Grand Cayman Travel Guide

  • The rocks that spawned a tourist trap
    The rocks that spawned a tourist trap
    by Dabs
  • Things to Do
    by Dabs
  • Stingray City
    Stingray City
    by girladventure

Grand Cayman Highlights

  • Pro
    catalysta profile photo

    catalysta says…

     Beautiful, clean, relatively crime-free, incredible snorkeling & diving 

  • Con
    bianchis profile photo

    bianchis says…

     Very expensive and not much to see unless you love the ocean and the numerous activities you can get involved in. Avoid going out when the cruise ships arrive as the island is overrun and I mean no... 

  • In a nutshell
    krenaldi profile photo

    krenaldi says…

     Great Destination for Diving Enthusiasts Who Want to Enjoy a Laid-back Island Atmosphere. 

Grand Cayman Things to Do

  • Reef Gliding in Grand Cayman

    Took my son out on a reef glider earlier this week. Never seen these before so was a bit curious about what they were when our taxi driver told us about a different way to see the reef. Apparently it's a new activity on the island. We absolutely loved it - my son doesn't swim much because we're from the North so he was super excited when a stingray...

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  • Boatswains Turtle Farm

    The turtle farm is a very neat place to visit. Watch the turtle feedings, touch the babies, and visit the egg hatchery. There are also birds, butterflies, sharks and even Smiley the Crocodile. A very neat educational experience.

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  • Dolphin Discovery

    The dolphin experience was absolutely amazing! They have several different programs ranging from an encounter (playing ball, kisses, and dances) to a full swim. It can be costly but as long as you plan ahead and know what to expect, you will be all good. Always check out the website for their "deals" tab to snag some awesome discounts (I was able...

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Grand Cayman Hotels

Grand Cayman Restaurants

  • Excellent seafood (fish&chips style)

    Calico Jack's is a simple beach bar located on public beach, with blue and green wooden shaded tables. Not cheap though - 50 UDS for the food (for 1) and the drinks. The food is simple - fast-food type... we had a most delicious fish and chips - I'm not sure what fish they served us but it was truly great and the portion generous (enough for two)....

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  • Hard Rock Cafe Cayman Islands

    Another awesome Hard Rock location! You can see the Cafe as you tender in from your cruise ship. I've been here a couple of times and it is great! The Rock Shop has loads of cool merchandise - pins, shirts, hats, shots, etc - and it is all Island themed. My favorite pins from here are my pirate pin, and a hurricane pin which is a guitar in the...

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  • Wasting Away Again in Margaritaville....

    Margaritaville is a chain of restaurants scattered across the US, Caribbean and Mexico. Yes, it's a chain but I do enjoy the good Margaritas and tasty snacks. My wife and I make Margaritaville a stop whenever we encounter one in our travels.Grand Cayman's Margaritaville is located admist the main drag of shopping. We decided to stop here for some...

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Grand Cayman Nightlife

  • The Barefoot Man performs

    If you enjoy Jimmy Buffet, then you are bound to like Grand Cayman's locally famous Barefoot Man, George Nowak. Come hear him perform at the Reef Resort Restaurant on Tuesday & Thursday evenings for an evening of fun, laughter, dancing, dining, & totally enjoyable music.Best to make reservations though, he's a popular guy - oh, and there's no cover...

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  • Nightlife in Grand Cayman

    Usually these places are all about "fun in the sun", which can make you very tired. Pretty much mustering up the energy to shower and change for dinner is considered nightlife. Dinners can last a few hours if you end up going to the beach bar attached to the restaurant for a nightcap and some live music.Most of the restaraunts we went to had live...

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  • A young but fun crowd

    The Royal Palm had live music, good drinks (so I heard) and a dance floor. What I like best about it was that it was all outside. I will note that the crowd seemed young while I was there -- a lot of high school and college spring breakers -- but it made for great people watching and dancing.One night the live music was Reggae and other night it...

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Grand Cayman Transportation

  • taxi to 7 miles beach

    If you are on a cruise and don't want to take an organized excursion to sit on a beach at exorbitant prices, once you get off the harbour you'll find people offering taxis to 7 miles beach: these taxis are minivans that will take you there for 10 dollars return per person - and kids not occupying a seat travel free. They are good value for money....

