United Kingdom / Cayman Island

Grand Cayman

Language English
Local Time
Currency US Dollar (USD), Cayman Island Dollar (KYD)
Weather

The Biggest Cayman Island

The Cayman Islands are made up of three small Islands in the Caribbean. Grand Cayman (guess what, the biggest), Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. They are located approximately 200 miles west-northwest of Jamaica and 150 miles south of Cuba. On the west side the closest land is Cozumel island (about 350 miles away).

Grand Cayman may seem more like a rich and eccentric American metropolis than a slice of Caribbean paradise. In fact is the largest of the Cayman Islands and the most populated by tourists. But a visit to Grand Cayman is not without charm, in the form of beautiful and unspoiled beaches. In addition to the crowds of the famous Seven Mile Beach, there is really much to explore when you travel to Grand Cayman: a wonderful local flora and fauna and more beaches hidden from tourist pedestrian traffic.

The territory’s capital George Town is surrounded by traditional architecture and modern delicacies. Here you can enjoy duty free shopping or meet friendly vendors and native craftsmen who are always happy to help you find that unique gift. Either way, this is the right place for both global and local treasures.

What to see & what to do

If you are an avid diver, you're in the right place. Considered one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean, Grand Cayman offer ample opportunities to get closer to the colorful marine life of the region. By the way, also land lovers have great opportunities to discover great natural wonder: from Crystal Caves to the famous Mystic Trail and more.

Beaches

Colliers Public Beach

40 min by car from the cruise port. This beach is located on the eastern end of Grand Cayman, perfect if you are in search of solitude and peace. In terms of beach facilities, here there are 4 big cabana seatings with benches and picnic tables, 2 outdoor showers and a couple of empty bathrooms. Regarding the characteristics of the nature here, you can walk through 100 feet of seagrass and the bottom somewhere is rocky, so better to wear water shoes. Some grass turtles can be spotted, big stingrays and other small fishes. Finally there are some local food places around for lunchtime.

Rum Point

45 min by car from the cruise port. Located on the colorful north side of the island, "Rum Point" is famous for its island atmosphere, white sand beach and shallow crystal clear waters. It is the ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. Hammocks on the beach, shady trees, picnic tables and delicious food attract visitors and locals seven days a week. It's located quite far from the cruise port, compared to the majority of other attractions. But if you are not new to the Island, Rum Point is well worth the day trip.

Seven Mile Beach

5 min by car from the cruise port. Seven Mile Beach is one of the many reasons why Cayman is considered the final destination. In fact it has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the region, the fourth best beach in the Caribbean and the twelfth of the best beaches in the world. That's why the area attracts travelers from all over the world. With sparkling waters and coral sands, this coastline is home to many of the most luxurious properties in the Caribbean. The wide promenade here is open to the public; everybody can walk the entire length of the coast. During the walk, you will come across restaurants in the resorts and numerous beach bars.

Smith's Barcadere

5 Min by car from the Cruise Port. Smith Barcadere is usually a more relaxed alternative to Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, with full amenities and excellent snorkeling in a protected cove on South Sound. However, it is sometimes committed when cruise ships arrive at the nearby port.

Starfish Point

50 min car from the cruise port, close to Rum Point. As the name suggests, in this beach there are many starfish in the shallow water and you can touch/pick them up, but don’t take them out of the water.

Park & Landmarks

Barkers National Park

20 min by car from the cruise port. This is the first national park in the Cayman Islands and it combines sandy deserted beach with dense mangroves and an adjacent dry forest. It's a great experience to arrive by jeep or any ATVs. If you follow the sign for Pappagallo Restaurant you can reach the narrow beach. Here is a secluded but still famous spot for enjoy some rest in a peaceful place, riding horses or kitesurfing.

Cayman Crystal Caves

30 min by car from the cruise port. The caves are located in the northern part of the Island. They are immersed in a lush tropical greenery overflowing: a wide variety of plants and species of captivating wildlife, including foreign balsam trees, air plants, birds and bats. Experienced guides will accompany you here while sharing interesting facts about the remarkable process that is responsible for creating spectacular crystal structures of stalactites and stalagmites, as well as otherworldly formations. To venture yourself underground, wear warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes.

