The Cayman Islands is a British overseas territory situated in the western part of the Caribbean Sea. They include Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. The territory shares its water borders with Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Belize, Mexico and the Unites States of America. The capital city is George Town.
The climate on the islands is tropical with trade winds. The best time for spending holidays on the islands is from December to April.
The majority of the population speak English which is the official language. The main religion is Christianity.
The Cayman Islands gained popularity due to quiet and clean beach resorts with well-developed tourism infrastructure. Active tourists come to the islands for diving, surfing, snorkeling and yachting. Besides, all the tourists can play volleyball and golf. The most popular resort with well-developed facilities is the Grand Cayman. There are many entertaining centers, shops, restaurants, diving centers and amusement parks.
Those who love calm country holidays should go to the Little Cayman and enjoy its serene atmosphere and untouched nature. Cayman Brac is the ‘wildest’ of all the three islands and it is the best destination for the ecological tourism.
Excursion tours are arranged in the Grand Cayman where there are both cultural and natural sights. Head to George Town for a good shopping.
There are no direct flights from CIS and European Union countries to the Cayman Islands. The tourists will have to take transit flights with 1-2 stops.
The citizens of the Russian Federation can get to the Grand Cayman islands from Moscow with British Airways with a stop in London. UIA, Aeroflot and Cayman Airways offer transit flights from Ukraine to the Grand Cayman with a stop in Moscow and New York. The tourists from Minsk can take a flight to Miami and then change to American Airlines or Cayman Airways flights to the international airport Owen Roberts.
American Airlines and British Airways offer transit flights from large European cities.
A visa is not required for the travelers from the European Union provided that their stay on the islands will not exceed 60 days.
The citizens from CIS countries must obtain a visa in the Consulate or Embassy of the Cayman Islands or in a British visa center. The tourists must come to the visa center personally. First, it is necessary to fill in an online form on the website of the UK Migration Services.
Normally, it takes 10-21 days to process the documents for a visa. A visa is valid for 3 or 6 months but one can be reviewed right on the islands.
The Customs legislation of the Cayman Islands does not restrict the import of local and any foreign currency except Jamaican dollars. The sum over 10.000 US dollars must be declared.
The tourists can bring in duty-free the following things:
- daily necessities and personal belongings;
- a limited amount of tobacco and alcohol.
It is strictly prohibited to import:
- perishables, beef, fruits and vegetables;
- psychotropic medications;
- antiquities (without a permit);
- goods in a package (the total cost of which is not over 35 US dollars);
The tourists are not allowed to export:
- sea shells, lobsters, clam meat and objects found on the sea bottom;
- tropical birds;
- antiquities without a special permit.
The Cayman cuisine attracts the foodies because it can offer many dishes from fresh fish and various seafood. Jamaican and Creole cooking traditions had some impact on the Cayman cuisine.
If you crave for something exotic, try a turtle meat beefsteak or air-dry meat Jerk with curry. The popular meat dishes are Creole pork and grilled chicken. Traditionally, meat is served with manioc and yam flatbread and breadfruit.
The most popular soup on the Cayman Islands is a soup with clams.
Do not leave the Cayman Islands without trying Caribbean-style tuna, sea bass and red snapper with lemon, seafood Ceviche with onion and tomatoes, marlin with coconut and crispy fried Cracked conch.
Rice, manioc and beans are usually served as a side dish as well as fruits. The locals love fried bananas Tostones.
For a dessert, the tourists can treat themselves to fruits and fruit salads, cake with fruits soaked in rum or wine or a dessert Heavy cake made from yam with coconut milk and spices.
The meal is often followed by tea or coffee, refreshing drinks and juices with ice. On the Cayman Islands, anyone can try a local rum Tortuga.
The official currency on the islands is Cayman Islands dollar (KYD) which is equal to 100 cents. The bank notes from 1 to 1.000 dollars and coins from 1 to 25 cents are in circulation. Cayman Island dollar is pegged to the US dollar. On the islands, the tourists can pay both with national currency and with US dollars.
One can exchange the currency in exchange offices at the airports and in bank offices in George Town. On the resorts, the tourists can go to banks working with the individual clients. The ATMs are usually in bank offices, airports and in ports. They accept Visa, Cirrus and MasterCard. Large travel agencies, hotels and rental companies accept international credit cards. If you plan a trip to the Little Cayman or Cayman Brac, make sure you have enough cash because credit cards are rarely accepted there.
To cash or to pay with traveler’s checks the tourists can in large malls and stores, hotels, banks and traveling agencies. It is recommended to have checks in US dollars.
Th entire territory of the Cayman Islands is a Free Trade Zone which makes the resort a true paradise for all the shoppers.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in the Cayman Islands
On the territory of the Cayman islands, there are no UNESCO sites. However, the tourists will not feel the lack of interesting places.
On the Grand Cayman, the travelers can walk across the Heroes Square and see the Wall of History, visit the Booby Pond Nature Reserved and the limestone formations Hell fields. Anyone can watch the birds in the Mastic Reserve and have a boat trip to the Stingray City with its shallow sandbars, have a walk along the alleys of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park and see the Fort George.
If you prefer natural sites, head right to the Little Cayman. A trail tour Salt Rock Neicho is arranged there for the tourists who will see the orchids fields, the habitats of birds and butterflies and abandoned phosphate mines. The travelers can also visit Jackson’s Point Park, Bloody Bay Marine Park and Jackson Marine Park. Take a boat trip to the Preston Bay and a private Owen Island.
You should visit the Cayman Brac and enjoy its diverse untouched nature. Excursions to local caves and trips to mangrove forests are arranged for the tourists. Anyone can also have an underwater trip to see the remnants of the sunken ships. You can see with your own eyes flamingos, parrots, swallows and herons.
In the capital city, there is the Legislature Assembly Building, the Saint George’s Anglican Church and the Elmslie Memorial Church.
To learn more about the islands, visit the Cayman Islands National Museum, the Cayman Brac Museum and the Little Cayman Museum. See the expositions of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. Anyone can visit the historical Mission House, Cayman Maritime Treasure Museum, Cayman Motor Museum and the White Dig Art Studio. We also recommend the Simones YFE Art Gallery.
Souvenirs on the Cayman Islands
The tourists buy interesting gifts and souvenirs on the Cayman Islands:
- magnets with local landscapes;
- traditional seashell jewelry;
- crafts from turtle shell;
- wooden crafts;
- leather goods and tableware;
- hand-made surfboards.