Discover the Cayman Islands

Discovery Day is celebrated on the third Monday in May, and commemorates the discovery of the Cayman Islands by Christopher Columbus in 1503. 

Columbus first spotted the Cayman Islands on 10 May, 1503. The two Islands initially spotted by Columbus were later to become known as Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, although at the time he named them Las Tortugas, due to the number of turtles to be found in the water. 

In honour of Columbus, why not use Discovery Day to do your own journey of discovery? 

A visit to the Sister Islands that he first spotted might be a good place to start. There are regular flights on Cayman Airways to both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman and a number of accommodation options to choose from while there. When in Cayman Brac, take a walk on the Bluff, which was probably the first feature Columbus spotted, as it is the highest point in the Cayman Islands. 

For those in Grand Cayman who would rather explore somewhat closer to home, walk the Mastic Trail to see what the interior of the Island looked like in the time Columbus first spotted it. Visit the Botanic Park to see Grand Cayman’s famous Blue Iguanas, or head out to Boatswains Beach to see the turtles that originally lent their name to these Islands.  

Cayman brac bluff

The end of the bluff on Cayman Brac; probably the first thing Columbus and his crew saw.

catboat sailing

Catboat sailing has always been a popular Discovery Day activity.


Not Christopher Columbus’ boat, but still part of our heritage.

CI youths

Fun is the order of Discovery Day for these kids.

NS kitchen band

The North Side Kitchen Band performs at a Catboat Regatta during a Discovery Day. Photos: File

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