Given the choice, do you prefer the aisle or window seat? The answer’s an easy one for me. Coming in through the clouds to a new destination makes my heart race. Seeing the outline of an island from the air is one of my favorite views. Predictable? Not usually, except perhaps with my seat selection. I love flying, and when given the chance to go parasailing Grand Cayman Style, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. This adventure would feel like taking to the skies outside of the plane!
Grand Cayman Island is a popular tourist destination, welcoming over a million visitors a year. An hour and thirty minute flight from Miami, it sits in the Caribbean circled by Cuba to the north, Jamaica to the east, Central America to the south. Mexico (Quinta Roo/Cancun area) completes the circle. This close proximity to the United States makes the island a convenient and popular escape with Americans.
One of it’s most famous attractions is the seven-mile stretch of beach. The water is crystal clear and the most beautiful shade of turquoise. As the calm sea gets progressively deeper, the color slowly gradates to a deep shade of royal blue. No wonder water sports are such a top attraction.
Situated on the west end of the island, Seven Mile is lined with posh, luxury resorts where you can walk the white sandy beaches for hours. Parasailing Grand Cayman style is one of the many activities available, and one of the most popular. The adventure involves a canopy like parachute attached to a vehicle, in our case a boat, serving as the anchor and power. A tow rope connects to a harness and ties the parasail securely to the boat.
Parasailing Professionals , our outfitter, has been taking people Up, Up and Away along Seven Mile Beach since 1995. Their first priority is safety, and then of course, they want visitors to have a great experience. Their boats are routinely maintained and overhauled annually, with all systems current to industry developments. On deck, equipment is inspected daily. With over twenty years experience our group felt reassured we were working with professionals in the industry. Later, I learned the island has one of the lowest rates of parasailing accidents in the world which is another reason why it is so popular as to go parasailing Grand Cayman style.
The Grand Cayman Marriot Beach Resort was our starting point. One of the perks of staying at this resort is the use of a complimentary GoPro during your stay. It’s an awesome extra, and of course a win-win for everyone involved, as guests then post photos of all their experiences online. I was super excited to have the opportunity to see one of the most beautiful islands on the planet from the vantage point of the sky. Capturing the experience with a light weight camera made for adventure only enhanced the experience further.
Parasailing Professionals makes it super easy with a pick up right from the beach. Weather is of course a factor, and you have to keep that in mind when planning your schedule. Once you’re on the boat, the instructors get to know you and make sure your experience is tailored to your individual needs.
After an intro, safety instructions and Q&A, our group was divided into two tandem and one triple team for the sail. Minimum weight is about 160 lbs and maximum is 400lbs. This decides how everyone is assigned their harness partner(s). After getting buckled in, the parachute is sent out, and the boat begins to move. You are standing on a platform at the back of the boat, and believe me your heart starts pounding. Slowly, you are pulled back with the movement of the parachute. As the adrenaline rushes in, up into the air you go.
Leaving the boat, there is the possibility of briefly dropping into the water, but then the magic happens and you are floating in the sky. The sail can ascend as high as 500 ft. Sounds are muffled and suddenly it is peaceful and quiet, much like I imagined it would be, only better! The island looks incredible from the air and from this height you can see the curve of the earth on the horizon. The flight lasts about 10 minutes and then a wench slowly brings you back down to reality.
While parasailing Grand Cayman style is one of the of the leading attractions on the pristine seven-mile beach of the island, there’s plenty of other activity available. If you happen to get tired of R&R on a beautiful beach renowned for its crystal clear blue waters and recently voted as the best beach in the Caribbean by Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine, Stingray City and the Camana Bay Flavour Tours are not to be missed. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during the Slow Food Festival, make sure to see how the Island is working toward food sustainability while indulging in amazing local tastes.
Bottom line-you only live once. If you have the opportunity to go parasailing, do it. Even if you are afraid of heights. My harness partner was terrified and almost bailed after we were strapped in and the sail was moving. She was talked off the cliff so to speak, and while I’m not sure it cured her fear of heights, you can bet she was glad she stepped out of her comfort zone and took the chance to go parasailing over Grand Cayman. Travel is made for making memories, and this is one I’ll never forget.
PIN ME ♥ Parasailing Grand Cayman in the Caribbean
Disclaimer: The author was the guest of Camana Bay during her stay in Grand Cayman but as you can see from the photos, opinions, reviews and experiences are always her own.