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Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
The beaches of the Cayman Islands feature powder-soft sand, shaded by palm trees and bordered by calm crystalline water. The Seven Mile Beach probably is the most talked about beach on the islands and the most populated.
This stretch of coast is actually closer to six miles long and is lined with restaurants, hotels, condos, shopping malls, bars and most of the island's water sport operations. Since there are no private beaches in the Cayman Islands, anyone can walk the full length of seven mile beach.
Even if you are not keen on the crowds this beach is beautiful and you would certainly miss-out if you did not spend some time here. Keep your swim suit as handy as your wallet though because the swimming is suberb. The water is usually calm and crystal clear making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling or just to cool off.
For snorkelers, it's only a few strides across the powder white sand and a few kicks out to spots like Cemetery Reef. The bay is sheltered from most weather, so the shallow water's warm and calm most of the year.
People come to the Cayman Islands for many reasons, but the main one is the scuba diving. Grand Cayman is one of the world's top scuba diving destinations and people from all over the world come here to enjoy Caymans's beautiful, crystal clear waters and abundant marine life.
The islands are actually the tips of underwater mountains. They are surrounded by shallow reers and then sheer walls that drop off thousands of feet to the ocean bed. It is this geography that makes diving in Cayman both unique and exciting. It also makes Cayman a haven for both the advanced and beginner scuba diver.
Just past the barrier reef surrounding Grand Cayman, the ocean floor drops sharply, as much as 24,000 feet - some of the deepest places in the world. The reef offers spectacular snorkelling, where colorful fish and coral abound in fairly shallow water.
For scuba divers, this is considered one of the hot spots in the world with over 200 dive sites. If you're not a diver, you can still get a feel for this underwater wonderland in a submarine.
Another way to see some fabulous creatures up close is to go by boat to a reef off North Sound called Stingray City. With or without snorkel gear in as little as two to six feet of water everyone can feed and touch the friendly stingrays at Stingray City and the nearby Stingray Sandbar. Most people use only a snorkel or mask in these waters. Stingray city is in 12 feet of water and is mainly visited by Scuba divers.
The rays have no teeth but have a powerful sucking motion to draw in their food. Some of the rays reach as large as six feet in width, but they are docile creatures and their only means of defense is their barbed venomous tail that is used mainly in self defense.
There are hundreds of places to dive and plenty of people to dive with so your worst problem will be making a choice of where to dive.
Take the afternoon off from the beach and head to the nearby capital George Town, where the port, the National Museum and all the duty-free shops are. At the water's edge, cruise ships, sailing boats, a replica of a pirate's galleon and huge shipping boats compete for berthing space with a large number of fishing and dive boats.
A short ride north are the Turtle Farm and an unusual land formation of spiky coral known as Hell. Don't be surprised if someone tells you to go there.
Temperatures are lowest in February, ranging from 60 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and rising to a maximum in July. Rainfall is seasonal with the rainy season begining in May with maximum rainfall in September/October. Showers are very heavy and roads are often flooded. This is also hurricane season in the Caribbean.
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