Cemetery Reef, Hell, Starfish Point, and Blowholes as fabulous free excursions that anyone staying in the Cayman Islands can take advantage of exploring. Emily loved spending time in these peaceful places that offered unique opportunities to commune with nature.
Here’s a brief glimpse of some of the locations we explored without having to purchase a paid excursion package. We spent one day trip going to Cemetery Reef and The Town of Hell near Seven Mile Beach. Our second trip was to Starfish Point and Blowholes, which were a drive away from the tourist areas of Georgetown.
Snorkeling on Cemetery Reef
Seven Mile Beach is a quiet beach compared to many other locations in the Cayman Islands. We saw only a few natives and no tourists on the beach. Its entrance is right next to a cemetery. You can either drive a rental car or take a taxi cab to the beach. If you choose to take a cab, you’ll want to arrange a pickup time with your driver so you’ll be sure to find a ride back. Parking is located along the shoulder of the roadway near the beach. Follow the path between the cemetery and fence beside a private residence to reach this delightful relaxation destination.
Seven Mile Beach is a favorite spot for locals. Families gather on weekends for picnics, swimming, and splashing into the water from a nearby tree swing. The beach as soft, powdery white sand that feels soft between your toes. Emily and her sister loved playing in the gentle, swelling ocean surf and searching for green sea glass.
Seven Mile Beach: Snorkeling Spot
The reef itself is located nearby, just about 25 feet away from the shore. Cemetery Reef boasts an impressive variety of fish, ranging from small bottom feeders to large parrot fish. There were spiny urchins tucked into the crevices of the coral. There were numerous types of coral, including large brain coral. Since we had brought our own fins and snorkels, we were able to have a pleasant afternoon snorkeling until sunset.
Going to Hell and Back!
We were surprised to find out that there’s a town in the Cayman Islands named Hell. There are several theories locals tell about how the town came to bear this infamous name. In one version of the story, the name was chosen due to the lava rocks that are prevalent in the area. In another version, a British general who was hunting in the area missed his shot and used the term as an expletive there. Either way, it was a one-of-a-kind experience visiting this “Hell” on earth that actually bore a stronger resemblance to Paradise!
Since the town was free to visit, we stopped by after snorkeling, still wearing our snorkel skins. The girls and Emily’s grandma Gigi didn’t know about the town being named “Hell,” so they were caught off guard. They had a good, long laugh when they saw the red-painted building with cartoon characters of devils on it that read, “Welcome to Hell.”
There wasn’t much in Hell besides a post office, gift shop, and platform behind the post office for visitors to view the interesting lava rock formations. Sometimes tourists send their friends and family postcards wishing for them to come join them in Hell. The view at sunset was absolutely breathtaking. Certainly not what you’d expect to find in a town called “Hell”! Before leaving we couldn’t resist posing for some pictures at the devil cutout.
Seeking for Starfish at Starfish Point
Emily has been fascinated with starfish ever since she saw them while snorkeling at a shipwreck site in Aruba on another of our family trips. When we found out there was a beach with starfish at the North end of the Cayman Islands, we decided to go check it out.
Starfish Point is located about a 45-minute drive from Georgetown near Rum Point. We drove there in our $3-per-day rental car. When we reached the beach it was remote and had no definitive parking lot. We walked along a sandy path to reach the point. There are dividers that have been placed into the shallow water to make it calm so visitors can look for starfish.
Playing with Starfish
When we arrived we were thrilled to have the entire beach to ourselves. At first, the girls didn’t notice any starfish. Then Emily went to the point where the water was slightly deeper and darker. That’s where she started to find the starfish.
One by one, Emily and her sister would hold the starfish underwater and gently bring them into the shallower water. They didn’t remove them from the water as that could be harmful to the starfish. They were quite large, actually bigger than the size of Emily’s hand. When they picked one starfish up, another nearby would normally start moving away through the water. This was a fun bucket list experience both girls will always remember.
Relaxing at Rum Point
After we got finished interacting with the starfish at Starfish Point we made our way over to Rum Point. This is a colorful tourist area beside the ocean located under the trees. It offers picturesque views and opportunities for dining and relaxation. Visitors can even enjoy meals right on the beach while sitting in lounge chairs and hammocks. Emily found a hammock and unwound next to the ocean.
Water sports and snorkeling adventures abound at Rum Point, but we just wanted to take a quick break before continuing our day trip at the blowholes.
Watching Water Spray at the Blowholes
Next, we drove back to the other side of the island. On our way, we made a stop at the Blowholes. They’re located along the main roadway and can be reached by a staircase. We parked along the roadside and watched the ocean water hit the limestone rocks. Upon impact, the surging ocean waters blew 20 feet into the air.
Fun at the Blowholes
The girls stood back as the blowholes carried the mist of the water through the air toward them. They enjoyed the cool, refreshing feeling of the spray. They noticed from looking closely at the blowholes that sometimes a crab would get caught up in the water and get sent flying through the air. This struck the girls as extremely funny and they would have a fit of giggles each time they saw it happen.
Catching a Rainbow and Sunset
It had recently rained before we arrived back at our destination. A beautiful rainbow had formed near the East side of the island. The two girls posed for silly photos, opening their mouths at such an angle that it appeared as if they were eating the rainbow.
The sun was beginning to set and the panoramic view offered us a perfect ending to a day of fun. We followed it back to our hotel in Georgetown.