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Cayman Islands Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit the Cayman Islands in 2023
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Welcome to Cayman Islands

Rum Point Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands comprise three islands, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. The nation is not only known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and world-class diving, but it is also a financial hub.

Whether you’re visiting the islands for business or holidays, read our ultimate Cayman Islands travel guide to prepare for your trip.

Document checklist for the Cayman Islands

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • Valid passport

  • Sufficient funds to cover your trip

  • Return or onward ticket

Essential Cayman Islands travel information

  • Currency - The local currency is the Cayman Islands dollar (CI$). The US dollar is also widely accepted. $1 is equivalent to approx. CI$ 0.83.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget of CI$ 105 ($125) per person, per day.

  • Languages - The official language of the Cayman Islands is English.

  • Number of travelers per year - Over 500,000 travelers visited the Cayman Islands in 2019, mostly Americans.

  • Socket type - Type A and B, 120V supply voltage and 60Hz.

  • Time zone - Eastern Standard Time (GMT-5).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - George Town, West Bay, and Bodden Town.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Seven Mile Beach, Stingray City, and Cayman Turtle Centre.

Visa information for the Cayman Islands

Most visitors to the Cayman Islands do not require a visa for stays of up to 30 days, including nationals of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

For longer stays or for visitors who do require a visa, the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration can provide more information. Use our Visa Checker Tool to find out which travel documents are needed for your trip.

Visa difficulty index for the Cayman Islands

Accessibility: 4/5

Many people do not need a visa to travel to the Cayman Islands. If you do need a visa, you must apply via the online government portal.

Time to get your visa: 4/5

The visitor visa is usually processed between 7 and 10 days after the application date.

Costs: 3/5

The government visa fee depends on your nationality but is typically around $90.

Typical costs and budget for the Cayman Islands

Here's a rough estimate of what to expect daily for food, accommodation, and transport.

  • Daily spending - Around CI$ 105 ($125) per person, per day. This includes:

  • Meals - Expect to spend CI$ 16 ($20) for a simple meal.

  • Transport - Expect to spend between CI$ 8-16 ($10-20) for daily transportation.

  • Hotel - The average hotel price in the Cayman Islands for a couple is upward of CI$100 ($120) per night.

On average, a trip to the Cayman Islands for two people for one week will cost CI$ 3700 ($3081).

Transport and best ways to travel around the Cayman Islands

It is relatively easy to reach the Cayman Islands and get around. Let’s explore!

Getting to the Cayman Islands by air or sea

The Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean Sea and can be reached by air or sea.

Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman is the main gateway to the Cayman Islands. Airlines that fly to the Cayman Islands include:

  • American Airlines

  • Delta Air Lines

  • United Airlines

  • British Airways

  • JetBlue Airways

  • Southwest Airlines

  • Cayman Airways (the national airline of the Cayman Islands)

These airlines operate flights to and from various cities in the United States and other international destinations such as London, Toronto, and Havana.

Visitors can also arrive by cruise ships, with several major cruise lines offering stops at the islands. The cruise port is located in George Town on Grand Cayman. Private yachts and boats can also enter the islands through designated ports of entry.

Arrival and immigration tips for the Cayman Islands

Here are some tips to make your arrival in the Cayman Islands as smooth as possible:

  • Check all entry and exit requirements before you go to avoid issues at the border.

  • Overall, the airport and ports of entry are modern and never super busy. You’ll have nothing to worry about!

Getting around the Cayman Islands

Once on the Cayman Islands, choose any of the following to travel around.

Taxis

Taxis are available on all three islands, and fares are regulated by the government. Taxis on Grand Cayman are easy to find, and fares are based on distance. Taxis are less common on sister islands Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, and visitors may need to arrange transportation in advance.

Rental cars

Rental cars are available on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, but not on Little Cayman. Drivers must be over 21 years old and hold a valid driver's license. Rental car rates can vary depending on the season and the type of vehicle.

Public buses

Public buses operate on Grand Cayman, and fares are fixed at CI$ 2 per ride. Buses run from early morning until late at night, and routes cover most of the island. Buses on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are less frequent and may not operate on weekends.

