Most of the beaches on Grand Cayman do not come close to Seven Mile Beach in terms of manicured perfection.
Not only does it offer mile upon mile of immaculate white sand and the bluest water, there is access to all manner of watersports, convenient beach bars, ample parking and well marked access from the road.
However, if you want to walk on the wilder side of Cayman, there are plenty of other beaches to explore.
They may not have the immediate aesthetic appeal of the Cayman Islands’ most famous beach, but they all have their own unique attractions, and the fact they can be a little harder to find only adds to their charm.
The further east you go the fewer people you will encounter in general, so pack a cooler and head out to one of the remoter beaches where, even at weekends, you are likely to be one of only a handful of other people. You don’t even need to have a destination in mind: the joy of being on a small island is that if you turn off the main road and head down any side road, you are more than likely to end up at the sea – and you may just stumble upon a real gem.
Lying on the breezier shores of Grand Cayman, some of the less frequented beaches are windswept stretches of sand littered with chunks of coral, dried sea grass and coconuts, conch shells and fragments of smooth, coloured glass.
These beaches are ideal for lazy beach combing and the flotsam and jetsam may prove inspiring to anyone with an artistic inclination. For those who own dogs, these empty beaches provide great alternative walks.
At South Sound beach you will not find any facilities at all, but the beach is wide and sandy and there is also some excellent snorkelling to be found around the small wreck offshore, although currents can be strong.
On windy days you can also watch surfers catching waves at the western end of the beach.
Cliffs are an unusual sight on Grand Cayman, but if you drive to the end of Beach Bay road you arrive at a sandy beach where iron shore outcroppings rise up at either end.
The beach at Spotts also sits between small cliffs and has a few cabanas making it a great picnic stop. The barrier reef offshore keeps the water reasonably calm and pleasant for swimming.
Bodden Town’s beach may not have the best swimming conditions, compared to SMB, but it has great scenery, fish fry right by the beach and colourful cabanas that make a welcome shady space to relax and enjoy a picnic.
For those who live in and around George Town and SMB, Bodden Town has a charming, laid-back village atmosphere and is always worth taking a leisurely walk around.
At the eastern end of the island, Heritage Beach and East End Public Beach are signposted, but there are also numerous sandy tracks leading to unnamed beaches.
Park on the side of the road and see where the paths take you. Many open onto beautiful stretches of open beach, some with great swimming and snorkelling.
You may be lucky and get a little free entertainment watching the kite surfers at play.