The Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands is an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The 264-square-kilometre (102-square-mile) territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman located south of Cuba, northeast of Costa Rica, north of Panama, east of Mexico and northwest of Jamaica. Its population is approximately 60,765, and its capital is George Town.

Access : Coordinates:  Most major airlines offer convenient flights to Grand Cayman from North America and Europe. The National Airline of the Cayman Islands .Cayman Airways is the best way to fly to, from, and within the Cayman Islands . Daily flights four to six times a day between the islands and allows passengers to connect with all of the airlines Express flights are 35-45 minutes, and may include a brief stop in Little Cayman.

The Cayman Islands is considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles. The territory is often considered a major world offshore financial haven for international businesses and many wealthy individuals.

One of Grand Cayman’s main attractions is Seven Mile Beach, site of a number of the island’s hotels and resorts. Named one of the Ultimate Beaches by Caribbean Travel and Life, Seven Mile Beach is on the western shore of Grand Cayman Island. It is a public property and possible to walk the full length of the beach, past all the hotels, resorts, and public beach bars. Historical sites in Grand Cayman, such as Pedro St James Castle in Savannah, also attract visitors. Tourists also visit the “sister islands”, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

Highlights :

  • All three islands offer scuba diving, and the Cayman Islands is home to several snorkelling locations where tourists can swim with stingrays. The most popular area to do this is Stingray City, Grand Cayman.
  • Stingray City is a top attraction in Grand Cayman and originally started in the 1980s, when divers started feeding squid to stingrays. The stingrays started to associate the sound of the boat motors with food, and thus visit this area year round.
  • There are two shipwrecks off the shores of Cayman Brac, including the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts,  Grand Cayman also has several shipwrecks off its shores, including one deliberate one. On 30 September 1994 the USS Kittiwake was decommissioned and struck from the Naval Vessel Register.
  • In November 2008 her ownership was transferred for an undisclosed amount to the government of the Cayman Islands, which had decided to sink the Kittiwake in June 2009 to form a new artificial reef off Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman. Following several delays, the ship was finally scuttled according to plan on 5 January 2011. The Kittiwake has become a dynamic environment for marine life. While visitors are not allowed to take anything, there are endless sights. Each of the five decks of the ship offers squirrelfish, rare sponges, Goliath groupers, urchins, and more. Experienced and beginner divers are invited to swim around the Kittiwake.
  • Pirates Week, an annual 11-day November festival, was started in 1977 by Jim Bodden, then Minister of Tourism, to boost tourism during the country’s tourism slow season. Other Grand Cayman tourist attractions include the Ironshore landscape of Hell, the 23-acre (93,000 m2) marine theme park Boatswain’s Beach, also home of the Cayman Turtle Farm, the production of gourmet sea salt, and the Mastic Trail, a hiking trail through the forests in the centre of the island. The National Trust for the Cayman Islands provides guided tours weekly on the Mastic Trail and other locations.
  • Another attraction to visit on Grand Cayman is the Observation Tower, located in Camana Bay. The Observation Tower is 75 feet tall and provides 360-degree views across Seven Mile Beach, George Town, the North Sound, and beyond. It is free to the public and climbing the tower has become a popular thing to do in the Cayman Islands.
  • Points of interest include the East End Light (sometimes called Gorling Bluff Light), a lighthouse at the east end of Grand Cayman island. The lighthouse is the centrepiece of East End Lighthouse Park, managed by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands the first navigational aid on the site was the first lighthouse in the Cayman Islands.

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking

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