Flights to Grand Cayman
Air travel service to the Cayman Islands is available from several countries, with flights from Canada, US, UK, Honduras, Cuba and Jamaica. Cities served by regularly scheduled flights or seasonal charters include Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, Miami, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Tampa, London (England), Kingston & Montego Bay (Jamaica), Havana (Cuba), La Ceiba (Honduras), and Toronto (Canada). There are over 100 commercial flights into the Cayman Islands each week and the most popular gateway is Miami International Airport with approximately 50 flights per week.
Traveling to Grand Cayman
Because Grand Cayman is such an important jurisdiction for offshore financial services as well as a popular vacation destination, it is particularly well served by international airlines as well as the national flag carrier – Cayman Airways. Visitors to the island need to present a valid passport. Visas into the Cayman Islands are not required for Commonwealth, UK, US or Japanese nationals, as well as nationals from certain other countries. Unless your home country is part of the Visa Waiver programme with the US, a US visa is normally required for travel via the US. It is advisable to double check entry requirements with your travel agent. If you are a visitor to the Cayman Islands you will need to fill in two forms upon entry – a customs form and an immigration form. Please see our Customs Duty page for details on what visitors may bring into the Cayman Islands.
Cayman Airways has been the national flag carrier of the Cayman Islands since 1968. Cayman Airways has more flights to and from more destinations than any other airline providing regular flights to the Cayman Islands.
Destinations:Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Havana, Cuba (seasonal); Kingston, Jamaica; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Miami, Tampa, New York JFK (seasonal), Chicago O’Hare (seasonal).
A pre check-in service is available one day prior to departure at Owen Roberts Airport, George Town, Grand Cayman (from 7pm to 9pm every evening) and the Cayman Airways Cargo office from 5pm to 7pm every evening. When traveling the next day, those passengers without any baggage to check-in can go straight to the security checkpoint but passengers needing to check luggage will be required to drop it off at the 'Fast Bag' drop off, located at the Cayman Airways Airport ticket desk.
Atlanta, Georgia to Grand Cayman (daily)
Miami to Grand Cayman (two to three flights daily)
Houston, Texas to Grand Cayman (four times a week)
Newark, New York to Grand Cayman (four times a week)
Flights from Charlotte, North Carolina, Philadelphia and Boston
Flights from London Heathrow via Nassau Bahamas (stop for refueling only) Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday
Direct flight from Toronto, once weekly
Flights from Washington, D.C., once weekly
Grand Cayman Resorts and Hotels
Many of the hotels and resorts on Cayman’s three islands cater to dive enthusiasts, offering special packages that include daily two-tank boat dives and shore diving, dive shops and everything you need to enjoy your sport. Non-divers need not fret, though, as they will have just as much to enjoy since many of the hotel properties offer shopping, dining, non-scuba water sports activities and tour options.
Below we list some of Cayman's most popular accommodations.
Marriott Beach Resort - Grand Cayman
Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The beautifully appointed Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort is oceanfront on spectacular Seven Mile Beach just minutes from the airport and downtown Georgetown.
The Reef Resort - Grand Cayman
1 Queens Highway, East End
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
The Reef is an one of Cayman’s newer properties, a quiet resort located on the East End of Grand Cayman, on one of the island’s longest stretch of beaches.
Grand Cayman Beach Suites
Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
This all-suites property is a refuge of tranquility with luxury amenities. Located directly on Seven Mile Beach with dining and shopping on site, and also an easy walk to restaurants and shopping centers.
Westin Casuarina Resort & Spa
Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Nestled in a tropical garden on one of the most beautiful stretches of famous Seven Mile Beach A tropical paradise with easy access to all of Grand Cayman’s attractions.
Brac Reef Beach Resort
Cayman Brac, Cayman Islands.
Lovely, newly renovated hotel with dining, dive shop, spa, and acres of sand and palm trees. You won’t want for anything here at this quiet and relaxing tropical getaway.
