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The Cayman Islands

Information about the Cayman Islands
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Island Overview

Grand Cayman, (pronounced K-mun) the largest of the Cayman islands, has become a premier tourist destination in recent years. With more than 500 banks, its capital, George Town, is the offshore banking center of the Caribbean. Retirees are drawn to the peace and tranquility of this British Crown Colony, site of a major condominium development.

The Caribbean climate is pleasantly constant. The average year round temperatures for the region are 78°F-88°F. Island life focuses on the sea. Snorkelers will find a paradise; beach lovers will marvel at the powdery sands of Seven Mile Beach Downtown shopping areas will of course be uncomfortably hot at midday at any time of the year, but air-conditioning provides welcome relief. Visitors travel to the Caymans to slow down and relax in a setting of comfort and beauty. The best strategy seems to be to stay near the beaches most of the day, where water and trade winds provide just the right temperature for enjoyment. Shopping is recommended for early or late in the day.

Even the rains cooperate in maintaining the atmosphere of perfectly designed weather. The rainy season consists mostly of brief showers interspersed with sunshine. You can watch the clouds come over, feel the rain, and have the sun to dry you off, all while remaining in your lounge chair.

The British colony consists of Grand Cayman, smaller Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman, but almost all of the Cayman Islands' population of 32,000 live on Grand Cayman. The Caymans are located 180 miles northwest of Jamaica and 480 miles due south of Miami. Cayman's beaches are considered to be among the best in the world. The favorite is Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. The abundance of fish, marine life and spectacular coral reefs which can be found in the surrounding waters make the Cayman Islands ideal for diving enthusiasts.

The gingerbread-style buildings lining George Town's harbor front are prime examples of traditional island architecture. Grand Cayman is only 22 miles long and 8 miles across at its widest point.

From any point in the resort area of Grand Cayman, it is easy to walk or bike to the shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment spots along West Bay Road. George Town is small enough to see on foot. If you are exploring Grand Cayman by car, there is a well-maintained road that circles the island. To get around Cayman Brac or Little Cayman, it is best to rent a car or a moped. Many resorts rent bicycles for local sightseeing.

Cayman Brac, northeast of Grand Cayman, is about 12 miles long and 1 mile wide. This area is dotted with fascinating caves and dozens of wrecks for divers to explore. It provided the basis for Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel Treasure Island.

Seven miles southeast of Cayman Brac, the tiny island of Little Cayman is best known as a sanctuary for wild birds and iguanas. It is also the primary site for bone fishing.

English is the official language of the islands, although it often sounds as though the speaker is combining an American southern drawl with a lilting Welsh accent.

The Cayman Turtle Farm, one of Grand Cayman's main tourist attractions, sets an example for environmental conservation and preservation of the species. The 65-acre Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a national treasure. The National Trust's Mastic Trail is a 2 mile footpath through unspoiled woodlands on the North Side.

The Cayman Islands have a number of nightclubs, which sometimes feature international entertainment. Succulent seafood specialties abound in the local restaurants.

Spectacular natural beauty, a wealth of activities and points of interest, and all the modern conveniences to make your stay as comfortable as possible can be found on Grand Cayman. For the best in Caribbean water sports, sightseeing, dancing and shopping, Grand Cayman is the place to start.