In the June of 2016, my family of five sailed aboard the largest cruise ship in the world, the Royal Caribbean, from Port Canaveral, Orlando, Florida. It was a voyage to explore the unseen places nestled in the Caribbean, most of which we had only heard in our Geography books but visiting them had left us visibly excited. One of our destinations was the Grand Cayman Islands.
For the unversed, it is one of the largest and westernmost of the three Cayman Islands.
It was a day stopover, and we were welcomed there by sweltering heat. The hot and sultry weather was slightly unsettling initially, but then we had no choice but to make the most of it.
Upon arrival on the Island, which lies south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, we hired a bus to take us to the West Bay district from George Town, its capital. I had a whale of a time window shopping there. The high-end retailers and souvenir stores kept me super busy, at least for the first few hours. The blocks of neatly kept houses were a common sight on the Island. But the place where we went next will knock your socks off.
What if I tell you that Hell is a must-visit place, you would surely think that I have gone bonkers. But trust me, the football field-size area full of a large number of unique, short, black limestone formations in the form of jagged and spongy pinnacles with a unique nickname ‘Hell’ is a major tourist hotspot in the Cayman Islands.
It is also one of the most fascinating geological wonders in the world. The iron shore foundation is what makes Hell Cayman Islands so unusual. It is said that the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean may be a critical factor in the rock’s formation millions of years ago.
The clear blue sky above with black limestone formations poking out of lush green vegetation made it a sight to behold. If you are visiting Hell, it is forbidden to walk on the limestone formations depicting devils around the limestone landscape.
After marvelling at the field of black peaks, we headed to the bright red post office nearby to send postcards from Hell to my family and friends back in India. Yes, you had guessed it right. The postcards were stamped with the mark ‘Hell’. I am sure those who received those postcards must have been in shock and awe too.
There were souvenir shops and other stores in the area with Biblical quotations on their side in Hell, and I quickly toured them. Mind you, visiting Hell at night could be a spooky experience, though!
Hell is located close to another popular attraction, Cayman Turtle Centre, where we spotted wonderful creatures in the lagoon.
Been there, done that, I will say that Hell Grand Cayman remains one the most unique, light-hearted, fun-filled tourist attractions in the whole world.
And it gives me immense delight to say that I went to Hell and was back on my cruise, safe and sound, before the day ended, ready to sail and explore another unseen place.