Cayman Islands Directory
Cayman Islands Overview
Nestled in the calm, turquoise waters of the western Caribbean, lies the peaceful British Overseas Territory known as the Cayman Islands. Consisting of three islands just 480 miles south of Miami, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman remain a little piece of paradise.
Blessed with sun-kissed beaches and waters teeming with fish flecked with gold, the Cayman Islands offers some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. The Cayman Islands are situated in the Caribbean, 290km (180 miles) northwest of Jamaica, and comprise Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Cayman's beaches are renowned to be among the best in the world, in particular Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. The abundance of fish, marine life and spectacular coral reefs which can be found in the surrounding waters makes the Cayman Islands an ideal destination for diving enthusiasts.
Grand Cayman is the main tourist destination and its capital, George Town, is today one of the leading commercial centres in the Caribbean region. The gingerbread-style buildings lining George Town's harbor front are prime examples of traditional Caymanian architecture. Cayman Brac, northeast of Grand Cayman, is a much smaller island, about 19km (12 miles) long and about 1.6 km (1 mile) wide. The area is riddled with caves and dozens of wrecks for divers to explore. It provided the basis for Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel Treasure Island.
Eleven km (7 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 known as the world's best location for bone fishing. The food and restaurants in the Cayman Islands are excellent, in particular the variety of local fish specialties. The Cayman Turtle Farm, one of Grand Cayman's tourist attractions, now undertakes strict conservation measures. The Cayman Islands have a fairly limited number of nightclubs, which sometimes feature international acts.
These islands that were home to pirates in the 17th century are now virtually crime-free, and a wonderful place to vacation or holiday, with scores of restaurants, fine hotels and excellent shopping. There is still Pirate Week to celebrate the swashbuckling past, but the island’s financial affairs are now conducted by more than 500 banks and 30,000 companies registered there. Read more in our Cayman Islands Guide.
Capital: George Town
Island Size: 22 miles long and up to 8 miles wide in areas; 76 square miles.
Electric Current: 110 volts.
Climate: Average yearly temperature is 79° F. Average rainfall is 60 inches mostly in the rainy season, May through October.
Getting There: Served by Air Jamaica, American Airlines, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Delta, Northwest Airlines, and US Airways. Cayman Airways and Island Air fly to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac from Grand Cayman.
Airport: Owen Roberts International Airport.
Driving: On the left - valid driver's license required. A seat belt law is in effect which applies to every person in the vehicle including children.
Local Transportation: If you stay on Seven Mile Beach you probably will not need more than a couple of taxi rides. Taxi rates are regulated by the government. Rental cars are available and a permit is US$5.00. Bikes are rentable too.
|Cayman Islands Facts|
Arriving visitors may bring in duty-free any personal items for use while on vacation. In addition, visitors 18 and older can bring in duty-free either one litre of alcohol, four litres of wine or one case of beer (not exceeding eight litres) and 200 cigarettes, or 25 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco. Don't be confused by the Customs forms which states that returning residents are allowed CI$300 ... more
Columbus discovered the island in 1503, but the Spanish never occupied the. In 1670, Cayman was ceded to the British Crown in the Treaty of Madrid with settlement following many years later in the 1730s. The Cayman Island were a dependency of Jamaica until 1959 when it was given status as unit territory with the Federation of the West Indies. All links were severed (and the Federation dissolved) ... more
Do's and Don'ts
Do enjoy the Cayman Islands' high-quality drinking water, but don't waste it—it's precious.
Do be prepared for conservative attitudes among some islanders. There is a strong Christian tradition in the Cayman Islands that occasionally manifests itself in an unaccommodating fashion. In 1997, the Caymanian Ministry of Tourism refused to let passengers on a cruise ship chartered by a group of gay ... more
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Cayman Islands Accommodations