West Bay, on Grand Cayman
Gift Shops: All year daily 8-16.
|Karren Bare Karst Limestone Pavements Gateway to Hell
Hell Geological Site, Hell Road, West Bay, West Bay, Tel: +1-345-949-6999.
Hell Post Office, 9HHV+J57 West Bay Cayman Islandsm Tel: +1-345-949-1171.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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The Hell Geological Site is know as hell by the locals, because of the dark, almost black rock, which is rugged and extremly inhospitable. It is not covered by plants, who obviously do not find enough soil to grow. All in all a quite inhospitable place which well deserves the name hell. Visitors to the site have said that they have "been to Hell and back". Or they simply have taken the advice to "go to Hell!” There is even a post office, so you can send a postcard or letter from hell!
But this site would not be listed on showcaves.com if there was no connection to karst. Actually it is a typical limestone outcrop or bare karst surface with so-called karren and limestone pavements. The grey colour is also typical for limestone, it darkens when weathered. However, the almost black dark grey colour is obviously a result of high temperature, high humidity and the salt water of the sea. Probably its also connected with a local type of lichen. Nevertheless, it is not exactly rare, and there are probably many other similar sites on Great Cayman. But this is definitely the one which has the easiest access. Trails, wooden railings, post office and souvenir show with cafe. That's a rather comfortable way to go to hell. And you can even take a selfie with the devil or see an angel.
The limestone rocks are quite common on the island and are called ironshore. The rocks are between 10 and 15 Million years old. The central part of the land is owned by the the Cayman Islands Gevernment. But the limestone pavement extends on the surround privately owned ground.