Queen Elizabeth II Botanical Park

30 min by car from the cruise port. Among the most peaceful destinations there is the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, which includes three main attractions: the Visitors Center, Floral Garden and Heritage Garden. This park is also home to the Grand Cayman blue iguana, listed as endangered specie. A two-acre lake serves as habitat for native birds and other rare species of wildlife. The flower garden is a magnificent multi-colored mosaic, with hundreds of different species of tropical and subtropical plants spread over 2.5 acres. The entrance is a splendid view of pink roses, green caladiums, Anderson Crepe Hibiscus and other exotic plants.

The Mastic Trail

30 Min by car from the Cruise Port. If you are a trail lover, you should definitely add the Mastic Trail to your list of things to do in Grand Cayman. This 200 year old gravel path winds through a swamp of native mangroves, wooded area of 2 million years, surrounded by some of the most colorful and rare plants of the island. The path of 2.3 miles (one way) is kept as flat hike for beginners by the National Trust of the Cayman Islands, although some recent travelers have stated that there is a section where the climbing is required and as such want wear appropriate footwear.

Snorkelling

Kittiwake Shipwreck & Artificial Reef

10 min by car from Cruise Port. The USS Kittiwake was a submarine former US Navy who served for more than 50 years before being sunk off the famous Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman in 2011. This underwater spot is located right in front of Cemetery Beach. The shallow depths make it an ideal and popular site among all kind of scusa and freedivers, as well as snorkelers. Because the water is so clear, the submerged submarine is visible close to the surface. Furthermore people here can enjoy a various marine life with stingrays, barracudas, turtles and groupers.

Rum Point

45 min by car from the cruise port. Located on the colorful north side of the island, "Rum Point" is famous for its island atmosphere, white sand beach and shallow crystal clear waters. It is the ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. Hammocks on the beach, shady trees, picnic tables and delicious food attract visitors and locals seven days a week. It's located quite far from the cruise port, compared to the majority of other attractions. But if you are not new to the Island, Rum Point is well worth the day trip.

Smith's Barcadere

5 Min by car from the Cruise Port. Smith Barcadere is usually a more relaxed alternative to Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, with full amenities and excellent snorkeling in a protected cove on South Sound. However, it is sometimes committed when cruise ships arrive at the nearby port.

Animal Encounter

Cayman Turtle Center

15 min by car from the cruise port. This award-winning wildlife park offers its guests the chance to meet with some of the most amazing animals and ancient land. It's the most famous activity in the Island. Inside the Center, there are a variety of interactive activities available - including, tanks predators and swimming or snorkeling in a saltwater lagoon full of vibrant species of fish and green turtles. There is also a beach which allows female turtles to nest, like being in the wild. The Cayman Turtle Center is a perfect place for families to have fun and from where to bring really memorable moments.

Dolphin Cove Grand Cayman

15 min by car from the cruise port. Swimming and interactive with dolphins is a dream coming true. According to the program chosen, you can participate in kissing and hugging the animal, or enjoying belly rides and foot push! Other than this there are Specialists teaching interesting facts about these creatures. And explaining important tips regarding feeding, reproduction and nursing programs and how the Center takes care about their environment.

Horseback Riding in Barker National Park

20 min by car from the cruise port. Enjoy the ride in a secluded narrow beach in the northern part of the island. Here you are in the first national park of the Cayman Islands. The gravel roads to arrive here has dense mangroves and an adjacent dry forest. It's a great experience to arrive by jeep and anyway is suggested not to arrive in scooter due to the road condition.

Starfish Point

50 min car from the cruise port, close to Rum Point. As the name suggests, in this beach there are many starfish in the shallow water and you can touch/pick them up, but don’t take them out of the water.

Stingray City Grand Cayman

Have fun and interact with stingrays as they glide away from you! Stingray City is a series of shallow sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman. Here stingrays are present in abundance and guests can easily interact with the animals.

Family

Atlantis Submarine Grand Cayman

Located just off the cruise terminal. Feast your eyes on a wonderful underwater world, while still remaining comfortable in the dry by taking part in this exclusive cruise in a submarine, the Atlantis. After the short boat transfer from the ship, you will board the submarine and at a depth of about 20-30 meters you can start exploring the marine environment.

Cayman Turtle Center

15 min by car from the cruise port. This award-winning wildlife park offers its guests the chance to meet with some of the most amazing animals and ancient land. It's the most famous activity in the Island. Inside the Center, there are a variety of interactive activities available - including, tanks predators and swimming or snorkeling in a saltwater lagoon full of vibrant species of fish and green turtles. There is also a beach which allows female turtles to nest, like being in the wild. The Cayman Turtle Center is a perfect place for families to have fun and from where to bring really memorable moments.