Boats

Boats are also available for island hopping, with several companies offering charter services between the islands. The journey time between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac is around 90 minutes by boat, while the journey time between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman is around 30 minutes.

Safety in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are generally a safe destination for travelers, but visitors should still take precautions to ensure their safety and security. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind while visiting the Cayman Islands:

  • Theft can occur, particularly in tourist areas. Visitors should take precautions to protect their valuables and be aware of their surroundings.

  • Driving in the Cayman Islands can be challenging due to left-hand driving and narrow roads. Visitors should exercise caution when driving and pay attention to local traffic laws.

  • The Cayman Islands are home to various wildlife, including marine animals and iguanas. Visitors should avoid approaching or feeding these animals, as they can be dangerous.

  • The Cayman Islands are located in the Caribbean, and hurricanes and tropical storms can occur during the hurricane season, which runs from June to November. Visitors should be aware of weather conditions and follow the guidance of local authorities.

Weather in the Cayman Islands

The best time to visit the Cayman Islands is between December and April, which is the peak tourist season. During this time, the weather is generally warm and dry, with average temperatures ranging from 20°C-30°C (70°F-80°F). This makes it an ideal time for beach activities, snorkeling, and other outdoor activities.

Must do and see in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands is one of the most beautiful Caribbean destinations with plenty to see and do. Here are the top 5 things to do and see:

  1. Seven Mile Beach: This world-famous beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand. Visitors can relax on the beach, go for a swim, or participate in water activities like snorkeling or riding jet skis

  2. Stingray City: Located in the North Sound of Grand Cayman, Stingray City is a unique experience where visitors can interact with friendly southern stingrays in their natural habitat. Visitors can book a tour to swim with the stingrays or view them from a glass-bottom boat.

  3. George Town: This colorful capital city offers a variety of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences. Visitors can explore local markets, visit historical sites like the Pedro St. James National Historic Site, or sample local cuisine at one of the many restaurants.

  4. Cayman Turtle Centre: This conservation center is home to sea turtles of all ages and sizes. Visitors can learn about the life cycle of sea turtles, feed the turtles, and even swim with them in a lagoon.

  5. Boating and snorkeling excursions: The waters around the Cayman Islands are home to diverse marine life, including colorful fish, coral reefs, and shipwrecks. Visitors can book a boating or snorkeling excursion to explore the underwater world and see these amazing sights.

Typical Cayman Islands food to try

The Cayman Islands offer a unique fusion of Caribbean, Jamaican, and British cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood and local produce. Try out these three typical dishes while you’re there:

  • Conch fritters: Conch is a popular local shellfish. Conch fritters are bite-sized pieces of conch, seasoned, fried, and typically served with a spicy dipping sauce.

  • Fish rundown: A traditional Caymanian dish made with fish cooked in coconut milk, onions, peppers, and other spices. It is usually served with boiled yam or cassava, which helps to soak up the flavorful broth.

  • Jerk chicken: The Cayman Islands have their own version of jerk seasoning, which is a little milder than the Jamaican variety. Jerk chicken is typically grilled over an open flame and served with rice, peas, and plantains.

Vaccine information for the Cayman Islands

Check which routine vaccines and COVID-19 measures are required to enter the Cayman Islands before booking your trip.

We advise you to look up vaccine requirements and recommended medicine for the Cayman Islands on the CDC website.

Swimming with stingrays at Grand Cayman

One of the best attractions in the Cayman Islands is Stingray City. Wading among friendly stingrays congregated near the sandy shore is a great way to interact with marine life. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these magnificent animals up close.

Grand Cayman's Stingray City is a group of sandbars located 25 miles (ca. 40 km) offshore, offering tours ranging from three to five hours. You can swim with the friendly rays, feed them, and take memorable photos during the trip.

Some of the most popular Stingray City tours are:

  • Captain Marvin’s Watersports

  • White Sand Water Sports

  • Red Sail Sports

  • Don Foster’s Dive Cayman

As protecting marine life is a priority, these companies will ensure your interactions with stingrays are safe for both of you.

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