Cayman Islands | The Caribbean

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Cayman Islands

When to go

Peak season: November – July

Avg. Air temp: 28°C / 82°F

Avg. Water temp: 25°C / 77°F

 

Useful contacts

KITESURF CAYMAN

Kitesurf Cayman - Cayman Islands

www.kitesurfcayman.com

info@kitesurfcayman.com

+1 345 916 5483

 

HURRICANE KITEBOARDING

Hurricane Kiteboarding - Cayman Islands

www.hurricanekiteboarding.com

info@hurricanekiteboarding.com

+1 345 323 0915

 

LOST BOYS KITEBOARDING

www.southerncrossclub.com

info@southerncrossclub.com

+1 (619) 563-0017

 

Planet Kitesurf Holidays

PLANET KITESURF

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com

info@planettravelholidays.com

+44 (0)1273 921 001

The Lure

Just an hour from Miami and even closer to Cuba, the Cayman Islands is a collection of three islands, Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman. Kiteboarding happens on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman with classic, warm, blue, tropical Caribbean waters and the reliable trade winds that blow steadily down through the island chain. There are two seasons in Cayman. In summer you’ll get southeasterly trade winds and in winter the wind switches to blow from the northeast. For kitesurfing the winter is the key season with the strongest trades. November to July deliver steady winds and waist-deep lagoons making the Cayman Islands a great place to learn and really progress.

 

Amy Strzalko - Cayman Islands

Local rider and T.R.I.O organsier Amy Strzalko / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual

 

Brandon Bowe - Cayman Islands

Brandon Bowe / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual

 

The setup

There are a number of different spots on Grand Cayman that the local kite schools will take you to, but the main kiting location is Barkers Beach in West Bay on the edge of Barkers National Park. Featuring sandy beaches and with a lack of crowds it has some of the most incredible turquoise waters that you’ve ever seen and offers plenty of space being a large lagoon surrounded by the biggest barrier reef in the Caribbean. The water is standing depth and rarely more than waist deep, however there are a few areas with sharper stones and shells, so bring a pair of wetsuit booties if you’re learning or the schools can provide you with some.

 

Brandon Bowe / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual / Brandon Bowe buzzing the beach at Barkers / PHOTO: Brandon

 

This isn’t a full-on wave spot but the reef does kick up some ramps and on a windy day the swell can get quite big, kicking up fun waves on the outside. As the coastline is so open to the wind there’s plenty of terrain to explore and the schools on Grand Cayman can take you on a downwinder from the east side of the island round to the west side where Barkers Beach is situated. There’s also a competition that happens there every January called The Rock International Open (T.R.I.O) with three disciplines - freestyle, big air and twin-tip racing - which is a relaxed event and one to check out if you’re planning to be on the island at that time.

On Little Cayman the kiting happens at a spot called South Hole Sound. It’s quite similar to the main spot on Grand Cayman with a reef surrounding the bay and acres of flat water to shred around on. The Lost Boys kite school operates there and it’s an ideal spot for anyone looking to improve their skills as the water is almost entirely standing depth and just seven feet at its deepest. Unlike the spot on Grand Cayman, South Hole Sound is southeast facing, so takes the summer southeasterly trades almost straight onshore while the winter northeasterly winds blow cross-shore from the right. There’s a sandy beach to launch from and few obstructions to avoid other than a jetty in the middle of the bay. Watch out for shallow sections of reef if you want to explore beyond the buttery flats, though.

 

T.R.I.O 2016 - The Rock International Open

 

Little Cayman Kite Surfing

Wind, weather & water

The wind here doesn’t often get really strong, except when an occasional front comes through during the stormy season towards the end of the year. Nine to 12 metre kites are usually the order of the day during the winter season in the consistent, reliable and very clean wind.

 

Cayman Islands kitesurfing

Cruising the turquoise waters / PHOTO: Kitesurf Cayman


The spots on Grand Cayman and Little Cayman are ideal if you’re a total beginner or if you’re starting to push your unhooked tricks and don’t want to contend with crazy winds. In summer, while it doesn’t get past force four / 14 knots as frequently, it blows at around 10 knots on at least 90% of days, so if you’re a featherweight or into foiling you can still be out pretty regularly. Just watch out for the shallower sections and the reef at both Barkers Beach and South Hole Sound if you’re out on a foil with a full length
mast.

This is the Caribbean of course so the overall climate is very appealing and the average year-round temperature is around 28°C / 82°F so warm clothing isn’t necessary and the sea temperatures don’t vary much beyond 25°C / 77°F so a rashvest and boardies / bikini will be all the on-water clothing you’ll require. Like everywhere in the Caribbean, the temperature doesn’t cool off that much at night either.

Accommodation

There’s an array of accommodation in the Cayman Islands, most of which is towards the luxurious end of the spectrum. There are three, four and five star hotels such as the Ritz Carlton and most of them are along Seven Mile Beach which is about ten minutes from the kite schools at Barkers Beach (the schools will usually arrange shuttles to and from your hotel). You can also book beachfront villas or stay in dive lodges and, being such small islands, nowhere you choose to stay is going to leave you far from the beach.

