Your Cayman Islands
Banking Travel Guide
The Cayman Islands, a destination synonymous with tax dodging, money laundering and bankers cutting deals on superyachts. Even the Queen of England has a fund here. But these islands are sleepy backwaters, not dangerous locales from spy caper movies.
Offshore on Cayman really means snorkeling with turtles and stingrays, or diving to the coral and shipwrecks.
Did you know the Cayman Islands has more indigenous species than the Galapagos Islands?
Located south of Cuba, in the far west of the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands are best accessed via flights from London.
Grand Cayman is a well established destination, home to large resorts from many big brands, including Ritz-Carlton, host of the annual Cayman Cookout, when dozens of Michelin-starred chefs are invited to the kitchens of a popup food festival.
Releasing baby turtles on Seven Mile Beach, hiking the Mastic Trail, kayaking beneath the moon to bioluminescent waters – Grand Cayman has enough to get you away from the resort.
However, explorers are now discovering the other two islands. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are not accessible by boat. You have to fly.
These remote outposts are where visitors hide away, surrounded by hundreds of dive sites and some of the world’s whitest beaches. On Little Cayman it’s unlikely you’ll see other people – the dreamy highlight is to wander or paddle to small beaches and coves.
We love Le Soleil d’Or on Cayman Brac, a boutique hotel with a collection of private cottages, all set on an organic farm besides the sea.
The island is only one kilometre across, so you’re always next to the beach, wherever you are.
Rich local culture remains alive on the smaller sister islands and the idea is to bring a bag with fins and a snorkel, rather than a suitcase of cash.
The vast majority of Cayman Islands visitors arrive on a cruise ship to spend a few hours shopping, sunbathing and swimming with stingrays. Most of the rest hunker down in an all-inclusive resort on Grand Cayman. A lucky few venture further.
Grand Cayman has been stereotyped for decades, not least by Tom Cruise in the Hollywood movie, The Firm. But little has been developed or even explored on these two small islands.
Dive along the two-kilometre Bloody Bay reef wall, great for safe shark encounters. Bike across the sand to South Hole Sound Lagoon and a private swim in turquoise shallows. Hey, you can even kayak across the Caribbean to the unofficial fourth island, Owen Island.
Or walk past endangered parrots, find peregrine falcons in the treetops, then take your kids on hiking trails populated by rare iguanas. And if you go catch yourself a fish, a restaurant chef will happily barbecue it for you.
The islands show it’s good to look beyond stereotypes, because there’s a truth to explore beyond myths.