About Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are British Overseas Territory in the Western Caribbean Sea. They are a popular launch point for deep-sea fishing excursions. The Cayman Islands comprise three islands that are home to diverse wildlife, from imperiled Iguanas to seabirds like the Red-Footed Boobies. The islands are the consequence of a submarine mountain range that stretches northeastward from Belize to Cuba. The capital is George Town, on the Grand Cayman.
The Cayman Islands are nearly ninety miles south of Cuba. The Island Grand Cayman is the largest, the most populous, and the most visited out of the three. Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are referred to as the Sister Islands. They are remote, rural, and thinly distributed.
The majority of tourists come about by the cruise ship to spend the day in Georgetown or doing several activities in Grand Cayman. Those who vacation in the Cayman Islands come mainly for superb scuba diving or the white sands, turquoise waters, and exclusive hotels of Seven Mile Beach.
The Islands function as a sovereign British Overseas Territory. The capital is Georgetown having a population of 41,386. It is a vast city in the territory.
Top 10 Facts About The Cayman Islands
The Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman are the three islands comprising the Cayman Islands. There is enough stuff to travel over at the Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Countries like Jamaica, Florida, and Cuba are in proximity to the Cayman Islands, making it the first tourist spot in the Mediterranean region.
Among the three Cayman Islands, the least developed and smallest is Little Cayman Island. It is just 10 miles long and 1 mile wide and is one of the leading diving locations on the planet with more than 50 dive sites, including the well-known Bloody Bay Wall.
The area of Cayman Brac is 36.26 km² island in the Cayman Islands. It rises from the west side to tall bluff at the eastern tip of the island. Diving to offshore reefs and shipwrecks are one of the main attractions of the Cayman Islands.
The islands are mostly low-lying, though Cayman Brac has a central bluff that constitutes about 90 percent of its landmass. The coasts are Ironshore (limestone fringed with many marine fossils) distributed with vast sandy beaches and surrounded by the coral reefs all around.
Of the trio, Grand Cayman is the largest and most populated island. It is approximately 35 km long and 13 km across and has a total area of 197 square kilometers. It has a notable breeding ground for marine life.
Cayman Brac, the next largest island, is about 89 miles (143 km) northeast of Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is about 12 miles (19 km) long and averages approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) in width, and has the highest height of the three, elevating to 140 feet (42 meters) above mean sea level. It has a total area is 14 square miles (36 square km).
The smallest of the islands, Little Cayman, lies 5 miles (8 km) west of Cayman Brac; it is 10 miles (16 km) long and has a maximum width of 2 miles (3 km) and a total area of 10 square miles (26 square km). Cayman islands region has no rivers. The coasts of the Cayman Islands are Ironshore (limestone fringed with numerous marine fossils) with scattered sandy beaches and enclosed by coral reefs.
3.Ridge Not Island
Did you know the Cayman Islands aren’t islands at all, they are a portion of a mountain called the Cayman Ridge? The hill has a height of even more than 7,500m – same as the size of a massive mountain in the Himalayas – from the ocean level. But all the three islands are unvarying and even.
The highest point above the sea level in the east end of Cayman Brac – and that’s just 46.6m. The Cayman Islands are hit on the partition between two tectonic plates, one of them moving eastward and the other one moving westward; minor tremors resulting from the movement of the plates are sometimes recorded.
In December 2004, an earthquake of greater magnitude was felt on the Grand Cayman, though there were no wounds and no destruction was caused to property.
4.Famous Tax Haven
The Cayman Islands are considered to be one of the most famous tax havens in the world. Unlike most countries, the citizens do not have to pay the corporate tax. Thus, making it a perfect opportunity for multinational corporations to base subsidiary entities to shield most or all of their earnings from taxation.
In addition to not having any corporate tax, the Cayman Islands don’t impose any direct taxes whatsoever on the residents. They don’t have an income tax, property taxes, capital gains taxes, payroll taxes, and neither any withholding tax. Hence, they are considered tax neutral.
Instead of earning revenue through direct taxation like most countries, the Caymans earn income via fees related to stay-over tourism and work permits, financial transactions, and import duties. Duty taxes are only levied on most goods imported to the Caymans, at a rate of 22% to 27%. Some items, such as baby products, are exempt from duty taxes, while other goods, such as automobiles, are taxed at a higher rate based on the value of the vehicle. For expensive items like cars, the duty tax rate can be as high as 42%.
A tax haven is any place that has very easy-going or maybe non-existent tax laws. There are many tax havens around the globe, including Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and Dominica.
The specific tax laws in each location differ a lot. While some simply tax, income at quite low rates, sometimes as little as 2%, others have virtually no taxes. The British Virgin Islands, for instance, have zero corporate tax, estate tax, inheritance tax, gift tax, or sales tax, and it has an effective income tax rate of zero.
The Caymans have become a well-known tax haven among the American elite and big multinational corporations as there is no corporate or income tax on money earned outside of its boundary. It includes interest or dividends earned on investments, making the Caymans especially famous among hedge fund managers. Instead of levies, offshore corporations pay an annual licensing fee straight to the government. This fee is based on the amount of authorized share capital the company has.