Cobalt Coast Dive Resort
Sea Fan Drive, West Bay
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
This European styled dive resort sits waterside on one of Grand Cayman’s lesser explored reefs. Full service dive shop on site. Just a few steps from your door to unlimited shore diving.
Sunshine Suites Hotel
West Bay Road, Seven Mile Beach
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.
Small and charming with tailored grounds and an attentive staff. This all-suites hotel is just 200 yards from the beach. With one of the island’s most popular restaurants on site.
Pirates Point Resort
Little Cayman, Cayman Islands
Really and truly quiet, relaxing and secluded, this all-inclusive rustic resort spoils for diving and dining. Cordon bleu meals and personalized dive service.
Grand Cayman Vacation Rentals & Condos
The Cayman Islands offer the vacation seeker many choices of accommodations with beachfront condos, hotels, resorts, villas, cottages and home-stays available for rent throughout the islands. Whether you prefer the quiet seclusion offered by Cayman Brac & Little Cayman, or the busier Seven Mile Beach area of Grand Cayman, you'll find something to suit your needs.
Rates will obviously vary according to amenities, location, number of bedrooms, etc. and there are also a high and a low season that affect prices. The high season begins December 15th and runs through April 15th, during which you may pay up to 50% more for a room. Also, expect to pay a 10% government accommodation tax and 5-10% gratuity for housekeeping services. Several couples sharing a condo or rental villa can save substantial amounts over a hotel room.
The Cayman Islands government maintains strict quality controls over all the various rental establishments and regulations ensure that your accommodations will be clean, safe and worth the price. These policies help preserve the Cayman Islands' reputation as a top vacation destination with high standards of quality and service.
The Anchorage Condos
On the quiet end of Seven Mile Beach, our white-sand beach gently slopes to the blue Caribbean sea.
Harbour Heights Condos
Enjoy the most coveted part of Seven Mile Beach. Spend your days basking in the sun or taking in the sites.
Island Club Condos
Centrally located within walking distance of fine cuisine, world-class shopping, golf course, watersports and more.
Colonial Club Condos
Luxurious apartments with huge, seafront screened patios located in a tropical haven. Close to everything.
Tamarind Bay Condos
Luxurious condos designed and decorated for your comfort and relaxation with everything you'll need.
Harbour View Apartments
Affordable accomodations. Easy access to everything you'll need on your vacation: fine dining, duty-free shopping, watersports and more.
Brac Caribbean Beach Village
Two-bedroom condos on the beach with all the amenities for a relaxing vacation. Dive packages for the scuba enthusiast.
Paradise Villas – Little Cayman
Villas offering rentals with kitchenette, spacious porches and oceanfront dining.
Grand Cayman Restaurants
There are over 200 restaurants in the Cayman Islands including fast-food outlets and small native style diners. Visitors can choose from a wide variety of mid-range and elegant dining as well as low cost fast food and take-out outlets on Grand Cayman. Traditional Caymanian cuisine will feature many items unfamiliar to you as well as well-known favourites such as conch, lobster and shrimp. Don't be afraid to sample local dishes such as stewed turtle, oxtail, salt beef & beans and ackee & codfish. Other staples include plantain, breadfruit, cassava and rice & beans. Local dessert items include rum cake and cassava cake.
In addition to the local cuisine you'll find Jamaican, Cuban, Central American, Italian, British, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and others. Fast-food chains include Pizza Hut, Dominos, Wendy's, Burger King, Subway and KFC.
Cayman Brac has a few small local restaurants in addition to two hotel restaurants serving buffet style meals and Little Cayman has one main restaurant, the Hungry Iguana, located next to the airport. Dining on Little Cayman is also available at Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman Beach Resort, Pirates Point and Sam McCoy's Lodge.
Most restaurants require shoes and shirts but shorts are generally acceptable. Some of the upscale restaurants may require slacks for evening dinner. Most restaurants will automatically add a service charge of 15% to your total food and drink bill. In this case tipping is not required and you should check your bill before leaving extra. Your food and beverage server receives only a small portion of the gratuity and you may tip extra at your discretion.
Here is a short list of popular restaurants in the Cayman Islands.
