The Cayman Islands are an independently governed British overseas territory in the Caribbean. It is made up of three Islands (Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman), that are renowned for their beaches, reefs and trekking.
Grand Cayman is the largest of the Islands and is home to the capital, George Town. The city is a major cruise ship port and the site of the ruins of colonial-era Fort George.
The reality is that there are not really any fort remains and it is little more than a roped-off cannon. More like a children’s playground than a historical sight.
The Cayman Islands are a tax haven. This has spawned a thriving financial services industry, which is a major part of the local economy. In fact, George Town is the world’s fifth-largest financial centre. There are about 250 banks registered in the Cayman Islands.
Grand Cayman’s main claim to fame is the undersea world that surrounds it. The coral formations are almost everywhere and they are home to large populations of sea creatures. There are also the numerous shipwrecks making both diving and snorkelling amazing. Add to this very clear water, with underwater visibility reaching up to 30 meters in the right conditions.
The USS Kittiwake was formerly a Navy Submarine Rescue Vessel. It was sunk on January 5th, 2011 in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands to create an artificial reef and shipwreck attraction for scuba divers and snorkelers.
The Crystal Caves offer guided walking tours of around 90 minutes through the tropical forest to see 3 caves and the associated stalagmites and stalactites.
Sting Ray City is an attraction where guests can snorkel and swim in shallow water in close contact with numerous sting rays. The blurb shows isolated images but the reality is more like this.
Grand Cayman to us was a very long strip of resorts. We came on a Sunday, which meant that most of the shops were shut. We did the long hike to 7-mile beach, expecting a long stretch of sand.
However, what we got was small 50-200 meter stretches as you hit private beach sections where the resort of the day had locked you out of their little section. This meant you had to wade through the water to the other side or go back to the road and walk around.
Beyonce bought a super mansion here and we walked past it. We were warned about it but I strolled by oblivious, Jill managed to get a photo of the gates. Needless to say the rest was hidden away.
Grand Cayman was nice. It felt safe and fun and the walk around was interesting enough. I am certain that on any day other than a Sunday there would have been more going on, and if you are looking for a resort style holiday, then this place would be tough to beat.
The clarity of the water and the various shades of blue are exactly what I imagine when I get to a tropical island. And this place delivers that at almost every glance. The snorkelling that we saw looked a bit “trampled on”, but we were in the main tourist area. I am sure with a bit of effort and more time you could find some untouched spots that would deliver the ideal snorkelling.