Return to Caribbean

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
Smith's Cove, © Can Stock Photo / jsnover

The Cayman Isands are a British Overseas Territory in the Western Caribbean.  Unlike islands in the Eastern Caribbean, there are no other islands close by.   Cuba is 350 km (225 mi) to the north and Jamaica is 500 km (300 mi) to the east.  The islands were named the Tortugas by Columbus in 1503.  The name Cayman subsequently came into use in reference to caiman alligators, which were numerous at one time.  The islands consist of the Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.  The three islands are within 150 km (90 mi) of each other.  

Grand Cayman is the largest of the islands.  It is 35 km (22 mi) long and 13 km (8 mi) at its widest.  The capital of the Cayman Islands is located in George Town on Grand Cayman.  It has a population of about 30,000.  The next largest towns are West Bay and Bodden Town.  The Caymans are coral formations surrounding peaks on the Cayman Ridge and are set beside the Cayman Trough that drops to 6,000 m (20,000 ft).  The Grand Cayman is famous for off shore banking and supports about 600 banks, including many of the largest in the world.

The Cayman Islands are a popular tourist destination due to their mild Caribbean climate.  They experience more rain in the summer months and slightly cooler, drier temperatures in the winter months from November to April.  The Cayman Islands are in the path of the Atlantic hurricane season from June to November.  George Town is often included as a port of call in Western Caribbean cruises and also has an international airport.

Stingray City, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Stingray City, © Can Stock Photo / jaimepharr

Attractions in Grand Cayman:

Things to see and do:

  • Stingray City - the most popular tourist activity on the island.  Snorkel on the sand bar and touch South Atlantic Stingrays that choose to frequent the location.  Try Stingray City Trips, Carib Select, Moby Dick Tours, Sun Rays Tours, Captain Marvins or Absolute Divers.

  • Seven Mile Beach – on the west shore of the island with palms trees, great reefs for snorkeling, resorts, beach bars and rental shops.  Often considered one of the best beaches in the world.  Stop at Calico Jack’s beach bar.  There are other options for beaches on the island too - Rum Point Beach at Cayman Kai or Smith's Cove for good snorkeling in South Sound.  Catch a ferry between Seven Mile Beach and Rum Point.

  • Wander the shops and restaurants on the waterfront in George Town.  See the pirate statue, the Cayman Islands National Museum and what remains of Fort George, which was built in the 1600s. 

  • Cayman Turtle Farm - green sea turtle breeding, plus a marine theme park also known as Boatswain’s Beach Adventure Park.

Rum Point, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Rum Point, © Can Stock Photo / jsnover

Savor the Tastes of the Cayman Islands:

  • Jerk chicken

  • Heavy Cake - varieties include cassava, yam, cornmeal, sweet potato and green papaya.  It's sweet.

  • Tortuga Rum

  • Stingray beer

  • Rum cake

  • Cayman Style fish

  • Rundown - fish, coconut milk and breadfruit.

  • Turtle steak

  • Conch fritters

  • Cigars

  • Pepperpot stew

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, © Can Stock Photo / jsnover

Grand Cayman Tours:

Hotels in Grand Cayman:

View Grand Cayman map

View Cayman Islands Pics