Smith Cove Beach is the best beach on Grand Cayman Island, near the cruise port. It is just one mile from the cruise port and one of the closest. It is a sandy beach with palm trees and clear waters.
I decided to treat myself to a vacation in Grand Cayman to take a breather from work. I hopped on a cruise ship, and as soon as we docked at the port, I knew I just had to hit the nearby beaches first before exploring the rest of the island. Let me tell you, those beachside adventures near the cruise port were an absolute blast! I visited five incredible beaches near the cruise port, each of which gave me some of the most thrilling experiences of my trip.
They were all ideal getaway destinations with breathtaking landscapes, thrilling water sports, vibrant and exotic underwater life, tasty foods, beautiful people, and, most importantly, stunningly clear water.
Read on to find out what makes these five beaches the best in Grand Cayman, near the cruise port.
My Top 5 Beaches Near a Cruise Port
Table of Contents
|Beach||Why I chose this beach|
|Smith Cove||A cute small beach with a lot of exciting watersport options, peaceful with cozy tree shades|
|Rum Point||It’s a place full of historical stories and shallow, clear waters. A great place for beginner swimmers and children.|
|Seven Mile Beach||An ideal beach for everyone. Both party lovers and those who love quiet places will find your place on this white-sand beach stretching over five miles.|
|Spotts Beach||A place full of sea turtles and colorful reefs. Spotts Beach will intrigue you with its burst of sea life and sea activities.|
|East End Beach||It is a perfect place for cozy solo, family, or friend time out. Think East End; think windy beaches, beautiful barrier reefs, and inviting picnic tables.|
Best Grand Cayman Beaches Near the Cruise Port
Smith Cove is one of the most beautiful beaches in Grand Cayman. It is a little beach with smaller coves that have their own beaches. Smith Cove is a popular snorkeling spot, but you could also do a little bit of kayaking and paddleboarding. If you are a beginner snorkeler, this is a great spot for you.
There are picnic tables available as well. You can pop by some of the gift shops around, where you can buy cultural art and so many other things. Entrance to Smith Cove is free. The restrooms and showers at Smith Cove are also free and very convenient.
There are lots of free parking spaces as well. If you are touring the Grand Cayman and are lodged in a hotel or a guest house, you can rent a car and drive to the beach or a taxi, as no public buses operate past Smith Cove.
The mesmerizing sunset at the beach draws many crowds once it’s past 5 p.m. So, some of the best times to visit Smith Cove are in the morning on a weekday or when there are no cruise ships.
What I Liked About Smith Cove Beach
The sunset at Smith’s Cove is truly breathtaking. It is a great snorkeling spot. It’s a beautiful beach with clear water. The locals are also super friendly and welcoming.
What I Didn’t Like About Smith Cove Beach
One of the things I didn’t like about Smith Cove was how rough the water was. I believe it was because of the time of year I went, which was in May. Also, I didn’t like the fact that chickens were running all over the place. The bathrooms were not operational as they were under construction when I went. Because of the depth, it is not suitable for beginner swimmers.
Rum Point is a spot for both locals and tourists with crystal-clear shallow waters, white sand, trees that provide cool shade, tasty foods, and captivating landscapes.
Restaurants, hotels, bars, cafes, and other facilities are available not far from the beach to make your day delightful.
Some of the activities you can enjoy at Rum Point include kayaking, jet skiing, windsurfing, parasailing, and paddle boarding. Rum Point is perfect for families, as the water is shallow and safe for children to swim in.
You can snorkel at Rum Point, but there is little to nothing to see as there is no fish or coral, so Rum Point is not the best snorkeling spot.
You can drive or take a ferry or boat to Rum Point.
The latter is always the most popular choice, as it is faster and more exciting. It takes a drive of about 50 minutes from the cruise ship port in George Town to Rum Point.
The best time to visit Rum Point is on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
What I Liked About Rum Point Beach
One of the things I liked about Rum Point was the shallow water. An ideal place for kids and beginner swimmers. There are huts, hammocks, picnic tables, and beach chairs by the shore where you can relax and also eat. I also liked that you can engage in a bunch of water sports like kayaking, jet skiing, parasailing, paddle boarding, and so much more.
What I Didn’t Like About Rum Point Beach
Rum Point is not the ideal spot to snorkel, as there is nothing to see. The water was also a bit murky. The restaurants get seriously busy and crowded, making service super slow. The beach can also get very crowded. Rum Point is not as pristine compared to the others.
The Seven Mile Beach
The largest beach in the Cayman Islands, Seven Mile Beach, is popular among tourists and the safest beach in the Caribbean.
Fine dining, an endless option of recreational activities, a stunning landscape, clean white sand, crystal clear waters, vibrant aquatic life, and amenities, among others, come together to make it one of the most visited beaches in the world. In 2020, Seven Mile Beach was named among the Top Ten Beaches in the World by Trip Advisor.
Seven Mile Beach, despite the name, is actually 5 miles long, and it takes approximately two hours to walk the entire length of the beach. You can enjoy early morning walks and late evening walks to watch the sunset. Seven Mile Beach is located on the west side of Grand Cayman. Driving from the cruise port in George Town to Seven Mile Beach takes approximately 10 minutes.
Some of the activities on Seven Mile Beach include:
- Jet Skiing: If you like adventurous activities, jet skiing is one water sport that is bound to give you a thrill. There are tour agencies and rental companies that have jet skis for rental.
- Food Tours: Grand Cayman has some of the best restaurants in the Cayman Islands, and Seven Mile Beach happens to be the haven for numerous restaurants, from street food trucks to fine and exquisite dining. You can go on a food tour, exploring the different kinds of cuisines. You have a wide range of dishes to try out, from foods unique to the Caribbean to international cuisine.
