The Cayman Islands comprises three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. It is located in the Western Caribbean, 450 miles southwest of Miami.
Grand Cayman is the most commonly known island and is the largest and most populated of the trio. Some 60,000 people live in Grand Cayman, a blend of Caymanians and expats from over 135 nations. The majority of expatriates living on the island hail from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Jamaica, Latin America and the Philippines. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – commonly referred to as the Sister Islands – are significantly less developed and are home to just over 2,000 residents. Cayman Brac is the most rugged of the islands, with its majestic 140-foot limestone cliff, The Bluff, hiking trails and nature reserves. In contrast, Little Cayman, is celebrated for its small-island charm, unhurried way of life and magnificent diving.
The Cayman Islands is renowned for its leading financial services sector, robust tourism industry, modern infrastructure and high standard of living. It is acclaimed as having the highest standard of living in the Caribbean and, according to the CIA World Factbook, the Cayman Islands has the 14th highest GDP per capita in the world.
The country has evolved from being a small community built on fishing, turtling, shipbuilding and rope-making industries and is now poised as the sixth largest financial services centre worldwide. Much has changed since the early settler days; Grand Cayman is now home to a sophisticated business community and nearly 600 banks and trust companies, including 43 of the 50 largest banks across the globe. Success in the international financial services sector is the result of a tax neutral status and maintaining a sound regulatory environment and judicial system.
Planning a Visit
Year-round warm weather between 76°F and 87°F brings with it a steady influx of visitors to the Cayman Islands. Grand Cayman is serviced by some 5,000+ international flights annually. With such close proximity to Miami, the Cayman Islands is a popular destination for travellers from the USA and Canada and is easily accessible from 20 major cities in those countries. There is also a direct flight from London, England to Grand Cayman, operating four times weekly with a tarmac stop in Nassau, Bahamas. The Owen Roberts International Airport is undergoing a major expansion and will increase capacity to approximately three million passengers each year. The project is expected to be completed in 2019. In addition to air arrivals, around two million cruise passengers visit Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac yearly.
As a British Overseas Territory, a Governor represents the British monarch and has a permanent residence on Grand Cayman. The Governor acts as a de facto head of state and appoints the Premier, who is the leader of a majority government in the country’s Legislature. The Cayman Islands is led by a stable, democratically-elected government, which is appointed every four years.
True to its ties with the United Kingdom, English is the official language of the Cayman Islands and driving is on the left hand side of the road.
The Cayman Islands Dollar, or KYD, is the country’s official currency however the US Dollar is widely accepted at an exchange rate of one US Dollar to every 80 Cayman Cents.
An established government, pleasant year-round temperature, high standard of living and stable tourism and financial sectors are backed by a strong sense of community and national pride rich in culture. Woven in virtually all aspects of life in the Cayman Islands is an endeavour to be Caymankind to all; that is, to always be courteous, demonstrate kindness and compassion and ultimately welcome all to the Cayman way of life.