Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on or .
Capital: George Town (on Grand Cayman)
Brief History of Cayman Islands:
The Cayman Islands were first discovered by Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World in 1503. Columbus named them Las Tortugas (The Turtles in Spanish) because there were so many sea turtles on the islands. However, Columbus did not land on the islands and it wasn't until Sir Francis Drake visited the islands over 80 years later that someone visited the islands. He called them the Cayman Islands after the alligators, or caiman, that he saw there. Still the islands remained uninhabited for some years. The first settlers there tended to hail from a variety of places and backgrounds including slaves, deserting soldiers, pirates, and refugees.
In 1670 Great Britain took ownership of the Cayman Islands. The first permanent settlement wasn't established until the 1730s. Today the Cayman Islands are a British Territory. They serve as a popular vacation destination for tourists and also a tax-shelter for the rich.
The Geography of Cayman Islands
Total Size: 262 square km
Size Comparison: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 19 30 N, 80 30 W
World Region or Continent: Central America
General Terrain: low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs
Geographical Low Point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: The Bluff (Cayman Brac) 43 m
Climate: tropical marine; warm, rainy summers (May to October) and cool, relatively dry winters (November to April)
Major cities: GEORGE TOWN (capital) 32,000 (2009)
The People of Cayman Islands
Type of Government: British crown colony
Languages Spoken: English
Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)
National Holiday: Constitution Day, first Monday in July
Religions: United Church (Presbyterian and Congregational), Anglican, Baptist, Church of God, other Protestant, Roman Catholic
National Anthem or Song: Beloved Isle Cayman
Economy of Cayman Islands
Major Industries: tourism, banking, insurance and finance, construction, construction materials, furniture
Agricultural Products: vegetables, fruit; livestock; turtle farming
Natural Resources: fish, climate and beaches that foster tourism
Major Exports: turtle products, manufactured consumer goods
Major Imports: foodstuffs, manufactured goods
Currency: Caymanian dollar (KYD)
National GDP: $2,250,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
Back to Geography Home Page TD>