Cayman Islands

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About

  • The Cayman Islands are located in the western Caribbean Sea
  • The islands are the peaks of a massive underwater ridge, known as the Cayman Ridge
  • The territory is comprised of three islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman
  • The capital of the Cayman Islands is George Town, which is located on the southwest coast of Grand Cayman.
  • The official language is English.
  • The population of the Islands is approximately 42,000, half of which are of native Caymanian descent.
  • The total land mass of the three islands is 100 square miles. Grand Cayman: 76 square miles – 22 miles long by 8 miles wide. Cayman Brac: 14 square miles – 12 miles long by one mile wide. Little Cayman: 10 square miles.
  • The highest point in the Cayman Islands is The Bluff on Cayman Brac at 140 ft.
  • The Cayman Islands have more registered businesses than they have people.
  • The islands are almost exclusively Christian, with large numbers of Presbyterians and Catholics.
  • There is a strong Jamaican influence in the national cuisine, but most restaurants serve a cosmopolitan menu.

 

HISTORY

  • The two smaller Cayman Islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, were discovered by Columbus in 1503, who named them Las Tortugas (Spanish for Turtles) after the vast numbers of turtles populating the islands.
  • In 1670 the islands came under full British rule.
  • Grand Cayman was settled from Jamaica by 1672
  • Little Cayman and Cayman Brac maintained a separate administration until 1877.
  • The surrounding waters were the backbone of the Cayman Island’s industries right up until the late 1900s
  • The Governor of Jamaica held administrative responsibility for the islands until 1962, when Jamaica itself became independent.
  • Grand Cayman suffered a setback when it was battered by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, but the island has now largely recovered.

Avg. Costs

Palm Tree with Stairs

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Currency

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Safety

  • The Cayman Islands has a relatively low-crime area, especially compared to other vacation destinations in the Caribbean.
  • However crime is on the rise on Grand Cayman.
  • Take precaution when walking or riding a bicycle at night along dark roads.
  • Pedestrians should also be very careful along soft shouldered roads.
  • Women traveling alone should be especially careful at night.
  • There are three hospitals in the country. Two are on Grand Cayman; the other on Cayman Brac. There is a satellite clinic on Little Cayman.
  • Hurricanes are possible from June through November.
  • Caymanians are relatively conservative. Public displays of affection (both Gay and Straight) are not usually acceptable.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Stingray Up Close

  • The best time to visit is from December to April, when the temperature averages a pleasant 75°F (23.9°C) and humidity is at its lowest.
  • During the off-season, temperatures average 83°F (28.3°C) with July and August usually being uncomfortably hot.
  • During July and August crowds dissipate, particularly on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, bringing lodging rates down by as much as 40%.
  • Rainfall is highest from mid-May through to October, with frequent afternoon showers that clear as quickly as they arrive.

Places to See

Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

  • A long crescent of coral-sand beach on the western shore of Grand Cayman island.
  • Despite the name, the beach is only about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) long.
  • Seven Mile Beach is public property, and it is possible to walk the full length past many hotels and villas.
  • There are restaurants open to the public at most of the resorts, and several public beach bars.
  • Some small reefs are located just off shores which offer good snorkeling.

View Map

 

 

 

Mastic Trail

  • The Mastic Reserve on Grand Cayman protects part of the largest contiguous area of untouched, old growth dry forest remaining on the island.
  • The Mastic Trail is two miles long and the guided walk takes approximately two and a half to three hours.
  • Walkers get the chance to experience a fascinating exploration deep into Cayman’s wild interior, in an area where the woodland has been evolving undisturbed for the last two million years.

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park

  • The Botanic Park is a unique blend of natural beauty, culture and history.
  • Enjoy a leisurely walk through colorful gardens, botanic display and lake and nature displays.
  • Stroll through the Heritage Garden, and enjoy the Tea House.

View Map

 

 

 

Stingray City

  • Snorkel and play with Cayman’s amazing southern stingrays at the famous Stingray City.
  • Sail on a luxury catamaran through the turquoise waters and get up close to the colorful marine life.
  • Then soak up the sun while you enjoy a tasty deli style lunch and drink from the bar.

 

 

 

Atlantis Submarine

  • Delve beneath the deep completely wetsuit-free with the Atlantis Submarine which offers hour-long trips to view the spectacular reefs.

 

 

 

George Town

  • The islands’ capital and main port is an attractive place to explore, and the pretty harbour front is lined with traditional Caymanian buildings that look like gingerbread houses.

View Map

 

 

 

Cayman Brac Caves

  • The Bluff that runs along the center of Cayman Brac is riddled with caves, many of them with tales to tell about the islanders who have sheltered there during hurricanes.

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Wide variety of culture in the Cayman Islands because of the different nationalities of those who work and live there
– Generally respectful and friendly
– Address by their titles and surnames
– Shake hands and exchange business cards
• Gifts not usually exchanged in the business of Cayman Islands
• Office Hours 8am to 5pm Mondays to Fridays
– Banking from 9am to 4pm

Business Etiquette:
• Upon meeting your Cayman counter part it is appropriate to exchange business cards and shake hands
• Wide variety of cultural and communication styles due to the large about of nationalities represented there
• Politeness and modesty are highly valued there
– Gifts are not commonly exchanged
– Government officials are not allowed to exchange gifts
– The Private sector may exchange small gifts, not expensive gifts though
• Business attire is quite casual
– It is proper to wear business suits when meeting executives or senior officials

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