Al La Kebab
Aqua Beach Restaurant & Bar
Blue Iguana Grill
Bodden's Roti Shop
Breezes By The Bay
Café del Sol
Calico Jack's Bar & Grill
Canton Chinese Restaurant
Captain's Table Restaurant
Champion House Restaurant 1
Champion House Restaurant 2
Cobalt Coast Restaurant
Coffee & Bites
Copper Falls Steakhouse
Corita's Copper Kettle
Country & Western Restaurant
Cracked Conch by the Sea
Domino's Pizza - Mary Street
Domino's Pizza - Savannah
Domino's Pizza - West Bay
Eddy Hot Pot Restaurant
Full of Beans Café
Gateway of India
Grand Old House
Hard Rock Café
Hammerheads Brew Pub
Jillian's Billiard Lounge & Bar
Kaibo Beach Bar & Grill
Kaibo Yacht Club
KFC - Merren's Plaza
KFC - Shedden Road
KFC - The Strand
La Sha Ry's
The Lobster Pot
Lone Star Bar & Grill
MacDonald Restaurant & Bar
Maedac Midtown Cafe
Main Street Café
Over the Edge
Paradise Bar & Grill
Pizza Hut - West Bay Road
Pizza Hut - Red Bay Plaza
Rackham's Pub & Restaurant
Ragazzi Ristorante & Pizzeria
Reef Grill at the Royal Palms
Rum Point Restaurant
Seymour's Jerk Chicken
Singh's Roti Shop & Bar
Subway - West Shore Centre
Subway - George Town
Subway - Industrial Park
Taste of China
Thai Restaurant of Grand Cayman
Triple Crown Irish Pub
Welly's Cool Spot
Shopping in the Cayman Islands could be considered a tourist attraction all on its own. Duty free prices, a range of goods catering to a range of budgets, and stores and malls scattered across the island make shopping for a souvenir or special gift an easy and enjoyable experience.
The small downtown area of George Town is the heart of Cayman shopping. Here you will find store after store of luxury and mid-range goods in current styles and trends. Boutique stores specializing in a particular designer sit next to mega stores carrying a complete selection of the world’s choicest items. Upstairs, downstairs, on the water, down the block – the storefronts are all wide open and waiting for you to step inside. Experienced sales staff can help you select your purchase.
Shops are also located in numerous shopping centres and malls along Seven Mile Beach. Small independently owned gift shops mix with the island’s premier vendors in locations such as The Strand, Camana Bay, Seven Mile Shops, the Galleria and West Shore Centre.
Shopping is also available in the further reaches of Bodden Town, East End and Rum Point. Small, locally owned craft stores are a good bet for hand-made items unique to Cayman. Larger vendors are also set up at the resorts along these beaches for a wide selection of items popular with tourists.
Jewelry is perhaps the best buy with deeply discounted prices on offer. Diamonds, Tanzanite, emeralds, rubies, topaz, sapphire and amethyst are just the beginning of what’s on offer at the island’s fine jewellers. A full range of fine and semi-precious gemstones can be found in Cayman with knowledgeable gemmologists available to assist you. Fun and funky jewelry for the younger fashionista is also on sale. And be sure to check out the pieces made of Caymanite, an endemic semi-precious stone with layers of browns and golds.
Watches are a popular purchase in Cayman. From the iconic Rolex to the more accessible Swatch brand, there are watch choices for men and women in every price range and style.
Luxury goods such as Lalique and Lladro figurines, Wedgwood china, Cartier accessories, Waterford crystal, Fendi leather goods, and a wide range of cosmetics and fragrances fill large and small stores.
Souvenirs, too, are widely available. From colourful magnets to stuffed turtles and stingrays (two of Cayman’s mascot figures), from tee-shirts to coffee mugs, from pirate themes to palm trees and fish, souvenirs make an affordable and memorable gift for yourself or friends and family at home.
No matter how long you visit or where you stay in Cayman, you will find shopping options to fill out your tropical vacation.