Stingray City Grand Cayman

Have fun and interact with stingrays as they glide away from you! Stingray City is a series of shallow sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman. Here stingrays are present in abundance and guests can easily interact with the animals.

History & Culture

Cayman Islands National Museum

Cayman Islands National Museum. 3 minutes walk off the cruise port. Unique among the basic cultural institutions of the Cayman Islands Museum is housed in the historic Old Courts Building, dating back to 1830. The Museum is also responsible for the collection, research, conservation, care and interpretation of the Museum's collection of artefacts, which currently has 9,300 objects.

Cayman Spirits Co. Distillery

5 min by car from the cruise port. The distillery started back in 2008 with only one single column still, using local ingredients, and doing everything by hand. The tour here will take you for a behind-the-scenes look. Inside the custom-built 5000 square foot facility you’ll see a 1200 gallon Vendome copper pot still, the 30 foot tall Gun Bay Vodka tower, and an original Christian Carl pot. Finally you can enjoy the final product in the tasting room: Seven Fathoms Rum, Gun Bay Vodka, and Governor’s Reserve Rum.

Elmslie United Church

Walking few meter off the cruise terminal. Back in 1846, Rev. James Elmslie was sent to the Cayman Islands to establish the Presbyterian Church. Traveling all over the country by boat and by foot, several churches were founded. The Elmslie Church was built on the site of an ex Anglican Church which got destroyed by an hurricane. The building that we can visit today was completed in 1920's by the Captain and Architect Rayal Bodden.

Walking

George Town

The capital of Grand Cayman is surrounded by traditional architecture and modern treats. You can go for duty-free shopping selling signature expensive brands or walk around to meet native vendors and craftsmen always ready to find you the perfect souvenir. The Craft Market here is the best place to find local artisan gifts.

The Mastic Trail

30 Min by car from the Cruise Port. If you are a trail lover, you should definitely add the Mastic Trail to your list of things to do in Grand Cayman. This 200 year old gravel path winds through a swamp of native mangroves, wooded area of 2 million years, surrounded by some of the most colorful and rare plants of the island. The path of 2.3 miles (one way) is kept as flat hike for beginners by the National Trust of the Cayman Islands, although some recent travelers have stated that there is a section where the climbing is required and as such want wear appropriate footwear.

Shopping

Camana Bay

10 min by car form the cruise port. Cabana bay is located just a short walk from Seven Mile Beach. It's full of restaurants and shopping venues for clothes, books, souvenirs. Not really recommended for cruise passenger coming for a day visit. But if you are not new to this place and you already experienced walking through the downtown, this is a cool alternative.

George Town

The capital of Grand Cayman is surrounded by traditional architecture and modern treats. You can go for duty-free shopping selling signature expensive brands or walk around to meet native vendors and craftsmen always ready to find you the perfect souvenir. The Craft Market here is the best place to find local artisan gifts.

Best cruise deals: (Cruises are still suspended till 2021)

Pictures and Videos of Grand Cayman

instagram #grandcayman

Vitamin sea is good for the soul 💦
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Greetings from ritzcarltongrandcayman as we prepare to welcome you back to paradise very soon for an #FTG5Star experience in the Cayman Islands. Follow along as we take over #ForbesTravelGuide today. #Sponsored ...

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I just realized I never shared the final product.
Thank you again carlosvgarciart
Now can you come do my whole house lol ❤🌱
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Photo made by caymanjason Please help me! Costal development, commercial fishing, and environmental policies are rapidly pushing me and other species toward extinction. Global warming, climate change, and ocean acidification are real. Please vote for politicians that believe in science. Our planets oceans need all the help they can get!!
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Wreck Diving 💙🤙
Photo by caymanjason
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Saturdays are for Stingrays
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Making new friends can sometimes be...awkward. But here in Grand Cayman, they will always be friendly! 🐟
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Monday Blues!💙🌴 #mondaymotivation #monday #beach #beachlife #ritz #grandcayman #grandcaymanislands #sevenmilebeach #rcmemories #ritzcarlton #travel #travelphotography #travelblogger #mondaymood #katiekatetravels #caribbean #caribbeanblue ...

