reminisced on raising Pigeons (if you had one with a "top-knot," you were the bomb), and so much more. Learning more about our home-away-from-home deepened the bond I have with this little Caribbean island. It will add to your love for Cayman too.

Jumping off the dock at Spotts Bay, we had the majestic opportunity to swim alongside several sea turtles. In the parking lot, Gil told us how the famous house-shaped graves of Cayman used to have wood pieces in the center with details engraved, but over the years the wood weathered away. He also spotted an almond tree and showed my husband, Brandon, and I how to crack them open. Brandon was a natural at opening them and I got to enjoy the fruits of his labor. ;)

Alongside the road, Gil found fresh guava for us to pick and enjoy as an appetizer before a feast that awaited us at Over the Edge Cafe. We enjoyed turtle and Cayman style bread, mahi mahi, cracked conch, farm to table veggies and more—a taster's platter full of local dishes you can only get on Gil's tours.

With full bellies, we walked into the North Side heritage day to see what was happening. Gil introduced us to local crafters that were plaiting baskets and rope with silver thatch. One of the women working on a basket told us the craft was a tradition handed down from her grandmother to her mother to her. While we were talking, another local approached the crowd, and my eyes widened in delight. It was Shelly Miller. We met at Rum Point a couple of years ago, thus proving Cayman is a small island indeed. It was fun to get to experience that as a visitor.

We continued to Starfish Point to see the sweet 5-pointed creatures and enjoy an amazing sunset. At dusk we drove by Davinoff's Concrete Sculpture Garden and then began to slingshot around the East End.

local tour guide with ccc guest

As the night settled in, Gil rolled his windows down so we could listen to some "old timers" playing dominoes at one of the East End beach shelters. He said if we heard someone slap them down that it basically meant "game over." The weather wasn't prime for the Blow Holes, but we stopped there anyways so Gil could show off the fossils in the iron shore, including one ancient crocodile.

On our way back to the condos, Gil continued to regale us with stories, my favorite being the family tradition of going crabbing after the first spring rain. He said that come May, "everybody's in the bushes" and on the side of the road looking for crabs, dreaming of baked crab-back.

Gil dropped us back off at the condos after a day filled to the brim with unforgettable stories and experiences. If you're interested in a custom island tour with Gil reach out to him on his Joe Tourist Cayman Facebook page. You won't regret it!

You can also read reviews from other adventurers over on the Joe Tourist Outdoor Adventures Trip Advisor page.

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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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Ann Stafford loves natural history. Fortunately for us, she also loves sharing facts about natural history with others. We first came across Ann when we discovered her blog CaymAN Nature (she is quick to point out her name in the middle of the two words) while researching for another post of our own. We found her blog to be so full of great information that we wanted to learn more about the author behind all of this first-hand Cayman knowledge!

Growing up in the English countryside, Ann’s parents taught her to identify plants and animals at a young age, and what they didn’t teach her, she learned through countless books. In 1973, Ann and her husband moved to Grand Cayman. She immediately fell in love with the island and began to immerse herself in learning about the native flora and fauna. Around this time, she unfortunately began to witness many native plants being destroyed by invasive species. Ann dedicated herself to conserving the native plant life and educating others on conserving the food chain in Cayman—if the native plants disappear, so will the native animals who depend on them. 

In order to educate others, Ann works to spread and publish her findings. In addition to her blog, Ann gained such an in-depth knowledge of Cayman plants and butterflies that she co-wrote the book Butterflies of the Cayman Islands with visiting entomologist Dr. Richard Robinson Askew. Ann is also a photographer and contributed images to the book Flora of the Cayman Islands. For a time she even lead tours of the island for a groups of journalists for the Department of Tourism.



In addition to butterflies and flora, Ann is especially interested in the early settlement of the Cayman Islands, including survival, livelihood, and exports. One livelihood custom in particular stood out and left her with a desire to learn more. This custom just happens to involve gravestones! On the island, you can find many gravestones shaped like small houses instead of the rounded shape the majority of us are familiar with. These gravestones were built in the 1800s and can be found in a variety of locations including Old Man Bay, North Side, and Bodden Town, to name a few.

On her blog, Ann explains in more detail: 
"The graves were marked, not by mounds of earth and headstones, or great massive tombs, but by houses in miniature, just large enough each to cover one person; mostly about six feet long, two feet broad, and one and a half high, with a sloping roof and full gable end, in which was inserted a small slab containing containing the name of the occupant, his age, and the day on which he entered his narrow home, 'the house appointed for all living.'" 



To learn more about these house-shaped gravestones and the Cayman natives buried there, you can visit the cultural page on Ann's blog.