Grand Cayman Car Rentals
Many of the well known rental car agencies are represented here along with several local operations. You will find a wide variety of rental cars, 4-wheel drive vehicles, vans and minibuses, as well as scooters. In order to rent a car you will need to present a valid drivers license from your country and purchase a Visitors Driving Permit. Grand Cayman's car rental agencies offer daily car rental rates ranging from US$26 for compact cars in the Summer season (mid-April to mid-December) to higher prices for jeeps, vans and premium cars. Most offer special weekly rates as well.
Typically, loss damage insurance and third party liability coverage are not included in quoted rates. You should inquire into your own insurance policies prior to declining coverage offered by the car rental company. Most rental agencies require drivers to be at least 25 years old.
Cayman drivers are known for their courtesy and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it often is to get a break when trying to merge onto busy roads. We are, however, not without our share of poor drivers, so be careful as would when driving anywhere.
For an island that is just 22 miles long with an average width of just four miles, Grand Cayman still offers a multitude of things to see and do, with a slew of attractions from West Bay to East End. From fabulous beaches and dramatic ironshore on every mile of our coasts to restaurants tucked away in secluded spots and much more, there is so much to see all around the island. For this reason, renting a car is an absolute must, as any visitor will want to make the most of their stay, however short (as tempting as it is to just lie on the smooth white sands of Seven Mile Beach all day long!). Grand Cayman is fortunate to have a wide range of car rental agencies to supply the island's tourism transportation needs.
All the major car rental franchises are represented on island (Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar & Thrifty), either handily located near the airport within a two minute walking distance from the arrivals terminal, or situated within all of the major hotels on island or along Grand Cayman's Seven Mile Beach tourist area. Most of the agencies provide a handy courtesy pick up and drop off if you are staying in the Seven Mile Beach area. Several of the rental agencies, such as Budget and Avis, also provide long-term rentals should your vacation extend further than the average week or two. Cico/Avis is a prolific service provider to hotels and is located in the Ritz-Carlton, the Westin Casuarina Resort and the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort.
Visitors to Grand Cayman should also be aware that there is a good selection of local companies, such as Coconut Car Rentals and Cayman Auto Rentals who also provide excellent service and value-for-money. Economy Car Rental is another well established local company which lives up to its name and rents Hyundai Getz compact cars. With a broad range of car rental companies vying for business, it is definitely worth shopping around to see where you can get the best deal.
So, by all means lie back and enjoy the delights of Grand Cayman's beaches. But if you want to get out there and sample some of the other delights that the island has to offer, the great supply of car rental agencies on island won't disappoint.
Scuba Diving in the Cayman Islands
Scuba Diving in Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac & Little Cayman
Many books, picture guides and magazine articles have been published on the subject of diving in the Cayman Islands, and, quite simply, these islands have the best scuba diving that you'll ever find. The sheer number and diversity of the dive sites is truly amazing.
A few of the many diving opportunities include wall dives, cave dives, coral garden dives, reef dives, wreck dives, Stingray City dives, and the list goes on. We won't mention dive sites by name since these won't mean anything to you, but suffice it to say, that after you've visited us and dived our waters, the dive site names will be embedded in your memory. Within the Cayman Islands there are several hundred named and regularly visited dive sites, and the underwater visibility is often over 100 feet - on all three islands!
The scuba diving industry is well established and operates to high standards. All scuba operators employ dive masters with professional certification and safety standards. Grand Cayman has a decompression chamber, and most cases of decompression sickness, or 'the bends', can be successfully treated locally. For beginners who want to get certified, courses are widely available and thousands of divers have earned their certification while on vacation here.
Conservation of our undersea world is crucial to the well being of these islands and we ask you to observe the following simple rule when diving our waters - LOOK, BUT DON'T TOUCH!!! The numerous and spectacular coral reefs ringing the Cayman Islands are extremely sensitive, and you may create more damage than you ever imagined. Some coral grows less than an inch per year and breakage by careless divers can take decades to be repaired. Please be careful not to bump, stand on, break or even touch the coral.
