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SAFE, SOPHISTICATED AND SO CLOSE
The Cayman Islands are a bit different than the rest of the islands in the Caribbean. Yes, they have gorgeous beaches and fabulous weather but there is something decidedly different. The difference is a feel of sophistication in all that it offers. That’s just one of the 3 S’s that the Cayman Islands offer. It is also safe and so close.
The Cayman Islands’ sophistication comes from the fact that it is a prosperous island. The average family income is over $68,000. It is a world financial center and you’ll see signs of prosperity all over the islands. Because of the prosperity, the Cayman Islands are safe. It is populated with warm and friendly people. And, at only 480 miles from Miami, the Cayman Islands are so close. Less than 4 hours non-stop from Newark and just a 70 minute flight from Miami, Cayman is close enough for a long weekend getaway or a week of relaxation.
MORE THAN JUST A PORT OF CALL
Many people know Grand Cayman as a cruise destination. More than a dozen different cruise lines call on Grand Cayman during their Caribbean itineraries. With great shore excursions offered by the cruise lines, many cruise passengers have experienced a taste of what the Cayman Islands have to offer.
Three different islands make up the British territory known as the Cayman Islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. All 3 have their own unique personality with a diverse variety of activities.
Most visitors to Cayman come through Grand Cayman. The most developed of the islands, it combines the best the Caribbean has to offer. Top accommodations, fine dining and great activities combined with natural beauty, Grand Cayman is a perfect vacation destination. The largest of the 3 islands, Grand Cayman is only 22 miles long and 8 miles wide. Good roads make it easy to navigate and explore.
Deluxe hotels like the Hyatt, Westin, Marriott and the new Ritz Carlton provide the perfect place to relax after a day in the sun. Condominiums offer convenience and savings for families or large groups traveling together. Over 130 restaurants offer everything from five star gourmet dining to local treats at beach huts. For the shopper, there are over 60 different stores in Georgetown, all at the waterfront in a picturesque setting. Grand Cayman is a duty free destination, which means a substantial savings on perfume, watches, china and crystal, just to name a few.
A BEACH DESTINATION
The legendary Seven Mile Beach is world renowned as one of the best beaches in the world. With is fine white powder sand, Seven Mile beach is the perfect backdrop to the crystal blue sea. Most of the top hotels front this fabulous beach making a wonderful beach vacation for those who want to lounge on the beach and take advantage of the sun and all the water sports available.
SCUBA AND SNORKLING
Home to many excellent dive sites, visitors to Grand Cayman can stay at deluxe accommodations while enjoying their days discovering the treasures below the sea. For snorkelers of all ages, Sting Ray City is a must-do attraction. Standing in shallow water, you can swim with the friendly sting rays who welcome human interaction.
The pace here is not set by the clock, but rather by the beauty that abounds. Days are filled with diving, hiking or lounging on white sandy beaches. Just 89 miles from Grand Cayman, it’s just a short flight and a world apart. Visitors to Cayman Brac come to dive at the more than 35 different dive sites, including a Russian destroyer, which was intentionally prepared and sunk as a dive site in 1996. In addition to diving, the Cayman Brac Heritage Sites and Trails brochure lists 38 sites, showcasing the best of what nature has to offer, including forest, beach, bird watching, caves, cliffs and wetlands. With over 200 different species of birds, Cayman Brac is perfect for bird watchers.
The smallest of the islands is also the least developed. Less than 100 people live on the island. This is a world where everyone knows you. A single road leads to secluded beaches. Nature dominates this island. With only 130 rooms in dive resorts, hotels, condominiums and quaint cottages, the most popular evening activity is relaxing on a beach hammock gazing at the stars. Also a fabulous dive destination, Little Cayman has over 40 dive sites. For hikers and bird watchers, Booby Pond Nature Reserve is the largest known breeding colony for the red footed booby. For those seeking a secluded beach, Owens Island, just 200 yards offshore, has a sandy beach and blue lagoon perfect for those seeking solitude.
A FAMILY DESTINATION
Cayman is a vacation that encourages quality time with the kids where families get try new things and explore the islands’ natural beauty. Family friendly accommodations include one, two and three bedroom condos as well as hotels with extensive kid’s programs. Attractions that will entertain the entire family include the Cayman Turtle Farm, the Butterfly Farm, glass bottom boat rides and Sting Ray City, all on Grand Cayman.
With the Summer Splash promotion this summer, kids 12 and under stay and eat free (when sharing a room with parents) and get free entrance to some attractions and free participation in some water sports. Children can also participate in the Cayman Islands Sea School with Sponge Bob Square Pants, a free 2 hour interactive learning session to inspire appreciation for the sea and marine conservation.
WEDDINGS, CAYMANIAN STYLE
With more than 500 destination weddings a year, the Cayman Islands can claim that romance is in the air. Thanks to the many wedding services companies on the islands, brides and grooms can get the wedding of their dreams. Whether it’s an intimate ceremony on the beach, an extravaganza with hundreds of guests or anything in between- including underwater weddings- the bride and groom will find the exact experience they are looking for. Couples can get married the day they arrive, even those on cruise ships. Non-residents need a special license from the Governor. They must pre-arrange for a Cayman Islands Marriage Officer before applying for the license which can be done prior to arrival.
A DIVING DESTINATION
Considered the birthplace of recreational diving in the Caribbean, Cayman is one of the premier diving destinations in the world. There are more than 40 dive operations and over 250 dive sites with moorings. The warm, calm waters, 100 foot plus visibility and magnificent variety of marine life lure divers of all levels. Each of the three islands offers its own unique dive experience. Many of the resorts offer dive packages to fit the needs of divers and their non-diving companions.
Grand Cayman has more than 150 dive sites. The most popular region is conveniently located off Seven Mile Beach. Just offshore from the beach, the drop-off starts in just 50 feet of calm water. Within minutes of the major resorts, most sites range from shallow coral grottoes to sheer walls to dramatic coral archways. More challenging dive sites are located in the East End and North Side of Grand Cayman.
Most visitors come to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to dive. Cayman Brac boasts 2 shores of topnotch diving. It’s also the home to the M.V. Keith Tibbetts, the only diveable Russian warship in the Western hemisphere.
Bloody Bay and Jackson Wall on the north side of Little Cayman offer some of the world’s best diving starting as shallow as 18-20 feet.
HAVING IT ALL
Whether you are looking for great beaches, superb dining, fabulous diving and water sports, wonderful spas, the hottest clubs or if you just want to relax in quiet and relaxing surroundings, the Cayman Islands has it all. With a wide choice in accommodations, a vacation in the Cayman Islands can fit most budgets. Direct flights from Atlanta, Charlotte, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, New York, Philadelphia as well as other U.S. cities make flying to Grand Cayman easy.