Cayman Islands Information
Start your tour of the Cayman Islands here. Learn interesting and important facts about the three Cayman islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Topics covered include location, geography, weather, economy, and history.
Geography & Geology
The Cayman Islands are three islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, located in the Caribbean Sea. With a latitude between 19 degrees 15 minutes and 19 degrees 45 minutes North, and a longitude between 79 degrees 44 minutes and 81 degrees 27 minutes West, they are well within the tropical zone. Grand Cayman is about 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles west of Jamaica. The three islands are outcrops of the Cayman Ridge, a range of submarine mountains extending west-southwest from the Sierra Maestra range in the southeast portion of Cuba to the Misteriosa Bank in the direction of Belize.
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Cayman Islands History
Although the Cayman Islands celebrated its 500th birthday – its Quincentennial Year – in 2003, marking the first sighting of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman by Christopher Columbus, it was only about three hundred years ago that people began to settle permanently on these islands. With no archeological evidence that Amerindians ever inhabited the Cayman Islands, it is believed that the first people to actually land here were sailors from Sir Francis Drake’s 1585-6 expedition to the West Indies.
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Economy of the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands have for many years enjoyed a thriving economy with literally zero unemployment. Construction of new homes, hotels and condominium projects keeps developers busy, and land sales increase almost every year. To keep pace with the development requires the importation of foreign labour, and there are currently around 20,000 foreign workers in the Cayman Islands.
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The Cayman Islands Government
The Cayman Islands’ status as a British dependency has endured since 1655. Now called a British Overseas Territory (one of 14 around the globe), Cayman’s Head of State is Queen Elizabeth II, and loyalty to the British Crown is strong and heartfelt. Moreover, this colonial relationship with the United Kingdom has provided the country with the necessary political and social stability for them to progress and for the economy to flourish. At present there are no ambitions for independence.
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Caymanian Culture and Society
Describing Caymanian culture can sometimes be a little bit like picking up mercury as it is a constantly shifting dynamic. From the early settlers to the modern work permit holders, Cayman has been influenced over the last 500 years by many different traditions. The country does, however, have a distinctive society that sets it apart from the rest of the Caribbean -- hence the saying that Cayman is an island in the Caribbean rather than a Caribbean island. The Caymanian people work hard to maintain their identity while embracing modern development wholeheartedly.
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Our information guide to all three Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman - tells you how each island is different, what’s special about each one, and what attractions await you. Discover why you’ll ultimately want to visit all three. Plus, with our weather article, you’ll know exactly white time of year you want to visit.
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