Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, everyone is required to present a valid passport to enter the Cayman Islands. When traveling to the island it’s important to travel with the details of your accommodation including the address of the villa. This is required for the Customs and Immigration forms.
On peak travel days (Saturday and Sunday) the lines at Immigration can be 15 minutes to one hour, depending upon the circumstances and number of flights that land at the same time. A “fast track” option is available for airport arrivals and departures. There is a charge of US$36.58 per person for both arrivals and departures from age 4 and upwards. You can opt for arrival only. Children 3 years and under are free. (Fees are subject to change).
You may also want to have some water and/or snacks with you. After immigration, baggage claim is quick and the customs lines move quickly as well.
Americans and Canadians are not required to obtain Visas to enter the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands are –5 hours GMT. However, we do not observe Daylight Savings time. During the winter we are on US Eastern time and in the summer we operate in the Central time zone.
According to the latest Duty Free Allowances, all visitors over the age of 18 may bring with them: Up to 1 liter of spirits (liquor); OR 4 liters of wine; OR 1 case of beer (not exceeding 8 liters). In addition to the alcohol, you may also bring tobacco as follows: Up to 200 cigarettes OR 250 grams of tobacco. There are a wide variety of liquor stores on island as well. Jacques Scott, Blackbeard’s, or Premier Wines will deliver directly to the villa.
One of the most noticeable differences in the Cayman Islands, compared to the US, is that we drive on the LEFT side. The roads are very well-maintained and between maps and directional signage you can easily navigate the island.
Most visitors do opt to rent a car and there are a number of reputable rental car agencies located right at the airport. We encourage you to book your vehicle in advance. We are happy to assist with rental car reservations, or we can arrange for an airport transfer and have your rental car waiting for you at the villa. A temporary drivers permit is required and is processed at the rental car company ($20USD/driver).
The average temperature in the winter is 75–85 degrees Fahrenheit and 80–95 degrees in the summer.
Winter or summer, the temperature generally stays within the range of 70–95 degrees day or night. The months with the least humidity and lowest temperatures are December through April, February occasionally recording night-time temperatures in the high 60’s, and March probably being the most “temperate” month of the year.
The year divides into two seasons, the summer or “rainy” season, generally from mid-May through October, moving into the winter or “dry” season, from November to April. March and April are our driest months and May and October are traditionally the highest rainfall months. This of course, does not mean that it rains constantly during either of those months, but reflects the trend within our region.
Being in a tropical zone, it is not unusual to have brief afternoon showers during the summer, and, at certain times, brief morning sprinkles too. Similar to most West Indian Islands, rainfall tends to be higher in the western sections.
The Cayman Islands are the same as the US and Canada and all electrical outlets are 110VAC, 60 Cycles. If you are from elsewhere, you may want to bring an adapter.
The Cayman Islands have their own currency. The basic unit is the dollar, issued in notes with denominations of CI $100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1.
The currency conversion rate is set and does not fluctuate, but different vendors use different numbers. The most common conversion is US $1 = .82 CI. You will also see US $1 = .80 or .84 CI.
The US Dollar is also accepted virtually everywhere on the island and most businesses and tour operators accept all major credit cards.
The government of the Cayman Islands’ Health Services Complex is located in George Town, Grand Cayman. It boasts modern equipment and facilities, in addition to an increased number of highly trained personnel.
A 24 hour hyperbaric decompression chamber is available for divers and an air ambulance service for other emergencies. The telephone number is (345) 949-8600.
There is also a private hospital – Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial – in George Town, and one in East End, Health City; as well as a number of other private facilities that offer a variety of professional medical services.
Tipping is usually expected everywhere you go to eat or drink. Most bars and restaurants will add 15% to your bill and you should check before paying to be sure. Your bill will usually come priced in CI dollars with the US$ price below it. If unsure, always ask the serving staff to clarify. The 15% addition is not a legal requirement and you do not have to pay it if the service received was below par.
Remember that serving staff in restaurants and bars generally rely on tips for a large portion of their salary, so please tip them if they give good service.
One confusing issue is that often a bill in a restaurant will include the 15% grautity as well as a blank line for an additional “tip”. Most people feel that it is unnecessasy to leave an additional amount because thay have already paid 15%. To clarify, the 15% goes into a pool and is split between all the “lower level” staff at an establishment, including your server, the cooks in the kitchen, etc. If you feel that your server performed exceptionally and was very friendly, attentive, etc., you might consider giving them someting extra. You should not feel obligated to leave a tip if you receive average service.
Grand Cayman is world renowned for its crystal clear, blue waters. As such, it is a world class dive and snorkel destination. Known in particular for its amazing wall dives, beautiful coral reefs and seemingly endless visibility.
Diving and snorkeling are the most popular activities followed closely by deep sea fishing, which can be done just offshore. Trips that include Stingray City (which can be combined snorkeling, fishing and/or diving) are by far the most popular.
If you have any other questions please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.
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