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Points of Interest

Pedro St. James - Botanic Park - Stingray City
Cayman Turtle Farm - Wreck of the 10 Sails - Hell
East End Light House - Cayman Brac Caves - Mastic Trail - Pirates' Caves

Pedro St. James SignAt the end of a quiet, mango and mahogany tree-shaded road in Savannah, Grand Cayman, high atop a limestone bluff, lies one of the Caribbean's most spectacular historic restorations, the Pedro St. James Historic Site. After seven years and a $7.5 million transformation, the Cayman Islands government has created the country's most ambitious heritage attraction to date and its first national landmark.

One of the most beautiful locations in the Cayman Islands, Pedro St. James is already a popular venue for weddings and social events. The grounds have been landscaped as a magnificent natural tropical park with native trees and plants, as well as traditional medicinal and vegetable gardens representative of a small early 19th century West Indian plantation.

Pedro St. James Historic Site is located in Savannah, Grand Cayman and is open 8:30-5:00 daily. The multi-media historic show starts on the hour from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Admission is US$10.00. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free. For more information, visit www.pedrostjames.ky.

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Botanic ParkGrand Cayman's Q. E. II Botanic Park
Showcasing botanical displays, colour gardens, nature walks and natural wetlands, enjoy a stroll through the Heritage Garden, the Floral Colour Garden, and stop for refreshments at the beautifully landscaped café. Migratory aquatic birds and animals can be viewed in their natural habitat. Complete with an informative Visitor's Center & Gift Shop, this could be a full day's excursion.

Located on Frank Sound Road in the district of North Side, the 65-acre Botanic Park is about a 45-minute drive from George Town, opens daily at 9:00 a.m. and closes promptly at 5:30 p.m. Visitors are advised to enter the park by 4:30 p.m. Admission fees are US$10.00 for adults; free for children under twelve.

For more information about the Botanic Park, contact PH: (345) 947-9462 or FAX: (345) 947-7873. Or by e-mail: guthrie@candw.ky.

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One of the largest tourist attractions in the world, Stingray City is in 12 feet of water and mainly, but not exclusively, visited by scuba divers. The site was first noticed about ten years ago, when North Sound fishermen came to the calmer, shallower waters just over the reef to clean their fish. Soon they noticed stingrays, scavengers by nature, hanging around the boats inhaling any leftovers they could get their suckers on. Next, some particularly brave divemasters got in the water to hand-feed them, and before long the stingrays had become tame, almost pet-like.

Swimming with the RaysToday, you can swim under, over, and along with the rays. Their favourite food is squid, which you can feed them by hand. At Stingray sandbar, which is only waist deep, you can use a mask and snorkel and watch the rays swarm around you, brushing their velvety bellies against your hands and feet. Don't worry: this is the rays' way of begging for food. The rays have no teeth, but use a powerful sucking motion to draw in their food. Some are big, nearly six-feet in diameter. Their only means of defence is a barbed, venomous tail. As long as you don't lift the rays out of the water and treat them with the respect they deserve, you'll have a wonderful experience. Want to plan an excursion to Stingray City?

Click here for companies that will make your day a memorable one.

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Home to hundreds of turtles, they range in size from six ounces to six-hundred pounds each! One old timer, estimated to be over 70 years old is a female turtle weighing 575 pounds.

The turtles are a protected species, and you can witness the majesty of these unique creatures hands-on. Nowhere else can you see an endangered species so successfully raised for conservation. In fact, since 1980, the Farm has released 29,000 turtles back into the sea to help replenish the wild population.

Boatswain's Beach is also home to many other birds, fish, sharks and crocodiles. Visitors have the opportunity to see inside an authentic old Caymanian house, cool off in the pool with a rock formation recreating views of the bluff in Cayman Brac and can swim with some of the residents! T

There are two packages available:

Wet Package: Includes all the great features of the Turtle Farm
Adults: US$75 Children 2-12: US$35

Dry Package: For guests who wish to enjoy the Park without getting wet
Adults: US$50 Children 2-12: US$25

For more information visit: www.boatswainsbeach.ky

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The Wreck of the Ten SailIn 1794, a great maritime tragedy took place on the East End of Grand Cayman. "The Wreck of the Ten Sails" is still legendary on Grand Cayman, recalling the tragedy of the Cordelia, part of a convoy of merchant ships headed to Britain from Jamaica. Cordelia ran aground on the reef at the East End and frantically sent a signal to other ships to warn them off the dangerous coral. Sadly, the signal was misunderstood and, one by one, they all ran into the reef. Residents of East End were credited with their quick actions that left no life unsaved, an act that King George III later recognized. Various stories explain that King George III granted the islands freedom from conscription and other versions say that the king gave the islands freedom from taxation.