- Swimming: Whether you wish to swim alone or tag along with people or even family, Seven Mile Beach is the ideal spot. Whether you are a shallow swimmer or a deep swimmer, the crystal-clear waters will help you navigate the ocean seamlessly. The shallow water is great for kids and beginner swimmers.
- Snorkeling: There are five best snorkel spots in Seven Mile Beach: USS Kittiwake, Cheeseburger Reef, Boggy Sands Reef, Cemetery Beach, and Wreck of the Gamma. You can find attractions, beautiful underwater life, and so much more to experience while snorkeling.
- You can also go on helicopter rides and paragliding.
May and June are the months to visit Seven Mile Beach if you are looking to spend less. This is due to the fact that there are likely to be fewer visits from tourists in these months.
To avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit Seven Mile Beach between 9 a.m. and noon.
What I Liked About the Beach
The variety of cuisine to explore makes visiting Seven Mile worthwhile. From luxury dining to food carts and trucks to dishes unique to the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean,
There are also a wide range of water sports to enjoy. Being one of the most visited spots and also very popular among tourists, there are several facilities. There are hotels, guest houses, Airbnbs, motels, and vacation homes for rentals. There are also a number of tourist attractions nearby.
What I Didn’t Like About the Beach
Seven Mile Beach is very crowded! For someone who feels very uncomfortable around crowds of people, especially strangers, I didn’t like that there were people everywhere. I guess that’s why it’s tagged as the busiest beach in the Caribbean. Also, the water covers the sand, making it hard to walk properly and leaving no space on the sand to keep personal belongings before entering the water.
Although not as busy as other beaches like Seven Mile Beach, Spotts Beach is a great spot for snorkeling. Spotts Beach is also quite famous for its wild sea turtles. You can find turtles even from shore and on the surface of the water as they come up for air. You can enjoy the beautiful sunset at Spotts Beach.
There is also a beautiful coral reef that you can explore not too far from the shore. You can dive at Spotts Beach, but note that diving at Spotts Beach is not advisable for beginners due to the currents in the water. It is also important to note that there are no lifeguards stationed in some parts of Spott Beach, so parents should be on the lookout for their kids.
You should not go farther out towards the reef if you are not an experienced swimmer; the currents can be extremely intense. It is also important to use a flotation device. It is advisable to go with someone.
Spotts Beach is usually very crowded and busy on weekends, so the best times to visit are on weekdays in the morning.
What I Liked About the Beach
I liked the peaceful atmosphere and the breathtaking landscape and scenery, especially in the early mornings. I enjoyed sunbathing and turtle-watching here too.
What I Didn’t Like About the Beach
The current is very strong, and the water is quite rough, making it quite hard for beginner swimmers and even children to swim. Spotts Beach also has very limited facilities and amenities, including restrooms.
East End Beach
East End in Colliers, the eastern part of the Grand Cayman, is popularly tagged as one of the ‘most romantic beaches in the Cayman Islands’.
Plan your visit on a weekday because the weekends are filled with parties and festivities, attracting both locals and guests. There are barely any crowds on weekdays, and you get the privacy you need. East End Beach is really safe. The locals are very friendly and welcoming.
There are food joints where you can enjoy the local fish dishes, the most popular ones being snapper and mahi-mahi. There is a selection of activities to enjoy, including water sports, food tours, biking, watching the sunset, and plenty more.
There are little fish that swim around the turtle grass in the shallow parts of the ocean. You have to be prepared because there are no restrooms available. East End Beach is perfect for couples who wish to enjoy their company without interruptions. It is an intimate spot for couples as well.
Again, if you want some alone time with your partner or some time to yourself, the best times to visit are on weekdays.
What I Liked About the Beach
East End Beach is a truly beautiful beach. I enjoyed sitting by the beach shore and watching the barrier reefs and views around the beach. It also had helpful facilities like a restroom, parking space, etc.
What I Didn’t Like About the Beach
I didn’t like that it could sometimes get really windy, throwing up dust and increasing the water current. I also didn’t like that the beach was not clean. There was so much plastic waste around the beach.
Things You Need to Know While Selecting a Grand Cayman Beach Near the Cruise Port
- Closeness to the cruise port: While all these beaches are close to the cruise port, Smith Cove is closer; it is just a one-mile walk from the cruise port.
- Go to a beach that meets your preferences. From the beach reviews, you will see that some beaches are great for snorkeling and water sports activities, while others are not. Some are also great for swimming, while some are not. Go to a beach that fits your preferences so you can enjoy yourself to the fullest.
- Security and Safety: Grand Cayman is a safe island, and you don’t need to worry about security issues; however, ensure to keep your properties safely stored while on these beaches, always keep an eye on your purse, and also keep important documents, credit cards, and wallets in hidden places.
- You can snorkel on all beaches. You can go snorkeling on all beaches in Grand Cayman; however, because of the shallow waters at East End Beach, you might not enjoy snorkeling there.
- Go with your protective gear: Don’t forget to go with protective gear like sunscreen, a bathing suit, sunglasses, etc.
Is Entry Free on These Beaches?
Yes, entry is free. Entry is free to all the beaches in Grand Cayman.
How Can I Get the Best Experience During My Visit?
I would recommend using a tour agency to get the best experience. Tour agencies offer tours to some spots that individuals are not able to visit on their own. You could still decide to explore on your own.
Grand Cayman is worth visiting. The beaches make the visit more worthwhile. The beautiful landscape, people, food, and aquatic life are set to leave you refilled, refueled, and refreshed. Plan a vacation to Grand Cayman and enjoy nature in all of its beauty. Most importantly, make sure to enjoy yourself.