: Cayman Islands
: Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman Vacations
A sparkling sea, soft white sand, and soothing sunshine are the gems of Grand Cayman. Add to that a history of pirates, pretty little pastel-painted houses, and you, too, will agree that Grand Cayman is charmingly beautiful. The real beauty of Grand Cayman, however, is underwater. Sheer coral walls, subterranean drop-offs, and an incredible variety of marine life all submerged in clear and calm waters make it one of the world's favorite scuba diving and snorkeling spots. For those who don't like to get wet, you can still see the sights of the sea aboard a submarine or glass-bottom boat.
Earn bonus miles with SkyMiles® when you purchase a vacation to this destination. More details
A sparkling sea, soft white sand, and soothing sunshine are the gems of Grand Cayman. Add to that a history of pirates, pretty little pastel-painted houses, and you, too, will agree that Grand Cayman is charmingly beautiful.
The real beauty of Grand Cayman, however, is underwater. Sheer coral walls, subterranean drop-offs, and an incredible variety of marine life all submerged in clear and calm waters make it one of the world's favorite scuba diving and snorkeling spots. For those who don't like to get wet, you can still see the sights of the sea aboard a submarine.Package Includes:
- Choice of accommodations
- Hotel taxes and service charges
- Roundtrip transfers between airport and hotel
- Luggage handling
- Assistance of a local destination representative
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
A sunken paradise garnished with coral reefs, colorful marine life, and subterranean drop-offs. The birthplace of recreational diving. Water visibility is 200 feet.
Pure Caribbean beauty — the perfect setting for romance.
Activites such as the Cayman Islands Sea School, accommodations with full kitchens, and the shallow, warm waters of Seven Mile Beach make this the perfect family getaway.
What's the climate like?
Water temperature ranges between 78°-82°F in the winter and 82°-86°F in the summer.
How do I get around town?
Transfers are included with your air and hotel vacation package. Grand Cayman’s Owen Roberts International Airport is about five miles from the hotels along Seven Mile Beach.
If you plan to explore beyond your hotel, a rental car is a great way to get around. Remember to drive on the left.
For short trips into George Town, a taxi can be a good option. However, taxi fares on Grand Cayman are much more expensive than other Caribbean islands. The government sets fares, so no bartering is allowed. If in question, ask your taxi driver to look up the fare in their government-provided fare manual.
Scooters and bicycles can be rented at many hotels and at stands along the street. Remember to wear a helmet and drive on the left.
From the hotels along Seven Mile Beach, you can easily walk to shopping centers, restaurants, and entertainment along the main drag, West Bay Road. George Town is also small enough to walk around.
To Little Cayman or Cayman Brac
There is no ferry service to Grand Cayman’s two little neighboring islands, Cayman Brac or Little Cayman. To reach them, you must fly.
An inexpensive option to go any place on the island for $2.50 USD.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Dining can be more expensive in Grand Cayman than in other Caribbean destinations, but the innovation and quality is also higher.
With an emphasis on the freshest seafood, this gourmet restaurant pairs the finest wines with internationally inspired dishes. Award-winning Aqua is located on West Bay Road, across from Seven Mile Beach.
- Blue by Eric Ripert
This quintessential gourmet restaurant is located at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Indulge in award-winning cuisine plus fine wine and spirits amid refined elegance.
- Champion House
This local favorite is located in George Town. Here you will find homemade dishes ranging from peas and rice to turtle stew and break pudding.
Don't let its unassuming location in the 7-Mile Shops fool you. This light and casual restaurant serves some of the best breakfast and lunch on the island. Many will tell you that their homemade chocolates alone are worth the trip.
To find out about what’s going on around Grand Cayman, visitors should check out What’s Hot, an entertainment magazine freely distributed throughout the island or the Friday edition of the Caymanian Compass. A local favorite hangout is Legendz. Other fun can be found along West Bay Road and in downtown George Town.
Where should I go shopping?
