We're No. 1! Seven Mile Beach best in world

It’s as “official” as it gets: The Cayman Islands’ Seven Mile Beach is the best stretch of sand, sea and sky on Earth.

Do you have any idea how many beaches exist in the world? Frankly, we don’t either. Makes no difference.

People can argue all they want about the methodology and results of the recent rankings by U.S. News Travel — indeed, that’s half the fun of such lists — but as far as we here at the Compass are concerned, the publication’s assignment of Seven Mile Beach to the “top spot” is spot on.

Our advice to doubters? Chill out. Go to the beach.

Simply to be included among the dozen most attractive beach vacation destinations on the globe is a positive thing for Cayman. To lead the rankings, however, is a potential marketing bonanza.

The Department of Tourism and local industry businesses would be well-advised to capitalize on the moment and the momentum presented by the designation. The ad copy writes itself — “Seven Mile Beach: No. 1 in the world” — or something to that effect, packaged with any of the glorious images that Seven Mile Beach willingly presents to camera lenses at any given moment, every day.

Forget the “CaymanKind” campaign; if tourists chose their destinations based on how “kind” its hosts were, the world’s nunneries would be booked solid, and Paris, France, famous for its rudeness, would be a tourism ghost town.

The views of Seven Mile Beach are so magnificent that we often find ourselves reassuring skeptical persons from abroad that the photos they are viewing have not been subjected to any process of alteration, filtration or colorization. (“We swear, that’s what Cayman really looks like!”)

In other words, the natural beauty of Seven Mile Beach (and Cayman, in general) is such that it “sells itself” — and in turn sells Cayman as a place of interest for potential employment, immigration, investment and residence. Ponder, for a moment, the countless number of deals (business, personal and matrimonial) that have been struck, over a cold beverage, against the backdrop of Seven Mile Beach’s turquoise waters, white sands and cerulean sky. Throw in Cayman’s famous sunsets, and it’s a wonder we can get any visitors to leave at all.

As U.S. News Travel points out, however, Cayman’s success as a tourist destination can’t be attributed solely to Mother Nature. There also continues to be a great deal of excellent work being done by our tourism-oriented businesses. “Brimming with luxury hotels and casual restaurants, the Cayman Islands leave travelers with little to complain about,” according to the publication.

If they think Cayman is “brimming” with high-class offerings for visitors now, just wait a few more years, when Dart opens up the hotels and restaurants it has under way, when other developers have completed their various renovation and construction projects, and when the country really starts to feel the positive knock-on economic effects generated by initiatives all across Grand Cayman, such as Health City Cayman Islands.

As we have said before, we believe our country is on the cusp of a new “Golden Age” of economic expansion that will rival, and quite probably surpass, any of the earlier booms that comprise what we call the “Cayman Miracle.”

Seven Mile Beach is the natural miracle upon which Cayman’s tourism industry is founded (in communion with the vibrant coral reefs just off the coast), but the real “secret” to Cayman’s success has always been human ingenuity and bold entrepreneurialism.


  1. It’s as "official" as it gets? Is Us News &Travel the acknowledged judge of the best beaches in the World. Seven Mile Beach is a truly wonderful natural feature of Cayman but, it is not the best beach in the World. Superlatives are always dangerous because invariably, someone will step up and prove you wrong, especially when you are relying on a Third Party evaluation. You are right in enjoying the marvelous publicity this report provides for the island, but don’t wallow in self congratulatory backslapping.

  2. Given this award for which we are very pleased now might be the time to ask for the Environment Impact Assessment for the proposed cruise ship berthing facility. This important EIA seems to have gone missing. Given the jewel of 7 Mile Beach which could be put at risk by this development we all need to care about this issue.

  3. Before getting to smug about this result consider a couple of things.

    First, Grand Cayman failed to figure in the Top Affordable Caribbean Destinations category and in the current economic climate that is at least as important for the creation of a thriving tourism industry as nice beaches. People will happily settle for destinations further down the Top Beaches list when they find the vacation costs in Grand Cayman can easily be more than double those of their competitors like Cuba. In fact surveys in the UK consistently show that cost is the major factor in choosing a holiday destination.

    Second, as I pointed out before the US News reviews of these islands leave a lot to be desired from the point of accuracy. Nothing does more long-term harm to your tourism product than building up unrealistic expectations. In fact attracting visitors with false promises is, as several now defunct tour operators and more than one major resort have discovered, just about the worst move you can make.

  4. Seven mile beach is marvelous, but I would put the remote, un cluttered, un manicured beauty of Point O” Sand on Little Cayman ahead in my personal "best of" list. None-the-less, a hearty congrats to Grand and this fine recognition. Very proud!

  5. Thank you Mr. Editor for such a marvelous well put together report, and a truthful one at that.
    To the other negative comment, I do hope you are not living among us. Because I would never want to believe that someone could really be a part of this island and not see the seven mile beach to be a best sea sand and sky location; a Cayman Miracle. Just like other planets there maybe other beaches to be discovered; however today I am on my Cayman Beach Planet, and enjoying every drop of salt water, grain of white sand, friendly people and heavenly bliss sunlight.

  6. Whether or not it’s actually the best in the world is beside the point, excellent publicity like this is just what Cayman needs.

    Now lets focus on getting that Safe Haven reputation back, People need to also know that they can stroll down the street or along the Beach in Cayman without a care in the world. Now that’s what make a place feel like paradise.

  7. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and this type of story is subjestive.

    Make no doubt about it, Seven mile is one of the nicest. Best in the world is a stretch.

    But lets take it and run with it and let the other issues as mentioned by other submitters be a subject for another discussion.

  8. I’m about as cynical as you can get, but geez some of these critics are just being ridiculous. Didn’t anyone ever teach you when someone gives you a compliment you just accept and say thank you? You don’t try to convince the compliment giver and everyone else that you’re not worthy.

    You think People magazine’s most beautiful man or woman tells everyone they actually aren’t all that attractive in person and you should see them in the mornings? No they accept the obviously subjective and unofficial recognition and use it for publicity.

    When your boss tells you you’re his best employee and you’re in line for a raise, do you question how he came to this conclusion and try to convince him otherwise because you don’t want him to have high expectations?

    If a potential mate tells you that you are the best person in the world and wants to marry you, do you go around telling everyone else how not great you are and that your future husband or wife could probably do better?

    No, you say thank you, accept the situation for what it is and make the best of whatever it leads to.

  9. @Christoph. I have to say that yes there are a lot of people that handle compliments just the way you depict. There are plenty of people that suffer from such low self esteem that they could never except a positive compliment as realistic or deserved.

  10. Jack Augsbury’s comment is the best. Being proud of something you intend to destroy? SMB is the only thing of real value on this island. Without it everything else will lose its appeal. Preserve and enhance SMB.

  11. Trip advisor, May 21, SMB trip report."I will say, for 99% of the folks who visit, the most dangerous part would be crossing the main drag on SMB. There are no crosswalks and most drivers will slow down or stop if they see you crossing, but you need to be careful, particularly at night."
    2. Re: Solo female trip report
    May 18, 2015, 9:43 PM
    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 17-year-old boy from Virginia who was struck by a local bus when he was crossing the West Bay Road last month is on the mend, his mother has told the local media in his home state. Harrison Zierenberg is now able to talk but he is still suffering the effects of brain damage and cannot yet walk. His mother said the young man was struck in the head by the van’s wing mirror as it sped along the road.
    Government was expected to formally reduce the speed limit on the West Bay Road this month but as yet the change has not been implemented. Police arrested the 56-year-old driver of the bus at the time of the incident but no charges have yet been brought in the case.

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