What is the maximum number of days visitors are allowed to stay in Cayman?
If you are purely a visitor with no ties to the Cayman Islands (i.e., no home here, no work permit, or no family ties), you will usually be given 30 days, but this can be extended up to six months. If you want to extend your stay, you must visit the Department of Workforce Opportunities and Residence Cayman (WORC) to apply for the extension. You cannot normally stay for longer than six months.
Do you need a passport to go to the Cayman Islands?
Yes, you need documentation to establish your identity, which usually is a passport, and it must be valid for the duration of your stay with us. You will also need to produce your completed Immigration Card (which will be provided to you by the airline staff), as well as a Customs Declaration Card (again, provided by your airline staff). Visitors arriving from certain countries are also required to have a valid visa for the Cayman Islands.
What are the COVID-19 protocols?
Once you have cleared quarantine (a requirement until 20th November 2021, after which time vaccinated visitors will no longer need to quarantine), you will note that restaurants, shops, etc. have quite strict Covid-19 protocols. These include barring of entry to certain establishments if you are not wearing a mask and mandatory hand sanitising upon entry. Social distancing measures are also encouraged, such as giving people plenty of space while queuing to check out in the grocery store.
Can I bring my pet with me on vacation?
Pets can be brought with people travelling to the Cayman Islands, but they usually come with those staying long term because there is a lengthy process to go through in order for pets to be permitted to travel here. All pets entering the Cayman Islands must have an import permit issued by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture.
Is the water in the Cayman Islands safe to drink?
Yes! It is safe, but it is desalinated, so it doesn’t always taste the best. You might want to purchase 5-gallon water containers for water coolers if you intend to stay long term and want to reduce plastic waste. Or you can use a filter on your refrigerator.
What is the best time of year to travel to Grand Cayman?
Grand Cayman is beautiful all year round! The most popular time (high season) starts around Thanksgiving and ends around Easter. This period incorporates the traditional holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break, Easter) and is also the coolest and driest time of the year. Summer holidays are also a lovely time to visit when children are off school and life is a bit more carefree. The rainy season starts around June but Cayman usually just experiences a shower late afternoon during summer, which cools things off nicely!
What if I get sick, will I be able to find a hospital or pharmacy?
In the Cayman Islands, we are incredibly fortunate to have one of the highest numbers of hospital beds per capita anywhere in the world. Our medical professionals are second-to-none, and visitors can call upon their services for anything from pediatrics to cardiology. The Government runs the Health Services Authority, which operates The Cayman Islands Hospital on Grand Cayman and Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac. Private hospitals include Health City Cayman Islands and Doctors Hospital, and some are expanding, and more are being built. Cayman is home to a wide range of pharmacies located island-wide, which stock an excellent selection of medications. Health Insurance is a must, however.
How hot does the temperature get?
August and September are the hottest months when the temperature averages between 27-31°C.
Will my cell/mobile phone service work while I’m in the Cayman Islands?
Yes, but you may incur roaming charges. Prepaid Sim cards are readily available and let you use local networks at a far cheaper cost than roaming.
How easy is it to stay connected when on island, is there Wi-Fi or internet?
Many establishments, such as coffee shops, resorts, restaurants, bars, and specific locations, have Wi-Fi, while service providers FLOW, Digicel, Logic, and C3 can provide home internet connectivity.
Is it easy to visit Cayman Brac and Little Cayman?
Absolutely, and they are well worth the visit! Cayman Airways has daily flights to the Sister Islands, between one and four daily (depending on the day), so it is best to visit their website for availability www.caymanairways.com
Will I be able to find an ATM cash machine?
Yes, of course! All the major retail banks have ATMs, and you will be able to withdraw US dollars as well as Cayman Islands dollars.
Does the Cayman Islands have its own currency?
Yes, the Cayman Islands dollar. One Cayman Islands or ‘CI’ dollar is equal to 1.2 US dollars.
What is the weather like?
We are very fortunate to experience year-round sunshine in the Cayman Islands. The coolest time of the year is over Christmas and the New Year when ‘Christmas breezes’ cool the island down to a comfortable 24-28°C, with very little rain. The weather gets hotter and more humid during the rainy season, which starts around June and ends around November. Top temperatures can reach up to 27-31°C then, but the humidity makes it feel hotter. The rainy season runs over the summer and into late summer when downpours can get quite heavy but generally don’t last too long. Hurricane season runs from 1st June to 1st November and is taken seriously in the Cayman Islands, with excellent infrastructure able to withstand storms.
