Traveling in Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands are in the western Caribbean and form part of the Greater Antilles with Cuba to the south and Jamaica to the North West. They consist of three islands in an area surrounded by reefs.
Once known as a pirate’s hideaway, the Cayman Islands are now world famous as a tax-exempt paradise, attracting business settlers from around the world. The Cayman Islands will always tax-free as long as they remain a British territory. As legend has it in 1794, Cayman settlers rescued crews of ten British merchant ships which had struck a reef. King George III rewarded the island with a promise never to introduce taxes.
The Cayman Islands enjoy a tropical climate with a light rainy season from May to October. The main airport near George Town on Grand Cayman is Owen Roberts International Airport and it`s just a 65 minute flight from Miami, Florida. Numerous international airlines fly direct from North America, Central America & Europe. You can take boats or light aircrafts between the three islands.
264 km2 / 102 sq mi
Cayman Island Dollar (KYD) (US dollars accepted in most stores)
Some great photos of Cayman Islands.
Grand Cayman is by far the biggest and most populated island containing the capital George Town. It includes most of the Cayman`s banking, business and luxury shopping, as well as the larger resorts and glamorous nightlife.
The island is also home to some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches (Seven Mile and Rum Point) and most of the Caymans commercial tourist’s ventures.
George Town is the capital and largest town on the Cayman Islands. It is also a world famous offshore banking hub and the port for visiting cruise ship. Along the wharfs where the cruise ship moor are chic cafes and restaurants, as well as duty free stores. Further into town you will find charming colonial government administrations buildings.
On the outskirts of George Town is Fort George which was built in 1790 to protect the island from the Spanish and pirates. Today all that remains is a portion of the wall.
West Bay is residential village located on the west side of Grand Cayman Island just north of Seven Mile Beach. West Bay features its own public beach, complete with changing rooms and bathrooms available to the public. Tourists can find Hell, Cayman Turtle Farm, Kittiwake wreck and Dolphin Adventure nearby.
Bodden Town was the first settlement and former capital of the Cayman Islands, sitting on a natural harbor with a coral reef just off shore. It was completely destroyed by pirates (hence the capital was moved) and you can still see the remains of a 6 km/ 4 mi wall and an old cannon that were supposed to protect it. Visit Mission House, which exhibits the lifestyle of early Caymanian settlers.
Caribbean Club Spacious, luxurious and modern suits looking over Seven Mile Beach, where you can lounge under a thatched roof shade and sip a cocktail. The restaurant, Luca, offers chic dining on its picturesque patio with an award winning wine list.
Sunshine Suits This is a boutique stylish option a little off the beach in a handsome two-story colonial style house, fitted out with all the modern luxurious. It feels like a home not a hotel with friendly staff and décor.
Cotton Tree This property consists of four cottages in a lush tropical landscaped area with a large picturesque pool at its heart. The cottages are spacious with gorgeous woody interior design and each boasts an outdoor kitchen, hot tub and outdoor spa. It is set in a residential part of West Bay and great for long term stayers who want a home away from home.
Turtle Nest Inn This inn consist of hotel suits and condos in three elegant Spanish style buildings with white wash walls and terracotta tiles. The spacious condos include kitchens and there is a great car and condo package available.
Duke's Right on the beach at Seven Miles Beach it serves the best barbeque on Grand Cayman as well as the best jerk chicken. Also try the steam pot of lobster with lemongrass.
Mizu If you feel like Asian fusion this elegant bistro serves up Japanese, Korean, Thai food and more cooked with the Cayman`s fresh seafood. Try Thai calamari with nahm Jim dressing, the Cambodian grapefruit salad with mint and peanuts or the sushi.
Kaibo - Upstairs Restaurant Located on in the north side of the island this restaurant has a great reputation among locals and expats and serves dishes like seafood curries and grilled fish with a cashew & pistachio crust.
Majestic Tours A guide can pick you up at the airport and arrange a tour of all the major sites on Grand Cayman as well as transfers to other islands.
Cayman Brac is an idyllic island that attracts adventure seekers and nature lovers. There are just 1800 residents spread across it. The island has a diverse parrot life especially at its Parrot Reserve, home to the endangered Brac Parrot. Cayman Brac's waters are also a sports fisherman’s dream. But it`s scuba diving that attracts most visitors especially to the sunken Soviet wreck MV Captain Keith Tibbett’s.
Brac Reef Beach Resort This simple handsome resort is right on a stunning beach and run by friendly staff. It has an excellent poolside restaurant and bar.
The Alexander Hotel This hotel is located near the Cayman Brac airport and new marina. It`s modern and spacious but with a colonial boutique hotel feel. Rooms include a stocked kitchen.
