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Introducing Cayman Islands

Three tiny islands make up the British Overseas Territory of the Cayman Islands, balanced precariously one side of the enormous Cayman Trench, the deepest part of the Caribbean. While synonymous worldwide with banking, tax havens and beach holidays, there’s much more to this tiny, proud nation, even if you do need to look quite hard to find it.

What’s so surprising about the Caymans at first is how un-British they are – it would be hard to design a more Americanized place than Grand Cayman, where the ubiquitous SUVs jostle for space in the parking lots of large malls and US dollars change hands as if they were the national currency. Only the occasional portrait of the Queen or a fluttering Union Jack ever begs to differ. This contradiction is just the first of many you’ll discover while getting to know these islands. The key to understanding what makes the Caymans tick is getting away from the crowded commercialism of Grand Cayman’s long western coastline and exploring the rest of the island. Better still, leave Grand Cayman altogether and visit the charming ‘sister islands’ of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Here life runs at a slower pace and the natural delights that see people coming back again and again – from bird-watching and hiking to diving and snorkeling – are never far away.

The Caymans may lack the dramatic scenery and steamy nightlife of much of the rest of the Caribbean, but in their place you’ll find a charming, independent and deeply warm people spread over three islands boasting many of life’s quieter charms.

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