George Town, Grand Cayman
This is a great tour for anyone that enjoys walking around and seeing up-close and insider views of George Town, Grand Cayman. More than just a food tour, this excursion provides intimate details into the history and culture of the Cayman Islands. The historical perspective of the tour provided details on both the food that is served as well as the locations where that food is being served. The co-owner and chef of Guy Harvey's was on hand to introduce himself to those on the tour, while requesting feedback on the red beans and rice, fresh caught red snapper (from the sea just that morning!), and plantains. Additional stops included a local popular Italian restaurant (Casanova), rum cake and rum tasting, tropical punch, patties (Jamaican style), Indian food from Singh's Roti Shop (Trinidad style), world-famous pepper jelly and more! You will not go home hungry. You will also leave with a full appreciation of the history and culture of George Town. The walk probably covered over a mile in distance, but it is spread out over 3 hours, so it should not be a concern for anyone comfortable with taking average walks. Local points of interest are showcased and a full explanation of each site is provided. If you are a history buff or a food lover and enjoy new, diverse and exciting destinations, this tour is not to be missed.
Very difficult to meet up with the scheduled tour when you first arrive in Roatan. You must leave the port and walk across the street to find the driver with the sign that identifies the tour operator. Sounds easy enough, but there were at least 100 locals between the port exit and the other side of the street and no one wanted to allow you the opportunity to walk across the street, let alone allow you to take the time to read the signs that were being held up by the various tour operators across the street. Taxi drivers, shuttle drivers, tour sales, and walking guides were all extremely aggressive waiting right at the port exit. You have to be willing to take a deep breath and jump into the crowd to find your tour driver. I don't know how to make this a better experience, other than having the customer hold up a sign with the tour operator's business name and have the tour guide look for the customer rather than the other way around.
Once you meet up with the driver, it is quite a sense of relief as you can leave the aggressive crowd behind you and move on to experience the beautiful island first hand. The island is full of beautiful scenery which can be viewed from the van as the tour includes a long drive to the dock to board your boat for the mangrove tour. The mangrove tour is much shorter than expected. There are lots of different mangrove sections in the water, but we only went down one tunnel of the mangroves and turned around and headed back down that same tunnel. More time was actually spent in the bay areas on both ends of the mangrove tunnel, rather than in the actual mangroves. A seabird and some crabs were seen in the mangroves, but not much else in the way of wildlife.
The rest of the tour involved a stop at the Garifuna tourist attraction, a souvenir shop in town and back to the port. I thought the east end of the island would be more secluded, but it had a lot of traffic on the main road and never really felt off-the-beaten path in this tour.
Brooke was a great tour guide and the entire excursion was lots of fun. An excellent look into a part of the world that very few people get to see and experience.
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