The 10 Best Budget Islands in the Caribbean

by - February 27, 2010 See all photo galleries
Grand Cayman Island: Dock

Grand Cayman Island

Shop in George Town, rent a bike and cruise around the island, hike, explore caves, visit the National Museum, or dive to a sunken wreck—Grand Cayman offers something for every type of traveler. U.S. dollars are accepted throughout the island, so visit a local grocery store, pack a picnic lunch, and hit the beach.

Why It's a Good Value

Delta begins its seasonal nonstop service between New York's JFK and Grand Cayman Island on Saturdays from June 12 through September 10. American, Continental, Northwest, and US Airways also offer service to Grand Cayman, as does Air Canada from Toronto. Also look to Cayman Airways, offering service from a handful of U.S. cities.

The Cayman Islands have several value-added offers bookable through March 31, for travel through May 15. Cayman Airways is offering special rates when you book a "Get Warm" package, while US Airways also has special rates. Several hotels and condos are offering a fifth night free when you book a four-night stay. Other properties are offering a free Stingray City trip for two when you stay a minimum of five nights. Comfort Suites Cayman Islands, Courtyard by Marriott Grand Cayman, and Sunshine Suites Resort are all affordable options, with rates that stay under $200 per night year-round. The Cayman Islands Tourism Board also offers several other discounts.

Best Beaches

Seven Mile Beach is an obvious favorite, ranked number nine in Our Readers' Top 15 Favorite Beaches, as it has good snorkeling and you can walk the entire length of the beach. But Rum Point is the favorite for reader jlhamlin, who calls it "an awesome place to spend the day. There are hammocks hanging from the trees. The snorkeling right there is just like having your own aquarium. The water is crystal clear. There is a sand volleyball court. Just about anything you need to have a complete day at the beach! Love it!"

Scherazade007 is an overall fan of Grand Cayman Island, saying it "has a broad beach front of white sand that has little to no insects for those who like to sunbathe. One can walk into the Caribbean Sea for quite a distance before the shelf drops off, in warm yet refreshing clear, clean water. Privacy is not an issue, and easy to obtain. Divers can enjoy the preciously guarded coral reefs, which include a rare black coral, as well as the abundant 'couture' sea life."

(Photo: iStockphoto/Ronald Manera)

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