The Cayman Islands is a British Crown Colony located in the western Caribbean, 480 miles south of Miami, 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles northwest of Jamaica. The islands lie between 19° 15' and 19° 45' North and between 79° 44 ' and 81° 27' West and over 1000 miles west of the US Virgin Islands and the Leeward Island chain.
The Cayman Islands consists of three Islands. The largest and most developed is Grand Cayman, and the two Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman lie approximately 89 miles east-northeast of Grand Cayman. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are separated from each other by a channel about seven miles wide.
Approximately 22 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point, reaching a maximum elevation at East End of 60 feet.Grand Cayman occupies 76 square miles. Grand Cayman is divided into 5 districts: West Bay, George Town, Bodden Town, East End and North Side. For the most part, their names tell you where they are located; George Town and Bodden Town are located on the southern part of the island.
Covering 14 square miles, Cayman Brac is 12 miles long and just over a mile wide. This island has the most dramatic topography of the trio. Its majestic Bluff rises west to east along the length of the island to 140 feet at the eastern tip, ending in a sheer cliff. There are many mysterious caves carved throughout this awe-inspiring natural attraction.
Only 10 square miles, this island is 10 miles long and a mile wide. Little Cayman is the flattest of the three Islands, reaching a maximum elevation of 40 feet. Its famous Bloody Bay Wall Marine Park has been called one of the world's best dive sites. Inland, the 203-acre Booby Pond Nature Reserve is a RAMSAR site and nesting ground for the Caribbean's largest population of Red Footed Boobies.
The three islands are limestone outcroppings, the tops of a submarine mountain range called the Cayman Ridge. The ridge extends west-southwest, from the Sierra Maestra range off the southeast part of Cuba to the Misteriosa Bank near Belize. The islands lack rivers or streams because of the porous nature of the limestone rock. It is this lack of runoff that gives the surrounding Caribbean Sea its exceptional visibility, which is often well over 120 feet.
Between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica lies the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Trough, which is over four miles deep. South of Cayman is the Bartlett Deep where depths of over 18,000 feet have been recorded. All three islands are surrounded by healthy coral reefs which lie at the top of dramatic walls and drop-offs close to shore, creating ideal conditions for diving and sport fishing.