"Grand Cayman" George Town by eugini2001

George Town Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 68 photos


It was 1503 , Leonardo da Vinci was painting his Mona Lisa, Henry Tudor was building his chapel at Westminster and Christopher Columbus was on his final voyage to the Americas. He was heading from coast of Panama to the island of Hispaniola when a freak wind pushed him off course near two tiny, low-lying mounds of earth. He named the islands ?Las Tortugas?, after the multitude of sea turtles that he found there. On later maps, the islands were labeled the Caimanau, the Carib Indian word for ?crocodile?. The name ?Caimanas? refers inaccurately to the iguanas native to the islands, not to crocodiles.
By the way, I never thought that iguanas can swim and insured my child just keep snorkel, do not worry about them going to the water. You can imagine my shock when I saw one of them going straight into the same lagoon we were swimming in, just a second after I talked to my child. The safe guard just laughed at me.
While the islands were frequented by ships seeking freshwater and turtle meat, they remained unsettled due to pirate raids until the 17th century. The islands? pioneers, who settled on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, are thought to have been deserters from Oliver Cromwell?s army, which in 1665 captured Jamaica from Spanish. The Caymans were magnets for buccaneers such as Sir Henry Morgan and ? Blackbeard? Edward Teach. Myths about fortunes buried here by pirates endure, although little has been discovered. In 1833 First elections are held; slaves are emancipated and outnumbered whites 5 to 1. Caymanians are proud of their seafaring heritage. The Cayman islands were territory of Jamaica until 1962, when Jamaica gained its independence and Caymanians chose to remain British subjects. The colony has a British Governor, (who has such a pretty mansion), appointed by the queen who presides over an elected Assembly and the mixed Executive council. Prosperity has arrived in the past 20 years, as tourism and banking have become thriving industries.

Some interesting facts:

The Cayman Islands are located directly south of Cuba and approximately 180 miles west ?north of Jamaica. The Island of Grand Cayman measures 76 square miles, it is about 22 miles long and 8 miles wide at its broadest point.
GC is home to approximately 39 335 people. The official currency of the Island is the Cayman Island dollar. US dollars, credit cards are widely excepted.


Cayman?s parrot is actually two subspecies of the Cuban parrot, used to be pets but now practice is illegal. About 4000 Grand Cayman parrots, so called because they are found nowhere else in the world, remain on the island and on the national flag. The same thing with GC Blue Iguana is found only on the island-subspecies of the Cuban Rock Iguana can grow to be as long as 5 feet and can swim that terrifies me, no wonder it was mistaken with crocodile!

  • Last visit to George Town: Dec 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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