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Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Tours of Grand Cayman

Experienced tour operators offer an in-depth look at the islands. Guides can provide a general overview of the island as well as specialized tours focusing on eco-tourism, plants, history, birding, and shopping.

Overviews of the island range in length from two and a half hours to all day. Typical tours include a drive through look at the capital city of George Town, a photo stop at the Conch Shell House (a private residence made of conch shells), a drive along Seven Mile Beach, a tour of the Cayman Turtle Farm (the world’s only such operation), and a visit to the community of Hell where vacationers can stop to mail postcards and have them postmarked from Hell.

Full day tours include the same stops as a brief tour but also take a look at the less visited east side of the island. Tours often drive through Bodden Town, visit the Pirate’s Caves, stop for photos of the Blow Holes, and swing around to Rum Point, a popular watersports area overlooking the entrance to the North Sound.

You’ll find island tours available from these tour operators:

•Burton’s Tours, Tel. 345/949-7222, Fax 345/947-6222 (we took this tour and recommend it)
•Elite Limousine Service, Tel. 345/949-5963, Fax 345/949-2058
•Majestic Tours, Tel. 345/949-7773, Fax 345/949-8647
•McCurley’s Tours, Tel. 345/947-9626
•Tropicana Tours Ltd., Tel. 345/949-0944, Fax 345/949-4507
•Vernon’s Sightseeing Tours, Tel. 345/949-1509, Fax 345/949-0213

Ecotouring

Teens and older children with an interest in local flora and fauna will appreciate tours offered by Silver Thatch Excursions, Tel. 345/945-6588. Geddes Hislop and his wife Janet are the founders of Silver Thatch Excursions, a company that focuses on the history and ecology of the island.

Families with an interest in botany can select from two excursions that include the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. One tour follows the historic route, traveling to the Old Savannah Schoolhouse, to Bodden Town to see the Slave Wall and Cayman-style homes, and then to the park for a walk along the Woodland Trail. The Environmental Route includes bird-watching stops at the Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary and other birding sites and then a tour of the Botanic Park.

Excursions are offered Monday through Saturday with pick up along West Bay Road starting at 8 am. Participants are provided with snacks including traditional Caymanian foods and beverages. Silver Thatch Excursions also offers specialized bird-watching trips. These depart at 6 am on Saturdays and include stops at the Governor Michael Gore Bird Sanctuary, a haven for waterfowl, as well as Meagre Bay Pond, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, and the Willie Ebanks Farm to view endangered West Indian whistling ducks.

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