CAYMAN TREA­SURES

THE CAYMAN IS­LANDS BOAST A TREA­SURE TROVE OF NAT­U­RAL OF­FER­INGS BEG­GING TO BE EX­PLORED.

Miami Herald (Sunday) - - Arts & Entertainment -

There’s no bet­ter time of year to avoid win­tery weather, re­lax and sip a cock­tail beach­side with loved ones. You don’t have to travel far to es­cape the cold, ei­ther; the Cayman Is­lands are just a lit­tle over an hour plane ride away from Mi­ami.

Grand Cayman is the largest of the three is­lands and the most lively, with plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties and sights. Mu­se­ums and lo­cal cul­ture mix with a laid-back beach­side vibe and what’s lo­cally known as Cay­mankind­ness — the cour­te­ous, com­pas­sion­ate and car­ing na­ture lo­cals pos­sess. More than 135 na­tion­al­i­ties live in har­mony in the Cayman Is­lands, so be sure to dive in head first to Cay­ma­nian cul­ture.

DIVER’S PAR­ADISE

Speak­ing of div­ing, th­ese is­lands are home to some of the finest scuba div­ing spots in the world. Lo­cated about 430 miles south of Mi­ami, the is­lands of Grand Cayman, Lit­tle Cayman and Cayman Brac wel­come thou­sands of vis­i­tors each year to take their first-ever plunge into glis­ten­ing wa­ters. The va­ri­ety of dive sites avail­able have some­thing for ev­ery­one, from first-timers to sea­soned en­thu­si­asts.

Lo­cal wa­ters are home to friendly tur­tles, oc­topi, brightly col­ored trop­i­cal fish, ma­jes­tic ea­gle rays and so much more. Coral reefs, which are the glue that holds this ecosys­tem to­gether, pro­vide a habi­tat for fish and other ma­rine life. Al­though this stun­ning back­drop is more than enough for most dive va­ca­tions, fur­ther ex­plo­ration is re­warded with sunken ships — like the 251-foot USS Kit­ti­wake sub­ma­rine res­cue ves­sel and the 330-foot Rus­sian frigate MV Cap­tain Keith Tib­betts — as well as the breath­tak­ing Bloody Bay Wall and more.

BUYER’S MAR­KET

Af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this beau­ti­ful des­ti­na­tion above and be­low the sur­face, you may be tempted to stay a while; this could be the per­fect time to con­sider pur­chas­ing prop­erty in the Cayman Is­lands. A solid in­fra­struc­ture has been key to Cayman’s de­vel­op­ment suc­cess, al­low­ing for the cre­ation of fan­tas­tic prop­er­ties, won­der­ful ho­tels and beau­ti­ful homes in an en­vi­ron­ment peo­ple dream about.

Lux­ury liv­ing isn’t hard to come by in the Cayman Is­lands. Just look to Seven Mile Beach, where you’ll find a strip of sand sport­ing some of the is­lands’ most mag­nif­i­cent man­sions, rang­ing any­where from three to 10 sto­ries tall. Less than a mile away on Gover­nor’s Har­bour, con­do­mini­ums and multi-story homes line the canal quays with plenty of dock space to store your wa­ter­sport toy of choice. Fam­i­lies can also find en­claves on the qui­eter side, with homes that are just as lux­u­ri­ous (and ex­clu­sive) in the South Sound neigh­bor­hood — pri­vate beach in­cluded.

How­ever you choose to ex­pe­ri­ence this trop­i­cal par­adise, the Cayman Is­lands are sure to de­light.

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