Fact: Cruise ship passengers from the US are required to have a passport.
If you’re planning a trip, make sure that you know whether or not you’ll need a passport, and give yourself plenty of time to get one.
Fact: The Cayman Islands has its own money.
And it’s pretty, too! On the back of all notes there is a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to reflect our bond to Britain, as well as the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms and Motto. The basic unit is the dollar, issued in notes with denominations of CI$100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1, and coins valued at 25 cents, 10, 5 and 1 cent. Since the Cayman dollar is tied to the US dollar (the exchange rate is fixed at CI$1.00 = US$1.25), US cash and travellers checks are accepted everywhere in the Cayman Islands. American travellers take note – remember that the CI bill is 25 dollars not merely 20. So if you leave a $25 bill to cover a $17 bill, you are actually leaving an $8 tip, not a $3 tip.
Fact: There are two decompression chambers in the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman government owns and operates two hospitals – the main Cayman Islands Hospital located in George Town, Grand Cayman, and Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, and both have privately run decompression chambers to treat dive related emergencies. In addition, there are a number of government district clinics, including one on Little Cayman. The Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital is a private facility also located in George Town.
Fact: There are no nude beaches in these islands.
Sorry, but Cayman Islands Law prohibits all forms of public nudity, including topless sunbathing. So there are no nude beaches and, in fact, many business places also request that you wear shoes and an appropriate cover-up before entering.
Fact: Tipping follows the American custom.
The customary rate is 15% for restaurants, dive services, salons, etc. Some restaurants automatically add the tip, so be sure to check your bill carefully or you might be tipping double.
While travel insurance is not mandatory, it’s highly recommended to cover unexpected events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.
The high season for tourism is from December to April when the weather is dry and pleasant. However, the Cayman Islands are enjoyable year-round, so choose a time that suits your preferences and budget.
Yes, it’s generally safe to swim with stingrays at Stingray City, as these creatures are accustomed to human interaction. Local guides provide safety instructions, and injuries are rare.
The legal drinking age in the Cayman Islands is 18 years old. Bars and restaurants may ask for identification, so carry a valid ID if you plan to consume alcohol.
The Cayman Islands host various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including Pirates Week in November and the Cayman Carnival Batabano in May. Check the event calendar for your travel dates.
Yes, you can easily rent snorkeling and scuba diving equipment from dive shops and rental companies. Many resorts also offer equipment as part of their packages.
Absolutely! You can take a short domestic flight to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These islands offer a more tranquil and nature-focused experience compared to bustling Grand Cayman. Its very easy to take a day trip to any of the sister islands as there are daily flights back and forth.
Popular souvenirs include Caymanite jewelry, local rum, artwork, sea turtle-themed items, and crafts made by local artisans.
Some areas may have specific rules and regulations, such as marine park no-anchor zones. Always respect local signage and guidelines to preserve the natural beauty of the islands.
English is the official language, and most residents are fluent. However, you may hear various accents due to the diverse expatriate community.
While the official currency is the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD), U.S. Dollars are widely accepted and often used interchangeably, making it convenient for U.S. travelers.
Cruise ship passengers typically do not need a visa for short visits, but it’s essential to check with your cruise line for specific requirements and procedures.
The Cayman Islands have strict regulations regarding the importation of fruits, vegetables, and meat products to prevent the introduction of pests and diseases. Check the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture for details on what is allowed.
While the Cayman Islands have a relaxed atmosphere, some upscale restaurants may have a dress code that requires smart-casual attire. It’s a good idea to check ahead if you plan to dine at finer establishments.
In addition to snorkeling and scuba diving, you can enjoy activities like parasailing, paddleboarding, kayaking, jet skiing, and deep-sea fishing while visiting the Cayman Islands.
While there is limited public transportation, buses and taxis are available. It’s often more convenient to rent a car or scooter for greater flexibility in exploring the islands.
While the Cayman Islands are generally safe, you should exercise caution around coral reefs and avoid touching or disturbing marine life. Some areas may have jellyfish or other potentially harmful creatures, so follow local advice.
Yes, many restaurants on the islands offer vegetarian and vegan menu items, catering to different dietary preferences. Be sure to ask for these options when dining out.
Some excellent snorkeling spots include Cemetery Beach, Smith Cove, and Eden Rock, known for their vibrant marine life and coral formations.
While you can book some activities upon arrival, it’s recommended to make reservations for popular tours and excursions in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.
For emergencies, dial 911 in the Cayman Islands. The islands have a well-established emergency response system to assist visitors in need.
Public drinking laws may vary by location, but it’s generally acceptable to enjoy alcoholic beverages on the beach. However, please dispose of your trash responsibly.
Banks typically operate from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on weekdays and 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Saturdays. Currency exchange services are available at the airport and banks, but ATMs are more convenient for currency conversion.
- Visa: Most visitors don’t require a visa for short stays (up to 90 days), but check the Cayman Islands Immigration website for specific requirements.
- Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date.
- Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman is the primary entry point.
- Direct flights are available from several U.S. cities and major international airports.
- The Cayman Islands offer a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels and vacation rentals.
- Popular areas to stay include Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman and resorts on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
- ATMs are widely available.
- Credit cards are accepted at most businesses.
- The Cayman Islands have a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round.
- Hurricane season runs from June to November, so be aware when planning your trip.
- Taxis and rental cars are readily available.
- Bicycles and scooters are popular for exploring the islands.
- Seven Mile Beach: Known for its stunning white sand and crystal-clear waters, this beach offers watersports, snorkeling, and relaxation.
- Stingray City: Interact with friendly stingrays in their natural habitat.
- Boating and Watersports: Enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing.
- Cayman Turtle Centre: Learn about and interact with sea turtles.
- Botanic Park: Explore the island’s flora and fauna.
- Cayman cuisine blends Caribbean and international flavors.
- Don’t miss trying local specialties like conch fritters and jerk chicken.
- Dining options cater to various budgets, from casual beachside eateries to gourmet restaurants.
- The Cayman Islands are generally safe, with low crime rates.
- Ensure you have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
- The tap water is safe to drink.
- Respect the local culture and traditions.
- Swimwear should be reserved for the beach.
- Tipping is customary in restaurants (15-20%).
- Duty-free shopping is popular, especially for luxury goods.
- Local crafts and souvenirs are available at markets and shops.