Diving With Turtles in the Cayman Islands

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The Cayman Islands are a quintessential tropical paradise. Located south of Cuba, west of Jamaica and east from Yucatan Peninsula, it’s a grouping of three islands, one big and two significantly smaller ones, that has been lauded as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With its crystal-clear waters, coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks, how can anyone resist this pirate micro-archipelago?

Naturally, most of the activities in this location are related to water. Deep diving to inspect shipwrecks or diving with the turtles in the Cayman Islands are among the most popular tourist attractions of this kind.

Some context
The Cayman Islands has mostly served as a hideaway for pirates, shipwrecked sailors and deserters from Oliver Cromwell’s Jamaican army throughout most of the seventeenth century until it was finally colonized from Jamaica by the British in the seventeen hundreds. Under the British flag, the Cayman Islands had a pretty placid history up until they finally became independent in 1962.

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However, one of the most significant years in island history is 1833 when slavery was abolished. Many slaves were brought from Africa under English rule, so the majority of natives are of English and African descent.

As far as the islands go
Grand Cayman is the biggest of three islands and it’s located west of the two smaller, sister islands that are grouped closer together – Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Grand Cayman is, in many ways, considered the main island and its biggest city and capital of the Cayman Islands, George Town, to be the hub for all the tourists and activities.

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George Town is home to around 28,000 people, and locals are known for their heart-warming, welcoming attitude towards tourists. This is where most of you will set foot for the first time as you step off the boat or a plane. From this moment onward, the world is your oyster, as they say, as there are so many activities you can enjoy.

Shipwreck diving
The surrounding waters are abundant with impressive shipwrecks. In fact, many divers are so inspired by these sights that they come specifically to dive around these sunken ships. Among the most popular of these is Kittiwake, a 250 feet long beast with five decks that are filled to the burst with marine life. The rust and lichens have given a unique texture to otherwise well-preserved equipment and rooms. You can also “drop by” a former Russian warship now known as the Captain Keith Tibbetts, Balboa, a 375-foot freighter on the depth of 40-50 feet and Oro Verde which has turned into a real marine-life zoo, among others.

Turtle diving

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Have you ever dreamed of swimming through clear azure waters surrounded by marine life so close that you can actually touch it? For such a dream-come-true aquatic activity, Cayman Turtle Divers offer an adventure you’ll never forget. On Grand Cayman, you’ll find the world’s one and only commercial Green Sea Turtle farm. This little slice of sea-side heaven is a home to over 16,000 turtles. Swimming with the turtles is an exciting activity for newcomers of all ages.

Stingray City
You’ll find it only 10 minutes away from the Green Sea Turtle farm. Considering how threatening stingrays can look, and some well-publicized tragic encounters with people, some tourists might feel a bit concerned before stepping in. However, you are surrounded by certified guides and gentle stingrays, no matter how large they are, are easy to pet.

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Even though they are wild animals, stingrays have become accustomed to people over centuries. It all began with fishermen on the barrier reef surrounding the islands. As they caught and cleaned fish, they threw the unwanted bits overboard. This attracted stingrays and soon it turned into one of the most popular tourist attraction on these islands.

These activities are only some of the exotic and unique experiences you can be a part of on the Cayman Islands. The impressive topography of the islands coupled with vibrant mixture of colors under the bright tropical sun will stay scorched into your retinas in the best possible way. You won’t be able to forget the experience, and you’ll be craving for more as soon as you go back to your every-day life. Be sure to start planning your next visit as soon as possible.