The coral reefs and other undersea colonies have evolved over thousands of years and nature has determined the correct balance of marine life. In spite of what you may see others doing, please do not feed the fish, including stingrays. Constant feeding by humans disrupts nature's delicate balance and can have dramatic effects on the future of the reef. If a fish population expands due to constant human intervention by feeding, and that food source is then disrupted, there could be negative consequences for the entire surrounding area.
Once you have arrived and decided to dive our waters, you'll need to find a company to dive with. There are some "cattle boat" diving operators with disproportionate numbers of divers to instructors, so you should inquire about the maximum number of divers on a given trip. According to your taste, it may be better to go with a smaller group where you get more personalized service, and smaller groups also create less stress and damage to the reef.
Snorkeling & Watersports Activities
Grand Cayman offers many in-water activities and plenty of local water sports operators to help you enjoy them. The undersea world of Grand Cayman may be equaled but certainly not surpassed, and snorkeling is a good alternative to scuba if for some reason you are not able to dive. There are literally hundreds of sites where the water is shallow enough to snorkel in and where you can experience the amazing diversity of our marine environment. All Grand Cayman water sports operators offer snorkeling trips and will take you where the fish are plentiful. Snorkeling can also be done directly from the beach at many locations around the islands.
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Cayman Brac is blessed with spectacular coral reefs and walls with excellent visibility. Most of the sites are around the west end, with both shallow reef diving and snorkeling close to shore and deeper wall diving a bit further out. Snorkelers will enjoy the pristine reefs and abundant marine life, as well as the large coral heads which come close enough to the surface to allow views normally available only to divers. All it takes is a mask, snorkel and fins to uncover the finest snorkeling anywhere. Take a few days to explore the Buccaneer's Inn site and Helen's Reef, where the coral nearly reaches the ocean surface. Radar Reef offers a snorkel bonanza, affording reef access suitable for underwater novices. Bring along your reef ID card to help identify some of the fish and marine life flourishing here. This is also the location of the Oceanic Voyagers statue that was sunk in January 2003. It is a bronze sculpture of 2 dolphins and 4 stingrays.
The best snorkel spots in Little Cayman are scattered along Bloody Bay, where a shallow reef drops off dramatically into scuba diving territory. Snorkeling is also popular at Sandy Point (a wonderful, secluded beach on the eastern end also known as Point of Sand) and in the marine park that borders Blossom Village, at the southern tip of the island.
Other Fun Things to do in the Water
- Glide quietly along the water and enjoy the warm Cayman breezes as you steer your rented sailboat into the wind. Anchor in a shallow spot and snorkel or swim to cool off. Rather let someone else do the sailing? Then take a sailboat cruise to Stingray City or an evening dinner cruise into the sunset.
- An experience that will not be forgotten. You'll rise to about 200 feet, towed aloft by a powerful speedboat, your parachute gently lifting you skyward. Marvel at the view of Seven Mile Beach and George Town harbour, and, as you glide through the air, the cruise ships below seem dwarfed. Enjoy the ride by yourself or with a companion.
- The noise may be an annoyance to some, but you'll enjoy the exhilaration of zipping along at over 30mph. A quick lesson in operating the watercraft and some safety tips, and you'll be on your way. Always be watchful for people in the water - respect the 'Divers Down' flags and swimmers in the area.
Windsurfing - We don't have the big waves of Hawaii but it's just as much fun. The beginner will get lessons in staying upright and steering the sailboard, then it's fun in the sun. The water will lap at your feet as you glide quietly along the gentle waves, pushed by the warm Cayman sea breezes. For the more experienced, the strong winds of the east coast of the island will offer a challenge.
Other water sports include kayaking, water skiing, knee boarding, paddle boarding and banana boat rides. Most of the glossy tourist magazines that you'll find once you arrive will have details about all of the above water sports.
