There is nowhere else in the world where the standard greeting is “Where the hell are you from?” or “How the hell are you?” Residents and tourists in this unique destination like to honor the place with a little bit of humor. Make sure to include Hell in your itinerary, where black limestone formations are scattered all over a piece of land roughly half the size of a soccer field. So since it’s just a few miles from Seven Mile Beach, in West Bay -- why don’t you go to Hell?
Hell on Earth
Hell is an ironshore landscape. About a million years ago, the sea level used to be higher and the Cayman Islands were submerged under the water. As soon as the water level went down, limestone-based structures and coral formations were exposed, giving birth to what we now call “Hell”.
What made Hell unique is the distinctive and ominous shape of the limestone formations. The exposed black limestone weathered through the years, resembling the fires of hell. The limestone materials in the area have been blackened by the eroding algae that were left behind during the decrease of the water level. The color of the limestone contributed to the devilish air of this famous tourisy attraction.
How Hell Got its Name
Hell stirs up strong responses from visitors. If your guide tells you that he is bringing you to Hell, you are not going to believe what he just said. Tourists are curious about how Hell got its name. It is simple. Early settlers just believed that this is probably what hell looks like. Some residents add that if you throw a pebble down the throat of one the formations, the pebble will create echoes as it goes down the limestone peaks and valleys, creating the sound of falling all the way down to hell.
Due to the delicate properties of limestone, people are not allowed to step on the structure. Two platforms serve as viewing terraces for visitors to look and take pictures from. These will also allow you to have a close up view of 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 backdrop of the Caribbean.
Fun in Hell
Hell lives up to its name. The post office in the area is painted fire engine red and observes a Hell-like theme. The gift and souvenir shops also use the same theme, with their customer assistants dressed in Satan costumes, greeting people with questions like “How the hell was your trip?” What is ironic and interesting in Hell is that its residents are conservative and religious. In fact, some shop owners or business people named their shops or businesses after Bible verses and quotations.
There is a special post office located here where you can send your postcards back home stamped with the official "Hell" postmark.
To go to Hell, simply drive to West Bay along Seven Mile Beach. Go straight through the 4-way stop. Bear left along Northwest Point Road. Turn right on Watercourse Road and right again on Hell Road. You can also ride Bus 1 or Bus 2 the way residents do. As soon as you get home from your trip to Grand Cayman, you can then proudly say, “I’ve been to Hell and back!