U.S. News & World Report Seven Mile Beach 'No. 1' in the world


The Cayman Islands’ Seven Mile Beach has been designated the world’s top beach vacation spot by the U.S. News & World Report.  

The rankings, released by the publication’s U.S. News Travel website, are based on a review of commentary by visitors and certain expert evaluators, not the editors’ individual opinions. 

The ratings consider a number of factors including ambiance, accessibility, affordability and approval among tourism experts and travelers. Based on evaluations of those areas, the world’s top 12 beaches were chosen.  

“In truth, there isn’t one ideal strip of sand that would suit everyone,” the U.S. News Travel website states in its review. “Still, our ranking of the best beaches in the world showcases what makes a beach stand out.” 

On why it picked the Cayman Islands as the top beach vacation destination, the website opines: “It’s hard to compete with the coral sands of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. Brimming with luxury hotels and casual restaurants, the Cayman Islands leave travelers with little to complain about.” 

The website review also puts in a plug for George Town shore dive location Eden Rock before linking to a fairly detailed Cayman Islands travel guide.  

Cayman Islands Deputy Premier Moses Kirkconnell, who hadn’t seen the rankings yet when contacted on Monday, said this welcome news puts another feather in Cayman’s tourism hat. 

“We compete globally on sand, sun and sea and for us to be ranked globally No. 1 is a huge tool for us to use … to attract more tourists to the island,” Mr. Kirkconnell said.  

Mr. Kirkconnell was also interested to know how other Caribbean tourism destinations fared in the rankings. Three other destinations in the Caribbean Sea made the U.S. News top 12 list. Anguilla was ranked No. 5 while the Turks and Caicos Islands came in at No. 7 and Playa del Carmen, along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, was rated No. 12.  

“We’re competing with these other islands,” Mr. Kirkconnell said, noting that Cayman was always keeping an eye on the competition, particularly Cuba and the Turks and Caicos in recent years.  

Other destinations on the top 12 list included Kauai (No. 2), Seychelles (No. 3), and Maldives (No. 4). Rounding out the list were Bali, Sanibel Island in Florida, Corfu in Greece, Bora Bora and Fiji. 


It’s “hard to compete” with the coral sands of Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. – PHOTO: STEPHEN CLARKE

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  1. This is very good news, but five star compliments have to be give to the hotels and condominiums along our beaches who go all out to see that the beaches are kept very clean and crime free. If those people did not take pride in each of their beaches we could not receive such a high prestige. Thank you too.

  2. This should not mean that we get too high on the horse, because there are so many factors that is factored in to make this decision . The facts of the coral sand, and lush hotels, sunshine , do not cut it when people are spending the kind of money to vacation in Cayman, their expectations are high and we should make them higher . I’ll give you an example, when I was in the charter boat business I owned a $20 thousand boat , and my competition owned a $250 thousand boat, they offered my clients free trips on their boat , but they refused and came with me and payed. This happened numerous times in my time . Because every time they came back with me I took their trip to higher level.

  3. It is worth having a look at the U.S. News & World Report website because there are a number of anomalies in this rating – Seven Mile Beach may be classed by them as No.1 in the World but if you look further it only rates No.3 Best Beach in the Caribbean and we are only No.6 in Best Islands. Grand Cayman is also not in the crucial Top 10 Affordable Caribbean destinations or rates a place in the Top 11 Most Relaxing Beaches.

    These rather general, and bluntly not very scientific, ratings are going to leave most experienced travellers rather less than impressed. In fact when they realise that destinations like Cuba (I’d rate the Varadero beach over Seven Mile any day) are missing these rating will probably be treated with the same sceptical caution as Trip Advisor.

    The other problem if you look at the website is that some of the write-ups are blatant nonsense.

    Take comments like – Gorgeous barrier reefs call to divers as the rum punch calls to the beach bums – or – Grand Cayman, is full of all-inclusive resorts, perfect for those who prefer pre-planned itineraries and don’t mind cruise crowds.

    I got certified out here 20 years ago and the main attraction of these islands to me as a diver is the walls. As for being full of all-inclusive resorts? When I last checked, most websites were only listing the Wyndham although I understand there are a couple of smaller resorts doing AI.

    Bluntly, this review is a right dog’s dinner, which has the real danger of raising visitors’ expectations to unrealistic levels only for them to be disappointed by the real thing. What happens then, and I’ve seen this happen to a resort with disastrous results, is the visitors forget what originally prompted them to make the trip and blame all their disappointment on the destination itself rather than the reviewer. In effect rather than admit having been taken in by something they read they will vent their anger on the resort, hotel or whatever.

    The bottom line is that this kind of recommendation is not always the good news it seems to be.

  4. Yes David Williams, much better that they leave us off the list entirely, or even better give us a dishonorable mention for how terrible this place is so tourists will be pleasantly surprised by how mediocre it is here.

    Get real. Everybody knows these rankings aren’t scientific and are not the definitive end all be all and everyone will have their preferences, but these islands, and SMB especially, are in the top echelon no matter the ranking. I’m sure every set of rankings has a different method and different timing, so they won’t all be perfectly aligned, however I’d hardly say being ranked #1 here, and #3 and #6 on other lists qualifies as misleading.

  5. This is from the TripAdvisor post(May 18th, solo female trip):
    "If I could do it again, I would’ve rented a car for maybe a day or 2 just to see more of the island (did not visit Rum Point), make a trip to the grocery & also to avoid having to crossing West Bay Road!! I didn’t figure out the crosswalks til the second day, and overall it felt a little scary out there. The sidewalk is narrow and the cars are just whizzing by. Everything I needed was within walking distance of my resort, however I wouldn’t call 7 Mile Beach pedestrian friendly. I got used to it after day 2, but it’s not exactly pleasant."
    A tourist can’t even cross a road! How tourist friendly is the #1 designation?

  6. I forgot to add, why does it have to be so complicated and unsafe for an average tourist? What would
    it take and cost to be uncomplicated and safe????
    It would take a DESIRE to make it safe and easy. How? Just open that darn report evaluating roads safety, there got to be a line or two about WB road. The report is still unavailable for public viewing.