The Grand Cayman Hell is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Grand Cayman. It is located in the northwestern part of the islands, in the West Bay district. www.travelrows.com
The Grand Cayman Hell is an ironshore landscape. It is a group of short, black, limestone formations that is about the size of half of football field. About a million years ago, sea levels were much higher than they are today and as such, the Cayman Islands were submerged. When the water levels went down limestone-based structures and coral formations were exposed.
Grand Cayman Hell on the map (click on earth icon in the left lower corner to see how it looks from satellite) :
What made the Hell unique is that the limestone formations here have taken unique and ominous shapes. The exposed black limestone has weathered through the years so that they now resemble the fires that one could imagine were present and emanating from hell. The limestone materials in the area have been blackened by the eroding algae that were left behind when the water levels went down. As such, the color of the limestone contributed more to the devilish air and form of the Grand Cayman Hell.
A Bird’s Eye View of Hell
Due to the delicate properties of limestone, people are not allowed to actually step on the structure. Instead, two platforms have been constructed so that people can step on them and have a bird’s eye view the spectacular limestone formations. In addition to the sight of Hell, tourists and visitors are also treated to wonderful scenery consisting of mangrove trees and the overall façade of the Caribbean.
How the Hell Got its Name
Tourists are curious as to how the Grand Cayman Hell got its name. There are several versions of the story but all of them agree that the Grand Cayman Hell got its name because the natives and local people believed that this is probably how hell looks like. Some local people say that the place was called the Grand Cayman Hell because when one throws a pebble down in to the formation, the pebble would create echoes as it goes down the limestone peaks and valleys. As such, it appears that the pebble is falling all the way down to hell.
Living Up to its Name
Grand Cayman Hell lives up to its name. The post office in the area is painted fire engine red and observes a Hell-like theme complete with slogans like “where you can send postcards from Hell”. The gift and souvenir shops also employ the same theme with customer assistants dressed in Satan costumes and greeting people with questions like “How the hell are you?” or “Where the hell are you from?” The people at the Grand Cayman Hell are still as conservative and as religious as those residing in the other parts of the islands. For instance, some shop owners or business people, they felt it better to name their shops or businesses after Bible verses or quotations.