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I need to post something peaceful and beautiful quiet peaceful nearly covid Free. Grand Cayman. I can’t wait to go diving again. #grandcayman ...

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We were lucky to call East End home for 4 months ❤️

#caymanislands #eastend #eastenders #eastendpride #grandcayman #mommyandsongoals #mommysboy💙 #caymanparrot
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The sky, the sand, the water — unwind with all the things that make a perfect island view at The Ritz-Carlton, #GrandCayman. #RCMemories ...

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#beach 💙 #sevenmilebeach #grandcayman #grandcaymanislands #travel#travelphotography #caribbean #rcmemories #ritz #caymanislands #ritzcarlton #travelblogger #caribbeanblue #vacationmode ...

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A skill I’ve mastered these last few weeks? How to relax without any guilt 💫 ...

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Seven miles beach, Grand Cayman
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Weather

The Caribbean region is generally sunny and warm. The dry season is between December and April and this is the best time to sail in terms of weather conditions, with mostly clear sky and sunny days. From May to November is the wet season, while from June to November the hurricane season threats islands and vacationeers. In these circumstances, ships are well monitoring the storms’ movements and organizing alternative itineraries if previously scheduled to sail in affected area. By the way in general the most consideration is given to the winds. During the wet season thunderstorms can occur and in the less fortunate days, they bring wind. Usually winds above 30-35 kn (nautical miles per hour) can force ship to skip the Port. But still even during winter and hurricane season, the majority of itineraries are not being deviated and guests can enjoy their destinations.

Dry season

Dry season

From December to April, mostly sunny and fresh. The best period to sail in Caribbean. Having a flat territory and being exposed to the trade winds, Aruba is always windy and with comfortable temperatures.

87°F 70°F

Wet season

Wet season

From May to November, warmer season with more frequent rains. From July till September Hurricanes are not usually a problem for Aruba, which remain out of their track.

90°F 77°F

Good to know

 

  1. Clothing Except Rum Point and George Town, most of Grand Cayman is smart-casual and beach attire.
  2. Water Shoes Bring them if you go to swim or snorkel. Some of the water can be rocky after you walk from the beach.
  3. Sundries For convenience and cost concerns, bring your own everyday health and beauty products with you. If you head to the beach, bring your onboard towel.
  4. Port Regulation Be aware that often in port it's forbidden to take off the ship fruits, vegetables and unsealed food items for local agricolture concern.
  5. Time Zone EST (Eastern Standard Time) UTC/GMT -5 hours. Make sure to keep the ship's time on your clock to come back board on time. Be aware of automatic changes of your smartphones.
  6. Currency Although the USD is readily accepted throughout the Island, prices can be listed in the local currency KYD.

Terminal

All cruise ships stay at anchor in the large bay right in front of George Town. Double decked local boats will take passengers to one of the 3 piers-terminals right by the city. Regardless of the Pier/Terminal used, as you walk out the exit gates, the cruise traveler will be on the main road – Harbor Drive.

Cruise ship engaged in tendering operations in George Town anchorage area.

Remind

George Town is the capital city of Grand Cayman and the port which all cruise ships visit. During bad weather it may happen that ships decide to anchor in an alternative area called “Spotts Bay” on the south side of the Island. From here to reach George Town it takes about 15 minutes by car.

The main docking spot for the tenders is the Royal Walter Cruise Terminal on the northern part of George Town. This a rather large open area with a good number of shops (mainly souvenirs), taxis, tourist info, tour booths and a couple of bars – the Green Parrot is a famous hang out for those returning to the ship and waiting for tender boats.

But it can also happen that you will be tendering to any of the other two piers when there are more than a couple of ships in port, which happens very often. If tendering to either North or South Terminals, the cruise traveler will literally walk off the tender right into Harbor Drive as the terminal buildings are small and do not have much more than waiting areas with passenger controlling gates.

Transport

Taxi are the most comfortable mean of transportation. By the way the public bus is naturally the most affordable way to explore Grand Cayman. Although many a cruise traveler may feel uneasy with public buses in the Caribbean, you shouldn’t be as these are very safe, very well kept and a great way to travel around in Grand Cayman.

The Central Bus Station in George Town is known as District Bus Depot and is located by Heroes Square, the main landmark in the town, between the Public Library and the CIBC bank.

Nearby destinations

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