Introducing Cayman Islands
Quietly sitting in the Caribbean Sea, 180 miles south of Cuba and 195 miles northwest of Jamaica, the Cayman Islands captivates visitors with its natural wonders, coral reefs and what some call the best scuba diving in the world. This three island paradise was first spotted by Christopher Columbus in 1503, on his fourth voyage to America, but the first visitor was Sir Francis Drake in 1586. Columbus called the islands Las Tortugas, because of the large sea turtle population, but Drake named them the Cayman Islands, after the small alligator species that lived on the island.
Grand Cayman is the largest island with an area of 76 square miles and the two sister islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, are much smaller with areas of 10 and 14 square miles. Almost all of the 51,900 full time residents live on Grand Cayman. There are 1,500 residents on Cayman Brac and 200 people call Little Cayman their home. The islands are a British Overseas Territory and a major financial centre.
Georgetown, located on Grand Cayman, is the capital city and the first city most tourist see when they arrive. Seventy percent of the islands GDP comes from tourism, but the lack of docking facilities has become an issue for some cruise lines, because they have to use tender boats to reach shore. That doesn’t stop the million plus visitors who come each year to walk on Seven Mile Beach, swim with the stingrays at Stingray City or scuba dive around the coral reef and inspect the shipwrecks that sit off the coast of the islands.
The Cayman Islands in a Few Words
There are not many spots in the world that offer the mystique of a pirate's hide-away, as well as the modern amenities of a tropical paradise. The beaches and the calm turquoise blue water bring the natural beauty of the islands in focus. The islands are considered an excellent haven for anyone who wants to experience the atmosphere of a secluded island or wants to feel the thrill of discovering sunken treasure. If peace, beauty and tranquility, as well as sailing, fishing and snorkeling sound like your kind of holiday, then the Cayman Islands are waiting for you with open arms.