Of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman is the largest and most highly populated. This warm and inviting island is also the offshore banking centre of the country. It’s where you’ll find the capital, George Town, which is also the largest city in the Cayman Islands.
The claw-shaped island of Grand Cayman is situated about 90 miles southwest of Cayman Brac and about 75 miles southwest of Little Cayman. It’s where the vast majority of visitors begin their Cayman Island adventures because it’s where Owen Roberts International Airport is located. At 22 miles in length about eight miles at its widest point, Grand Cayman makes up more than 75 percent of the landmass of the Cayman Islands. In terms of topography, the island ranges from a height of sea level at its shores to a height of around 60 feet above sea level at Mastic Trail, which is its highest point.
In addition to George Town, five other districts make up the island: East End, George Town, North Side, and West Bay, which is where the famous Seven Mile Beach is located and Bodden Town, which was founded in the 18th century.
Grand Cayman Attractions
There is never a lack of things to do on Grand Cayman. A few of the main attractions of the island include:
- Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park - This unique attraction is located on the North Side. It includes a Cayman farmhouse from around the turn of the 20th century and a population of endemic blue iguanas. It is the ideal location for outings and picnics. Its facilities also consist of a traditional Cayman sand garden, floral colour garden, palm garden, the Cayman parrot, 45-acres of natural woodland with brackish and freshwater swamps.
- Seven Mile Beach – This world-famous beach is located on the western end of the island. It’s where you will find the island’s best luxury resorts and hotels. Public beach bars liven up the beach and make it a fun place to take strolls. Every visitor to the Cayman Islands should stop here at least once.
- Turtle Farm – More than 7,000 turtles call this unique place home, and tourists are even allowed to pick up and pet some of them. They range in size from babies to adults that weigh more than 600 pounds.
- Cayman Islands National Museum – To learn more about the history of the Cayman Islands, be sure to stop by this museum, which is located in George Town.
- Hell -This exposed iron-shore, quarter acre of land is said to be devoid of life. It got its name from its ‘netherworld appearance’ and is regarded as a spot for a rare photographic opportunity.
- Rum Point – Located on the picturesque north side of the island, “Rum Point”, named after barrels of rum that washed ashore after a shipwreck, extends for 7 miles to divide the two “arms” of Grand Cayman. It is truly a retreat, ideal for relaxation on its white sandy beach. Shallow, clear waters provide spectacular snorkelling and water sports. Delicious food and shady trees add the perfect elements for an afternoon siesta in one of the beach hammocks!
- Stingray City – Stingray City is found just off the Coast of Grand Cayman Island and consists of a string of sand bars that cross the North Sound from Morgan’s Harbour to Rum Point. At Stingray City, guests can swim freely with the stingrays and get up close and personal to watch them being fed, standing in only three feet of water, during either a full or half day snorkel or dive tour. Interacting with these graceful and gentle creatures is lots of fun and suitable for all ages. It’s definitely an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind adventure!
- Pedro St. James “Castle” – This national historic site dates back to 1780 and was built by slaves when only 400 people were living on the island in thatch houses. The three-story stone building was so imposing they called it “castle”.