When Christopher Columbus was on his fourth and final voyage to the new world in 1503, his ship was blown off by the winds and he was forced to land to the nearest islands. It was then when he discovered the two islands he would later name ‘Las Tortugas’, a name given because of the many turtles residing there. The pair of islands he discovered then later became the Sister Islands of Cayman.
Years later, a map was drawn which showed all the three islands in the region named ‘Lagartos’, which means alligators or large lizards. By the end of the year 1530, the three islands became to be known as ‘Caimanas’ a named derived from the native word used for crocodiles which dwelled on the islands. The name ‘Caimanas’ later evolved into Cayman and since then the islands have been known by this name.
Cayman became popular for an abundant supply of turtles and became a favorite port for ships who needed fresh meat for their crews. However, it wasn’t until around 1658 when the earliest settlers arrived on the islands. These settlers were deserters from the British Army stationed in Jamaica. At that time, the first colonists came to be known as Watler and Bodden. Soon after, slaves, sailors, refugees, and fishermen from the Spanish Inquisition also called Cayman their home.
Today, the people living in Cayman speak British English with a touch of Caymanian flair, giving the language a unique flavor. In fact, every district of Clayman today has a particular language unique to that area. Clayman these days is known for its rich heritage of rope making. The strands are braided from the national tree of the islands which is known as the Silver Thatch Palm. And as anyone would expect, the customs and traditions of the island are held in highest regard come from the island’s maritime past, right from the catboat races held every year.
More of the history of Cayman can be discovered by visiting the National Museum of Cayman. The museums are a great way to delve deep into the rich traditions and history of the islands as well as the people that populate it.
Cayman Islands Hotels
There are many gorgeous hotels that line the beautiful 7 Mile Beach. Here is a short list of the ones we have reviewed.