Caribbean Tourism

Cayman Islands

Sir Turtle

Turtles have always played a large part in the islands’ folklore, dating back to 1503 when Columbus named them Las Tortugas. Generations of sailors stocked up on turtle meat while in the area and today there is a turtle farm, designed to replenish wild stocks and satisfy demand for the table. In 1963 Suzy Soto designed the ‘Sir Turtle’ logo, of a peg-leg,...

Little Cayman

Little Cayman is small and low-lying with large areas of dense mangrove swamps, ponds, lagoons and lakes. The diving is excellent. Underwater visibility averages 100-150 ft all year. Bloody Bay wall, a mile-deep vertical drop, is one of the major dive sites worldwide and is highly rated by marine biologists and photographers. The first inhabitants of Little...

Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman is a prosperous island with a very British feel. The island is green with luxuriant vegetation, especially at the East End where there are pastures and grazing cows. North Sound is a 40-square mile lagoon with mangroves, although dredging schemes and urban growth threaten the mangrove habitat and the reefs. Some low-key but sophisticated...

George Town

The largest town and capital of the islands is George Town (pop: over 18,000), which is principally a business centre dominated by modern office blocks. However, many of the older buildings are being restored and the government is trying to promote museums and societies to complement beach and watersports tourism. The Cayman Islands National Museum, in the...

Cayman Brac

Settlement on Cayman Brac has been determined by the Bluff, which rises from sea level at the west end to a sheer cliff at the east end. Most building first took place on the flatter land in the west, where the sea is a little calmer, and then spread along the north coast where the Bluff gives shelter.Cayman Brac is blessed with spectacular reef and wall...

Shopping

As a free port, there is duty-free shopping and a range of British glass, crystal, china, woollens, perfumes and spirits are available. US citizens are entitled to a US$400 exemption after being away from the USA for 48 hours. Black coral carvings and jewellery are widely available. Note that since the 1978 Cayman Islands Marine Conservation Law prohibited...

History

The first recorded English visitor to the Caymans was Sir Francis Drake in 1586, when he reported that the caymanas marine crocodile (after which the islands are named) were edible. But it was the turtles which really attracted ships in search of fresh meat for their crews. The islands were ceded to the English Crown under the Treaty of Madrid in 1670,...

Government & Economy

A Governor appointed by the British Crown is the head of Government. The present Constitution came into effect in 1993 and provides for an Executive Council to advise the Governor on administration of the islands. The Council is made up of five Elected and three Official Members and is chaired by the Governor. The former, called Ministers from February 1994...

Golf & Other Sports

Golf Jack Nicklaus has designed the Britannia golf course for the Hyatt-Regency Grand Cayman Resort & Villas. T9498020 for starting times. There is a nine-hole Championship course, an 18-hole executive course and an 18-hole Cayman course played with a special short-distance Cayman ball, but it can only be laid out for one course at a time; the executive...

Places to Eat - Little Cayman

Hungry Iguana is in the village at Paradise Villas. This is the only independent restaurant, indoor or outdoor dining, good food, pizza on Sat, popular, shrimp, lobster often on menu, open breakfast (Sat, Sun only), lunch and dinner, takeaway available.

Places to Eat – Cayman Brac

On Cayman Brac there are a few restaurants; The Captain’s Table, at Brac Caribbean Beach Village. The best dining on the island, lobster, seafood and steaks. Recommended. Blackie’s, at the Youth Centre, South Side, T9480232. Good ice cream. La Esperanza, T9480531, seafood, one of the nicest, tables at water’s edge as well as a/c dining room, transport...

Food & Drink

The range of restaurants is wide and all international styles are available from fast food to gourmet. Caymanian recipes use predominantly seafood. Check your bill, gratuities are sometimes added, sometimes not. Cayman-style fish is sautéed with tomato, onion, pepper and piquant seasoning. Conch is available as chowder, fritters, marinated etc. Try...

Flora & Fauna

There are around 200 species of birds on the islands. Birds that inhabit the islands include the Antillean grackle, the smooth-billed ani, the green-backed heron, the yellow-crowned night heron and many other heron species, the snowy egret, the common ground dove, the bananaquit and the Cayman parrot. The endangered West Indian whistling duck can be seen on...

Festivals

Pirates’ Week is the islands’ national festival and takes place in the last week of October. Parades, regattas, fishing tournaments, treasure hunts, historical and cultural ‘district days’ in Grand Cayman’s five districts and on Little Cayman, are all part of the celebrations, which commemorate the days when the Cayman Islands were the haunt of pirates and...

Entertainment - Grand Cayman

Curt Booker performs romantic favourites and Broadway Tunes at Benjamin’s Roof, Coconut Place, Tue-Sat 1930-2300, T9454080. Paraguayan harpists play for dinner guests Mon-Sat at The Wharf, T9492231. Hear jazz at The Bed Restaurant, Mon evenings, T9497199. Sharkey’s nightclub, Cayman Falls on West Bay Rd, T9475366, Popular Mon nights, dancing to disco and...