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September 24, 2017
KYD
Cayman Islands Dollar
Geography / History
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Introduction to Cayman's Geography

  • Introduction to Cayman's Geography-Geography / History-Cayman Islands
    Cayman Cove

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Geography
The Cayman Islands are made up of three islands: Grand Cayman, the largest and most developed (approximately 22 miles long), Cayman Brac (15 square miles) and Little Cayman (10 square miles). The Cayman Islands lie 480 miles south of Miami, 150 miles south of Cuba and 167 miles northwest of Jamaica.

 

The Islands are the tops of pinnacles reaching up from the Cayman Trench – one of the deepest sections of ocean in the world, reaching depths of around 25,000ft.

 

All three islands are very flat, with the highest point on Grand Cayman being some 70ft above sea level.

 

There are no rivers on any of the islands. The coasts are largely protected by offshore reefs and in some places by a mangrove fringe that sometimes extends into inland swamps.

 

The islands are located on the tectonic plate boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. The tectonic plates in Cayman’s region are in continuous lateral movement against each other. This movement, with the Caribbean plate travelling in an eastward direction and the North American plate moving west, limits the size of earthquakes and there has never been an event recorded of more than magnitude 7.

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Fun Facts
  • 'He hath founded it upon the seas'
    For more than 100 years, shipbuilding was a major source of income in Cayman and between 1900 -1950 more than 280 vessels were built on all three of our islands.
  • Cayman Islands on the map
    The Cayman Islands are part of the Cayman Ridge, situated 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles west of Jamaica, in the central Caribbean.
  • Did you know ...?
    There are more than 449 banks and 115 trust companies licensed in the Cayman Islands!
  • How long is Seven Mile Beach?
    No, its not seven miles. Despite its name, Seven Mile Beach is actually 5.5 miles long. The island itself is only 22 miles long!
  • Our National Symbols
    A poll was held in 1996 and as a result, the Cayman parrot was voted national bird of Cayman, wild banana orchid as the national flower and the silver thatch palm as official national tree.
  • Support our Boobies!
    Also known as "Boobies", the Booby Bird can be found in Cayman and were given their name from the Spanish slang term 'bobo', meaning 'dunce'.
  • What does 'Cayman' mean?
    It means 'crocodile' - Sir Francis Drake arrived in 1586 and noted a sea serpent 12 feet long which was known as a 'caiman' by natives. It was actually an alligator but the name stuck to the islands!
  • Cayman is a top 'winter' vacation!
    The New York Times knows what we already know – that Cayman is one of the top winter destinations in the world! We made it into the Times 10 Winter Getaways to Suit Every Age, January 2012.
  • Cayman Islands voted "Friendliest Destination"
    Three cheers for Cayman hospitality! With more than 150,000 votes cast, the Cayman Islands won "Friendliest Destination" in Caribbean Travel + Life Magazine's annual Best of the Caribbean issue.
  • Dive Cayman's newest wreck!
    The former submarine rescue ship, Ex-USS Kittiwake, was successfully laid to rest after 54 years of service off Seven Mile Beach on 3 January 2011. Marvel at the spectacle of Cayman's 'newest' wreck!
  • Short History of Stingray City
    Locals say stingrays began gathering in the area decades ago when fishermen cleaned their fish in the shallows. Stingrays would come to feast on discarded fish guts. Now they are hand-fed by visitors!
  • Stock up on supplies!
    Remember to make a supermarket your first stop in Cayman if you arrive on a Saturday as all shops are closed on Sundays.
  • To tip or not to tip?
    Virtually every restaurant in the Cayman Islands adds a 10% to 15% service charge in lieu of tipping, so check your bill! Tips are always welcome in the absence of a charge or for 'cash' services.
  • Travel with spare change
    Usual bus fare is CI$2 per journey or CI$3 if you take a long trip like George Town to East End or North Side. Listen for the driver beeping to check if you need a ride!