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Why Go To Cayman Islands

The charming Cayman Islands continue to be a coveted Caribbean getaway for both adventure- and relaxation-seeking travelers. Coral reefs and shipwrecks call to divers as the rum punch calls to the beach bums. Honeymooners hike through the 200-year-old Mastic Trail while parents take their children for interactive swims at Stingray City. Whichever way you choose to mellow out, the Cayman Islands can oblige. 

The Cayman Islands are an archipelago of three islands that sit 150 miles south of Cuba. The largest, Grand Cayman, is full of gargantuan resorts with all-inclusive options, perfect for those who prefer preplanned itineraries and don't mind sharing the sights with cruise crowds. Meanwhile, the less-traveled Cayman Brac and Little Cayman boast some of the best diving in the Caribbean.

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Best of Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands Travel Tips

Best Months to Visit

The best time to visit the Cayman Islands is between March and June when the hotel rates drop. The islands are warm year-round with average highs holding steady in the 80s. January and February are the coolest months with average lows in the high 60s. The rainy season spans from May through October – though showers usually only last for a few hours at a time. The islands' location in the western part of the Caribbean shields them from being hit too hard by the annual hurricane season, which lasts from June to November. If you don't want to sacrifice weather for a break on hotel prices, plan a trip for the region's dry season, which runs from November to April. 

Weather in Cayman Islands

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
82.8
67.7
83.4
68.3
84.3
68.6
85.9
71.1
87.3
73.1
88.9
74.7
89.9
74.5
89.9
74.5
89
74.9
87.8
73.8
85.2
72
83.5
70.2
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
2.05
1.5
1.38
1.26
5.94
6.61
5.79
5.91
8.74
8.62
6.06
2.8
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
See details for When to Visit Cayman Islands

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

  • Drive on the left Caymanians drive on the left, so make sure that you do as well.
  • Keep your currencies in check Usually hotels quote prices in U.S. dollars, while restaurants, nightclubs and shops quote in Cayman Islands dollars. Carry a little of both currencies, and be sure to double check which one is being quoted.
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T Caymanians are, in general, very respectful of each other. Formal titles like Mr. and Miss are used before first names and greetings, and pleasantries are expected at every interaction.

How to Save Money in Cayman Islands

  • To dive or not to dive Equipment rentals for diving and snorkeling are expensive, but half- to full-day sails with ferry companies can be more affordable alternatives.
  • Summer in Cayman To get the best prices, plan a trip for early spring or summer, when hotel rates are up to 50 percent cheaper.
  • Beachcomb for souvenirs Seashells are popular mementos, but save yourself some dough by searching the beach on your own.

Culture & Customs

Take note of the Cayman Islands' dress code; swimsuits are OK on the beach or cruise ship, but you should dress more formally off the beach and in town.

The official currency of the Cayman Islands is the Cayman Islands dollar, which is roughly equivalent to the U.S. dollar. Since the Cayman Islands dollar to U.S. dollar exchange rate can fluctuate, be sure to check what the current exchange rate is before you go. However, U.S. dollars are pretty readily accepted in the Cayman Islands, as are major credit cards.

As for tipping, restaurants usually expect a 15 percent tip, though check the bill carefully because gratuity might already be added. Taxicab drivers anticipate anywhere from a 10 to 15 percent tip. Note that the service charge at hotels is usually included and ranges from 6 to 12 percent.

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What to Eat

Similar to most Caribbean destinations, your trip to the Cayman Islands is not complete without a healthy dose of seafood. Arguably, one of the best places to sample the region's seafood is at Blue by Eric Ripert. The renowned restaurant sits inside Grand Cayman's Ritz-Carlton outpost, and as such it's a splurge, but a worthy one, according to past diners, especially if you're on the hunt for an extensive wine list. For a less formal atmosphere, try Hemingways, also on Grand Cayman. Though the occasional DJ can throw off the fine dining setting, Hemingways still earns high marks from visitors for its fusion of Asian and Caribbean flavors. The Calypso Grill in West Bay is equally lauded, mostly for its wide deck that overlooks Morgan's Harbour. If you're set on dining here, past visitors recommend you make reservations in advance. If you find yourself on Cayman Brac for a daytrip, travelers suggest enjoying lunch at Captain's Table, popular for its tacos and grouper dishes. 

Travelers would be remiss if they didn't try conch stew – or conch fritters, conch soup or conch salad – but luckily, during conch season (from November to April), most menus feature this specific sea snail. Johnny cakes, which are deep-fried dumplings, are another mouth-watering specialty, as is the flavorful jerk chicken. For these and other traditional eats, try Big Tree Bbq in Gun Bay. 

And if you or your traveling companions are vegetarian or vegan, consider a meal or two at VIVO, which specializes in organic, gluten-free and vegetarian or vegan dishes. Past visitors were particularly delighted by the coconut dishes, including the coconut ceviche, which is made with coconut "bacon," as well as the "calamari," or deep-fried young coconut calamari-style served with a side of spicy tomato.

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