The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, south of Cuba and northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands are considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles. The territory is a major world offshore financial centre.
The Cayman Islands are in the western Caribbean Sea and are the peaks of a massive underwater ridge, known as the Cayman Ridge (or Cayman Rise). This ridge flanks the Cayman Trough, 6,000 m (20,000 ft) deep which lies 6 km (3.7 mi) to the south. The islands lie in the northwest of the Caribbean Sea, south of Cuba and west of Jamaica. They are situated about 700 km (430 mi) south of Miami, 366 km (227 mi) south of Cuba, and about 500 km (310 mi) northwest of Jamaica. Grand Cayman is by far the biggest, with an area of 197 km2 (76 sq mi). Grand Cayman's two "Sister Islands", Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, are about 120 km (75 mi) east north-east of Grand Cayman and have areas of 38 and 28.5 km2 (14.7 and 11.0 sq mi) respectively.
All three islands were formed by large coral heads covering submerged ice age peaks of western extensions of the Cuban Sierra Maestra range and are mostly flat. One notable exception to this is The Bluff on Cayman Brac's eastern part, which rises to 43 m (141 ft) above sea level, the highest point on the islands.
Terrain is mostly a low-lying limestone base surrounded by coral reefs. [more]