Comprised of three islands called the Little Cayman, Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, the Grand Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory that boasts having the highest living standards in the Caribbean. Seven Mile Beach is one of the Grand Cayman Island’s most popular attractions and home to many beautiful resorts as well as the historical Pedro St. James Castle, which still remains open to the public.
In addition, visitors can swim with friendly stingrays at Stingray City and sandbar on Grand Cayman Island and view several shipwrecks located just off its shore. Other Grand Cayman Island attractions include the Mastic hiking trail, the Cayman Turtle Farm, a marine theme park called Boatswain’s Beach and the East End Light, the first lighthouse to be used as a navigational aid on the island.
Grand Cayman Island is the largest island in the Cayman Islands chain, and where most tourists spend their Cayman Islands vacations. The primary attraction of Grand Cayman islands are its beaches and coral reefs: Grand Cayman scuba diving and snorkeling ranks amongst the best in the world. For the less aquatic tourist, Grand Cayman vacations offer plenty of dry land activities.
Grand Cayman Island Climate
Grand Cayman Island, like the rest of the Cayman Islands, has temperatures that range from the high 70’s to the low 90’s. January and February are the dry season, with average temperatures in the high 70’s to low eighties. July and August are the hottest months on Grand Cayman Islands, ranging from the high 80s to low 90s.
Rainfall is most common between May and November on the Cayman Islands, and humidity can make the temperature higher than it is.
Hurricanes have hit Grand Cayman Island in the past, with four hitting the Cayman Islands between 1988 and 2004. while hurricane season is from June to November, Grand Cayman Island is most likely to experience tropical storms or hurricanes in September, November and December. The island has an excellent evacuation program in the unlikely event of a hurricane disrupting your Cayman Islands vacation.
Tourist tips for Grand Cayman
The Cayman Islands are a dependency of Great Britain. North American Tourists should remember that traffic on the Cayman Islands travels on the left.
Currency is in Cayman Island dollars, but American tourists rarely have to exchange currencies as U.S. dollars are also circulated.
Grand Cayman Diving and Scuba Diving
Grand Cayman Scuba Diving presents some of the most magnificent opportunities in the world to enjoy first class adventures on walls, reefs and wrecks. Grand Cayman Island is actually the top of a limestone reef, with a maximum height of only sixty feet above sea water. The surrounding waters are crystal clear, and abound in coral gardens, drop-offs and lagoons. Grand Cayman snorkeling and scuba diving ranks amongst the best in the world.
Underwater visibility averages an impressive 100 feet, and Grand Cayman diving sites number in the hundreds. The water is so clear, in part, because Grand Cayman Island is riverless. With no freshwater run-off to cloud the water, Grand Cayman snorkeling and scuba diving is unparalleled.
When participating in a Grand Cayman Island diving tour, or even if you’re just snorkeling in the shallows, respect the delicate nature of the reef. Coral grows at less than an inch a year, and is easily damaged by careless divers. Touch nothing, and take nothing but photos.
One of the most popular destinations for Grand Cayman snorkeling is Stingray City, an area of sand bars inhabited by large, but harmless, sting rays. Although people can and do feed the sting rays, ecologically conscious divers prefer to do nothing that alters the natural environment. Other popular Grand Cayman scuba diving sites include the wrecks of ships that ran afoul of Grand Cayman Island’s reef system.
Things to Do on Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman Island vacations center on the ocean, there’s no denying it. People who don’t want to partake in Grand Cayman snorkeling can still explore the reefs with glass bottom boat tours. Or if you want to see where Grand Cayman diving tours see, the Atlantis submarine takes tours from George Town Harbor.
Other water activities that attract people to Grand Cayman Island vacations include parasailing, water-sailing, jet-skiing, banana boat rides and knee boarding. Romantic sailing tours and day cruises are also available.
Dry land activities shouldn’t be overlooked on Grand Cayman Island vacations. Where else can you visit a town called Hell with its own mascot devil? (Hell is named for the strange black rock formations that surround it). Or visit a turtle farm and view turtles as big as yourself at Cayman Turtle Farm?
Grand Cayman is also dotted with historic towns and forts from the island’s colonial past, including Pedro St. James Castle, a fort build in 1780.
George Town, the Capital of the Cayman Islands, is the largest town on Grand Cayman, and where tourists can enjoy nightlife and shopping. Shoppers looking for unique mementos of their Grand Island vacations should consider jewelry made from caymanite, a semi-precious stone found only in the Cayman Islands.
Other activities for Grand Cayman Island vacations include:
- Hiking the Mastic Trail
- Historic walking tours
- Bird watching
- Exploring by jeep
- Sampling traditional Grand Cayman cuisine
- Deep sea fishing
And, of course, no Grand Cayman Island vacation is complete without lounging on the beach. The most famous beach on Grand Cayman is Seven Mile Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.
Safety on Grand Cayman Island Vacations
Crime rates are low on Grand Cayman, and tourists who take reasonable precautions should have no difficulties on their Cayman Islands vacations. Observe the usual safety rules when traveling: don’t leave valuables unattended at the beach or in hotel rooms, and don’t walk alone at night.
Grand Cayman scuba diving is reasonably safe, and the island has decompression chambers should a diver develop “the bends.” The ocean is an ever-present temptation on Grand Cayman. Snorkeling and swimming should only occur in safe areas. Drowning can occur.
Grand Cayman Vacation Accommodation
Accommodations for Grand Cayman Island vacations include all-inclusive resorts, bed and breakfasts, cottages, and guest homes. Accommodation rates depend heavily on when you visit Grand Cayman.
Peak tourist season runs from the middle of December to the middle of February. During this time expect to pay fifty percent more than during the off-season. given the difference in price, a Grand Cayman vacation is more affordable during the off-season, and you can use the money you save on accommodation can be put towards making your Grand Cayman vacation even more memorable.
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