Cayman Islands sightseeing. Travel guide - attractions, sights, nature and touristic places
Lush tropical greenery, spacious beaches, fantastic reefs and towns that look like they’ve appeared from some fairy tale – these are the most typical thoughts that appear in the heads of travellers who visit the Cayman Islands for the first time. Grand Cayman Island is the biggest island of the archipelago. The island is famous for its breath-taking coastal line that is perfect for scuba diving and fishing. The island also has several historic buildings that belong to the colonial period, but its territory is mostly occupied with modern buildings and offices. There are more than three hundred banks in Grand Cayman Island.
Georgetown, the capital of the Cayman Islands, should be the first destination for travellers who want to get acquainted with the history of the islands. Fort George, which is located on a hill, remains one of the most popular sights of the city. The building of the fort took place in 1790, but only a fragment of the original fort has survived till modern days. Old Court Building is another popular spot in the city. It was built a hundred and a half years ago. During its long history, the purpose, for which the building was used, was changed several times. In different years it was used as a court, dancing hall, prison and even a church. Today, the building holds the exhibition of the Cayman Islands National Museum. The exhibition of the museum is dedicated to the colonial period in development of the islands. One of the museum’s halls exhibits a collection of coins, there are also exhibitions dedicated to historic documents and old maps.
The Cayman Islands offer some unusual entertainment. For example, tourists are welcome to visit the turtle farm located in the town of Hell. The farm was founded in order to increase the population of green turtles. Today, aquariums and pools of the farm are home to more than 16 thousand turtles. The eastern part of the island is the location of Queen Elizabeth II National Park. The beautiful park features more than 300 species of trees and bushes. There are several greenhouses with exotic plants, and a big part of the park is dedicated to orchids.
Fans of wild nature are recommended to visit Little Cayman Island, the population of which is less than 150 people. All locals work in tourist business. Vacationers are usually recommended to visit Bay Marine Park and Booby Pond Nature Reserve as these beautiful places are home to numerous rare species of birds. Divers will find everything they need in Bloody Bay Wall Reef.
History and EntertainmentThe discoverer of the Cayman Islands is Christopher Columbus. He boarded the archipelago for the first time in 1503. The islands gained their present name in 1530 when the Europeans arriving here saw big iguanas and confused them with caimans. Because of that, the European discoverers had not started colonizing the islands for many years. The archipelago was used as a via transport point. Later, Europeans were attracted by a huge number of sea turtles, which were almost eradicated because of the hunting.
In 1670, as a result of the Madrid Protocol, the Cayman Islands officially became a British colony but even this fact did not cause the active colonization. The first large European settlements were established on the archipelago in 1833. The massive arrival of the European colonizers was constrained by coral reefs located near the archipelago. Not all of the ships boarded the coast successfully, so now, you can see sunken ships crashed here several hundred years ago. Despite the fact that the archipelago has long gained a right of the partial self-government, the Cayman Islands are still an overseas territory of Great Britain.
The archipelago is still one of the sparsely populated ranges in the world. Only 58 000 people reside in its vast territory. Only three islands are inhabited, while nature reigns in the others. This attracts fans of recreation in an uncrowded atmosphere. Here, travelers have an opportunity to visit the incredible beautiful islands and relax at their beaches.
In recent years, there have been many relevant environmental programs in the islands and tourists can take part in them. One of the main programs is a reintroduction of the population of rare sea turtles. Now, there are special turtle care centers on the island. The archipelago has a lot of wonderful nature peculiarities, for example, there are almost no lakes and rivers in its territory. That is why the island waters are crystal clear, so, this place is perfect for diving. The blindingly white sand makes local beaches more enchanting.
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