Little Cayman is often described as a vision of ‘how the Caribbean used to be’. With fewer than two hundred permanent residents, Little Cayman is the perfect destination for anyone wanting to discover a quieter pace of life.
Most of the entertainment on Little Cayman is provided by nature, with the Caribbean Sea and the unspoiled environment the dominant elements. A holiday on Little Cayman begins with the forty-minute hop by Twin-Otter across the glittering ocean to land at the island’s tiny grass-strip airport where formalities are at a minimum.
From there it’s a short walk to the only settlement on the island, Blossom Village where you’ll find the shop, the post-office, the petrol station and the island’s tiny museum.
A large proportion of visitors to Little Cayman come for the scuba-diving with a visit to the marine park at Bloody Bay a highlight of any diver’s career. Located on the northern side of the island Bloody Bay Marine Park is famous for its vertical coral wall covered in prolific marine life. Although the wall itself is deep the reef top begins in just six or seven metres of water and there is plenty to see if you choose to visit the marine park as a snorkeler. If the beach is the beginning and the end of your maritime adventures then Little Cayman has two special attractions, Point of Sand and Owen Island.
Find out more about scuba diving in Little Cayman
Little Cayman has some of the best sport fishing in Cayman, with Wahoo, Tuna and Mahi-Mahi the sought after fish which can be caught year round. Deep waters close to the island make this a prime spot for game fish but the island also has Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit which can be caught with a fly-rod. Guides are available for offshore charters as well as for bone-fishing and night fishing excursions.
Owen Island is uninhabited and lies just a few hundred yards from the southern shore of Little Cayman, close to the Southern Cross Club. It can easily be visited by kayak – with a picnic – and you can swim and snorkel directly from the beach. At Point of Sand at the eastern end of Little Cayman you’ll discover a beautiful stretch of empty beach sheltered by an offshore reef. The point can be subject to strong currents at certain times, so get local advice before venturing too far from the shallows. Famous for its pink sands at sunset, this is one of the most romantic spots in all of Cayman.
Most of Little Cayman is left to nature, and close to Blossom Village is the Booby Pond Nature Reserve owned and conserved by the Cayman Islands National Trust. The lagoon and surrounding forest cover over three hundred acres and have been recognised as a wetland of international importance. Come in the late afternoon and sit on the observation deck of the visitor’s centre to admire the gathering flocks of Red-Footed Boobies (Sula sula).
There are an estimated three thousand breeding pairs of boobies (and some 20,000 individual birds), the largest colony in the western hemisphere. The mud flats are also feeding grounds for West Indian Whistling Ducks, Plovers, Stilts and Herons.
The real drama at the pond comes from the interaction between the boobies and the magnificent Frigate birds. These large soaring creatures mob the boobies when they return from a day’s hunting for fish at sea and try to make them disgorge their catch so that they can steal it.
Apart from the marine life and the bird populations, Little Cayman is also home to the Sister Islands Rock Iguana (Cyclura nubila caymanensis). Now known to be a sub species of the Cuban iguana these lizards are critically endangered.
Harmless to human beings they can grow to over three feet long. Little Cayman has the largest remaining population of the iguanas and visitors should know that they have the right of way if you spot them on the road!
Little Cayman is an island worth exploring, and with good sun protection and a supply of drinking water it’s simple to make a circuit of the island by bicycle – a looping route which will cover about eight miles allowing a rest stop and a swim perhaps at Point of Sand. Bird watchers will want to stop at Tarpon Lake and Jackson’s Pond to see what’s feeding in the mangrove flats or along the shoreline. On the north shore you can call in at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute where scientists carry out research on coral reef ecology and learn more about the importance of Bloody Bay Marine Park and the surrounding waters.
Walkers can hike along the Salt Rock Nature Trail at the western end of the island – a route that follows an old path from Blossom Village to the north shore. Iguanas, mahogany trees, orchids and of course many of the island’s birds are your only companions on this old path which was used to transport salt to a dock on the north shore. There’s an old well and a short section of abandoned rail track on the path used to transport the heavy carts of salt-rock which were pulled by donkey.
Responsible Travel would like to thank the Cayman Islands tourist board for their sponsorship of this guide