Expats often find that life in the Cayman Islands reminds them of home, but with some enjoyable differences. The western part of this island paradise has a modern character and attracts a great deal more expats due to a thriving financial sector. The east is more relaxed and is an ideal place to enjoy the beaches.
The Cayman Islands is also one of the leading Offshore Financial Services Centers in the world and provides lucrative opportunities for investment and business.Perhaps the greatest advantage of living in this region is that it is a tax neutral jurisdiction, and therefore no one pays any income or corporation tax. The government runs the country on funds obtained through indirect taxes or fees.
Here are five fun experiences every expat must try in the Cayman Islands.
Trip to Hell
The town of Hell may have got its name from its unusual clusters of short, black limestone formations. Located in West Bay in Grand Cayman, Hell is free for visitors, although many prefer to visit it as part of a guided island tour. Visitors are not permitted to walk on the limestone formations, but there is a place where you can stand to look at the scenery and take pictures.
The town does attract a lot of visitors, so be prepared to face some crowds, especially when a cruise ship is in port. Another thing you can do here is visit the post office and send ‘postcards from Hell’ to family and friends! For more hell-themed fun, browse the Devil’s Hangout Gift Shop where you will be greeted with a cheery ‘’How the hell are you?’ by the in-house ‘Satan’, dressed in a red cape with a three-pronged pitchfork in hand.
A series of shallow sandbars located in Grand Cayman’s North Sound, Stingray City is home to large numbers of southern stingrays. This destination is also considered the world’s best 4m dive site. Divers and snorkelers can swim among the stingrays, which are gentle and graceful creatures. Passengers arrive at Stingray City via tour and excursion boats, as well as private watercrafts. To draw the stingrays nearer, squid meat is dispensed by hand. Visitors can even pet the stingrays. A visit to Stingray City can be an exhilarating experience; you may even find yourself surrounded by more than two dozen stingrays at a time.
This experience involves descending into the blue depths of the ocean in a 48-passenger submarine. The vessel goes as deep as 100 feet below and provides a breathtaking view of the underwater world. This is a great alternative to scuba diving. The submarine itself is comfortable, air-conditioned and has large viewports. This is a chance to feast your eyes on the exquisite corals, reefs and even shipwrecks that sit at the bottom of the George Town harbor. The entire trip takes about an hour and a half, and there is night dive option for those who wish to see the underwater kingdom come alive after dark.
Mastic Trail Hiking
The Cayman Islands are known primarily for their sandy beaches and water activities. For those who wish to do something different, the Mastic Trail provides the perfect opportunity. This 2-mile trail is full of foliage that is almost 200 hundred years old. It takes about three hours to walk through the entire woodland area and back. The elevation of the trail starts at 10 feet and goes right up to 60 feet. The area is also home to many interesting birds. Guided tours are available, but you can also walk the trail on your own.
Seven Mile Beach
Luxuriating on the Cayman Islands’ famous Seven Mile Beach is a must for every expat or visitor. It ranks among the top beaches in the world and is considered to be the ideal Caribbean getaway destination. The coral sands and pristine waters attract visitors from across the globe, and the place is also home to many of the Caribbean’s top luxury resorts. Things to do here include engaging in some beach volleyball, parasailing, shallow snorkeling and cooking your own meal on a beach grill. The restaurants along the beach range from casual shacks to posh beachside eateries.
Have you lived in the Cayman Islands? What were your favourite local attractions while you were there? Let us know in the comments.