Cayman Islands History Culture and Tourism
Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea, remained largely uninhabited until the 17th century. It is spread around 264 sq-kms(102 sq-mile) territory comprising three islands namely Grand Cayman is the largest, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are known as "Sister Islands" which are located south of Cuba, northeast of Costa Rica, north of Panama and northwest of Jamaica with a population of approx 60,000. This Island is the 5th largest banking centre in the world having $1.5 trillion in banking liabilities. 'George Town' is the capital and largest city of this Island situated on the southwest coast of Grand Cayman. This town has 3 cruise terminals the North, South and Royal Watler Terminals which are about 5 minutes ride from the ship to the terminal.
Little Cayman Island
There is tropical marine climate seen in Cayman Islands with a wet season of warm rainy summers starting from May-Oct and a dry season of hot winters starting from Nov-April.
History of Cayman Islands:
The England took control of the Cayman Islands in 1670 along with Jamaica as a result of the Treaty of Madrid.
It was uninhabited until the 17th century and is home to variety of settlers from various backgrounds including the pirates, the shipwrecked sailors and the deserters who are from Oliver Cromwell's army of Jamaica. As there was necessity of workers the slaves were brought to the Islands from Africa, today the majority of native Caymanians are Africans and English descendents. Slavery was abolished around 1833 in the Cayman Islands. At that time there were about 950 Blacks of African ancestry enslaved by 116 white families of English ancestry.
History says that King George III rewarded this Island with a promise that they would never introduce taxes as compensation for their generosity, and leave it as tax exempted destination, as the King's own family members were carried on one of the ships, but there is no evidence to prove it. It was in 1962 the islands continued to be governed as part of the Colony of Jamaica, when Cayman became a separate Crown colony, Jamaica became an independent Commonwealth realm.
The history of the Cayman Islands is a combination of both the intrigue of island-hopping pirates and consists of fascinating culture of the people who are native to Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
History of Cayman Islands
The islands got popular as tax haven as they had never levied income tax,capital gains tax nor any wealth tax. A 13% government tax is liable on all tourist accommodations who visit Cayman Islands in addition to US$37.50 airport departure tax which is built into the cost of an airline ticket. There are no taxes applicable on corporate profits, capital gains or personal income nor estate or death inheritance taxes payable on Cayman Islands real estate or its other assets.
The tropical cyclones are the major natural hazards which form during the Atlantic hurricane season from June-Nov. The Hurricane Ivan struck the Cayman Islands on 11th and 12th Sep in 2004. That storm caused great damage to the infrastructure on the islands and resulted in two deaths. The total economic impact of those storms was estimated to be $3.4 billion.
People and Culture of Cayman Islands:
It is seen that throughout the year there are celebrations of numerous festivals, art fairs and live theatrical performances which highlight the art, music and literary legacy of the Cayman Culture. The one who is planning to have a trip must not miss any of the lively events going on around Grand Cayman during their visit.
Batababano Festival- Culture of Grand Cayman
The population consists more than 100 nationalities and mostly follow the religion of Christianity with large numbers of Baptists, Presbyterians and Catholics. It also hosts other religions like Jewish, Muslim and Hinduism. The people of Cayman Island are of mixed race mostly African-Caucasian. Majority of the people resides at Grand Cayman, followed by Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
English is the official language spoken here. The other languages spoken by the residents of Cayman are Spanish,Tagalok language and Cayman Islands English.
Tourism Attractions of Cayman Islands:
The tourist attractions of Cayman Island consists of museums, botanical parks and national trusts which showcases the rich and colorful past of the islands. One would love to walk on long stretches of powdery sand beaches, perfect for lounging and relaxing. On the other side are virtually untouched forests and preserved caves, which are perfect hiking destinations to commune with nature.
1)Grand Cayman:- It is famous for crystal clear waters with various shades of blue, splashing on the shores of Grand Cayman. Its main attraction is the Seven Mile Beach. This site is full of a number of the island's hotels and resorts and considered as the public property which is possible to walk the full length of the beach. Tourists mostly visit the "Sister Islands" Little Cayman and Cayman Brac along with the historical sites like Pedro St James Castle in Savannah.
Geological Rock formations on Hell Cayman Island
A Bird in Cayman Island
A Chameleon in Cayman Island
The Beautiful Cayman Island
The landscape of Cayman Island
A Boy Snorkeling with Dolphin in Grand Cayman Island
2)Stingray City:- It is the one of top attraction of Grand Cayman which originally started in 1980s, when divers started feeding squid to stingrays. All the three Islands of Cayman are best for Scuba Diving and snorkelling where tourists can enjoy swimming with the stingrays.
Stingrays in Cayman Islands
3)Ironshore landscape of Hell:- Its a marine theme park Boatswain's Beach,home to the Cayman Turtle Farm,the production of gourmet sea salt and the Mastic Trail, which is a hiking trail through the forests in the centre of the island.
4)Observation Tower:- It is located in Camana Bay and the tower is 75 ft tall and provides 360 degree view of the Seven Mile Beach,the North Sound and beyond is free to the public for climbing and stands popular thing to do in the Cayman Islands.
5)East End Light:- It is also known as Gorling Bluff Light which is the light house situated at the east end of Grand Cayman Island. It is the centerpiece of East End Light house Park which is managed by the National Trust and the first navigational aid on the site of Cayman Islands.
Best Time to Visit Cayman Islands:
Winter is from Nov-March favourable to visit Cayman Islands. The average temperature would be 24 degrees during the season.
The Summer is from July-Aug,and Cayman is warm year around approx.220-320C and encounters Monsoon from May-Oct. One need not worry with the showers as they won't last for long time and need not change one's travel plans. Many tourists visiting this Island plan to stay between May-July, as hotel prices are lowest during this period.
Modes of Transportation:
By Air: The nearest airport is the Owen Roberts International Airport of Cayman Island and the other is Charles Kirkconnell Airport on Cayman Brac and have services available from Atlanta,Chicago,Tampa,Newark,London Toronto,New York,Montego Bay,Washington D.C.,Havana,Miami,Panama City,La Ceiba and more.
By Road: The following highways serve the city East/West Arterial,Linford Pierson Highway and Esterly Tibbetts Highway with a wide range of fleet of Share taxi and minibuses. There are colour codes and logos on buses to identify different routes.
By Sea: There are number of Cruise Liners available from distinct places to the Cayman Islands.
Image Courtesy: www.offshoreaccountingjobs.com, home.hiwaay.net, www.harbourheightscayman.com