Day 14 - George Town - Grand Cayman (England)



Once a pirate stronghold, Grand Cayman is charming, prosperous and utterly civilized today. There are duty free British shops filled with porcelain and crystal, and the marvelous coral reef system alone makes a visit here worthwhile.  

The three small Cayman Islands lie in the western Caribbean. Grand Cayman is the largest of the three and home to the capital George Town. These three small islands were first referenced by passing sailors in the 16th century, who named them in reflection of the wildlife seen on the island and in the surrounding sea: the Tortugas (turtles), then the Lagartos (alligators) and finally the Caymans (crocodiles). Though occasionally used as a water and food stopover for ships, the islands were not settled until the 1650's, when Jamaica was invaded. In 1670, the Spanish handed over Jamaica and the Caymans to the British. The islands remained under the administration of Jamaica and Britain for the next 300 years. Finally in 1960, when Jamaica became independent, the Cayman Islands opted to become a Crown Colony and they continue to be governed by a representative of the Queen of England.



Cayman Islands National Museum
Housed in the old courthouse building, on the George Town waterfront and close to the cruise ship docks, this traditional museum contains many Cayman artifacts charting the islands' history from geological formation to the present day.

Submarine Wall Dive
Imagine exploring the legendary Cayman Wall on board a sophisticated research submarine 800-feet below the sea! Cayman is the only place in the world where the general public can experience this ultimate underwater adventure. Each excursion is very personalized with only two passengers and one highly skilled pilot. You'll sit in front of a large 3 foot diameter view port that is your window into this rarely seen world. Powerful lights illuminate the brilliant colours of the sponge belt at 400-feet. 

Seven mile beach
Seven-mile beach is by far the most popular beach on the island. Many of the hotels border the beach and offer water sports, restaurants and bars. It is located on the west coast and a short drive from the pier. The water is so clear that you can literally see the sandy bottom of the sea floor while you are swimming.

Cayman Turtle Farm
Visitors may observe here the endangered green-sea turtle in every stage of development. The farm breeds turtles to release into the sea for conservation, but mostly to supply the large demand for turtle meat which can be tasted in the café.

Elizabeth II Botanic Park
Situated in the east half of the island, on the road leading inland and north from Frank Sound, this 60-acre park is home to a variety of natural vegetation and animals, including several rare species. Visitors follow a mile long trail through the park, which incorporates resting points and ultimately leads to the visitor and refreshment center.


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