Taxi drivers will give you a personalized tour of Grand Cayman for about $25 per hour for up to three people. Or you can choose a fascinating helicopter ride, a horseback or mountain-bike journey, a 4x4 safari expedition, or a full-day bus excursion. Ask your hotel to help you make arrangements.
Costs and itineraries for island tours are about the same regardless of the tour operator. Half-day tours average $40–$50 a person and generally include a visit to Hell and the Turtle Farm aquatic park in West Bay, as well as shopping downtown. Full-day tours ($60–$90 per person) add lunch, a visit to Bodden Town (the first settlement), and the East End, where you stop at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, blowholes (if the waves are high) on the ironshore, and the site of the wreck of the Ten Sails (not the wreck itself—just the site). The pirate graves in Bodden Town were destroyed during Hurricane Ivan in 2008, and the blowholes were partially filled. As you can tell, land tours here are low-key. Children under 12 often receive discounts.
A.A. Transportation Services. For taxis and tour buses, ask for Burton Ebanks. Grand Cayman. 345/949–6598; 345/926–8294; 345/949–7222.
Cayman Safari. This hits the usual sights but emphasizes interaction with locals, so you learn about craft traditions, folklore, and herbal medicines; careening along in Land Rovers is incidental fun. Rates range from $79 to $99 ($69 to $79 for children under 12). Grand Cayman. 345/925–3001; 866/211–4677; www.caymansafari.com.
Majestic Tours. The company caters mostly to cruise-ship and incentive groups but offers similar options to individuals and can customize tours, starting at $45 per person; it's particularly good for West Bay, including the Cayman Turtle Farm and Hell. Industrial Park, 322 N. Sound Rd., Grand Cayman, KY1-1104. 345/949–7773; www.majestic-tours.com.
McCurley Tours. This outfit is owned by B.A. McCurley, a free-spirited, freewheeling Midwesterner who's lived in Cayman since the mid-1980s and knows everything and everyone on the East End. Not only is she encyclopedic and flexible, but she also offers car rentals and transfers for travelers staying on the North Side or East End; don't be surprised if she tells you what to order at lunch, especially if it's off the menu. Grand Cayman. 345/947–9626; 345/916–0925.
Tropicana Tours. With several excellent itineraries on large buses, tours include Stingray City stops as well as reef runner adventures across the North Sound through the mangrove swamps. Grand Cayman. 345/949–0944; www.tropicana-tours.com.
Webster's Tours. This family-run outfit, with many drivers who have been with the company for years, gladly customizes tours according to your interests, with a variety of vehicles at their disposal. The staffers are unfailingly cordial, punctual, and knowledgeable. Grand Cayman, KY1-1205. 345/945--1433; www.websters.ky.