Nearly one-fifth of Caymanians are from Europe, mostly British, ancestry; another fifth are blacks, the descendants of African slaves; and the two-fifths are of mixed African and European descent. The rest of the residents are either of other mixed ancestry or are expatriates. The Cayman Islands host a considerable immigrant community, with most of the nation’s population being immigrants.
The largest immigrant communities are Jamaican, Canadian, and British, with a steady Hispanic community and a rapidly growing Filipino and East Indian community, as well as immigrants from many other different countries. Caymanian 54.6%, Jamaican 28.2%, Canadian 9.1%, British 8.7%, Hispanic 5.4%, Filipino 5.1%, East Indian 2.1% and other 7.4%.
Relations between the various ethnic groups are peaceful. Caymans welcome the world with open arms. As such, there are no limitations on applications for work permits, although current policy aims at ensuring a balance among the various nationalities. The areas of friction do not necessitate ethnicity so much as who is entitled to citizenship.
6.Ownership of Land
The Cayman Islands are quite open to foreign ownership of land, and the real estate brokers association here makes sure that all the transfers (sales or otherwise) are handled following the international standards.
Back in time, the Cayman Islands were colonized from Jamaica by the British during the early 18th and 19th centuries. Organized by Jamaica from 1863, they persisted in being a British dependency even during the late 1900s, when the former became liberated. Although the island has direct historical and political links to the United Kingdom, the culture and lifestyle of the Cayman Islands are strongly Americanized.
The Cayman Islands National Museum in George Town discovers the islands’ maritime history. The Cayman National Cultural Foundation, which is a combination of private and government funding, donors program in the arts and preserves the F.J. Harquail Cultural Centre on Grand Cayman, the central venue for local and visiting companies.
The beautiful National Gallery of the Cayman Islands is an educational organization that stimulates the visual arts of the islands and promotes local and international exhibitions of the Caymanian art. Community organizations also hold theatrical performances and art exhibitions. Many residents are captivated by the craftwork, especially the making of jewelry from the black coral.
Cayman is the culinary hotspot of the Caribbean. There are over hundreds of restaurants on Grand Cayman, and eating out is a repetitive activity there. You can go for a local Caymanian café serving cuisine like the Conch Fritters and fresh seafood or sophisticated French, Italian, Indian, Japanese, and even any Australian cuisine. There are several vegan and gluten-free cafés and dinings opening up across the Cayman Islands. The seafood here is prime.
The conventional national dish is Turtle. Conch is also famous, that is either served raw with lime juice and onions, or cooked as a stew, chowder, and fritters. A lot of recipes are influenced by other Caribbean countries such as Jamaica and Trinidad.
Few examples include “Jerking,” which is a gentle smoking process that uses a blend of spices, and “heavy cake,” a dense sweet dessert made with “bread kind” (starchy vegetables such as cassava, papaya, and yams). “Fish rundown” is fish stewed with “bread kind.” “Swankie” is lemonade.
Other common local ingredients comprise key limes, honey, rum, and coconut. A microbrewery produces beer for local consumption. Other than fish, turtle meat, and a few local fruits and vegetables, almost all food is imported.
During Christmas, beef (a splendor item) is promoted, along with a dense cake and non-native fruits such as apples, pears, and grapes. Drinks based on corn, sorrel, and pineapple are also prepared and served during the holiday season.
8.Left Side Drive
If you want to drive, make sure that you drive on the left side of the road – like they do in the United Kingdom. The Cayman Islands being a British Overseas Territory, driving here is mandatory on the left-hand side of the road.
Hiring a car is one of the best ways to explore these picturesque islands as it allows complete flexibility and the option to stop off and explore one of the many secluded yet beautiful beaches. Grand Cayman has a main road looping around the entire island, and signposts are crystal-clear and frequent.
9.How Bodden Town Got Its Name
Bodden Town was a capital city back then, which gradually gained its name due to the number of inhabitants with the surname ‘Bodden’!. The Caymanians enjoy having one of the highest outputs per capita and one of the highest standards of living in the world. The Cayman Islands are one of the wealthiest islands not only in the Caribbean but in the world.
For the divers there, Grand Cayman is going to have 365 dive sites someday—one dive site for each day for the year! This is a go-to place for your diving needs. Grand Cayman also tops the list of ‘Top Five Best Caribbean Shore Diving Destinations.’
Diving is the center of attraction on Little Cayman. It is indeed one of the top dive vacation destinations of the world. There are nearly 50 dive sites. Dive places off the coast descend up to 6,000 feet. There are several 20-foot shallow dives on the island as well.
More experienced divers flock to Little Cayman for adventurous dives. The divers here enjoy the serenity in the atmosphere, especially Bloody Bay Wall, which is considered as one of the world’s best wall dives. If you have enough adrenaline rush, you must go for it.
We are sure you love the Cayman Islands by now, you know what to do. Take up the next flight and visit these heavenly and picturesque islands. Don’t forget to dive when you reach there. For the best experience, you can hire a car to take around the islands.