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  • Cruise Ship Tenders

    There is no dock for cruise ships in Georgetown, so it is what is known as a tender port. There are two kinds of tenders. One is the ship lifeboats which double as a tender. They are often claustrophobic and they bounce around on the water quite a bit. Disney does not use their lifeboats as tenders - they use only the boats that Grand Cayman has....

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  • License Plates

    I noted many different colored license pates, so I asked the driver (I was sitting in the front seat next to him). He said the yellow were private vehicles, the red were buses, the orange were commercial, the blue were business vehicles, and white were rental cars

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Grand Cayman Shopping

  • ColorFUL shirts

    I (Beth's daughter) went to the shopping talk on the ship and I decided that I wanted to get gifts for the family at the Del Sol store. So after we did the Duck tour, we went to shop. I got t-shirts (including one for myself), and some swim shorts for my brother (which he claimed were too big in the waist). We also got the color changing nail...

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  • Buy local rum

    Buy grand Cayman's only TRUE local rum... it is called Seven Fathoms and it is handcrafted and distilled locally in small batches and, apparently, aged underwater. It should be possible to visit the distillery but when we tried to find it, everyone sent us to the old location - it had just moved (july 2013), but we still managed to find a stall...

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  • Margaritaville Merchandise

    After enjoying some lunch and drinks at Margaritaville; we stopped into the Trading Post. I collect Margaritaville glasses so I had to find some to bring back home to add to my collection.The shop carries a variety of Margaritavill themed merchandise; tee shirts, glasses, magnets, hats, etc. I found two Margaritaville Pilsner glasses that were to...

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Grand Cayman Local Customs

  • Colorful Houses

    Coming from the US to the Caribbean for the first time, I (Beth's daughter) was fascinated by the colorful houses and buildings.

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  • Local Flowers and Plants

    My grandmother showed me the Royal Poinciana Trees which were in bloom. They were originally from Madagascar The guide told us about the Silver Thatch Palm which is unique to the Cayman Islands and is the National Tree. The leaves were used to thatch roofs and also they made ropes from them. I also took a photo of a cemetery because it was very...

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  • Colony of the UK

    Do you know that the Cayman Islands is still a colony of the United Kingdom but does not come under Dependent Territory but is called today Overseas Territory. There is a Governor who holds responsibility things like National Security, Foreign Affairs, Police Services, Immigration, Passport Office, Postal Services etc.

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Grand Cayman Warnings and Dangers

  • Iron Shore

    When the Duck went into the water the narrator told us that the shore of Grand Cayman was called the 'iron shore' because so many ships were wrecked there. In the Pleistocene the sea level was approximately 6 m above present-day sea level. At that time, at least 33 coral species grew in waters around Grand Cayman. Now that the sea level has...

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  • Multiple cruise ships in town

    We were lucky that our ship was the only one docked that day, it made everything much less crowded. If you are coming in by cruise ship you can check Cruise TT to see how many boats will be there with you, if there are a lot it may make you change your mind about certain activities. I'd recommend booking the earliest trip possible for Stingray...

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  • Do NOT shop at Gem Palace (Milano...

    Gem Palace (Milano Diamond Gallery) is one of Carnival Cruiseline's recommended stores. Carnival cannot be trusted when it comes to their port shopping program... it is all a ploy for them to make more money by receiving a cut when you make in-port purchases. The guarantee they offer is completely worthless. On May 10, 2011, I purchased a 14 karat...

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Grand Cayman Tourist Traps

  • Lost and overcharged in Grand Cayman

    Avoid using Cayman Auto Rental near the terminals. Very poor service- gave us wrong directions (in writting on map) and charged more then quoted at time of rental. Don't go! Walk IF YOU HAVE TO! Use another rental company anything has to be better.

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  • Never on a cruise day

    Try to stay away from Georgetown when the cruise ships arrive. I have counted as many as 10 on some days.All ships calling at George Town, Grand Cayman have to anchor offshore and ferry their passengers ashore by shuttle boats to either of two dock terminals. Passengers disembark in Georgetown, right in the center of the Grand Cayman shopping...