I’ve heard that mosquitos in the Caribbean are bad, should I be worried?
Mosquitos are certainly a way of life in the Caribbean, but Cayman keeps good control with resources to deal with them via our Mosquito Research & Control Unit, which regularly sprays the island during their breeding season. It is a good idea to spray with an insect repellent if you intend to be outdoors in the early morning or evening when mosquitos tend to be the most bothersome.
Is it safe to swim in the sea?
Cayman generally benefits from calm waters all year round, but especially in the summertime. Sometimes we have winter storms called Nor’westers, which make the sea rough, but they are infrequent and don’t last very long. In general, the Cayman Islands is the perfect place to enjoy a sea swim most days of the year.
What are the best things to do in Grand Cayman?
Cayman has one of the best beaches in the world, Seven Mile Beach, so a beach-centred vacation is generally on most people’s to-do list, with fantastic water sports available, as well as some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. However, there is so much more to see and do here! We have some fantastic tourist attractions, including the Cayman Islands Turtle Centre (an absolute MUST), Pedro St James (the birthplace of democracy in the Cayman Islands that is steeped in history), and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park. Then there are some fantastic restaurants to suit all palates and budgets, the lovely pedestrianised Camana Bay, which has fun water fountains for kids, as well as brilliant shopping and dining. The quiet eastern districts offer a calm respite from the busier George Town and Seven Mile locations. North Side is well worth a trip for Rum Point and Cayman Kai, entire resorts in their own right.
We’re visiting with children, what activities are available for them?
Children generally love playing by the shore, and the best beaches for safe swimming for kids have to be at Rum Point and Cayman Kai, where warm shallow waters gently lap the shoreline. Seven Mile Beach is also a must-visit with children. Camana Bay has some great water fountains for young children and a lovely little island all of its own, complete with hammocks. There is a scattering of parks across Grand Cayman where children can play under the cool canopy of trees. The Cayman Islands Turtle Centre is a brilliant child-friendly location where the entire family can learn about these magnificent sea creatures and even pick one up and hold it! There’s a fabulous outdoor swimming pool with a water slide and waterfall that provides kids with endless fun, with much more to do there besides. Older kids will enjoy bowling at King’s Sports Centre as well as its fantastic skating rink and climbing wall. Camana Bay also has a fantastic cinema that shows all the latest, often kid-friendly releases, and some resorts have outdoor family movie nights, which are great fun.
Does Grand Cayman have gyms or fitness centres that I can use?
Yes, there are some excellent gyms in Grand Cayman that cater to walk-ins. These include World Gym, Anytime Fitness, King’s Sports Centre, Life Extension, Universal Fitness, and Fitness Connection.
What items are duty-free in the Cayman Islands?
Leather goods, cameras, books, jewellery, watches, fragrances, crystal, china, cosmetics, and skincare items are all duty-free. Duty-free alcohol is only sold at the airport upon departure and has a duty attached if you buy it locally.
What’s the average cost of lunch or dinner?
Cayman has such a diverse selection of restaurants that it is hard to apply an average cost; however, you can buy a lunchtime burger and fries for about CI$12 to CI$15 and an entrée for an evening meal for between CI$15 to CI$30.
I follow a plant-based diet. Will I be able to find suitable restaurants?
Yes, for sure! An increasing number of health-conscious cafes and restaurants are opening in the Cayman Islands, all offering excellent options. Bread & Chocolate is located in George Town and is entirely vegan and an absolute favourite. Vivo in West Bay offers fantastic ocean views and a good selection of vegan and vegetarian options. Island Naturals in West Bay is another firm favourite, as is Jessie’s Juice Bar in Camana Bay, which offers light bites, and refreshing juices and smoothies, with lots of vegan options. In addition to these, if you mention to your restaurant ahead of time that you are vegan, they will more often than not be able to create you a vegan option or two. Sometimes they even have a separate vegan menu, so just ask your server.
What is the legal drinking age?
Am I allowed to fish from the shore?
Yes, you can, but Cayman has strict rules about which fish should not be caught and must be placed back in the sea to protect our endangered species. Fishing is a highly enjoyable pastime in Cayman, so it is best to seek out a tour operator who can take you out and show you the ropes while ensuring you stick to the rules.
Does Uber operate in Grand Cayman?
No, Cayman does not have Uber, but it does have excellent taxi services, although you may find them more expensive than mainland prices.
Does the Cayman Islands have any casinos?
No, gambling of any kind is illegal in the Cayman Islands.