On May 10, 1503, Christopher Columbus discovered Cayman Islands.

Navigator Christopher Columbus is known as the discoverer of America from the school course of geography. However, he made one very significant discovery more. The issue in question is about a small territory – Cayman Islands. 

These islands lie between Jamaica and Cuba, in the north-western part of Caribbean Sea and belong to the UK. 

The discovery was made during the fourth expedition, in May 1503. The navigator saw Las Tortugas (the Turtle Islands as translated from Spanish). This name was chosen due to presence of many turtles on the new territory. However, it was not the end of name story. 20 years later, a new name – Lagartos translated as alligators from Spanish – appeared on the map. On may assume that the reason behind it this time lay in crocodiles.  

In 1530, a new name – Cayman Islands – came into common use. Unofficial theory says that its roots sprang up from European travelers. They got iguanas mixed up with crocodiles or caimans.

4 expeditions of Columbus

4 expeditions of Columbus

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After the visit of English navigator Francis Drake in 1586, the islands became an exchange point for ships sailing in Caribbean Sea for a century ahead. Here, the seamen would replenish their stocks of food and fresh water. Thus, the only inhabitants of the territory included turtle hunters, pirates and sailors who would not stay here for long.




In 1670, as a result of the Treaty of Madrid, Great Britain took formal control of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. 

Resident population started gradually forming up. Initially, it consisted mainly of slaves and reached 1,000 people in early 19th century. The changes started in 1835 when slavery was abolished. The local residents would go in for fishing, grow cotton and weave ropes for living. The products of their work were exported to Jamaica. 

In 1962, Jamaica gained independence, but the residents of Cayman Islands preferred to remain under the jurisdiction of the UK. Grand Cayman became the touristic capital of Caribbean region and center of economic relations development.  

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

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Now, this territory attracts 2 million tourists annually. The coast is surrounded with reefs, while the tropical climate is good for spending vacations. The average monthly temperature varies from +15С to +30С. The island can boast of many tourist attractions, including pirates’ caves, where, as legends say, gold is hidden.

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