My Cayman Islands

Harshal J. Shah, CEO, Reliance Technology Ventures Ltd., loves to dive and dine at the Cayman Islands

Published: Jan 14, 2010

When I was a student at MIT, I got certified as a scuba diver, and each year I would visit a different set of islands in the Caribbean to dive. When I first went to the Caymans, I fell in love with the islands. I can easily say that the Caymans offer one of the best diving experiences in the world: Several hundred shipwrecks dating back several centuries, and rich underwater life including sharks, huge sea turtles and incredibly beautiful corals. Thousands of iguana roam freely about the islands — some are even blue 25-pound ones!

To do
Laze around by the beach, snorkel, golf, have a quiet, romantic dinner on a yacht or an old pirate ship, dive, bicycle, shop or participate in one of the many environment programmes. Or visit the turtle farms — they breed the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles there. There is something for everyone at Cayman.

Caymans offer one of the best diving experiences in the world
Caymans offer one of the best diving experiences in the world
There is no chance that you will get good cellphone reception or Internet there, so in a way, you are forced to just relax and be with yourself.

A unique place in Grand Cayman is Stingray City. Right in the middle of the ocean is a sandbar, not more than 3 feet under water. It is home to hundreds of stingrays, and adults and children get off their boats to play with them, hold them and feed them. It is surreal as you are surrounded by the ocean while standing on sand just three feet under water.

Tips
Taxis are the best way to get around; they are not very expensive, and drivers are happy to share their experiences and suggestions. One can also rent a car.

My favourite hotel is the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman — 144 acres spread over three picturesque islands.

Blue by Eric Ripert, a Michelin 3-star chef, at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, is one of my favourite restaurants; it offers seafood made with local recipes and with a delicate French influence, and one of the best wine cellars in the world. The conch ceviche, sautéed cobia and roast mahi-mahi are decadent. And there’s Calypso Grill at Morgan’s Harbour, where the sticky toffee pudding is absolutely delicious.

Georgetown, in the centre of Grand Cayman, offers some of the best and cheapest luxury shopping in the world, as Cayman Islands are duty-free.

The various flavours of rum are certainly worth taking home; local rum from the Tortuga Rum Company is very popular there.

While it is an island, the nightlife is by far one of the best in the world. The bar at the Ritz plays some incredible Caribbean music, and there are some world class lounges on the Seven Mile Beach, including Bed Lounge and the Cracked Conch by the Sea. Just being under the stars at some of the beach bars with the waves in the background is amazing.

Co-ordinated by Abhishek Raghunath

(This story appears in the 22 January, 2010 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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