From the West Coast, the Caribbean feels really far away, a glittering-but-distant gem of a beach destination that takes multiple flights (and often an overnight) to reach. And that can be a real deterrent for West Coast travelers who are six hours from Hawaii and a stone’s throw from Mexico.
But with Cayman Airways’ new direct nonstop flights between LAX and Grand Cayman, there’s new math on the time it takes to get to the Caribbean from the West Coast. Math that puts the flight time about the same as Hawaii.
Cayman Airways introduced a new fleet of 737-8s in 2018 and offers both economy and business class seats on the new route, which debuted in November 2022. The introductory fares were $399 and its most recent sale offered round-trip flights for around $400, which puts its price on par with flights to Hawaii and Mexico. Cayman Airways flights between LA and Grand Cayman include a meal and either the airline’s Seven Fathoms Rum Punch or non-alcoholic fruit punch.
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For now, the flight operates once weekly (LAX to GCM on Sundays and GCM to LAX on Saturdays) throughout the year. If demand supports it, the airline hopes to expand service.
Why Fly to Grand Cayman
Beyond the ease of the flight and the sheer fact of it being suddenly a lot easier to get to the Caribbean from the West Coast, there’s plenty to recommend Grand Cayman (and the other islands of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman) as a Caribbean vacation destination.
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The Cayman Islands are beautiful and safe, with exceptional beaches, gorgeous and warm Caribbean waters, and famous diving (the islands boasts 365 dive sites between them). Grand Cayman is known for its culinary scene, and it also has a nice mix of low-key and quirky attractions, including an extensive and fun-but-not-scary-or-technical cave tour and a roadside stop called Hell.
Where to Stay on Grand Cayman
The bulk of resorts on Grand Cayman stretch along beautiful Seven Mile Beach. Great family-friendly properties include:
- Westin Grand Cayman: The Westin Grand Cayman is a beachfront property that feels modern and not too big. There are plenty of daily activities, and during holidays there are special events for kids. Bonus: There’s a Redsail Sports on the property that offers sailing trips plus jet ski, stand-up paddle board, and other rentals. Reviewers love the friendly hotel staff and pools.
- Kimpton Seafire: The Kimpton Seafire is a beautiful property of pools, lush gardens, and beachfront open-air restaurants. For families, there are family-friendly rooms, a kids camp, and a water park. Tripadvisor users rate the resort 5 out of 5.
- Hampton by Hilton Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach: This affordable, adorable, and well-reviewed resort has less in the way of immediate beach access but has plenty of family-friendly offerings and a kid- and adult-friendly destination restaurant. There’s also daily free hot breakfast and one- and two-bedroom suites so families can stretch out and enjoy.
Grand Cayman has no all-inclusive resorts for the simple reason that because it’s safe and easy to get around, there’s really no reason to need to stay in one place while you’re visiting.