If you are looking for a fantastic Caribbean destination to travel to, you need look no further than the Cayman Islands. From the pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters for swimming, diving, snorkeling, or sailing the Cayman Islands are a vacation spot that is not to be missed. If you enjoy traveling to a destination that has it all, you should consider planning a trip to the Cayman Islands.
Originally the Cayman Islands were named Las Tortugas because of the turtles that were often found sunning themselves on the beautiful beach sands. But, eventually the named changed to reflect the indigenous crocodile called “Caymanas”. The Cayman Islands consist of a group of three islands: Grand Cayman, the largest, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. The island chain is located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.
The Cayman Islands are a territory of the United Kingdom, colonized by the British during the 18th and 19th century. The islands became part of the Federation of the West Indies in 1959, but when the Federation dissolved the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British territory.
But, enough of facts and history the main reason tourists choose to visit the Cayman Islands lies in the white sand beaches (including the famous Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman) and the fantastic diving and snorkeling. Grand Cayman itself is a low-lying limestone reef which allows visitors the opportunity to view fantastic tropical life just a short distance from the shore. Scuba diving and snorkeling here is considered some of the best in the world.
The tourist visiting Grand Cayman can look forward to many excellent choices of accommodations, as well as many clubs and restaurants for late night dining and dancing. There are also a theatre company and musical concerts.
Visitors can also plan to hike the Mastic Trail, which runs through old growth dry forests which used to cover the island. You can view native plants and animals (including the Mastic tree).
A great tourist attraction for the Grand Cayman visitor would be the famous Turtle Farm in Boatswain’s Beach (about 8 miles from the capital of Georgetown). The Cayman Turtle Farm, established in 1968, was established as a facility to raise the green sea turtle, Chelonia Mydas, for commercial purposes. The present day tourist can encounter the magnificent Green Sea Turtles, which can exceed 600 lbs., at the Breeding Pond. Presently the largest turtle living at the Cayman Turtle Farm is a female turtle approximately 70 years old who weighs about 575 lbs! You can also visit Breaker’s Lagoon, a unique swimming pool (the largest in the Cayman Islands) which has two beautiful waterfalls cascading over mossy rocks and recreates cliff views typical of Cayman Brac. At Boatswain’s Lagoon you can snorkel in a lagoon filled with colorful marine life. Both lagoons offer underwater viewing panels that allow you to view the shark tank. There is also the Predator Reef where you can see sharks (be sure to be there at feeding times!), the Caribbean Bird Aviary and the Shoreline Nursery, a reef-like home and nursery for fish that suffer from disabilities that would prevent them from surviving in the wild. There is an Iguana Exhibit and various trails to discover the other diverse wildlife found in the Cayman Islands.
Where else but in the Cayman Islands can you go to Hell? The small town of Hell located a short distance from Georgetown is one of Cayman’s tourist attractions and may be of interest for you to visit, but there really is not much to do there. There is a post office/gift shop that offers a variety of T-shirts that confirm that you have indeed visited Hell, but not much else to see. There is a statue of a devil that presents a great photo opportunity, or you may choose to walk along the lava rock along the shoreline, but be sure to use sturdy shoes. My advice is to visit Hell at your own discretion.
Another tourist attraction that is worth mentioning is Stingray City. Here you can swim among some of the friendliest and unusual creatures in the world, the stingrays. The water is only waist deep and you are free to feed the stingrays, touch them and swim with them, and even snorkel amongst them. This is a truly unique experience that you may not want to miss.
All in all, visiting the Cayman Islands could be your next great Caribbean adventure. You can swim, snorkel, dive, golf, sunbathe or relax on the glistening white sands to your heart’s content.