George Town (Cayman Islands)

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Travel Guide Caribbean Cayman Islands George Town

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Introduction

George Town

George Town

© All Rights Reserved johnnyphis

George Town is the capital and largest settlement on the Cayman Islands with a total population of roughly 25,000 inhabitants. It is located in the west of the main island, Grand Cayman, and is a major financial centre, not only for the Cayman Islands but for many foreign companies and there are hundreds of banks located here. Apart from that, the town functions as a major port for cruise ships as well as cargo and as a consequence all the amenities tourists are dying for when they finally leave a ship are here: shopping malls, bars and restaurants. Apart from that, it is not a particularly rewarding place to visit but most people will find themselves in or near the city when arriving by plane or boat.

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Sights and Activities

Cayman Islands National Museum, Harbour Drive, George Town, ☎ +1 345 949-8368, fax: +1 345-949-0309. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. $4/$2.
2 Fort George remains, Harbour Dr. and Fort St., George Town. Remains of a 1790 fort built to protect the harbor.
Cayman Maritime Treasure Museum, North Church St, George Town. Boat building, turtling and pirates. $5/$3.

  • Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, ☎ +1 345 947-3558, fax: +1 345-947-7873, e-mail: guthrie@candw.ky. Daily 9AM-6:60PM. North Side. Much to see here, with a visitor center, short walking trail, endemic blue iguanas, and a c. 1900 Cayman farmhouse and sand garden. Adults $6, age 6-12 $3.50.
  • Boatswain's Beach, 825 Northwest Point Rd, West Bay, ☎ +1 345 949-3894, fax: +1 345-949-1387. Over fourteen thousand turtles from the tiniest to over 600 pounds. Visitors are allowed to pick up turtles from some of the hexagonal pools. Turtle Farm Tour: Adults US$18, age 4-12 US$9.
  • Pedro St. James Castle, Pedro Castle Road, Savannah, ☎ +1 345 947-3329. This 1780 stone structure, surrounded by a preserve, has hourly multimedia shows.
  • Hell, West Bay. This is a common tour stop, often shrugged at by those who go there. However, if you take a tour bus there, you can always tell the folks back home you took the bus to Hell to get a laugh. Hell consists of black volcanic rock formations that are thought to resemble what Hell might be like. You can get postcards postmarked there, and there are a couple of gift shops selling all the Hell-themed souvenirs imaginable.
  • Cemetery Beach, Seven Mile Beach. This is the northern end of Seven Mile Beach, beautiful spot with snorkeling right off shore. Access is off the road through a small path. Next to a small island cemetery, hence the name.

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Events and Festivals

Cayman Islands Orchid Show

The wild banana orchid, the national flower of the Cayman Islands, is just one of a dozen orchid species on display during the early March orchid show at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Visitors can purchase these beauties, learn how to grow them, or simply admire the floral arrangements during this two-day festival whose proceeds go towards establishing a permanent garden in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

Cayman Carnival Batabano

One of George Town’s liveliest events is this annual early May festival filled with live calypso and soca bands. Named after the tracks in the sand left by the sea turtles crawling towards their nesting place, the main Batabano parade sees more than 100 nationalities represented in colorful costumes and music. There is also a separate, but no less joyous, Junior Batabano parade for children.

Queen’s Birthday

In the middle of June, the Cayman Islands celebrates Her Majesty’s birthday with a 21-gun salute and full military dress parade in front of George Town’s Legislative Assembly. There is also a Government House open house and garden reception. Refreshments and steel band music accompany the formal event.

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Weather

George Town has a perfect climate with warm and humid weather with almost constant sea breezes. Temperatures hoover around 28 °C to 30 °C during the day and 24 °C at night. The months of June to September are slightly warmer. During these months, extending into November is the rainy season on the other hand, with a small chance of a hurricane passing by now and then. December to April is the dry and slightly cooler period which is a good but popular time to visit. May and November are good months to visit if you want to avoid crowds, high prices and very bad weather.

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Getting There

By Plane

Cayman Airways is the national airline of the Cayman Islands. It is based on Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman. They fly to Havana, Kingston, La Ceiba, Miami, Montego Bay, New York and Tampa and seasonal to Chicago and Washington, D.C.. Continental Airlines flies to Newark and Houston, British Airways to London and Nassau, while several other airlines serve cities like Toronto, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Boston and Philadelphia.

Cayman Airways also flies to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

By Bus

Grand Cayman Public Bus Transport, Edward St. next to the library, Georgetown, Phone: 945-5100, has licensed buses,identified by blue licence plates. Daily service starts at 6:00am from the depot and the schedule is as follows from George Town to:

  • Route 1 George Town to West Bay.
  • Route 2 George Town to West Bay.
  • Route 3 service between the depot in George Town and Bodden Town
  • Route 4 service between the depot and East End.
  • Route 5 service between North Side and East End.
  • Route 6 service between North Side and West Bay.
  • Route 7 George Town inter district service.
  • Route 8 service between the depot to Hutland in North Side.
  • Route 9 service between George Town through Frank Sound North Side

By Boat

Cruise ships anchor offshore and tender passengers to the harbor dock by downtown George Town. George Town is a very popular port of call and is included by many cruise lines in "Western Caribbean" itineraries. There are no berthing facilities at this location, but ships can anchor at one of four points.

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Getting Around

There is a small walkable area of shops around the George Town harbor. Seven Mile beach is not within walking distance of the harbor cruise docks.

Taxis are available at the cruise ship docks in downtown George Town, and at all resorts.

Car rentals are readily available. You must be 21 years old to rent a car. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and seatbelt use is mandatory. Visitors must get a temporary driver's license from the police station or car rental agency. This is obtained by showing a valid drivers license from their home state, county or parish and paying a US$7.50 fee.

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Keep Connected

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

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This is version 6. Last edited at 12:08 on Aug 27, 18 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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