[y] Cayman Islands Visitors Guide
The Cayman Islands are one of the best holiday destinations in the whole world. They are situated in the Caribbean zoned British overseas territory. These beautiful Cayman Islands are the major source of attraction for the millions of tourists who are ready to spend their holidays in such a beautiful and romantic place. When the British people first took over the islands, they were quite dull and unattractive, but with time, many changes have taken place that has surely made it a relaxing vacation spot, not only for couples but for the single travelers as well.
It comprises of three different islands including the Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman. Each island has its own uniqueness and filled with sunshine the whole year, serene beaches, sprinkling blue water, and underwater destinations. These are the reasons why people all across the globe are attracted to the islands. In short, the Cayman Islands are like a paradise for the nature lovers, underwater divers, and outdoor sport enthusiasts
One of the many attractions on Grand Cayman Islands is the seven-mile beach (which is not actually seven miles long!). With sand stretching as far as the eye can see, it is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in the entire Caribbean. It’s a place where both tourists and residents alike come to enjoy the tranquility of white sands and turquoise waters during the day, while at night they are spoilt with a superb array of fine dining and plenty of varied nightlife to cater for most tastes.
The beautiful Cayman Islands are located just south of Cuba in the Caribbean ocean. This chain of three gorgeous islands is part of the overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The Caymans are easy to get to and well-known for fabulous rum, great shopping, and coral reefs that burst with fish – a terrific combination for a great holiday.
Grand Cayman is the largest and central island of this northern Caribbean chain. It features Seven Mile Beach, the central stop for tourists. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are harder to get to but are also terrific diving destinations.
Grand Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman land combined with the natural beauty, tranquility and safety of the Cayman Islands provides an ideal setting for pleasure as well as a rare purchase opportunity. Caribbean Cayman Island Real Estate at its best.
Grand Cayman Islands, the largest of the three Cayman Islands, is home to Owen Roberts International Airport, the destination of more than 55 international arrivals each week which is set to increase with the plans to expand the airport to attract three times as many passengers each year. On Grand Cayman Island you will find the world-famous seven-mile beach overlooked by palatial multi-million-dollar properties, including condos and villas owned by the world’s rich and famous.
Grand Cayman is home to more than 40,000 residents, has a surface area of approximately 76 square miles (197 square kilometers) and is approximately 22 miles (35.41 km) long with an average width of four miles (6.44 km). Grand Caymans’ most striking feature is the shallow, reef-protected lagoon (the North Sound) which has an area of about 35 square miles (56.33 square kilometers). Topographically, Grand Cayman island is low lying with the highest point about 60 feet (18.29 meters) above sea level.
Getting to the Cayman Islands
One of the best things about Grand Cayman is how quickly you can leave work behind and find yourself on a beach with a rum drink in hand. The Cayman Islands are only 480 miles southwest of Miami and 150 miles south of Cuba. The island boasts one of the major Caribbean airports, Owen Roberts Airport (GMC) and is served by four major airlines. GMC is about a 15-minute cab ride from Seven Mile Beach hotels.
Daily flights from Charlotte (US Airways), Detroit (Northwest), Houston (Continental), and Miami (American).
You can fly directly from London’s Heathrow Airport and many other international cities to Grand Cayman Islands. Whilst there, for prices similar to cross-town taxi fare, jet to Gerrard Smith International Airport on picturesque Cayman Brac in just 35 minutes. On top of all of this, Grand Cayman’s advanced infrastructure makes getting around a breeze.
The Caymans are the only islands with their own airline. Cayman Airways is owned by the Cayman government the most domestic U.S. markets. Weekly flights from Miami, Boston, Tampa, Orlando, Chicago will get you on the beach quickly. Don’t forget to enjoy Cayman Airway’s tasty rum-punch.
Travel between Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman is provided by Cayman Airways and Island Air (no website).
For diving enthusiasts, there are some of the world’s clearest water and best reefs to explore. Among Grand Cayman’s Islands, more spectacular dive attractions are the dramatic walls that completely surround it, some stretching as deep as 60 feet (18.29 meters). The island’s storied wrecks are equally impressive. Even if you don’t dive, Grand Cayman’s Islands magnificent waters are worth exploring with at least a few snorkeling sessions.
Cayman Island Accommodations
Seven Mile Beach is the main attraction on Grand Cayman. It’s a fabulous white-sand beach that you can picture even before your plane lands at Owen Roberts Airport.
Luckily – Seven Mile Beach is the location of the majority of Cayman Island resorts. There’s a resort for every budget along Seven Mile Beach.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman is one of the more majestic (and expensive) hotels on Grand Cayman. It was also in The Firm – the Tom Cruise movie.
Several opportunities exist for more budget-conscience. The Reef Resort is famous for being right on the beach and for hosting nighly beach sessions for the Barefootman and Band. (If you stay elsewhere – don’t miss Barefootman). However, hotels and condos for any price range are found up and down Seven Mile Beach.
Stingray City in Grand Cayman
Stingray City is located in the North Sound which is 35 square miles of ocean created by the barrier reef. The reef extends from Rum Point (the most northern point) to West Bay (the Northwestern tip of the Island) in somewhat a straight line. The Island curves away from the reef thus forming the lagoon area. The reef separates the shallow water (8–12 ft deep) from the deep waters which fall to 6,000 ft and approximately 5 minutes beyond the reef.
Stingray City is a small sandbar (mostly knee to waist height) area where Stingrays live. This is mainly because they are able to hide in the sand to protect themselves from their natural predators (sharks) while they rest. Because of the fact that the sandbar is located in the shallow North Sound waters, not many sharks venture into this area thus making the area safe.
Years gone by fishermen would stop by this shallow sandbar area to clean fish after their deep-sea fishing venture. The fish remains were good food for the stingrays that came on a daily basis. After a while, the fishermen started to feed the stingrays by hand which caused them to become familiar with human touch. Today, stingray city is one of the most popular spots in the world and one of the few places where people can interact with stingrays the way we do. Here, stingrays can be fed, petted, and kissed (for 7 years of good luck ) and you can rest assure that you are safe.
Stingrays have a barb that sits on the tip of the tail and is mainly used to protect themselves in the event that they are attacked by their predators. If they are being chased by a shark for example, they would make a sudden stop and the shark, not being able to stop as quickly, will be prodded by the barb allowing the stingray’s escape. Therefore it is impossible for stingrays to attack us. However one still has to exercise some degree of caution when touching the tail of the stingray.