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  • Jeep Tour

    I went on a tour hear, that we drove around in a jeep, we went snorkling, went to the rum factory, and saw the island, even where Captian Morgan came in. It was an awesome place, and a great tour! Definately would do again!

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Grand Cayman What to Pack

  • What to bring ashore

    We didn't need aqua shoes for Grand CaymanSwim wear for the beach, a hat with a string that ties under your chin to protect you from the sun and that will stay on during the motor boat ride and a towel for when you get into the taxi to keep the seat dry or for the lounge chairs or the beach Sunscreen is essential for me in Caribbean ports I...

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  • Bring this

    Flip flops, sneakers/tennis shoes, tank top, shorts, sunglasses, and bathing suit. Sunscreen, aloe gel or solorcaine, bandaids for the average tourist: disposable camera, water camerafor someone who takes photographs as a hobby you might want a tri pod? well it gets pretty windy on the beaches

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  • Dress Clothes only Please

    Remember your weight limits on bagage - 50 pounds Domestic and 70 pounds International. Although I hear tell some of the Airlines are dropping the weight acceptable on International Flights to 50 pounds. 3 Pairs of shorts, 4 T-shirts, Sandals, and most importantly a couple of dress shirts to go with your dress shorts or for women a couple of...

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Grand Cayman Off The Beaten Path

  • the fish market

    Off the beaten path and yet so close to the harbour.. I am talking about the little but full of local charm fish market. Turn left as you leave the harbour and waterfront, and walk by the side of the road for less than 10 minutes: you'll see on a small stretch of sand a group of fishermen gutting the fish and selling their catch of the day. Even if...

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  • Cemetery Visits

    There is a cemetery right by the tender docks, but there are also other cemeteries on the island. And there is even a cemetery beach.I am heavily involved with documenting cemeteries, but I have not been on Grand Cayman when I had time free to go to the cemeteries here to document them. Most of these photos were taken in 2013 as we passed Dixie...

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  • Don't fall for high-price charters!

    Ask a concierge, talk to a local, do a little research and you'll find a real deal!We asked around for a better deal than what we were originally offered and were told of a 40-foot boat called "Double Trouble" out of the Kaibo Yacht Club, piloted by Captain Daniel and his brother Allan. Most large boats are fully booked for weekends, we went on a...

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Grand Cayman Sports & Outdoors

  • Excellent Diving with Ocean Frontiers

    We got our advanced open water certification through Ocean Frontiers while we were there. They were amazing! The staff members are all very professional. We went on 7 dives while we were there, including one night dive and two deep dives. The night dive was an incredible experience! The walls there are gorgeous and the water was 80 degrees even at...

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  • Diving at Spanish Reef

    Way up on the north end of the island, past the Turtle Farm & Hell, is a very laid back diver's resort called the Spanish Reef Resort. Anyone is welcome to snorkel or shoredive at their facility, and a nice little dive shop is there on the premises for your convenience, Resort Sports.Since I was with Mom on this trip to Grand Cayman I mostly...

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  • There's A Reason Why Divers All Go Here

    There is such a range of diving experiences to be had in the Caymans, from the popular shore dives right off the main oceanside drive (see DiverX's Cayman Islands page for a great write-up of these), to Stingray City (see tips below for my experience there), to the pristine East End of Grand Cayman, and I never even touched on the outer islands....

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Grand Cayman Favorites

  • Grand Cayman

    Grand Cayman is one of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands and it is the largest, the other two being Little Cayman e Cayman Brac. Georgetown, on Grand Cayman, is the capital of the islands.The city itself, while being colourful, is not really that attractive: it's full of shops and banks (since the islands' territory is a major world...

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  • Cruise information

    One of the best places for information on what to do in various ports is Cruise Critic. The Cruise Critic Grand Cayman forum board was very useful in planning shore excursions, whether the ones offered by the ship or independent, and there is also Grand Cayman port information with hints on where to go, what to do, where the ships dock, where to...

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  • Winter Weather Conditions - Wind

    The East End is the windiest district on the island. In the winter (late December - late February) the 'Christmas Winds' from stalled fronts off the mainland and nor'westers blowing through can create windy conditions for consecutive days on both the East End and North Side. If bad, the wind can make sitting on the beach unpleasant and snorkeling...

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