Frequently Asked Questions

All you’ll need to know for your upcoming trip

Do I need Passport to enter the Cayman Islands?

Yes, everyone is required to present a passport to enter the Cayman Islands. Bring your Booking Confirmation with you when you arrive on the island.  You will need the address for the Customs and Immigration forms. The lines at Immigration can be very long depending upon the circumstances.  Wait times can be nearly one hour if multiple flights arrive at the same time.  There is only one bathroom (one stall) in the Immigration area so it is best to use the bathroom on the plane, especially if you have children.  You may also want to have some water and/or snacks with you.  After immigration, baggage claim is quick and the customs lines move quickly as well.

Do I need a Visa to enter?

Americans and Canadians are not required to obtain Visas to enter the Cayman Islands. For further information:

 

 

How is driving on the island?

Drive on the LEFT in Cayman.

If you have not already rented a car, we like www.HertzCayman.com and get a 15% discount (code: GCMLCV2962).  Rental car agencies are a short uncovered walk from the baggage claim area (throwing a small umbrella in your bag is a good idea in case of rain). You will be issued a temporary driver’s license upon renting the car that is good for 6 months

What Time Zone is observed?

The Cayman Islands are – 5 hours GMT. However, we do not observe Daylight Savings time. During the winter we are on  US Eastern time and in the summer we operate in the Central time zone.

What is the weather like?

The average temperature in the winter is 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit and 80-95 degrees in the summer. Winter or summer, the temperature generally stays within the range of 70 – 95 degrees day or night. The months with the least humidity and lowest temperatures are December through April, February occasionally recording night-time temperatures in the high 60’s, and March probably being the most “temperate” month of the year.

The year divides into two seasons, the summer or “rainy” season, generally from mid-May through October, moving into the winter or “dry” season, from November to April. March and April are our driest months and May and October are traditionally the highest rainfall months. This of course, does not mean that it rains constantly during either of those months, but reflects the trend within our region.Being in a tropical zone, it is not unusual to have brief afternoon showers during the summer, and, at certain times, brief morning sprinkles too. Similar to most West Indian Islands, rainfall tends to be higher in the western sections.

What currency should I use on the Island?

The Cayman Islands have their own currency.  The basic unit is the dollar, issued in notes with denominations of CI $100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1.  The currency conversion rate is set and does not fluctuate, but different vendors use different numbers.  The most common conversion is US $1 = .82 CI.  You will also see US $1 = .80 or .84 CI.

The US Dollar is also accepted virtually everywhere on the island.

How are the medical facilities?

The government of the Cayman Islands’ Health Services Complex is located in George Town, Grand Cayman. It boasts modern equipment and facilities, in addition to an increased number of highly trained personnel. A 24 hour hyperbaric decompression chamber is available for divers and an air ambulance service for other emergencies. The telephone number is (345) 949-8600.

There is also a private hospital – Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial – in George Town, as well as a number of other private facilities that offer a variety of professional medical service.

Can we bring alcohol and/or Tobacco into the Cayman Islands?

According to the latest Duty Free Allowances, all visitors over the age of 18 may bring with them:

Up to 1 liter of spirits (liquor); OR 4 liters of wine; OR 1 case of beer (not exceeding 8 liters). In addition to the alcohol, you may also bring tobacco as follows: Up to 200 cigarettes OR 250 grams of tobacco.

There are a wide variety of liquor stores on island as well.  Blackbeard’s stores will deliver directly to the villa (www.Blackbeards.ky).

Is it customary to tip?

Tipping is usually expected everywhere you go to eat or drink. Most bars and restaurants will add 15% to your bill and you should check before paying to be sure. Your bill will usually come priced in CI dollars with the US$ price below it. If unsure, always ask the serving staff to clarify. The 15% addition is not a legal requirement and you do not have to pay it if the service received was below par.

Remember that serving staff in restaurants and bars generally rely on tips for a large portion of their salary, so please tip them if they give good service.

One confusing issue is that often a bill in a restaurant will include the 15% grautity as well as a blank line for an additional “tip”. Most people feel that it is unnecessasy to leave an additional amount because thay have already paid 15%. To clarify, the 15% goes into a pool and is split between all the “lower level” staff at an establishment, including your server, the cooks in the kitchen, etc. If you feel that your server performed exceptionally and was very friendly, attentive, etc., you might consider giving them someting extra. You should not feel obligated to leave a tip if you receive average service.

Are stores open everyday including holidays?

Pharmacies, grocery and liquor stores are closed on Sundays.  If you are arriving on a Sunday, please arrange to have some groceries delivered ahead of time (if possible) or plan to eat out that day.

Stores are also closed on public holidays, like Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday or have restricted hours.  Please see the list of public holidays here:

 

Do we need to bring adapters for electrical devices?

The Cayman Islands are the same as the US and Canada and all electrical outlets are 110VAC, 60 Cycles.  If you are from elsewhere, you may want to bring an adapter.

What are the most popular activities for visitors to Grand Cayman?

Grand Cayman is world renowned for its crystal clear, blue waters.  As such, it is a world class dive and snorkel destination.  Known in particular for its amazing wall dives, beautiful coral reefs and seemingly endless visibility.  Diving and snorkeling are the most popular activities followed closely by deep sea fishing, which can be done just offshore.  Trips that include Stingray City (which can be combined snorkeling, fishing and/or diving) are by far the most popular.  See our optional services and recommendations below for vendors.

What is Stingray City?

Stingray City is a series of sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman.  Southern Stingrays are congregate here and visitors can enter the water and interact with these majestic creatures.  The story goes that fishermen used to stop in the North Sound, just inside the barrier reef, to clean their fish.  The Stingrays began coming to eat the scraps and soon they associated the sound of boat motors with food.  The rest is tourism history.

The Stingray City sandbar area has shallow waters, so most people are able to stand without a problem (generally about 3 feet deep).  It is suitable for even young children who can be help in their parents’ arms.  Your guide will bring you to the sandbar and will bring some squid for the Stingrays to eat.  It is safe to feed them and gently pet them.

The Stingray City dive/snorkel site is a bit deeper, about 12 feet, and is not suitable for young children.