North Side, Grand Cayman – Today I needed a couple of kids with me. Not everybody makes it over to the lesser developed north coast of Grand Cayman. But if you’re traveling with kiddos it’s worth the effort, as these attractions may be highlights of your trip.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park & Blue Iguana Safari
A “botanic park” may not sound immediately appealing to children, and this one–lovely as it is–probably won’t hold their attention for too long. BUT the North-Side reserve is home to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program, which is bringing back the endemic blue iguana from the brink of extinction. The 90-minute tours visit the indoor breeding facility as well as the woodland trails, where some iguanas are roaming free and wild. Unfortunately, rain cancelled my tour, but I did spot this yearling (according to the guide) when exploring the trails on my own.
Grand Cayman’s newest attraction is this network of mysterious limestone caves, located deep in the island’s interior on the North Side. Some 105 caves are on this property, though only three are open to the public (so far). There are impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations, lots of hidden rooms and connecting passageways, and a gorgeous interior lake. And, of course, bats. The excursion is arguably overpriced, but cool.
My dive guide tipped me off to this wonderful little stretch of sand on the North Side, where crystalline waters protect countless red cushion sea stars. Soaking in a foot of water all along the beach, the starfish are easy to spot. I had the beach almost completely to myself. Some boat tours do stop here, so that would change the atmosphere of the place. Pay no mind to the “Private Property” signs posted about.