The Cayman Islands are a group of four islands in the Caribbean Sea. The Cayman Islands are an overseas territory of the United Kingdom and were first colonized by the British during the 18th and 19th centuries. The British took the islands from Jamaica, but Jamaica administered the islands for the British from 1863 until 1959.
In 1959, the islands became part of the Federation of the West Indies, but when this entity dissolved in 1959, the Cayman Islands chose to remain a British territory.
The Cayman island chain is made up of three islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac. These islands are located south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica.
While the history of the Cayman island chain is important, it's not the main reason people go to visit.
Grand Cayman is the largest of the three islands, measuring about 196 square kilometers. Grand Cayman is the seat of the island's capital, George Town. The island itself is a low-lying limestone reef.
The island economy is primarily fueled by tourism; and there is a lot to do on Grand Cayman. Aside from the miles and miles of white, sandy, Caribbean beaches (including the famous Seven Mile Beach), Grand Cayman is a favorite spot for divers and snorkelers.
The reef formation of the island allows visitors the opportunity to view tropical fish and other aquatic life just by swimming a few hundred feet from shore. The clear blue water and tropical temperatures make the diving and snorkeling on Grand Cayman among the best in the world.
When you need a break from water sports, you can hike the Mastic Trail, which runs through the old growth dry forests which used to cover the island. While hiking, you will see native plants and animals, including the Mastic tree, and the green parrot.
If you like to golf, Grand Cayman can help you tee off in style, with one of three golf courses to choose from. These three courses cater to golfers of all levels, so everyone is sure to find a course which challenges and inspires them. If mini-golfing is more your speed, don't worry, Grand Cayman offers that, too!
The nightlife on Grand Cayman is similar to any other tourist city- there are many clubs and restaurants for late night dancing and dining, as well as a theatre company and musical concerts.
2006 marks the 500th anniversary of the Cayman Islands, so if you plan to visit this year, there will be even more to do. Be sure to check out the island sponsored list of festivals, concerts, and special events happening throughout this year on Grand Cayman.
If you're looking for a beautiful Caribbean destination with diving, snorkeling, golfing, and that gorgeous tropical weather, consider planning a trip to Grand Cayman.
Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.