The Cayman Islands are an autonomous British Overseas Territory in the western Caribbean Sea. The 264-square-kilometre (102-square-mile) territory comprises the three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are located to the south of Cuba and northeast of Honduras, between Jamaica and Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. As of spring 2018, the population of the Cayman Islands was estimated to be 64,420 making it the second-most populated British overseas territory after Bermuda. The capital city is George Town, situated on Grand Cayman, by far the most populous of the three islands.
The Cayman Islands is considered to be part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone as well as the Greater Antilles. The territory is often considered a major world offshore financial haven for international businesses and many wealthy individuals.
Seven Mile Beach – Many of Grand Cayman’s best resorts are situated on Seven Mile, and there are a number of casual beach bars and restaurants, a playground, restrooms and showers to boot. What’s more, it’s also a great spot to try snorkeling for the first time – the clear water allows snorkelers to see the vibrant fish and beautiful coral.
Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef – The USS Kittiwake was an ex-U.S. Navy submarine that served for more than 50 years before it was sunk off the coast of popular Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman in 2011. The submerged submarine and artificial reef now delights scuba divers with its swim throughs and sea life, including shrimp, eels, barracuda, turtles and grouper.
Mastic Trail – If you’re a nature lover, you should definitely add the Mastic Trail to your list of Grand Cayman must-dos. The trail is a 200-year-old gravel path that winds through a native mangrove swamp and a 2 million-year-old woodland area, surrounded by some of the island’s most colorful and rare plant life.
Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery – What started in 2008 as a small distillery producing ocean-aged rum has become the 5,000-square-foot Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery. What’s unique about this distillery is the way they age their rum: on the ocean floor. In fact, it was the first distillery to do so. These days, in addition to producing rum, the distillery also produces flavored rums, vodka and liqueurs.
Stingray City – Located in the North Sound area of Grand Cayman, Stingray City is the most popular attraction on any of the three Cayman Islands. The “city” is actually a shallow sandbar where you can interact with and feed the wild Atlantic stingrays that live freely in those waters.
Eden Rock & Devil’s Grotto – Just south of Seven Mile Beach and approximately 46 feet below the surface are Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto, two of the most popular diving spots on Grand Cayman. Both are wonderful underwater mazes filled with tarpon, silversides, parrotfish and barracuda, and they should be enjoyable swims for both beginner and intermediate snorkelers.
Bloody Bay Marine Park – This marine park is the top diving spot on Little Cayman, and it’s a favorite of both skilled and beginning scuba divers. The park’s top sight is the Bloody Bay Wall, an incredible reef and drop down that starts about 20 feet below sea level before plummeting more than 1,000 feet. Visibility of the water’s native stingrays, turtles and sharks averages around 100 feet.
Captain Keith Tibbetts Wreck – Captain Keith Tibbetts Wreck is a 330-foot-long Russian frigate that was deliberately sunk off Cayman Brac to create an artificial reef. It’s now the coral-crusted, sponge-coated home to thousands of groupers, amber-colored scorpionfish and even a handful of green moray eels. The ship is largely intact; its remains range from 30 to 100 feet below the surface. This intermediate dive is approximately 200 yards from shore, so most people take a boat to the site.
Discover Unique experiences throughout the Cayman Islands
They call it Seven Mile Beach, but this world-famous beach actually runs 5.5 miles in length from top to bottom. Consistently rated one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, Seven Mile’s gorgeous, clear waters and white sand make it a picture-perfect place to be all days of the week. Child friendly, safe and ideal for a stroll with family and friends, you can be sure it will be a ‘must-see’ when visiting us!
Cayman’s largest land-based attraction, The Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter, hosts more than 200,000 visitors each year. The park celebrates Caymanian stewardship of the sea with an ever-changing array of educational, cultural and entertainment programs. Must-see exhibits include turtle touch tanks, a breeding pond (home to matriarch turtles weighing up to 500 pounds) and more. Open every day from 8:30am – 5PM, with prices starting at USD$18 for the turtle tour or US$45 for the full park experience. Children aged 5-12 are half price and infants 0-4 years are free.
Take a kayak through the glowing waters of Grand Cayman’s bio bay and experience the mango forests — a sanctuary for a variety of flora and fauna. Watching bioluminescent organisms light up the night with each stroke of your paddle is truly remarkable! Several local vendors operate eco-friendly tours for adults and children age 6 and older, starting at 7PM from Rum Point. Check dates in advance; bio bay tours run only on the darker nights of the month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, everyone is required to present a valid passport to enter the Cayman Islands. When traveling to the island it’s important to travel with the details of your accommodation including the address of the villa. This is required for the Customs and Immigration forms.
On peak travel days (Saturday and Sunday) the lines at Immigration can be 15 minutes to one hour, depending upon the circumstances and number of flights that land at the same time. A “fast track” option is available for airport arrivals and departures. There is a charge of US$36.58 per person for both arrivals and departures from age 4 and upwards. You can opt for arrival only. Children 3 years and under are free. (Fees are subject to change).
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.
Americans and Canadians are not required to obtain Visas to enter the Cayman Islands.
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.
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.