Category Cayman Islands

Visiting Stingray City Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – a Review

On our first full day to the Cayman Islands, we headed out on a boat trip to Stingray City Grand Cayman, a sandbar that attracts stingrays into its waist-high waters.  Visitors arrive from a variety of different ways – tour boats, private boats, and jet skis, but we took a tour boat from Captain Melvin’s, which is located right across the street from the Westin (where we stayed).

Source: Visiting Stingray City Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – a Review

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Beach of the Week: Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands

Stingray City, Cayman Islands. Photo Credit: Don McDougall, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Stingray City, Cayman Islands. Photo Credit: Don McDougall, Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

BeachManiacBlogWithText3_150pxThe most famous beach in the Cayman Islands is Seven Mile Beach, a beach that repeatedly makes lists of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Seven Mile Beach is home to many luxury resorts and condominiums, restaurants and beach activities, including wonderful snorkeling. Despite its name, the beach is actually only 5.5 miles long but there is plenty of space for walking and people-watching, along with a wealth of water activities. Seven Mile Beach is near the capital of George Town.

One of the unique attractions in the Cayman Islands is Stingray City, where visitors can wade through the shallow waters and pet the stingrays. The stingrays began gathering in the area decades ago when fisherman used to clean fish on the shallow sand bars. The stingrays would forget their normally shy dispositions and feast on the guts of the cleaned fish. Soon the stingrays began to associate the sound of a boat motor with food. In the late 1980s, divers started feeding squid to the stingrays, which is one of their favorite dishes. Today, the stingrays casually swim with people in the shallow waters of Grand Cayman. As visitors enter the crystal clear turquoise waters and the graceful southern stingrays glide tranquilly past in their natural habitat as people touch and feed them. It’s also a great spot for snorkeling among magnificent coral reefs and colorful tropical fish...

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Parents Magazine identifies the 10 Best Caribbean Destinations for Families

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos. Photo by Matthew Straubmuller via Flickr.

Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos. Photo by Matthew Straubmuller via Flickr.

beach_maniac_blog_100pxTo help you figure out where to take the kids in the Caribbean, Parents Magazine consulted travel experts and looked at information on flights, safety, weather, cost, and activities.

The magazine’s Number One Caribbean destination for families is the Turks and Caicos Islands, and what a perfect choice it is. You can’t talk about Turks & Caicos without talking about Grace Bay, often ranked among the very best beaches in the world.

Parents Magazine says: “For beach fun, this network of islands — especially the popular Providenciales (aka Provo) — is unbeatable.”

TripAdvsior says: “White-sand beaches, calm clear water and a bountiful barrier reef make the Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales a hot spot for families, snorkelers and divers,” according to TripAdvisor. “Some call rock-free Grace Bay Beach the best in the world. For an unusual experience, divers can walk along the ocean floor at Smith’s Reef, where underwater signs describe the reef’s ecosystem. Additional destinations include Iguana Island (home of endangered rock iguanas), the country’s only golf course, art galleries and a casino.”

As you would expect, Providenciales has some amazing beach resorts, and while they can be pricey you will find affordable options as well. Be sure to check out the reviews and compare prices on TripAdvisor.

The other Best Caribbean Destinations mentioned by Parents Magazine, with our links to TripAdvisor reviews...

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TripAdvisor lists cheapest and most expensive destinations for Caribbean escapes

turks-and-caicos-TripAdvisorAs much of the country continues to suffer a cold winter, TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, announced the results of its TripIndex Caribbean, a cost comparison of a one-week trip for a family or group of four to 20 popular Caribbean destinations during the travel period of March 1, 2014 – April 30, 2014.  The TripIndex Caribbean evaluated travel expenses including the average round-trip airfare from the continental U.S., a seven night hotel stay, dinner for six nights and a half-day snorkeling excursion for four.

The average cost for a one-week trip for a family or group of four traveling to the Caribbean during the spring travel period is $7,152, and they can expect to pay around $3,253 for round-trip flights and $2,772 for one week in a hotel.

  • U.S. travelers seeking Caribbean value may consider several destinations in the Greater Antilles, including Puerto Rico, the least expensive destination on the TripIndex with a total cost of $4,609; Jamaica which ranks as the second best value ($4,631), and the Dominican Republic at #4 ($5,315).
  • The most expensive Caribbean spots are located in the Leeward Islands: St. Barthelemy (St. Bart’s) is the priciest Caribbean destination on the Index at $12,486 – 17 percent more expensive than the second priciest on the list, Anguilla ($10,709).  The British Virgin Islands round out the top three costliest Caribbean spots at $9,712 for the week.

“After a particularly harsh winter, many Americans are desperate to escape the Pola...

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The Caribbean’s ten sexiest bars – Caribbean360

fishermans_pub_barbados
“Cocktails are the champions of the Caribbean and although every island and every beach bar boasts its own boozy claim to fame, a really fine drink can morph a great holiday into a grand one.” So says Melanie Reffes writing in USA Today in her Sexiest Bars in the Caribbean roundup, adding: “And the right watering hole can keep you lingering long after your thirst is quenched. (Posted via Scoop.It! from Caribbean360.com.)

Beach Maniac‘s insight:

Bottom’s up, beach lovers!

See on Scoop.it – Beach Maniac
See on www.caribbean360.com

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Best Caribbean islands for beach lovers

Shoal Bay Beach, Anguilla. Photo by Wilson Wilches via Flickr.