 

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Resort, Cayman Islands / PHOTOS: Ritz-Carlton

 

TRAVEL AGENTS

Planet Kitesurf Holidays specialise in luxury tailor‐made kitesurf holidays worldwide. Through its team of highly experienced kitesurf travel professionals, the company offers expert impartial advice, backed up by full ATOL and TTA financial protection. Planet Kitesurf belongs to the Planet Travel group, a market leader in active holidays since 2000.

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com / info@planettravelholidays.com / +44 (0)1273 921 001

Shops & Schools

KITESURF CAYMAN is based on Barkers Beach in West Bay and has been running for nine seasons with a team of fully qualified IKO instructors. Teaching on a 1:1 basis with Ozone, Slingshot and Nobile equipment, there’s also always a safety boat on hand. Head instructor Jhon Mora is a hydrofoil racer offering dedicated foil coaching sessions as well as beginner packages, advanced coaching and equipment hire. Kite repairs, SUP and yoga retreats also offered.

www.kitesurfcayman.com / info@kitesurfcayman.com / +1 345 916 5483

 

HURRICANE KITEBOARDING also teach off Barkers Beach and offer group and family rates as well as private tuition and video coaching with your sessions being filmed from a jet-ski for post-session analysis. Teaching on a brand new fleet of Ozone kites, their instructors are also IKO qualified.

www.hurricanekiteboarding.com / info@hurricanekiteboarding.com / +1 345 323 0915

 

LOST BOYS KITEBOARDING are based in the stylish Southern Cross Club fish, dive and kite resort on Little Cayman and are the only school on the smaller island. They offer private lessons or a ‘buddy beginner’ option in which you’ll be paired up with another student. Supervised, guided downwinders and full equipment rental also available.

www.southerncrossclub.com / info@southerncrossclub.com / +1 (619) 563-0017

 

TRAVEL AGENTS

Planet Kitesurf Holidays specialise in luxury tailor‐made kitesurf holidays worldwide. Through its team of highly experienced kitesurf travel professionals, the company offers expert impartial advice, backed up by full ATOL and TTA financial protection. Planet Kitesurf belongs to the Planet Travel group, a market leader in active holidays since 2000.

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com / info@planettravelholidays.com / +44 (0)1273 921 001

No wind

If it’s not windy then there’s plenty of stuff to do! Go SUPing, surfing or kayaking or take a boat trip out to Stingray City which is a sandbar where you can swim with wild stingrays. There are reefs all the way around the island that you can snorkel out to, all of which are abundant with marine life.

The Cayman Islands are one of the top diving destinations in the world with 365 dive sites to suit divers of all experience levels with numerous dive schools and guiding operations to choose from.

 

Abundant marine life! / PHOTO: Ryan Taylor Visual / Tranquil Surf / PHOTO: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism


The islands are very family friendly and you can even take children diving, providing they’re over eight-years-old. If you want to experience the deep blue without getting wet then you can take a trip in the popular Atlantic Submarine.

 

Kayak tours and the Atlantic submarine / PHOTOS: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism



If dry land activities are more your thing then you can rent bikes, go horse riding or just stroll along Seven Mile Beach, relax and take in the scenery. Finally, the shops and restaurants of Camana Bay are just a ten minute drive from George Town.

 

Horse riding on Barker's Beach / PHOTO: Patrick Gorham / Camana Bay bike rides / PHOTO: Camana Bay

 

Welcoming waters / PHOTO: Lawson Wood / Too much fun both above and below / PHOTO: Cayman Islands Department of Tourism

Get around

Getting about isn’t too difficult and car hire is readily available if you want to explore the islands on your own. Taxis are quite expensive but easy enough to book and the local bus services are good, running regular services around the islands. There’s no timetable as such but they’re easy to flag down and that’s how many of the locals get around.

 

Currency

Cayman Islands Dollar - KYD, however US Dollar is widely accepted. If paying in US dollars, a change is likely to be given in Cayman Islands dollars.

 

Food & Drink

There are over 200 restaurants on Grand Cayman alone. Choose from gourmet and silver service dining experiences to huts at the side of the road dishing up the catch of the day. The local cuisine is distinctly Caribbean so you can expect awesome jerk seasoning on chicken and fish, rice and peas and lots of fresh seafood as well. Conch is a local delicacy that’s tasty in whatever form it comes but conch-ceviche is particularly delicious, so be sure to seek that out during your stay. If you’re self-catering then there are two supermarkets in George Town on Grand Cayman – the capital of the Cayman Islands.

 

 

Airport

Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman is about a 20 minute drive from Barkers Beach. Edward Bodden Airfield (LYB) is the Little Cayman airport, but you can only fly into Little Cayman from Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac as it’s not an international airport. The Southern Cross Club is about five minutes' drive from the airport on Little Cayman and that’s also where the kite school on the island is located.

 

TRAVEL AGENTS

Planet Kitesurf Holidays specialise in luxury tailor‐made kitesurf holidays worldwide. Through its team of highly experienced kitesurf travel professionals, the company offers expert impartial advice, backed up by full ATOL and TTA financial protection. Planet Kitesurf belongs to the Planet Travel group, a market leader in active holidays since 2000.

www.planetkitesurfholidays.com / info@planettravelholidays.com / +44 (0)1273 921 001

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