Bodden Town, Cayman’s first capital, is a pleasure to visit at the best of times, but imagine spending serious time there on a staycation and you will understand why the town is so beloved by visitors and locals alike.
This is an area with everything from wonderful beaches and fish fry moments to genuinely fascinating historical elements. Family-friendly, lively and quintessentially Caymanian, Bodden Town has it all.
The Mission House isn’t a bad place to start. The National Trust property is a classic piece of Caymanian architecture with a history of learning, missionaries and religious elements. Tour here and you will see both period furnishings and a very interesting history courtesy of the well-informed staff on site. Now restored to its 1840s glory, it’s an unparalleled opportunity to step back in time and experience how the first settlers were educated and how the better-off lived.
For something completely different, how about a trip to the Pirates’ Caves? This fun descent into the caves is informative, and although some of the decor may not be as authentic as it seems, it’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else on Grand Cayman.
“There are wonderful arts and crafts in the area in the local stores, too,” sa
ys Erin Bodden of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association.
“There you can see thatch products and some beautiful pieces of art. Being so close to the water you feel you are removed from an art gallery and that is a really great experience.
“You are also close to Pedro St. James, which is definitely worth going to with its exciting multimedia presentation which is a great learning experience.
“The Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park is also close by and the Mastic Trail is a fabulous way to see the natural world. Tours are available and TripAdvisor rates these very highly. So if you feel like dealing with some rugged terrain and flora and fauna, you can do that, and the botanical park is full of those amazing Blue Iguanas. You do not want to miss out on seeing these lovely creatures.”
Feeding time is around 11.30am, explains Bodden, who adds that the National Trust’s website is a great source of information.
Close to the heart is the stomach, it’s often said, and Bodden Town is feted for its many quality jerk stands and famous fish fry.
“Our founders landed in Bodden Town and developed it first; take some time to enjoy it and appreciate it for what it is – it is a great spot and very authentic.”