In 1503 when Columbus first sighted this wonderful group of islands on the Caribbean Sea, he thought that Tortugas was a fitting name of the islands inhabited by numerous sea turtles. However, the caiman crocodiles were thought to be a better representative of the islands, and hence the islands were later rechristened the Cayman Islands. This paradise of nature started to flourish as a human settlement from the 17th century. The caverns and coves of the island also became the hideout of infamous pirates. Today Cayman Islands are a popular tourist destination. This is one of the safest spots on earth with minimal crime rate. The group of islands comprise of the Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Best time to visit
Cayman Islands could be visited throughout the year. On the week following Easter, the Batabano Carnival is celebrated throughout the region. Pirates Week is another grand carnival celebrated in Cayman Islands in late October. Anglers wait for April to participate in the Cayman Islands International Fishing Tournament.
Cayman Islands Attractions
Grand Cayman, the largest of the islands, is the center of most of the activities of the island. Its capital George Town is a vibrant modern city. The Barkers are a series of beaches in Grand Cayman. If you want to escape from the bustling crowd of merrymakers, head to these beaches shaded with palms. However, avoid swimming in the shallow waters with rocky bottom. Rum Point in northern part of Grand Cayman is fitted with picnicking, boating and water sporting facilities.
This is a popular snorkeling spot of the island. The hammocks hanging from the tall casuarinas trees are the added attraction. To the left of Rum Point is located Water Cay, an isolated beach, noted for the orange starfish. The Seven Mile Beach is perhaps the most popular spot of the island. Most of the resorts, hotels, restaurants and shopping centers are located here. Smith’s Cove is often chosen as a wedding venue.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a covered with indigenous and exotic tropical vegetation. The blue iguana and the green Cayman parrot are popular attractions of this reserve. The Parrot Preserve in Cayman Brac is the best place to see rare bird species, including the famous Cayman Brac parrots.
The 18th century Pedro St James Castle is the oldest stone structure standing on Grand Cayman. Visit this lovely castle surrounded with woodland.