Cayman is blessed with many beautiful areas and West Bay is no exception.
Where else could you find the unspoiled beaches of Barkers, top class restaurants, one of the world’s greatest wreck dives – and a place called Hell?
Nowhere, that’s where.
As a Staycation destination, it’s an area that merges the true Caymanian experience with plenty of watersports and dining options. Erin Bodden of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association said that West Bay is a great asset to Cayman.
“There are some great dive experiences at West Bay and Cobalt Coast and Divetech have some great offers this summer, with stuff for the kids too. They do the Kittiwake run; many residents are still missing out on this experience. Dive or snorkel, go and see it. It is new, fresh and in five years will look totally different. Be part of the experience and see it as it progresses along.
“The Kittiwake is one of the top 12 wreck dives in the world; to be recognised as that is incredible over the six months that we have been operational,” says Erin.
Indeed, articles on the Kittiwake have appeared worldwide, from Russia to the Czech Republic. It’s made a humongous impact in the diving industry worldwide.
But aside from the world-class diving, there are also many other options for residents to take advantage of this summer.
“There’s Dolphin Discovery and Dolphin Cove, and a lot of people have not swum with the dolphins. It’s affordable and can be a great day trip along with the Turtle Farm, which has so much to do. It has evolved so much from back in the day; they do regular shark feedings. How often do you get to see that? What an experience. And of course there’s the popular new crocodile, Smiley.
“Stay and have lunch up there. There is a great little restaurant too. The aviary there is great and my three-year-old son loves it. He has a great time every time he goes, and kids of all ages get experiences at different levels and learn more as they get older. You can keep going back and seeing it fresh; being proud of being on our islands and being able to help friends see how beautiful they are.”
Barkers National Park is some of the most unspoiled terrain on Grand Cayman and is ideal to hire a bike and sit on an idyllic beach.
“Grab a picnic basket and go up there; break out of the convenient zone and go somewhere different. There’s also kite-boarding up there. Another great experience is a lionfish hunt and cookout; you have a good time and feel like you have contributed. You can be a spotter or a culler – these creatures have devastated other areas of the Caribbean and it is crucial that we keep on top of it.”
After all that, how about a trip to Hell? The famous rock formation is worth a visit if only just for the photos to show the folks back home. And not to mention the quality of the restaurants in an area so close to the lively Seven Mile Beach strip to be accessible, but far enough away to be relaxing, intriguing and simply stunning in equal measure.
West Bay offers Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa
Resident rate until 30 September is US$159 per night with a complimentary upgrade to Ocean Front room if available. Offer includes breakfast for two and kids under 10 eat free. The 10 per cent service charge per night is not included but tax and resort fees are waived. Contact 945-3800 or email [email protected]
A 10 per cent discount on total bill when showing Cayman Island driver’s license.
Cayman Turtle Farm
Resident rates are $10 for adults and $4 for kids.
Treasure Island Resort
Rooms $89 per night.
Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman
Oceanfront room and breakfast for two at 7 Restaurant for $199 plus 10 per cent service charge and US$45 per day resort fee from 19 August until 19 December.
Experience a guided mangrove snorkel tour for $30 per person and discover mangrove roots, sponges, sea squirts, anenomies and small fish.
Divetech at Cobalt Coast Dive Resort
Dive n Lunch: Get away on the weekend or a weekday and have a great shore dive at lunch with Divetech at Cobalt Coast or Treats at Lighthouse Point. $18 per person including tanks, weights, lunch, grats and soft beverage.
Summertime Kids Diving:
A 2-for-1 learn to dive offer – kids will experience three days learning to dive and become new ambassadors of the ocean. Fun, educational and all-inclusive with daily lunch at Cobalt Coast. $420 with second child free – up to age 17.
Come and help get the lionfish off the reef. $20 includes two-tank boat trip on air or nitrox.
Nauticam demo days: On 29 and 30 July, Chris Parsons of Nauticam USA will be hosting a Friday evening session and all-day Saturday demo day for the newest nauticam housings. Friday evening is free admission and open to everyone. Test out new cameras and housings, partake of photo clinics and boat and shore dives on Saturday for $160, including boat and shore diving, lunch and dinner. Overnight stay in double room $140.
Sunday BBQ and Shore Dive:
Come for a morning or afternoon shore dive with Divetech and have a barbecue lunch including chicken, ribs, fish and all the trimmings. Includes tanks, weights and lunch with soft beverage for $20.
Cobalt Coast Dive Resort
Cuddles and Bubbles:
Enjoy a romantic getaway on the northwest tip of Grand Cayman with oceanfront accommodation, dinner under the stars, a bottle of bubbly and hot breakfast in bed for $175 per couple.
Remember to check out www.staycation.ky for the latest up to date offers; there are more there daily so don’t miss out.