The Cayman Islands of yesterday are almost nothing like the sandy beaches, bustling towns and luxurious Cayman Islands luxury real estate of today. The islands first fell under Spanish rule during the 1600s, 100 years after Columbus spotted them and gave them the name “Las Tortugas” for the plethora of turtles he found there – which can still be found in the wild today, but in fewer numbers.
Islanders hunted the turtles back then, turning them into tools and food products to sell to ships passing through the area. The turtle’s contribution to the island is today honored in the form of turtle stew, a popular island meal. Travelers come from all over the world to see the beaches where turtles once roosted and watch the recovery efforts going on at the Cayman Turtle Farm.
It was during the 1960s that the Cayman Islands began to grow into an economic force. International banking operations came to the small island chain, bringing money and even greater tourists as the island’s amenities grew richer. Grand Cayman homes today occupy some of the most beautiful land in the world. Astride beaches, and nestled in small urban communities, these homes range from bungalows to full blown mansions and luxurious beach front condominiums.
The surge of tourism and the growth of the offshore financial services industry in the past 50 years has substantially raised the quality of life on the islands, and made it one of the most attractive places for overseas investors. Beach homes offer a getaway, with the opportunity for rental income and tax free capital appreciation. Even commercial real estate is on the rise as more banks bring their business to Grand Cayman.
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