Information & Facts
Things to do in the Cayman Islands revolve around the three
islands' attractions of sun, sand and blue water. A sunken ship
makes for a great diving attraction in Cayman Brac, its other
attractions include fishing spots and unique vegetation both
brimming with colourful life.
Colourful and rare wildlife are also found in abundance in
Little Cayman, the least visited of the islands by tourist but
thriving with visiting red-footed boobies. Things to do on Grand
Cayman more than satisfy most visitors. Boatswain's Beach is home
to the famous Cayman Turtle Farm. This and Seven Mile Beach are
perfect for swimming and snorkelling although many choose to take
the excursion to Stingray City and Sandbar to snorkel with
surprisingly friendly stingrays.
Landlubbers will do well inland visiting the historic sites of
George Town and Pedro St James Castle or walking through Queen
Elizabeth II Botanic Park. The rainy season May to November staves
off tourist crowds and is a good time to soak in the Cayman
attractions if also a bit of rain.
The Cayman Islands are one of the principal financial centres in
the world. The hub of business occurs in George Town on Grand
Cayman. Business dress within the financial industry is formal, but
other businesses may have a more relaxed protocol. After hours
meetings are usually fairly casual. Handshakes on introduction are
followed by the exchange of business cards. General business hours
are 8am to 5pm, while banks open at 9am and close at 4pm Monday to
In general the weather is good all year and the trade winds
ensure it doesn't get too hot. Peak season runs between December
and April. The rainy season runs from May to November and visitors
are advised to keep an eye on the weather reports in the days
before arrival, as this is also hurricane season. Many regard the
wet season as the best time to visit; room rates are cheaper, the
beaches less crowded and the rain comes in short, sharp bursts that
does not usually impact on holiday fun.
The international access code for the Cayman Islands is +1, in
common with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by
345. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code
(e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom). International direct dialling
is available. Mobile phone coverage is good and operates on a GSM
900/1800 network; phones can be rented. Internet cafes are widely
The culture is a blend of American, British and West Indian
traditions. The churchgoing Caymanians appreciate politeness and
modesty - topless bathing and nudity is illegal and beachwear in
not acceptable off the beach.
Travellers entering the Cayman Islands may take 200 cigarettes
or 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco, as well as one litre of alcohol,
without paying duty on these.
Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. American style
two-pin plugs are standard.
The only form of local public transport is minibuses which are
safe to use but run only on the main routes. For other journeys
taxis are readily available or one can hire a car, motor scooter or
bicycle. If hiring a vehicle, remember to drive on the left, as in
the UK. Observe the speed limits, wear your seat belt at all times
and do not drink and drive.
Generally there are no specific health risks and food and water
are considered safe, however note that some types of tropical reef
fish may be poisonous when eaten, even well cooked. Dengue fever
has been reported from the Caribbean region and insect protection
measures should be taken. Medical facilities are relatively good;
there is both a public and private hospital, one with a
decompression chamber. Serious cases will normally be transferred
to Miami. Visitors should take out adequate travel and medical
insurance to cover the possible need for air ambulance.
English is the official language.
The Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD) is the official currency, which
is divided into 100 cents. It is fixed to the US dollar at US$1.20.
Currency can be exchanged at the banks, bureaux de change and many
hotels. Banks are open Monday to Saturday. US Dollars are accepted
as payment in most establishments and are the preferred currency
for exchange as both cash and as travellers cheques. ATMs are
widely available and major credit and debit cards are accepted.
All visitors are required to hold sufficient funds for intended
period of stay in the Cayman Islands, as well as a return or onward
ticket and documents required for further travel. Entry may be
refused if not complying with general appearance, behaviour and
clothing requirements. Visas are usually for up to six months,
provided coming for tourist purposes only. As part of the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling
between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the
Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid
travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If
departing from the USA a valid passport will be required by
The Cayman Islands has a relatively low crime rate.
Nevertheless, visitors are advised to take the usual sensible
precautions as they would anywhere else in respect of their
personal safety and belongings. Do not leave valuables lying about,
keep them in a hotel or other safety deposit box. Visitors should
be aware of the risk of flooding during hurricane season (June to
November) and follow local advice with regards to leaving the
island in the event of an approaching hurricane.
Local time is GMT -5.
Most restaurants and hotels automatically add a 10 to 15%
service charge to the bill, otherwise a gratuity of the same amount
is expected. At hotels, a 10% government tax is also usually added
to the cost of your room. Taxi drivers expect a 10 to 15% tip.