At just 22 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman islands and encompasses 76% of the land mass of the three islands combined. Isaac Bowden was the first officially recorder resident born on Grand Cayman around 1661. Grand Cayman and the rest of the islands are a British overseas territory.
Where are the Grand Cayman islands?
Located in the western Caribbean 430 miles south of Miami , 227 miles south of Cuba and 310 miles northwest of Jamaica Grand Cayman is the largest of the three islands. Lying 75 miles south west is Little Cayman and 90 miles south west is the island of Cayman Brac. Grand Cayman population as of 2010 is 52,601 with its sister islands having a total population of 1,937. The islands are peaks of a massive underwater range known as the Cayman ridge.
Grand Cayman Districts
The island is split into 5 districts, Bolden Town, East End, George Town, North side and West bay. A bit of info on each district.
Bodden Town – The original capital city founded in the 1700s it is centrally located between George Town and the north side. It is home to many palatial beach front homes with a population of 5,764.
East End – Known as the quite side of the island it is less touristy with just a few large time share properties, high end restaurants and secluded beaches. Population 1,317.
George Town – Georgetown Grand Cayman is the capital city of all the Cayman Islands. The district is a world class financial center as well as the major tourist destination with cruise ships calling almost daily Population in 2010 is 20,676
North Side– Including Rum point, Breakers and Kaibo. North side residents enjoy seclusion and several stunning bays such as Sand point cove with its bioluminescent bay and star fish beach. Population 1,079
West Bay –The West side district encompasses the towns of Hell and Seven mile beach as well as several large tourist attractions such as The Cayman Turtle farm and Cayman Motor Museum. Population 8,24.3
George Town Grand Cayman
As Capital city of all the Cayman Islands George town is famous for its offshore banking as well as corporate headquarters for many companies looking to take advantage of its zero corporate , income and capital gains tax. The financial sector employs 36% of the Cayman island residents and is responsible for 40% of government revenue as well as 55% of the economy according to the 2007 census .George Town is also a popular port of call for many cruise lines Tuesday thru Friday passengers disembark in the morning and return mid afternoon. The Grand Cayman shopping district is host to the many passengers with its shops , restaurants, and bars. George town has many points of interest such as the historical museum, distillery tours and art galleries.
Grand Cayman Weather
The Caymans whether is tropical and humid with August being the hottest month of the year at a average of 85 degrees and January its coldest at 77 degrees. October is the wettest month of the year .If you want to experience the warmest water of the year go in September when the average temperature is 86 degrees.
Things to do in Grand Cayman
Sting Ray City Grand Cayman
Decades ago fisherman would navigate to the shallow calm waters of the north sound to clean there fish and in doing so would throw the guts and squid bait overboard attracting the local stingrays. The word got out and divers began visiting the area to feed the sting rays by hand. Today tour boats and private water craft gather at the shallow 3 foot sand bars to feed touch and interact with the gentle rays. You can book excursions leaving from Georgetown, Rum point and the west Bay.
Seven Mile Beach
Seven mile beach Grand Cayman is actually 5.6 miles and packed with restaurants , beach Bars and luxury hotels. The water is calm and there are some small reefs good for snorkeling. There are no shortages of water sports offered at the various sports centers such as Kayaking and Parasailing. This beach is busy with tourists and the sounds they make if you are looking for quiet and relaxed try the beaches on the North side and one of my favorites Star Fish beach near Rum point.
Rum Point Grand Cayman
If you want a old school taste of the Caribbean take the 50 minute drive from George town to the North coast there you will find Rum point. Hosting one of the most famous bars on the island The Wreck Bar you can laze under palms in the calm very warm water and sip a Frozen Mud slide the famous drink that originated at the bar. Enjoy views of seven mile beach across the bay and even views of Cuba if the weather permits.
Scuba Diving Grand Cayman
Considered a world class diving destination Grand Cayman has much to offer from easy reef access from 5 star hotels to short boat trips to the North wall that dramatically drops 6000 feet great for wall diving and seeing Rays and turtles.
Kittiwake Grand Cayman – Sunk on purpose to create a artificial reef the wreck sits at 55 feet of water. New divers can explore the outside of the wreck while more experienced divers can explore the interior rooms.
Eden Rock and The Devils Grotto – If you’re looking for a easy shore dive with great photography this is the spot. See the awesome coral formations and swim throughs that attracts abundant sea life.
Babylon Grand Cayman – A large tower stars at 40 feet and cascaded down to the 100 feet level cutting a canyon threw the North wall. Check out the rope sponges and coral bushes on the dramatic dive.
Cayman Turtle Farm
A must visit destination for families that want to interact with these lovely gentle creatures. Opened in 1968 and hosting 200,000 visitors a year the farm began by collecting 477,644 eggs from Costa Rica, Guyana and Suriname. The turtles are then hatched and raised to maturity. You have two choices at the park to simply view the turtles or you can put on snorkel gear and interact in the diving lagoon or sit with the baby turtles in the smaller tanks. Also available is a small beach and water slide.
Grand Cayman has much to offer world class beaches and diving all set in a very safe environment. The island has two excursions that should be on anyone’s Caribbean bucket list Sting Ray city and Cayman Turtle farm. So pack your shorts and snorkel equipment and get to exploring Grand Cayman.