Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grand Cayman - The Nicest Place On Earth

By: Melissa Vokoun

Rising up from the blue depths, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac lie just an hour south of Miami. Whether you’re an explorer on a quest for adventure, a couple in search of romance or just a family looking for a safe, serene stretch of beach to call your own, you’re sure to find it here. To help you enjoy all there is to see and do, we’ve prepared the following list of fast facts to be used on-island or in the comfort of your home as you set about planning your next perfect Cayman Islands vacation.

Guests of the Cayman Islands are required to present a valid passport or proof of citizenship, i.e. a certified copy of a birth certificate with photo ID, and must complete an Immigration Form. Do note that voter registration cards are not accepted as a form of identification and that all guests must possess a return airline ticket.

Scheduled flights to Grand Cayman are available on Cayman Airways, Continental Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways, Air Canada, Air Jamaica and British Airways. A host of charters also provide non-stop flights from other U.S. cities. Interisland travel is available with Island Air and Cayman Airways Express.

While Cayman is famous for its world-class diving and snorkeling, it’s possible to enjoy our sparkling waters without strapping a mask on your face or a tank on your back. Right from the beach, you can rent a wave runner or sailboat; go parasailing, windsurfing, waterskiing or take a ride in a submarine or semi-submersible craft. There are a host of land-based attractions to immerse yourself in as well. On Grand Cayman, there’s the legendary Cayman Turtle Farm, the breathtaking Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, romantic and tranquilizing Rum Point and perhaps the most beautiful stretch of sand in all the Caribbean, Seven Mile Beach. On Cayman Brac, be sure to check out the impressive caves and rock formations of The Bluff, or look for one of the 400 Cayman Brac Parrots still in the wild. On Little Cayman, visit the Little Cayman National Trust and observe the largest Red-Footed Booby colony in the Western Hemisphere.

With dozens of certified instructors and dive operators located on each of the three islands, there’s no better place on earth for both children and adults to experience firsthand, the joys that await in the undersea world. SCUBA, SNUBA and SASY (Supplied Air Snorkelling for Youth) classes are offered by many dive operators. Cayman also welcomes those wishing to complete their formal certification with well-supervised open water dives. For the more advanced diver, each island has a number of operators who offer technical diving and training.

Whether you’re planning a grand, sophisticated event or a small, intimate beachfront ceremony, the Cayman Islands offers dozens of picturesque locales, perfect for tying the knot. There are many wedding coordinators who can assist you with all your arrangements, from legal requirements to party planning. Couples can marry the same day they arrive in the Cayman Islands, including those arriving by cruise ship.

Cayman Islands law prohibits all forms of public nudity, including topless sunbathing. In accordance with local customs, we also request that you put on a shirt, dress or beach cover-up as you leave the beach or travel outside your resort.

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