In addition to water sports you'll find other above and below water activities including:
Glass bottom boat rides
Semi-submersible boat rides
Submarine dives to 100 feet
Sailboat dinner cruises
Don't forget that the sun down here in the Caribbean will burn you badly if you over expose yourself. If you're not used to the sun, wear a strong sunscreen according to best practices. Many a vacationer has spoiled their trip with too much sun, too quickly. In addition, please remember that the damage caused by over exposure to the sun lasts long after the tan has faded.
Cayman Islands Sport Fishing
The Cayman Islands are regarded by fishermen the world over as a destination for all types of sport fishing. From deep sea trolling for Blue Marlin to casting for Bonefish in the knee-deep waters of a lagoon, you'll find the action you're looking for.
The best fishing is usually in the months of May, June, and July, with Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dolphin, and Bonefish being most plentiful then. Wahoo are most plentiful in the months of December to March.
There are several fishing tournaments throughout the year with the chance to win big prize money. Numerous cash awards are reserved for anyone breaking the local record for various species of game fish. Many anglers visit the Cayman Islands each year just to participate in these tournaments; if you would like to fish in one of them be sure to reserve well in advance.
For a change in pace, try one of the fastest growing sports in fishing - Fly Fishing. Stalk the wiley, hard fighting bonefish in the crystal shallows and watch in amazement as they burn off 100 yards of line in 12 inches of water. Charter a guide service in Grand Cayman and discover why bonefishing with a fly rod is fast becoming an obsession of anglers worldwide.
You will not require any special licence to fish in the Cayman Islands, and you may bring your own gear with you. There are certain restrictions on where you may fish, and these areas are clearly marked on information booklets, which are available locally. Once on the island you may contact the Department of Tourism for one of these booklets.
While most of the locals tend to head out to their favourite 'fishing hole' in a small boat with an outboard motor, you may prefer the comfort and luxury of a large sport fishing cruiser. There are many sport-fishing operators across all three islands and they usually take care of all your needs including the tackle and bait. Most sport-fishing operators can also arrange trips to Stingray City as well as dive trips and custom charters.
You will appreciate the experience and knowledge of the local boat captains and crew members that will assist you while you fish for the big one. Many an angler has left these islands with big smiles and even bigger stories about the one that didn't get away.
Getting Married in the Cayman Islands
For couples looking to plan an exotic Caribbean island wedding, the Cayman Islands offers something few destinations can match. The result is a sort of “barefoot elegance” that promises to make your big day truly remarkable. Whether you’re planning a grand, sophisticated church wedding for 200 or an intimate beachfront ceremony for two, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac afford the locales, activities and attractions to make your experience a crystal clear memory. And, with a host of wedding professionals ready to help you with everything from floral arrangements to legal requirements, tying the knot in this corner of the Caribbean couldn’t be easier.
A Cayman Wedding brochure entitled "Getting Married in the Cayman Islands" and containing complete guidelines and information is available from Government Information Services, Cricket Square, Grand Cayman. Ph: (345) 949-8092.
Getting Married in the Cayman Islands
Visitors to the Cayman Islands can get married on the day they arrive, including passengers arriving on cruise ships. However, you are advised to make arrangements in advance to facilitate paperwork and all required details. A special licence will be granted by the Governor for non-resident couples. You should make arrangements for a Cayman Islands marriage officer before applying for the licence. Other requirements include proper documentation proving citizenship and age (passport or birth certificate) and marital status (proof of legal divorce decree or death certificate if spouse has died, if applicable), and the Immigration slip showing legal entry into the Cayman Islands or documentation proving visitor is a passenger on a cruise ship. The minimum legal age for getting married without parental consent is 18 years.
An Unforgettable Ceremony
The size and scope of a Cayman Islands wedding ceremony is limited only by the imagination. Couples can opt for a traditional wedding in a quaint chapel, stately church or luxury resort. Or, to add a bit of Caymanian flavor, consider marrying amidst the floral splendor of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, or overlooking the azure waters of the Caribbean on the stately grounds of Pedro St. James, the birthplace of Caymanian democracy. For a more intimate ceremony, couples can choose to marry on a stretch of sugar white sand along famed Seven Mile Beach or just above the enchanting crystal clear water on the pier at legendary Rum Point.