There are a lot of great reasons to visit Caribbean islands. Warm weather, new cultures, lots of beautiful hills and sometimes cliffs, not to mention interesting and welcoming people. But there is one reason above all to visit the Caribbean: BEACHES! The Caribbean has some of the best beaches in the world, from the pink sands of the Bahamas to the inviting white sands of Aruba. USA Today has compiled a list of what it believes are the Best Beaches of the Caribbean, a list that you could definitely argue with depending on your personal preferences but that at least highlights some of  great islands and beaches you will want to add to your bucket list if you haven’t already had the pleasure of experiencing them. Below is the USA Today list, with links to some TripAdvisor pages where you can find out more about the islands, beaches and the hotels/resorts and restaurants that line them. The links will also allow you to read reviews from travelers who have been there and compare prices on places to stay. Happy beaching!

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Featured Beach Resort: Caribbean Club, Grand Cayman Island

TripAdvisor traveler photo.

In the heart of the world famous Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman Island, the Caribbean Club offers a location that can’t be beat combined with a comfortable, personal setting. This resort – with 37 spacious three-bedroom, three-bath villas – gets a nearly unanimous “Excellent” rating from TripAdvisor travelers. “Amazing,” wrote a recent visitor. “We had so much fun and the staff is wonderful! … It had all the accommodations you could ask for, plus some! The view from our 3 bedroom/ 3 bathroom was amazing! Great family place to go with small children. Couldn’t say enough about Caribbean Club! In fact, we had plans to stay for 6 days and on day 5 extended our stay 4 more days! Room Tip: We had the upstairs penthouse, which was amazing!! Views were stunning!!” Another wrote, “Each guest is able to experience the personal service and attention to detail that only a small property can provide. The suites (each decorated differently) offer approx. 2500 sq. ft. of living space perfect for a large family or small group of friends traveling together. Each suite has a full kitchen, ensuite baths and a balcony overlooking the pool and ocean. With a market and liquor store located just across the street, everything you need for a great vacation is at your fingertips.” Read more and compare prices.

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Looking for some great free beach wallpaper for your computer screen?

Taino Beach, Grand Bahama Island. Photo Credit: Zach Stovall, Caribbean Travel & Life.

As an official Beach Maniac, I am always looking for some great beach pictures to use as wallpaper on my computer screen. And I just came across a fantastic new collection from Caribbean Travel & Life magazine, one of my favorite magazines and websites. These stunning photographs take you away to the Caribbean’s most scenic locations, from Paradise Island, Bahamas, to the beaches of Negril, Jamaica, to the shores of Belize and Curacao. Lush tropical hills, clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches and underwater scenes are all featured. Below is a screenshot of just a little bit of what’s available. To get your free beach wallpaper, to go http://www.caribbeantravelmag.com/wallpapers.

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Aggressive dolphin tries to mate with scuba diver off Cayman Islands

Photo Credit: Ellen Cuylaerts via Facebook

It sounds like a spoof story you would find in Weekly World News or the Onion. But scuba divers off the Cayman Islands actually have videotaped a dolphin trying to mate with a diver. They named the dolphin Stinky, and the video has caused officials to warn other divers to beware of the aggressive behavior of what has become known as Cayman’s horny dolphin.

The video was released on YouTube by Michael Maes, who wrote that Stinky is a well-known loner dolphin whose behavior has become more aggressive as he has become sexually mature. Being a loner dolphin he has no other dolphins with which to mate so he sometimes goes after humans.

“So if you encounter a lonely Dolphin like ‘Stinky’, do not get into the water,” Maes writes. “If you are in the water, leave as soon and safe as possible. If the Dolphin prevents you from getting out of the water (or ascending as a diver) and you are with a group: stay close together, that will leave the Dolphin less options.”

Maes warns that a 500-pound dolphin can be very dangerous, pulling a diver either up too fast or pinning him or her down.

“In my case “Stinky” tried to keep me down on the ground which was, fortunately, only some 30 feet deep, next to a mini-wall of 85 feet depth. So as I hardly had bottom-time and had plenty of Nitrox, my life wasn’t in danger from a DCI or Nitrox intoxication point of view...

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Bali tops U.S. New & World Report list of Best Beaches in the World

Sanur Beach, Bali. Photo by Eternal Vagabond on Flickr.

The Puri Sunia Resort is one of the top-rated hotels in Bali. Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor.

The Indonesian island of Bali has the best beaches in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report. The magazine says “the sun-drenched beaches extend into brilliant green hills peppered with ancient temples. Kuta and Seminyak’s white sands draw travelers far and wide. But Lovinya beach’s tranquil pebbly shores and calm waters are equally appealing for beachgoers seeking seclusion.”

Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is renowned for its lush vegetation, sandy beaches and stunning landscape of rugged coastlines, volcanic hillsides, mountains and rice terraces. It boasts some of the best diving and surfing in the world and a offers a wide range of accommodations.

For TripAdvisor traveler reviews and more information on the paradise island of Bali, click these links:

The Best Beach Areas in Bali:


View Top Beaches of Bali in a larger map

 

The other top 10 beaches in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report, are listed below. We link to TripAdvisor, where you will find traveler reviews of hotels and unbiased descriptions of locations and activities:
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