Carib Sands Beach Resort This is a beautifully champagne colored complex designed in crisp Cayman style. Located right on a white beach, each of its spacious condos has views of the deep blue sea.
Tropical Delight Restaurant One of the most authentic Caribbean restaurants in the Caymans with a fascinating menu that includes a savory kettle turtle stew and braised oxtail.
Captains Table This restaurant has an outdoor bar and serves up seafood cooked as you like but the best dishes are cooked Cayman style.
Aunt Sha's Kitchen This charming restaurant serves up Caribbean cuisine on its picturesque patio where dinners can view turtles and dolphins frolicking in the nearby bay. It serves fish dishes including conch and local curiosities such as cows foot with beans.
Sita This association can help with transfers, accommodation and tours on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Little Cayman is very sparsely populated with just 170 permanent residents on its long slim shores. It`s known for its excellent scuba diving and bird watching, and a tranquil atmosphere. However, a couple of times a year it gets down and parties, particular during Pirate`s Week in November and the Mardi Gras February or March.
Scuba dive Bloody Bay and Jackson's Bight, which are both located on the north side of the island. There are some lesser known reefs on its south side too.
Southern Cross Club This beautiful resort consists of ice-cream colored two-story bungalows with balconies on a stunning beach. It also has a fabulous restaurants and pool.
Pirates Point Resort This simple sprawling complex consists of single story rustic bungalows. Many guests come back every year for the family atmosphere or because it’s a great spot to talk diving and lounge in a hammock on the beach front.
The Club at Little Cayman This is the most prestigious choice on Little Cayman. The lavish grounds include a pool with waterfall and the tranquil opulence extends into each luxurious room.
The Beach Bum Cafe The menu has authentic Caribbean food and home-style touches. It`s famous among regulars for its chicken jerk on Saturdays.
The Hungry Iguana The restaurant is offers fresh and fancy food on a deck that opens up onto the sea. Try the spicy conch fritters or artichoke dip.
Pirates Point Dining Room A bright and upmarket atmosphere and creative food served on silver trays. You`ll find handmade sushi, island delicacies and great rum cocktails. Book ahead for dinner but just turn up for breakfast and lunch.
Sita This association can help with transfers, accommodation and tours on Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
(Grand Cayman) Often named among the world`s most beautiful beaches, Seven Mile Beach is on the western shore of Grand Cayman Island has dazzling white sands that seem to extend forever and gently lapping turquoise waters.
(Grand Cayman) Rum Point nudges its sanding joint out into translucent shallow water perfect for kids to play and great for water sports like jet skiing. But at the same time you can hang in a hammock and watch everyone else get wet.
The Cayman Turtle Farm & the Dolphin Discovery Center
(Grand Cayman) Right on Boatswain's Beach, the Turtle Farms is a natural lagoon where you can go snorkeling with turtles. Across the road is the Dolphin Discovery Center.
(Grand Cayman) Take a glass bottom boat or jet ski out to a stretch of water beyond a sandbar commonly called Stingray City. Here numerous stingrays hang out (because the stingrays associate the sound of the boat with food). You can swim or snorkel or even hold them.
Pedro St. James
(Grand Cayman) This is a decadent three-story house built by slaves for their British master at a time when most Caymanians lived in thatched roof huts. In the 1990s the Government of the Cayman Islands purchased and restored Pedro St. James.
Shipwrecks & Artificial Reefs
(Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac) The ex-USS Kittiwake is an Ex-US Navy Submarine Rescue Vessel which was purposely sunk in 2011 off Grand Cayman to create an artificial reef.
On Cayman Brac a Russian frigate measuring 100 m /330 ft. and built in 1984 for the Cuban Navy was bought and sunk in 1996. The Cayman Island Government has renamed it the MV Captain Keith Tibbett’s after a local politician.
(Grand Cayman) Hell is a creepy looking landscape resembling the biblical fires of Hell. The weird formations started developing around a million years ago underwater and when water levels decreased jaggered limestone-based structures and coral formations were revealed. The algae that lived on it died and blackened the structures.
Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park & the Iguana Tours
(Grand Cayman) Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park is a non-profit outdoor garden and wildlife facility on the north side of Grand Cayman Island. If you are not into tropical flowers you`ll probably still enjoy the iguanas and green parrots. A special iguana tour is offered.
(Grand Cayman) This reef off Little Cayman is consistently ranked as one of the world's top dive sites, with deep sheer drops, rare vertical walls of coral and crystal clear waters.
Cayman Islands Travel Links
Here are some links that we've found useful in planning our travels in Cayman Islands.