Originally known as the first capital city of the Cayman Islands, Bodden Town is a historic area of the main island with its deep rooted culture, local attractions and friendly people. The town is situated on a natural harbour and a coral reef which made it the ideal place for early settlers because of its easy access for both merchant and trading ships.
Over the years, the storms pushed silt and sand into the harbor making it shallower, so ships were reverted to Hog Sty Bay, George Town as a means of continuing their international trade. Residents have now opened small family run corner shops, fish shacks, craft stores and other attractions as a means of supporting their livelihood. You can expect to see the old fisherman gathering around the dock to see the morning’s fresh catch or an elderly woman making handmade baskets from the silver thatch palm leaves.
Safe, tranquil and full of culture, there are so many exciting things to explore in Bodden Town, both old and new, making it one of Cayman’s most beautiful and intriguing spots in Grand Cayman.
Delicious Local Food
From the local fish shacks like as the Grapetree Café and jerking stations, you can smell the fresh food cooking all day long as your drive down the winding roads and through the swaying palm trees. Pull off the side of the road and review today’s daily specials ranging from jerk chicken, jerk pork, oxtail, curry goat, fried fish (mahi mahi, grouper, snapper), Cayman style beef and so much more…
Should you opt for a fancier feast of tasteful Caribbean flavour and vibrant cocktails, the Lighthouse Restaurant has provided quality Italian food for years. Situated overlooking the crystal blue Caribbean waters, the restaurant sources their finest meat, produce and seafood from the region’s land and sea, while providing a fantastic wine selection and friendly staff. They also have an excellent Sunday Brunch for CI$29 which will tantalise your taste buds and have you coming back for more.
The Bodden Town Art Shop
Known as one of Cayman’s most interesting and eclectic art stores, this creative gem is the place for native Caymanian art, crafts, gifts and souvenirs. Located in a cheerful yellow house just past the Pirate Caves sign on the main road, you will find a fantastic collection of photographs, paintings, baskets, toys, bags, gifts, jewelry and a mix of lots of other things that make this place a hub for local art collectors. Take an hour to meander through the brightly coloured pieces and artistic displays or stop by for some fantastic gift ideas for your family and friends back home.
An old town steeped in history, Bodden Town showcases some of Cayman’s oldest homes and rich culture. Some say the old cemetery on the shore side was once the burial site for pirates that came looking for hidden treasure and used the island has a hideout in the 18th century. Slavery was abolished in 1835 and most of the slaves were freed to live on the island and became seafarers and shipbuilders.
The traditional building construction materials, wattle and daub, were introduced and used along silver thatch palms roofs and later corrugated tin to create a one-of-a-kind structure. Sand gardens became popular and were redressed each Christmas with new beach sand, flowering plans and shells to mimic the white snowfall found in other areas of the world.
The Mission House
Recently rebuilt after Hurricane Ian in 2004 from the original rafters, the Bodden Town Mission House still stands as a historic site by the Cayman Island National Trust by appointment only. Back in the 1700s, it was known for its abundant supply of water and reflects Cayman’s heritage with its landscaped grounds and traditional sand garden, raked each morning. This is one of the few places in Grand Cayman that you can truly witness what life was like back a few hundred years ago when the early settlers came to the island.
Where To Stay
Cayman Villas offers some of the most beautiful and stunning beach front properties in Bodden Town that will be sure to surpass your expectations. You can choose from a range of amenities including: a tennis court, pool, private beach access, snorkelling, modern interior finishings and upgrades or even a balcony overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Stay May through September and you may even get the opportunity to see the sea turtle migration that is commonly found at Moon Bay.
Eat, sleep and explore the quaint neighbourhood of Bodden Town with a vacation property from Cayman Villas!