The main streets for shopping are Fort Street and Cardinal Avenue in downtown George Town. Elizabethan Square is another great place to go for food, clothing, and souvenirs. Kirk Freeport Plaza has shops offering fine jewelry, plus duty-free china, crystal, perfumes, and fine cosmetics.
There is no sales tax in Grand Cayman and there are numerous duty-free shops, but be aware that not all imported merchandise is less expensive. One of the unique locally made items to look for is jewelry made of a stone called caymanite. Authentic sunken treasure is also something to look for. Take note — it is illegal to take Cuban cigars back to the U.S. and buying any coral products is highly discouraged due to environmental concerns.
When are the local events?
Taste of Cayman
January. On an island known for delicious food, this annual food and wine festival showcases the best and brightest local talents. Guests will enjoy a wide range of entries that compete for top honors by a panel of distinguished judges.
April. A two-week festival celebrating the arts and culture of the Cayman Islands with local bands, drama and dance productions, arts and crafts, native food, and other fun.
Cayman Carnival Batabano
May. An annual festival begun in 1984 where visitors and locals alike can witness carnival as it ushers in the spring with a colorful parade of costumes, music, dancing, and culture.
November. A national festival of the Cayman Islands with music, dances, games, food and drink, parades, and fireworks! The party lasts 10 fun-filled days.
What are my golf and recreation options?
Experience spectacular ocean views in a luxurious tropical oasis. Stunning courses offer a magnificent blend of lush greens and fairways that will test golfers of every skill level.
Grand Cayman has very good fishing. Along the reefs you’ll find grouper and snapper and in deeper waters there are barracuda and bonito, as well as the big catches of tuna, wahoo, and marlin.
One of the world’s most unique snorkeling spots is Stingray City, where in 12 feet of water you can feed stingrays tame enough to eat out of your hand. Other popular sites are Parrot’s Reef and Smith’s Cove, south of George Town.
Diving is one of the primary attractions of Grand Cayman with more than 160 dive sites to choose from. Three of the best dive sites for beginners are Devil’s Grotto, Eden Rocks, and the wreck of the Cali. For divers who like to explore sunken ships, there are the wrecks of the Balboa and Oro Verde to check out. The most spectacular site is the Great Wall, off the north side of the island with visibility often exceeding 100 feet, breathtaking coral formations, and an abundance of exotic marine life. Cayman Brac and Little Cayman also offer more spectacular diving with the most famous being Bloody Bay Wall, considered by Jacques Cousteau to be one of the world’s top dives. The wall starts at a mere 18 feet and then plunges down to more than 1,000 feet with visibility reaching 150 feet in some spots.
Yachting and Sailing
There is a strong commitment to developing the sport in the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands Sailing Club maintains a strong school and youth training program with Saturday sailing classes for children. Families are especially welcome.
If you are only a casual diver and don't want to take the time to become certified, Grand Cayman is still an ideal vacation destination as resort courses take only a couple of hours to learn the basics. And, dive operators can supply everything from air tanks and lead weights to masks, fins, and a buoyancy control device. Divers should wait a minimum of 12 hours before flying. Wait times vary, based on diving depths and the number of dives taken the day before your flight. Check with your dive master for details.
SASY (Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth) is a great way to introduce youngsters to the wonderful world under the sea. Kids ages 6 and up can use a scuba unit which combines a regulator and a buoyancy compensator so they can breathe from a continuous air supply while floating safely at the surface.
This family-friendly park showcases the Cayman Island's commitment to protect its flora and fauna, especially endangered sea turtles. In addition to a beach for nesting turtles, Boatswain's Beach, right behind the park, offers fun water activities for adults and kids alike.
Good to Know:
|Owens Roberts International Airport
|January – April
|May – November
|Cayman Islands Dollar, but U.S. currency is accepted. When looking at the price, be sure to know which currency the price is being quoted.
|Grand Cayman is on Eastern Standard Time year-round and does not observe Daylight Saving Time.
|Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
|15%, but check to see if it has been added to your restaurant bill.
|More formal than other beach destinations, especially in the evening at the many fine restaurants.