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Cayman Islands - m.s. photo

As we strolled out of the port and onto the streets of the capital, George Town, our first impression was that everything here was so orderly, clean and developed. It’s fascinating to see the contrast between Jamaica and Grand Cayman – despite their proximity, they could hardly be more different.

We definitely wanted to spend time on the beach – the Cayman Islands have spectacular coastlines, and one of the most famous attractions is Stingray City. It seemed a good idea to combine this with some other activities, so we booked a catamaran trip through a local company. Setting off from the port where the cruise ships dock, we came to a smaller harbor where the catamarans were waiting for us.
On our way, we had time to take a quick look at the city, and saw plenty of wonderfully picturesque little streets and houses. Boarding our catamaran, we sailed out across the sea for about 30-45 minutes until we reached our first destination. En route, we were able to admire the countless shades of blue on the water’s surface – the sea was so beautiful it was like a dream.

At last we reached the coral atoll, where the plan had been to go snorkeling, but the waves were so high that it wasn’t safe to get into the water, and we sailed on in search of a more sheltered spot. I was very confident we’d find a good location, as the wildlife here is amazingly abundant. Sure enough, before long we found a suitable place, and jumped into the water. Looking beneath the surface, what we beheld was simply breathtaking: gorgeous, colorful coral, fish, and even gigantic rays swimming past us, which was a bit alarming at first, but they told us that the Cayman rays are well known for their calm friendliness, and there was nothing to fear. It was a truly amazing experience to see this rich plant and animal life at such close quarters.

After this we headed on to the main attraction, which I’ve already mentioned: Stingray City. This is a low sandbar a few kilometers from the coast, where large numbers of friendly skates and rays congregate. In the past, local fishermen anchored there used to feed the rays. They gradually got accustomed to this, and no longer see humans as a threat. If you get into the water they’ll swim right into your lap and let you stroke them. It’s important to note that they aren’t caged or constrained in any way; this is their natural habitat, and they can swim away any time they choose.

Practicals

Transport

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Cayman Islands - regular bus transport to tourist attractions - k.a. photo

Cayman Islands - road sign - Iguana! Drive slowly

Cayman Islands - George Town - anchored cruises - k.a. photo

Food

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Cayman Islands - Grand Cayman - Cracked Conch

Cayman Islands - lunch

Cayman Islands - look at what happened to the relatives

Cayman Islands - George Town - fresh king salmon - k.a. photo

Shopping

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Cayman Islands - George Town - Shops at Royal Watler - k.a. photo

Cayman Islands - George Town - duty-free shopping - k.a. photo

Cayman Islands - George Town - plenty of shops - k.a. photo

Public safety

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Cayman Islands - policeman

Others

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Cayman Islands - Little Cayman Museum - iguanas hungry for culture

Background

Cayman Islands - national flag with the motto in archaic English: He hath founded it upon the seas

Cayman Islands - George Town - Parliament building - k.a. photo

Destination in brief


Size: 259 km² (100 mi²)

Population (in 2020): 65,600

Capital city: George Town

Language: British English is the most commonly spoken language, with a special Caymanian dialect

Religion: Protestant 68% 

Official currency: Cayman Islands dollar (KYD)

Average net monthly salary in 2020: 6000 USD!

Most common surname: Ebanks

Geography

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Cayman Islands - stingray

People

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Cayman Islands - driver - j.k. photo

Attractions

Little Cayman

This island is positively sleepy, but it offers some of the best dive sites in the world, as well as excellent fishing along its bonefish flats and in Tarpon Lake.


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