The three islands of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac offer visitors a colourful range of Caribbean experiences above and below the crystal blue waters.
The largest of the three islands, Grand Cayman, has enjoyed considerable investment over the last couple of years with resort openings such as the resplendent Ritz-Carlton with its first ever La Prairie ‘Silver Rain’ Spa.
Visitors can enjoy browsing around the attractive capital, George Town, where many shops can be found selling duty free bargains alongside local art and craft stores. Superb restaurants serving local and international cuisine abound across the island, which is regarded as one of the safest and most welcoming of all Caribbean destinations and a joy to explore by car.
There are a number of fascinating attractions on Grand Cayman suitable for adults and children alike. The Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a sweetly scented haven for horticulturists, where the Blue Iguana freely roams and can be seen up close by visitors, thanks to the hugely successful Blue Iguana Recovery Programme.
For relaxation, swimming and sunbathing, visitors head to the famous Seven Mile Beach, a seemingly endless stretch of pristine white sand. On the north of the island, Rum Point is destination of choice for rum punch cocktails, lazing in hammocks and generally soaking up Caribbean lifestyle. Sporty types will find a wide variety of water sports on offer around the island and the Bio-luminescence kayak tour here is a must!
Just forty minutes away by plane, the sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are both a nature lover’s paradise. On Cayman Brac, visitors can explore nature trails with educational information on flora and fauna displayed on plaques dotted along the eight miles of hiking trails.
Little Cayman, the smallest of the three islands with a population of around 150, is the perfect place to step away from the world and relax in shady hammocks or under palms trees. The island’s largest population comes in the form of rare bird life, which can be viewed from the Booby Pond Reserve, which is equipped with telescopes and informative displays. There are several simple but stylish resorts on Little Cayman, where traffic is minimal, and the iguana is given right of way.
Below the surface of Cayman’s clear waters lies an extraordinary marine world of brightly coloured sea life, where turtles and eagle rays share pristine coral reefs with fabulously marked fish. There are hundreds of dive and snorkel sites available in the Cayman Islands, suitable for every level from novice upwards, many just a small swim away from the shore. Some of the better known sites include the Bloody Bay Wall, frequently listed amongst the best wall dives in the world and Sting Ray City, a unique site where friendly stingrays congregate around a shallow sand bar in open waters, and happily interact with their two legged admirers.
The Cayman Islands’ waters also hold the wrecks of a number of ships from small fishing vessels to the 330 foot wreck of a Russian Frigate named the Captain Keith Tibbetts, which was intentionally sunk in 1996. Today these wrecks and many others attract divers and snorkellers alike, as well as a variety of inquisitive marine life. Those wishing to enjoy the underwater spectacle but stay dry can do so in one of the many submersibles available to visitors.
Whether drawn by its history and heritage, wildlife or marine world, sandy bays and beach bars or the fabulous resorts and restaurants, visitors discover that the Cayman Islands bring more than a splash of colour to even the most seasoned traveller.
Turquoise is proud to announce its sponsorship of Gorgeous George, a regal reptile that, along with the rest of the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana species, owes its salvation to the dedication of a singled minded British scientist, Fred Burton, who was recently awarded an MBE for his work and has just written a book about their story. Visitors to the Cayman Islands can not only see Gorgeous George roaming in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, but are greeted by a 10-ft long mounted reproduction of the Blue Iguana on the wall of the airport arrival hall at Grand Cayman.