Little Cayman Island

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Little Cayman Island

Little Cayman, only 9 miles long and a single mile wide, is the kind of deserted island some vacation­ers dream of running away to.

There are about 50 full-time Caymanian residents but several hundred hotel/condo guests and staff. Still, the properties are mostly small and clustered near the grassy airport runway.

Most visitors to Little Cayman are scuba divers or hard-core anglers who enjoy some of the finest bonefishing and small tarpon angling anywhere.

 For walkers, Little Cayman offers excellent bird watching especially at the Governor Gore Bird Sanctuary and its Booby Bay Pond. An estimated 5,000 pairs of red-footed boobies reside here; they're believed to the largest nesting colony in the Western Hemisphere . Wild iguana are commonly seen in the bush.

A pleasant walk is from the airport and along the south coast road, passing South Hole Sound and Tarpon Lake (lots of small landlocked tarpon that are terrific fun on fly rod or light spinning). A good ending spot is Point of Sand, a beautiful swimming area.

 Passing South Hole Sound you'll see Owen Island, a small protected island that's excellent for a picnic while stalking bonefish on the shallow flats. This is where I caught my first bonefish ever. Owen Island normally is reached only by small boat, though some people try to snorkel to it.

Top 10 Things To Do on Little Cayman

1. Dive one of the more than 60 designated dive sites, by boat only. No rentals for shore diving since that would allow unsupervised diving in the Bloody Bay Marine Park .

2. Take a picnic lunch to Owen Island . Stalk a bonefish or permit while you're there. Catch and release.

3. Fish Tarpon Lake, catch and release.

4. Rent a car or use a bicycle and go exploring. There are no taxis.

5. Go snorkeling at the Point of Sand where sting rays, barracuda and sharks are commonly seen. Watch out for the current. Bring a picnic lunch here, too.

6. Buy a straw hat or basket made locally by weaving fronds of silver thatch palms.

7. Learn about the life and times of the red-footed booby at the National Trust Visitor Centre at The Booby Pond Reserve. The centre is open daily from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Count the number of red-footed boobies you can see with through the high-powered telescope; there are an estimated 20,000 birds living around the pond.

8. Visit the Little Cayman Museum at Blossom Village Museum that describes the history of Little Cayman. While you're there take a look next door at the Little Cayman Baptist Church, the island's only church, located next to the museum. Rebuilt after the 1932 hurricane, the church is the island's oldest standing building. Services on Sunday and Wednesday.

9. Take a 1.7 mile nature hike along the Salt Rocks Nature Trail where phosphate mining operations were conducted in the last century. Visit the old mule pen built circa 1885 that housed the mules which transported railway cars of phosphate from the interior to a nearby dock.

10. Sack out in a hammock.

Diving Little Cayman

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