Since every mom is a busy mom, finding that dream vacation destination sometimes seems like mission impossible – that is, until you find that perfect match that has all of the travel perks you love. I love the “busy” part of being a mom (which is all the time) and my ideal vacation would never consist only of lying on the beach and getting a tan, since I love being on the go and immersing myself in the new places I visit.
That said, I’m trying to teach my kids to enjoy travel in the same manner and to nurture their natural wanderlust, so we’ve decided to embark on a family trip to the Cayman Islands, to satisfy our collective craving for an exotic, faraway place. If you feel the same yearning and at the same time wish to bond with your kids, this makes for an ideal family adventure to make some incredible lifelong memories!
Greet the local turtles
I’ve heard many parents before me say that this makes for a perfect first encounter for the kids with the marine life of the Caymans. The Caribbean Sea itself is enchanting enough to inspire them to get right in, but if your youngsters are not familiar with these lovely creatures, meeting the friendly turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre is a great way to break the ice.
They are enormous from a child’s perspective, so they will be in awe, and their mild nature will help them relax and actually pet them and enjoy their company.
Pair hikes with photography
My little ones are pensive and analytical by nature, and they love looking for details. They are the kids you see looking for a four-leaf clover and wrapping up a thousand-piece puzzle. Considering the Cayman’s delightful weather, stunning beaches, and excellent roads, we’ve decided to bring our camera and snap some photos!
There are also guided trails with expert guides that will take you through the forests to greet their local animals, so if your kids are old enough and eager, you can all enjoy.
Under the sea adventures
Now that your kids are acquainted with the amazing flora and fauna of the islands, you can take the fun to the next level and go on a Grand Cayman diving adventure as a family! Let the kids join in when it’s time to decide on the preferred diving location. Some include exploring real wrecks, while others will take you to meet giant stingrays and other underwater creatures already comfortable with human presence.
It’s incredible how they all interact with humans who come to visit, how they show curiosity and playfulness in their habitat, and it’s just exhilarating to spend some time exploring the vast waters of the Caribbean Sea together with the kids.
Swim with dolphins
You’ve noticed a pattern by now – the Cayman Islands are literally a slice of heaven where you and your kids can reconnect with nature and bond with one another. Most kids have never had the chance to see dolphins outside of zoo tanks, and visiting the Dolphin Discovery Center means not only seeing them free and in play, but joining them for a swim!
If you’re lucky, you might get a smooch from these clever mammals, and spend some time playing with them under the supervision of their local experts. While there, you’ll learn a thing or two about dolphins, as well as making smarter decisions to keep our oceans clean, turning this into a fun, educational workshop for kids. Trust me, they will never forget these tips and suggestions, and their appreciation of the animal kingdom will only grow.
Head to a museum
For kids with an artsy side, you can spend a few hours exploring the front yard of an artist by the name of David Quasius, and his collection of exquisite, ocean-inspired sculptures. It’s a museum out in the fresh air, so your little ones can enjoy the imaginative work of this artist while enjoying the wonderful weather.
For kids who like cars as much as my son does, the Cayman Motor Museum may be an unexpected stop in your itinerary, but definitely worth the effort due to their quirky collection.
Explore the caves
The surface of the islands is as alluring as its underwater treasures, and the Crystal Caves are the perfect example. Resembling an adventure only Indiana Jones could conjure up, the walk through the rainforest and the three caves is as wonderous as it gets. You’ll come across various formations such as stalactites and stalagmites which turn an otherwise simple cavern into a work of art.
Enriched further by the stories your guide will tell you, this hour and a half adventure will be one of the pinnacles of your vacation.
Trust me, all of these and many other accompanying activities such as beach-hopping and exploring the local menu will do many things but not get you tired, on the contrary. We have enjoyed spending time far away from our concrete jungles and the many screens we stare at when we’re back home, and these little ventures into the wilderness have helped us bond as a family and gain some incredible insights about our planet and our own place in nature.