Diving and Snorkelling. Some of the island’s most spectacular dive sites including Julie's Wall, Babylon, and Northern Lights are located directly in front of our Ocean Pearl Grand Cayman Vacation Rental. Babylon is a magnificent dive on the North Wall that never disappoints. It starts at a mere 40ft with a large pinnacle and canyon that dissects the North Wall. The pinnacle has detached from the wall to form an incredible pillar full of Gorgonians and Soft Sponges and cascades down to plate coral stands deeper than 100 ft; hence the name the "Hanging Gardens of Babylon". Abundant rope sponges line the wall with black coral bushes. All sites are accessible from the shore for experienced divers (200-300 m swim out). Use the ladder and lowered platform on the dock for easy entry and exit. You will notice several white buoys just past the reef in front of our complex marking these sites as dive boats often moor here. Due to the remoteness of the site, many divers' only access to Babylon is via a live-a-board or a multi day ocean safari tour. Local dive guides come here on their day off...its that good. If you don't dive, snorkel! There is plenty to see as the reef is only 75 feet from shore!
Botanical Gardens and the Blue Iguana Safari. See one of the most endangered iguanas on earth, the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana, in the tropical forests and gardens of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park (5 min from the Ocean Pearl). The indigenous blue iguana, locally known as the blue dragon, is a vegetarian species that can grow to a length of five feet! We recommend going on the guided tour which provides a behind the scenes hatchery tour outlining conservation measures. Bring water and be prepared for some heat...there are no ocean breezes in this desert biome, its just the way a dragon likes it!
Morritt’s Resort. Only 5 minutes from the Ocean Pearl, the resort at Morritts is open to the public so go try a fancy drink at the infinity pool swim-up bar (the mudslide is really good), hang on their beach, and enjoy the day. There are several restaurants here including one on the pier where you can watch the large Tarpon gobble up leftover lunches. Even better...snorkel under the pier while others watch from above--it's amazing to be immersed with a feeding group of Tarpon!
Bioluminescent Tours. Travel by paddle from Rum Point with a nature guide from Cayman Kayaks and explore the fascinating world of the ocean at night. Once inside the bay, every stroke of your paddle leaves behind a glowing swirl of blue light and fish light up their path like shooting stars in the water. It is a magical adventure suitable for all ages (2 person kayaks). Recently, they have added an electric catamaran to their fleet which is a great option for those who would rather relax than paddle.
Sting Ray City. Located on the North Side of Grand Cayman, this is a must see and an opportunity you will have nowhere else in the world. You can dive with the rays, go to the shallow sandbars where you can stand with the rays, or take a glass bottom boat tour and stay dry. Unless you are a diver, we recommend going to the sandbar to stand and play with the rays. If it is too crowded you won’t get to spend much time with the stingrays so always check the Georgetown cruise ship schedule and avoid booking on heavy traffic days. If you want the place to yourself, book a private boat charter (see Fishing below) or book with Ocean Frontiers (a dive shop 10 min from the Ocean Pearl) that offers dawn trips to Sting Ray City and other tours from small boats.
Pedro St. James. See the oldest structure on Cayman and experience the history of the island come to life as it's story is told to you by an elder. Pedro St. James was a residence, the first seat of government on the island, and the first jail. Located in Savanna (15 min from the Ocean Pearl), your tour will take you to another time and give you an appreciation for the tenacity of its local people. It is informative, respectful, and beautiful.
Local Fish Fry! Every Sunday after church, locals gather at the Eastern Star fish fry to enjoy fresh caught fish and lobster, island style. Check them out on Trip Advisor. The pickled fried onions are delicious!! Be aware, barracuda is on the menu but can be poisonous. If you miss this one (they are only open on Sundays), try another local fish fry. There are several that just spring up!
Fishing. Guaranteed to be the highlight of your trip, a private boat charter can be tailored to incorporate fishing, snorkelling, diving or just floating around sight seeing. Call Frank's Water Sports at 345-949-3243 or cell 345-925-2783 or Daniel or Allen Bennet at Double Trouble Charters for all day or half day fishing trips-Bone, Tarpon, and Reef fishing. Just let them know your group’s preferences and they can arrange a great day for the whole family. Frank's fresh conch ceviche and steamed lobster lunch is outstanding. There are many marine protected areas around the island where fishing and diving are prohibited so remember to consult the regulations if unguided.
BBQ night at the Kaibo! Don’t miss Tuesday nights beach BBQ with a live band at the Kaibo Yacht Club! (15 min from the Ocean Pearl near Rum Point). There is a ferry that comes at 6 pm from Camana Bay bringing guests from the West Side so come early or make reservations if you want a good table. The rum punch and local food cooked outdoors on a wood grill is fabulous, right down to the rum cake for desert! Dance barefoot on the beach during and after dinner with Bona Fide, a fantastic local band (check out their website to hear them) playing a mixture of reggae and pop music. Cheer the kids on as they limbo alongside the dancing!
Rum Point Beach and Beach Club. A spectacular little beach located on the North Side of
the Island (15 min from the Ocean Pearl). This beach has a quaint flavor of the Island that you don’t want to miss. There is a restaurant and bar there and you eat at picnic tables on the beach. You can engage in water sports such as jet skis, kayaks, and big water trikes, or simply relax in a hammock and get lost in a book. Rum point creates a very shallow calm lagoon, which makes it a great swimming spot for little kids and a great spot for novice snorkelers to "get their feet wet".
(Photo Credits: all wildlife photos on this page taken by our 12 yr old son and certified PADI diver...he just got his first strobe!)
Mastic Trail. Hike the old growth forest on Cayman. See ancient Mahogany, wild banana orchids, flocks of metallic green Cayman parrots, Caribbean doves, and brown racer back snakes (non-venomous) on a moderate 6 mile hike (return). Trail head is 7 min from the Ocean Pearl. Guides are recommended for those who really want to get to know the flora and fauna (see National Trust for the Cayman Islands website).
One Day Dive Lesson. If you are not a diver, we recommend that you take a one day lesson if interested in trying your hand at scuba diving. These are available at local dive operators Ocean Frontiers Ltd. and Tortuga Divers at Morrits Resort. You will learn enough basics to do a short, shallow dive to see if you would enjoy pursuing the sport. This is very regulated and very safe. There are PADI diving programs for kids as young as 8 yrs old, so they can share in the fun-check out the SEAL programs on Ocean Frontiers website.