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Snorkeling at Rum Point with stingrays

Beach honeymoons and vacations are always a good idea. Depending on your travel style, you might prefer an all-inclusive stay or an all-out adventure. For a little bit of both, Grand Cayman could be the destination for you. This Caribbean island offers a happy balance of ocean activities and tranquil relaxation. There’s not much surf here, but the trade-off is crystal-clear water and sugary-soft sand. Here are highlights from my recent travels there.

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Cemetery Beach

Favorite snorkeling spots

  • Cemetery Beach, for an underwater paradise full of coral and brilliant-colored fish of all shapes and sizes.
  • Spotts Beach, for the sea turtles.
  • Rum Point Beach, for the clearest water I’ve ever seen and stingrays within 100 feet of the beach. Starfish Point is just down the road.
  • Wreck of the Gamma, for easy snorkeling right off the beach. Go in the morning on a clear day for fewer people and clear viewing of the shipwreck and fish.
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Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Gardens

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Crystal Caves

Don’t miss

  • Seven Mile Beach, for glorious sunsets and coral sand.
  • Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, for hiking and blue iguanas (in a preserve, not in the wild).
  • Crystal Caves, for stalactites and stalagmites.

Where to eat

  • Bácaro, for Italian tapas and a wine bar.
  • Cracked Conch, for the waterfront view.
  • Casanova by the Sea, for the Italian Piazza décor.
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Rum Point Beach

Where to stay

  • Seven Mile Beach, for proximity to activities and dining (but more expensive lodging than other areas of the island).
  • Bodden Town, for an authentic Caribbean vibe and affordable rooms.
  • Rum Point, for great accommodations and activities without the crowds.

What to pack for a week at the beach

  • Backpack
  • Insulated lunch bag
  • Stainless steel reusable water bottle
  • 3 pairs of shoes, for beach, walking and dinner
  • 3 swimsuits, including a one-piece that can double as a bodysuit
  • Sunglasses
  • Panama hat, for a trendy look that also shades your face
  • “Reef friendly” waterproof sunscreen
  • Snorkel gear, available on Amazon.com for less than $40
  • GoPro HERO7 Black and GoProFloaty, for snorkeling, surfing, wakeboarding and other water activities

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