Nestled in the Caribbean just 480 miles south of Miami, the Cayman Islands is a spectacular trio of islands including Grand Cayman and its sister islands - Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Boasting pristine beaches, world-renowned diving spots, distinctive sporting and culinary events, and a multitude of various attractions, the Cayman Islands is an unparalleled warm-weather destination. Whether it is a family vacation, girl’s getaway, diving adventure or romantic escape, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Cayman.
Grand Cayman is the largest island and is also the social and economic hub of this Caribbean destination. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of accommodations from luxury condominiums and secluded villas to world-class hotels or elegant resorts. Located on the western shore of Grand Cayman is Seven Mile Beach, one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches with white sand, crystal clear water, and hidden coves and reefs. Hotels, beachside restaurants, multiple watersport options, and world-class shops can be found along the Seven Mile Beach shore, offering guests a diverse array of experiences and excursions. Of the many beaches in Grand Cayman, Rum Point is a favorite with the tranquility of the North Side, calm waters, and classic Caymanian beauty.
The Cayman Islands is frequently referred to as “the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean”, offering a wide variety of fine food and dining options. This winter, visitors will travel from around the world for the second annual Cayman Cookout which will take place January 14 – 18, 2010. The event is hosted by celebrity Chef Eric Ripert, creator of acclaimed Grand Cayman restaurant Blue. He will be joined by his talented culinary friends to deliver days of food and wine demonstrations, tastings, and excursions all over the island. Another event not to miss is the sixth annual Cayman jazz fest which will take place from December 3 – 5, 2009. Headlined by international superstar and nine-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys, this year’s jazz fest promises to be an unforgettable weekend filled with performances by international jazz and R&B legends. For the first time, jazz fest will be held at Grand Cayman’s blossoming new community, Camana Bay.
Camana Bay is situated on 500 acres stretching from the Caribbean Sea to the North Sound. This new community has a contemporary style and was designed based on the New Urbanism philosophy which promotes walkable communities with residents, shops, civic space, schools, and parks. Another new development in Cayman is the Cotton Tree, an incredible boutique resort located on the northern tip of Grand Cayman’s West Bay, nestled on the shores of Barker’s Beach. Cotton Tree features a private spa pavilion, a high quality fitness center, daily maid service, and many other luxurious amenities. For those seeking a tranquil getaway in a secluded area, Grand Cayman’s quiet East End is ideal. Far removed from George Town’s crowds, the East End offers a chance for guests to reconnect with each other in a serene environment.
Recognized as the Caribbean’s birthplace of recreational diving, it is no wonder that divers travel from around the world to experience Cayman’s astonishing marine life, pristine walls, fascinating shipwrecks, and clear visibility. With over 250 dive sites and more than 40 dive operations, even the most advanced diver will be amazed. Scuba divers will be provided with a new diving choice for every day of the year with a “Dive 365” project which aims to develop and maintain 365 separating moorings in Cayman over the next few years. The destination even offers resorts specific to diving interests – ideal for the diver enthusiast traveling solo, or to meet those with like-minded interests. For those not as willing to venture deep beneath the sea, Stingray City is ideal. Everyone – with or without snorkel gear – is invited to visit this world famous 12-foot dive site with adjacent sandbar to touch, feed, and swim with the friendly Southern Atlantic stingrays in two to six feet of water.
The Cayman Islands is not a typical beach vacation – rich in culture and heritage, children and adults will learn about the destination in a unique manner. The oldest building on Grand Cayman is Pedro St. James, an authentic Caribbean great house from the early 18th century which serves as a symbol of the birthplace of democracy in Cayman. Pedro St. James’ grounds feature an authentic outbuilding, original Caymanian cottages, and multiple gardens. Boatswain’s Beach, a 24-acre marine theme park, is a family favorite. Visitors can swim with turtles and other marine life in the 1.3 Million Gallon Saltwater Snorkel Lagoon. An Aviary and Iguana sanctuary, a Nature Trail and “Blue Hole” Sunken Cave, and Caymanian Heritage Street with artisans, crafts, and restaurants can all be found at Boatswain’s Beach. Queen Elizabeth II opened Grand Cayman’s only Botanic Park in 1994, which is owned jointly by the Cayman Islands Government and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting natural environments and places of historic significance. The QE II Botanic Park includes The Floral Colour Garden, The Heritage Garden, The Woodland Trail, a lake, orchids, a virtual herbarium, butterflies, and the famous Cayman Blue Iguanas.
Unparalleled beauty, warm-year round temperatures, unique activities, and world-class accommodations are just a few of the reasons the Cayman Islands is an ideal destination for anyone and everyone. To learn more about traveling to the Cayman Islands please visit www.caymanislands.ky