Enjoy the Luxury of the Cayman Islands
Five miles out at sea and the water is still only one-metre deep, making it easy to hand-feed the magnificent, wild stingrays, prehistoric-looking creatures that glide up to you as you offer them a morsel of squid.
In the settled waters off the famous Seven Mile Beach lies the Kittiwake shipwreck, which was sunk to create an artificial reef in this spectacular marine park and is home to numerous species of coral and fish. It is an awesome underwater playground for divers.
At the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, a five-foot-long iguana is basking in the sun. With its blue skin and red eyes, this rare, beautiful reptile resembles a tiny dragon and can only be found in this natural habitat on Grand Cayman.
What these three memorable experiences have in common is that they are just some of the things you can enjoy on the Cayman Islands. Along with marvelling at bioluminescence as you kayak at night, paddling through the lush mangrove, horse riding along the surf, swimming with dolphins, diving with turtles, sailing and kiteboarding, exploring caves and even a submarine or helicopter experience, you will find that there is no shortage of truly amazing activities on offer.
Of course, you could simply relax by the pool of your private villa, or cool your feet as you stroll along the shoreline of a secluded sandy beach.
Whatever your ideas of paradise or however you love to spend your precious free time, either as a couple or family, you will find it on these three small islands in the Caribbean, famed for their luxury and friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
Although the largest of the islands, Grand Cayman, is a mere 22 by eight miles in size, being small is a virtue, as you can explore much more easily. Most of the experiences can be done within a half-day, leaving plenty of beach or water sports time.
Top of our list has to be the famous Seven Mile Beach, a truly beautiful stretch of soft coral sand which is surprisingly devoid of people. Apart from swimming with stingrays, there is world-class snorkelling, paddle boarding, scuba diving lessons and plenty of other water sports, golf and tennis. Dine at more than 250 restaurants offering a wide range of local as well as international cuisine, and enjoy a lively, yet relaxed nightlife.
There is an equally good choice when it comes to accommodation, ranging from self-catering to the ultimate luxury. The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, on 144 acres stretching sea-to-sea from the Caribbean to the North Sound, is an unforgettable retreat, with its gently floating water hammocks, night snorkelling experience, delectable seafood dining, outdoor cabanas, golf club, tennis centre, soft white sand and a signature spa.
For a more intimate seclusion, try the Caribbean Club's luxury suites and villas overlooking Seven Mile Beach. It comes with a ready-stocked gourmet kitchen, the comforts of an opulent home, a waterfront pool with waterfall, beach cabanas and impeccable service and hospitality.
If you are looking for your own sumptuous beachfront property or hidden gem should check out the selective portfolio of Cayman Villas. It is home to only a few hundred residents and with a sprinkling of shops and brightly coloured houses, the coastal village of North Side on Grand Cayman also makes a perfect, quiet escape for those wanting a retreat.
However, it would be a pity to come to these islands and miss a trip to Little Cayman, which offers diving at the spectacular Bloody Bay Wall, snorkelling, fishing and hammock-time. Hike, cycle or kayak to explore the unspoilt, unhurried life. Little Cayman is the smallest of the three islands, it is home to some of the most beautiful, untouched natural tropical wilderness and is ideal for honeymooner and those looking for sun-drenched solitude, there are only about 200 year-round residents.
For sheer elegance combined with casual sophistication, check into the Southern Cross Club fish and dive resort, with its unique beachfront bungalows.
The rustic, elegant Cayman Brac, the most easterly island, covers 14 square miles and is ideal for adventures and nature-lovers, with caves and trails to explore, plus a breathtaking bluff.
A 20-minute plane ride from Grand Cayman, with less than 1,800 inhabitants, the Brac is the place to head if you are looking for peace and quiet and a barefoot break o the beach.
Le Soleil d'Or offers the ultimate in private luxury, with farm-to-table cuisine, incomparable hospitality, a rejuvenating spa and elite accommodation. This island also offers some amazing ways to spend your days: diving, rambling, rock-climbing, kayaking or just simply lying back in the sun.