"GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND" Top 5 Page for this destination Cayman Islands by starship

Cayman Islands Travel Guide: 900 reviews and 1,822 photos

Bring Your Diving and Snorkel Gear!!

Grand Cayman is a low-key island and great place to enjoy its splendid beaches, diving and sealife. It is a relatively small island, but offers the right combination of activity, relaxation, and marvelous weather. Most notably, Grand Cayman is home to the world famous "Stingray Island," and "Trinity Caves." We visited Grand Cayman in 2001, and we were back for a day in August, 2003. Some of the other sights we'd like to see but didn't have time for were the strange landscape of "Hell," Seven Mile Beach, the Turtle Farm or visit the Hyatt site where part of the movie "The Firm" starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman was filmed!!

Because Grand Cayman has its own aura and seems to be somehow different from other Caribbean Islands, it should be on your list of islands to visit if you are in the Caribbean but not necessarily on a budget. Bring a sufficient amount of money. When we last visited, the Cayman Dollar was much "stronger" than the U.S. Dollar which stands to reason since it is one of the wealthier islands in the Caribbean and home to alot of "off shore banking."

A couple of years ago, Grand Cayman was devastated by one of the season's most ravishing hurricanes. Hopefully, the people and the natural beauty of the island have since recovered.

A Brief History of the Cayman Islands

Located 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles west of Jamica, Grand Cayman is one of 3 islands in the Cayman Island group, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman being the other two. Like most islands in the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands were "discovered" by Christopher Columbus in 1503 on his fourth and last voyage to the "New World." This year the Cayman Islands are celebrating the 500 year anniversary of that event. Columbus originally named the island "Las Tortugas" (The Turtles), upon seeing these islands so covered by turtles that they "looked like rocks." The present day name of Caymans was probably derived from the Carib word, "Caymanas," believed to indicate that the islands were home to crocodiles. The famous Sir Francis Drake was said to have noted that "large lizards" inhabited the islands.

During its history, the Spanish and British flags have both flown over the Cayman Islands, and it is widely known that pirates and privateers established hideouts here. Now the islands remember this part of their history by celebrating "Pirate's Week!"

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful Crystal Blue Water, Great snorkeling, diving and Stingrays!
  • Cons:Not particularly friendly locals, expensive! Watch your valuables!
  • In a nutshell:Worth the visit if you love the beach and ocean!
  • Last visit to Cayman Islands: Aug 2003
  • Intro Updated May 17, 2006
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Reviews (7)

Comments (31)

  • bijo69's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    Wish I was there right now and enjoy a bit of rum cake :).

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 15, 2009 at 11:30 PM

    Good shopping tips! The stingray feeding sounds a nice different event to partake in!

  • TravellerMel's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    Loved your Cayman shopping tips - I bought my first ever tanzanite ring on Grand Cayman, bought several rum cakes (chocolate being my fav), and I collect Hard Rock pins, so I understand that obsession... Good job!

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    May 18, 2009 at 3:26 PM

    This Island is my idea of heaven. I would surely enjoy to scuba here! That blue water looks so inviting. Thanks

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    May 4, 2008 at 7:36 PM

    I'd love to have some of that rum cake right now. Lots of great memories on this page.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2008 at 5:35 PM

    Really updated since I saw it before. Sure brought back memories. I went to all these same places on a cruise. You've done a super job with outstanding photos. Good travelogue, too.

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2007 at 3:25 AM

    Thank you for visiting my Bar Harbor, Maine page Sylvia. I really enjoyed your Cayman Islands especially Stingray City which looks like a lot of fun. And yes those rum cakes do sound yummy!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Sep 30, 2007 at 8:53 AM

    Duty free shopping and great beaches - the colour of the sea is very inviting!!

  • victorwkf's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2007 at 10:55 PM

    Cayman islands is a beautiful place which I hope to visit one day though it is very far away from where I live :)

  • Ekahau's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2007 at 3:42 AM

    wow sting rays plus Jewellery duty free. I can now understand the shopping comment on my Arctic page LOL very nice page on the Caymans and maybe they are not so friendly because they are rich??

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