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ToTALLY TRoPICAL by forrests

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dEsTInaTIOn

Cayman Islands

ToTally Tropical
SeARChInG FoR The CARIBBeAn’S hoTTeST SeCReT? JoIn hoLLywooD’S A-LIST, AnD heAD FoR The CAyMAn ISLAnDS FoR A SLICe oF PARADISe, SuGGeSTS Tanya GrImsOn

somewhere south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica, lies the Cayman Islands, an exotic outpost of Britain’s overseas territories, that are begging to be explored. More recognised as a tax haven for the rich and the famous (or as a backdrop in the movie, The Firm), Cayman Islands enjoy a high profile with those in the know. But good secrets are hard to keep, and the Caymans – while still attracting visitors for shore trips from passing cruise liners – make a fabulous destination in their own right. Broken up into three small islands, the largest of these is Grand Cayman, a mere 4 miles by 22. Little Cayman is only 9 miles long by 1 mile wide, while Cayman Brac is 14 miles long and 2 miles wide. Grand Cayman lies one hour from Miami by plane, making it an ideal option for a two-part honeymoon that mixes American city life with the serenity of island life. If snow white sand, turquoise waters, pristine reefs and year round 140

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hen you think of the Caribbean, names like The Bahamas and Barbados might spring to mind first, but

sunshine fit your dream honeymoon criteria, then Cayman Islands can’t fail to please. These tropical sanctuaries play host to some of the most beautiful wildlife imaginable; blue iguanas, stingrays, parrots, and land crabs are very much part of everyday sights. The pace of life is deliciously slow, fuelled by a laid back Caribbean spirit that’s infectious. The people embrace their culture here with so much love and passion that it’s hard not to fall under the Caymanian spell. Pirates are big business in the Caymans, featuring strongly in their past and heritage. The Jolly Roger, one of the most famous pirate boats on the island, is a popular and novel setting for a wedding. The groom dresses à la Johnny Depp, the bride as a wench, while the governor must walk the plank after the wedding has been completed! It’s not uncommon to stroll around the capital, George Town, and be greeted by pirates or wenches walking down the street carrying out their duties.

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Getting married in Cayman Islands
Grand Cayman takes it wedding industry very seriously, with over 7 wedding planner organisations on the island. Getting married here couldn’t be simpler: the government has such relaxed laws that it’s possible to hop off your plane or your cruise liner and be married within three hours! Celebrations, the island’s biggest wedding planners, have arranged everything from beach weddings to underwater ceremonies, and there’s plenty of inspiring locations to choose from. our favourites include Pedro St James (a historical house with a pretty gazebo on the grounds); a sunset catamaran trip; and the totally tropical Queen elizabeth II Botanic Gardens. hotels such as the Ritz Carlton offer full wedding planning services, featuring their private beachfront and exquisite service. WEddInG COnTaCTs Celebrations: celebrationsltd.com Trisha’s Roses: trishasroses.com Rebecca Davidson Photographer: rebeccadavidson.com Pedro St. James: caymanbride.com Queen elizabeth II Botanic Gardens: botanic-park.ky

Snorkelling and scuba diving are understandably popular on the islands, the clear waters teeming with kaleidoscopic fish, the occasional reef shark, and turtles that swim right past you. A trip to Stingray City will enable you to swim alongside, and touch, these magnificent creatures. Another fun activity is shopping! This is a duty-free country, so jewellery, cosmetics and designer goods are a real steal. Just 45 minutes away from Grand Cayman lies Little Cayman, accessible by a twelve-seater propeller plane. The runway is no more than a rocky strip of land, lying directly beside the only road on the island. The airport is no larger than a small one bed house, but the colours and the scenery immediately take your breath away and you’ll quickly realise you are in for a treat. Little Cayman is amazingly unspoilt – offering a real slice of authentic Caribbean life. Forget noise, congestion, stress and shopping outlets, this is escapism at its purest. Life is even slower here with a sense of tranquillity that seems

Romantic highlights
Take a helicopter ride over Seven Mile Beach with Cayman Island helicopters. Marvel at the sights from majestic heights and keep your eye out for reef sharks and red starfish. Spend a fun-filled day in Rum Point swimming, snorkelling, and eating. end the day with a sunset catamaran trip that leaves from Rum Point and circles the east side of the island, taking in the breathtaking views while sipping on the local rum punch. Pack a picnic and kayak to owen Island for total seclusion and privacy. your resort can organise your picnic for you. have a treatment together in the incredible La Prairie Silver Spa in the Ritz Carlton. The spa is designed to highlight the energies of water with breathtaking backdrops and winter white relaxation rooms.

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Your Honeymoon Planner
GETTInG ThErE * Caribbean Collection (caribbeancollection.ie) can organise a wedding or honeymoon package to suit your budget.

* British Airways (ba.com) offers 4 weekly flights to Grand
unsurpassed. Iguanas roam poolside while rum punch is served at the bar and hundreds of tropical birds chirp their musical soundtrack. hammocks line the isolated beaches offering the perfect romantic hideaway while the even warmer waters than Grand Cayman provide refreshing relief. Getting around the island is easy; cycling is the favoured form of transport, allowing space for the land crabs to roam inland freely and without disturbance. Diving is big business for Little Cayman: surrounded by 150 different types of coral reef and 500 species of fish, it was declared the best diving site in the Caribbean by national Geographic photographer, David Doubilet. By honeymooning on a few of the islands you’ll give yourselves a real sense of this vibrant Caribbean community, and feel charmed to be in on this great secret. Chances are you’ll fall in love with Cayman Islands too, just like George Michael, Morgan Freeman and John Travolta have all done. All three own mansions on Grand Cayman’s dreamy Seven Mile Beach, which claims the accolade of Best Beach in the Caribbean! 142 Cayman (via nassau) from Gatwick from €1145 return including taxes. hOT hOTEls * The Ritz Carlton (ritzcarlton.com) on Grand Cayman offers everything you can imagine for an intimate wedding or five-star honeymoon. This luxurious property can deliver the best of everything, from amazing food to fabulous amenities.

* For laid back Caribbean charm Little Cayman Beach
Resort (littlecayman.com), on Little Cayman island, is intimate, attractive and affordable. TEll mE mOrE * Cayman Islands are a year round sunshine destination, but mid December to April is less humid. hurricane season starts from June to november so it is advised to monitor this before departure. Rainy season is mid summer, from May-August, when showers are sporadic.


								
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