Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Caimans, the lizards belonging to the alligator family, are the namesake for a submarine mountain range reaching as far as Cuba. Seen from above, the peaks of these mountains protruding from the water look like the back of a caiman lying in the water. That's how they came originally The turtles named islands by their name Cayman Islands.
With an area of 197 km², Grand Cayman Island is the largest of the Cayman Islands. About 90% of the almost 50.000 inhabitants of the archipelago live on it. Politically, the Cayman Islands have the status of a British crown colony. They are a British overseas territory of the United Kingdom. A governor represents the head of state, Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Grand Cayman - Governor's Residence
It was Columbus who sighted the islands in 1503, long before the English. The islands were only sporadically settled from 1666 onwards. Since they were regularly attacked and looted by pirates and foreign powers, settlements could not develop undisturbed at first. It was not until 1734 that the Cayman Islands were consistently colonized.
In the early colonial times, turtles and mussels were the main export goods. Nobody bothered with such small cattle today. And not just for reasons of species protection. In the eyes of the OECD, the islands have the dubious reputation of a tax haven. And the island capital also applies George Town, this is where the cruise ships land their guests, as the fifth largest financial center in the world. As can be read, four out of ten hedge funds are based in George Town. Who would have thought that?
Grand Cayman - bank building
The average cruise tourist hardly ever visits the islands to wish their discreetly parked money a good day. It is the landscape with its beaches and the underwater world that makes Grand Cayman so attractive. More about this under Attractions. In a nutshell, Grand Cayman Island will go down in our vacation memories as the day of a beach vacation and the last day of duty-free shopping.
Grand Cayman - Beach for Everyone