Travel to East End on Grand Cayman and you can still see the remains of this legend in the seas.

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HellThousands of tourists go to Hell each year. They stare, awed by the blackened and jagged rock formation that gives the little district in West Bay its unusual name. They send letters and cards to friends with the HELL postmark clearly stamped on the back - and greetings like "This is a Hell of a place" or "You saw me in Hell first." Hell's intriguing formation, which resembles the charred remains of a hell fire, is a weathered form of the local rock called ironshore. Common around the island, but in less dramatic form, ironshore has been estimated at 1.5 million years old. The formation looks like volcanic rock but is actually made up of very hard limestone, at one time snow white, now blackened by a surface coating of the algae which are secreting acid and eroding the rock into these unusual shapes.

So, if you have had enough of heavenly bliss on our lovely beaches, take a break and Go to Hell!

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East End Light HouseThe reefs at the eastern end of Grand Cayman have long been a hazard to shipping. In the past, East End was known as the "Graveyard of the Caribbean". The most notable wreck was that of the Ten Sail, in February 1794, when ten ships foundered off what is now known as Gun Bay. Perhaps if there had been a system of lights in place at that time, the accident might have been avoided, but it would be another 100 years before the first lighthouse was built. Today, the lighthouse is administered by the Cayman Islands' Port Authority who has given permission for the National Trust for the Cayman Islands to enhance the site for visitors. The Trust's East End District Committee and numerous volunteers constructed the 37 steps that lead up to the summit. Work on the Park is still underway, but visitors will find the spectacular view at the top well worth the climb.

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It's well worth the trip to Cayman Brac if you want to see amazing caves on a tour of the island's many Heritage Attraction sites. Some of Brac Cave highlights include:

  • Peter's Cave offers a spectacular view overlooking the South Side bluffs.
  • The Great Cave is an amazing formation of stalagmites and stalactites near the old Lighthouse out by the bluffs.
  • The Bat's Cave, which is a well-lit, large cave where you may see some small bats "hanging out" in plain view.

Over the past 200 years the residents of Cayman Brac have sought shelter in these caves through some rare but severe storms that have crossed the islands. The caves also serve as home to a unique group of plant and animal inhabitants including small bats that feed on the insects.

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The mastic trail, so-named for it's specimens of the giant Mastic Tree, is a two mile long botanical excursion made possible by the tremendous efforts of the National Trust. It passes through an assortment of habitats, including Black Mangrove wetland, Royal and Silver Thatch palms, abandoned agricultural land, "The Mountain" which is the highest point above sea level in Grand Cayman at 60 feet, and an ancient, dry woodland. The Wild Banana Orchid can be seen in full bloom on the trail in June. Guided walks take about two and a half to three hours. For additional information call 345-949-1996 or visit Trust House, George Town.

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Located in Historic Bodden Town, visit the 2 1/2 acre park with self guided tour with three attractions in one:

Nature walks- through local and tropical plants and trees.

Bodden Town Zoo -  indigenous animals to the Cayman Islands and Caribbean. Cayman Parrots, Agouti, Green Iguanas, Hickatee Turtles, Fresh Water Stingrays, Parrots, Conures, Mountain Goats, Pigs, Chinese Silky Chickens and many more. Most of the animals have been rescued.

Pirate’s Caves - Stairs take you down one story to a lit cave
two hundred meters in length. Featuring “flowstone” deposits
formed by running water. The caves are now affected by
dripping and seepage causing the formation of Stalactites. These deposits have a great variety of form especially colors depending on pigments such as iron, copper and manganese carried as trace elements in the water. There are advanced areas to explore and flashlights are provided to the treasure seekers or those looking to observe the fruit bats.

The self guided tour lasts between 20 minutes to an hour.

Gift Shop and snacks
Open everyday 9am-5pm. Adult Admission CI$ 6.40
Children under 12 CI $ 4.00 For more information on group discounts, birthday parties contact the manager at 947-3122

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