Today, Ann guides guests around Grand Cayman on Nature and Historic Tours, sharing Cayman's fascinating history with others while she continues to share her countless nature photographs on social media and her blog. If you're looking for a unique tour experience, give Ann a ring next time you're on island! 
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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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Allow us to introduce you to Caymanian native, Gilbert Nicoletta or “Gil” as most people know him on island.

Gil owns Joe Tourist Outdoor Adventures, an awesome company that offers eco and cultural tours of Grand Cayman and day trips to Little Cayman. The company gives guests the ability to customize and personalize their visit to the island, while sampling authentic native food, snorkeling with wild sea turtles, cliff-jumping, exploring local limestone caves and enjoying all the natural wonders of the rustic Eastern Districts.

A media professional and entrepreneur with almost 35 years experience in print journalism, television and radio, Gil has written and reported extensively on entertainment, politics, personalities, culture/travel, business and a myriad of lifestyle and hard news topics. He got his start in journalism at age 17 working with the Cayman Nor'wester magazine and then later for The Cayman Compass daily newspaper as a reporter and photographer. Gil moved to New York City in 1983, where he worked as a freelance journalist for 10 years. Cayman called him back home in 1994, where he did a little bit of everything media wise. Gil says his journalism background allows him to provide guests on his tours, with unparalleled exposure to the historical and cultural landscape of the Cayman Islands.

While talking to Gil we also discovered that he’s a passionate motorcycle adventurer. In fact, he’s taken his motorcycles across all 50 US States. He’s also ridden 24 of the 28 EU countries and last year, he rode for three months in Canada, visiting all the provinces, except Manitoba and Newfoundland.

With his love for adventure and authentic experiences, we had to ask Gil to share a few of Cayman’s best kept secrets with us, too. For old-school Caymanian ambiance he recommends Al Frescos in West Bay. To “get a phenomenal sunset in the east” he suggests heading to South Coast Bar and Restaurant in Breakers. And of course he recommends taking a tour with Joe Tourist Outdoor Adventures. The day trip to Little Cayman features a three-course meal, a boat trip to the deserted cay of Owen Island and snorkeling on Bloody Bay Wall—all of which will give you a fabulous introduction to one of our beloved Sister Islands.

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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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Cayman is for the KIDS!
I think it’s fair to say that most adults who get even a small glimpse of Cayman’s magnificent views and vast ocean want to immediately book their next vacation here.

The big question: is it a good destination for both the adults AND the kids? You better believe it.

If you need more convincing than just me saying so, (I’m not sure why you would ;)) here are 5 reasons your kids will love vacationing in Cayman just as much as you.

1. Christopher Columbus Condos Kiddie Pool

Let’s start real close to home, shall we? With our zero-entry kiddie pool even your littlest ones can take a safe dip in the water. The small pool is conveniently located between the gazebo and larger pool, not to mention in a prime location right next to the toy chest we like to keep stocked for our pint-sized friends. 

2. Cayman Turtle Centre

If the kids in your family love animals, the Cayman Turtle Centre is a must-visit attraction! This centre is both entertaining as well as informative with the Education Centre teaching about turtles and their history in Grand Cayman. Even better, if you happen to visit during breeding season (May-October) you just might witness a new hatchling coming up through the sand of their incubation boxes!

Of course, the most popular experience for kids at the Turtle Centre is the Touch Tank Wading Pools. In these special pools, your kids can get in the shallow tank with the turtles and briefly pick them up! Talk about a perfect photo opp.

3. Atlantis Submarine Dive

Most activities in Cayman will include water for obvious reasons, and although this example is no exception, you will stay completely dry! Speaking from personal experience, the Atlantis Submarine Dive is a great way to explore all the mystery and beauty that lives underwater. The Atlantis tour is also a great alternative to scuba diving if you have children that are too young or apprehensive. The submarine is pressurized so there is no discomfort and the crew follows a list of safety procedures. Submarine dives are also offered both day and night.

Read more about Atlantis Submarines Tours

4​Stingray City

Don't let the name scare you. These Stingrays are incredibly friendly and love visitors. Especially visitors that bring food! Arguably the most popular attraction on the island, Stingray City is a one-of-a-kind way for you and your kids to get up close with Stingrays in their natural habitat. You can reach down to pet their soft skin as they swim by and feed them. Many catamaran tours visit Stingray City and take your picture with one of the local stingrays!

5. Paddle boarding
Another activity that can be enjoyed on the CCC beachfront is Stand Up paddle boarding, a.k.a SUP. This activity could take a little trial and error for those who struggle with staying balanced, but still provides a ton of fun. Many SUP rentals in Grand Cayman will also deliver the boards to Christopher Columbus and pick them up when you're done. 

If you imagined your kids taking part in any or all of these island activities then your family vacation planning is already halfway complete. Oh, and if you need a place to stay we've got you covered there too! 
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