The West Bay shoreline offers many contrasts, with craggy ironshore giving way to sugary sand along the western coastline at the top of Seven Mile Beach, while rustic charm defines the district’s northeast beaches that culminate at Barkers.

At the northern end of West Bay Road, the hidden charms of Cemetery Beach attract tourists and locals seeking a shady option to the wide open stretches further south.

Seagrape trees dot the beach and attract families with small children, as well as snorkelers keen to check out the reef a short distance offshore. Those willing to venture out further on a kayak or paddleboard have close access to the Kittiwake dive site, ranked number 6 of TripAdvisor’s 162 “Things to do” in Cayman.

As kids gambol among the low tree branches, friendly greetings ring out from passing dog walkers, offering a pleasant atmosphere.

The travel ratings site has Cemetery Beach currently ranked number 11 of the “Things to do” in Cayman.

Some of the latest postings on the site describe Cemetery Beach as a “very nice snorkel spot,” “Best snorkeling in Cayman,” and “Why isn’t everyone here?” The answer may lie in the fact that the beach is somewhat hidden behind West Bay Cemetery, it’s only accessible by footpath, there are no restrooms or other amenities, and it has somewhat limited parking. At the same time, reviewers generally note that while they heard there wasn’t much parking, they somehow are always able to find a spot.

West Bay’s numerous beaches garner many accolades on
West Bay’s numerous beaches garner many accolades on

Further north, West Bay public beach is a popular spot for families and boaters thanks to its boat ramp. The large sandy expanse also features restrooms and cabanas, along with vendors offering local wares. It recently earned a five-star TripAdvisor review, with the comments noting it was pristine, quiet and offered great snorkeling.

The reviews of Barkers Beach, ranked number 14 of 27 things to do in West Bay on TripAdvisor, note that while the beach is “off the beaten path,” and “a little slice of heaven,” other comments lament “All that litter, I’m not sold.”

Definitely out of the way, the gently sloped Barkers shoreline overlooking the reef provides scenic vistas for beach walkers and horse riders. Horse riding along Barkers is an activity ranked number 26 in the TripAdvisor list.

Many visitors, however, choose to set up their beach chairs under one of the many casuarinas lining the shore to enjoy some genuine peace and quiet in this true getaway location.