Week of November 2-9, 1995
Fear not the volcanoes of New Zealand
Diving's not the only gig in the Caymans
Q: I'm going to the Caymans in March with a friend who doesn't dive. We'd like to know what other activities there are on the island.
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
A: Although the Caymans are best known for their multithousand-foot vertical walls, friendly parrotfish, and spectacular stands of pillar corals, there is fun to be had above water--in the way of hiking, biking, sailing, and horseback riding. Stretch your legs on a two-mile one-way walk along the Mastic Trail, a 200-year-old cattle path that takes you through Grand Cayman's pristine woodlands and native mangrove swamps. Pick up the trailhead at the Mastic Reserve, just west of Frank Sound Road and about a 45-minute drive east of George Town; as you walk, keep your eyes open for endemic parrots, iguanas, and agouti (rabbit-like rodents). To explore Grand Cayman on two wheels, rent a bike from Eagle Nest Cycles in Georgetown for about $10 per day and head out to the North Sound area, where you'll have your pick of any number of good loops along hard-packed marl roads. Check with Eagle Nest Cycles (809-949-4866) for suggested routes and mileages; if you opt to do your spinning on the island's paved roads, don't forget to ride on the left! If you're looking to get even farther off-road, saddle up a horse at Blazing Trails, Grand Cayman's only riding stable; a two-hour guided trail ride through the backwoods of George Town to South Sound will cost you about $35. Blazing Trail is located in Half Way Pond, on the north side of South Sound Swamp; for more information, call them at 809-949-7360. Finally, if all this activity leaves you hankering for the ocean, rent a sailboat, sailboard, or snorkeling equipment from almost any resort on the island and head down to one of Grand Cayman's dozens of beautiful white-sand beaches. For more information, check out "Cayman Islands" in our winter Travel Issue, read an earlier Q&A about the Caymans, or pick up a copy of Martha K. Stewart's The Cayman Islands.