The Cayman Islands are in the Caribbean Sea western side, northwest of Jamaica and south of Cuba. This British Overseas Territory has three islands: Grand Brac, Little Cayman, and the most popular of all, Grand Cayman. Part of the Greater Antilles and Western Caribbean Zone geographically makes this a go-to area for vacationers, especially the Grand Cayman Beach.
Since its founding in 1503 by Christopher Columbus, much has changed and developed in this area. Until around the 17th century, it was largely uninhabited, and no evidence archaeologically for an indigenous people on Grand Cayman Beach or any of the other several beaches found here.
People with varied backgrounds settled these islands, from pirates to Spanish Inquisition refugees to sailors that found themselves there shipped wrecked. Deserters from the Jamaican army of Oliver Cromwell found this area as a place to stay too.
A Financial Haven Protected By Taxes But Not Mother Nature
Today, most people know it as an offshore financial center, in part thanks to the tax-exempt history granted by King George III, or so stories of that nature are told, yet denied by Queen Elizabeth II. What you would think should be a drawback to this area, Grand Cayman Beach and the island itself are at sea level, making it an easy target for the weather that Mother Nature can toss out.
Over 90% of the structures on Grand Cayman were leveled by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, said to have been the worst hurricane in almost 90 years. Because of its tropical location, these islands have been affected by tropical systems and hurricanes more than any of the other islands in this region.
Still A Hot Spot For Vacationing
Regardless of the weather threats, there is more than the financial stature of this area that bring hundreds of thousands of people here each year. It is a tourist attraction such as a world-renowned Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter, which is more than entertainment, but it is educational too, and only one of many other attractions that bring visitors.
While there are many beaches to be enjoyed, it is Seven Mile Beach that is the favorite of most. It is a premier beach resort district with luxury resorts, restaurants, shops and beach bars in every direction. Unlike the other beaches, this one has a calm surf and small reefs, perfect for kayaking, parasailing, snorkeling, and more outdoor activities that can entertain a just-married couple or a whole family.
Things To Do Are Endless
With hurricanes and tropical storms savaging this beautiful area, there are still some historic structures standing, like Pedro St. James Castle andThe Great House. A 20-minute charter boat ride will take you where the stingrays are waiting to play and swim, a must-do attraction for any first-time visitor.
Or explore the beaches and island by horseback, a definite experience to be had by all ages. Tour this safe island by bike, foot or taxi too on well-maintained roads and find Craft Market, the Fish Market, and Heroes Square Walk.