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  • Flag                                     Coat of Arms                               Tourist Board

    The Cayman (pronounced Kay-MAN) Islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – are located in The Western Caribbean and part of the Greater Antilles. Known worldwide for tax-free banking, this island trio is named after the Caiman, a small crocodile that once thrived here in large numbers. The birthplace of recreational diving, Cayman is a top destination for divers from all corners of the world. Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman is always rated a top Caribbean Beach; don’t miss Point O’ Sand on Little Cayman, or the unnamed, unspoiled beaches on Cayman Brac.

    Geography
    Cayman is located northwest of Jamaica, between Cuba and Central America. Grand Cayman is the largest at 76 square miles; Cayman Brac at 14 square miles is followed by tiny Cayman Brac at just 10 square miles. Located next to the Cayman Trough, the deepest part of the Caribbean, the islands are limestone with no rivers, ensuring water clarity to depths of 100 feet. Jagged black rock formations, picturesquely named “Hell”, resemble volcanic rock but are a form of limestone called ironshore. With calm, warm waters, and incredible variety of marine life and coral reefs, Cayman is a destination for divers of all levels.

    Climate
    A tropical marine climate means that Cayman has distinct wet (May to October) and dry (November to April) seasons; annual rainfall is 58 inches, with temperatures between 77 and 85 degrees. Prevailing trade winds come from the northeast help to dampen the humidity somewhat. Although Cayman is in the hurricane belt, sophisticated forecasting provides ample warning.

    Population and Culture
    Grand Cayman is home to the bulk of the population, at 52,000; Cayman Brac’s denizens number 2,100. Little Cayman is the smallest and least visited, with only 170 year-round residents. Of the total population, roughly 32,000 are native born Caymanians, with the balance representing more than 100 nationalities. Cayman enjoys a high standard of living, in fact one of the highest in the Caribbean; there is no income tax. The rich culture of Cayman is heavily influenced by the British and US, with outgoing, friendly inhabitants.

    Language
    The official language of Cayman is English, the Queen’s version. A Jamaican patois is also spoken, and certain words and phrases, as well as a melodic lilt, have become part of the modern lexicon. Many Caymanians also speak Spanish.

    Music and Dance
    Cayman’s appealing “Kitchen Band” music is a kitchen sink of Irish, Scottish and African tradition, thrown in with Calypso, Jazz and Reggae, originally performed with kitchen utensils. “Shanties” come from the sea-faring tradition; sung in call-and-response style, typical songs gave rhythm to work performed aboard ship. Batabano means “turtle tracks” and is the name of Carnival in Cayman; the celebration includes street festivals, parades, music and dance.

    Cuisine
    Traditional Caymanian cooking used a “caboose”, a wooden barbecue grill filled with sand to keep it from catching fire. Hearty dishes in are cooked all day in heavy pots. “Fish Tea” is not tea at all, but a spicy fish stew made with traditional Caribbean ingredients like hot peppers, coconut milk, squash and cassava. Turtle is the national dish, farm-raised to protect the wild turtle. “Jerk” barbecue, from Jamaica, is popular as well. Seafood, readily available, is eaten by locals on a daily basis. “Pasties”, or meat pies, are evidence of Cayman’s ties to Great Britain.

    Architectural Design
    The earliest dwellings on Cayman used the Silver Thatch Palm, the national tree, for building material. Rot-resistant ironwood next became popular, and buildings were raised a bit off the ground to resist storm damage. The Old Homestead “Pink House’, the most photographed building in Cayman, is constructed in the traditional wattle and daub method – a type of coral-based plaster on lathe. Pedro St. James castle is Cayman’s most ambitious restoration and the oldest stone building still standing. The much-visited Watler Cemetery, dating possibly to the 17th century, has unique gravestones constructed with crushed limestone, shaped like houses.

    Tourist Office
    For more information about events, promotions and things-to-do in the Cayman Islands, go to the Tourist Office Page or visit the official website the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism.

    Note: Information provided on this page were derived from a combination of internal research and readily-available outside sources, such as destination tourism offices, official press releases and marketing media kits. 

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    Fast Facts

    Capital: Georgetown on Grand Cayman

    Language: The official language of Cayman is English; a Jamaican patois is widely spoken.

    Government: British Overseas Territory

    Size: Grand Cayman is 76 square miles; Cayman Brac is 14 square miles; Little Cayman is 20 square miles.

    Population: 56,000 (2012)

    Location: Western Caribbean, Greater Antilles

    Motto: "He hath founded it upon the seas"

    Anthem: “God Save the Queen” (official)

    National Song: "Beloved Isle Cayman"

    Climate and Temperature: A tropical marine climate means that Cayman has distinct wet (May to October) and dry (November to April) seasons; annual rainfall is 58 inches, with temperatures between 77 and 85 degrees. Prevailing trade winds come from the northeast help to dampen the humidity somewhat.

    Tropical marine; temperatures range from 77 to 85 degrees. Annual rainfall is about 58 inches.

    Electricity:110 volt, 60 cycle, the same as the US.

    Currency: Caymanian Dollar (CAD)

    ATMs: ATMs can be found in many convenient locations throughout the island and at the airport.

    Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time; Cayman does not observe Daylight Savings

    Water: Desalinized water is safe to drink; be sure to ask about the source before drinking water.

    Driving: Driving is on the left-hand side of the road; a visitor’s driving permit is required and available from car rental companies.

    Rentals: Car, jeeps and bike rentals are available.

    Dress Code: Casual, but in good taste (short shorts, bikinis, bra-type tops are undesirable in public places). Topless sunbathing and nudity are prohibited by law.

    Pet: Cats and dogs must be accompanied by a health and rabies certificate. For specifics, check with Immigration Cayman Islands, the airline and your accommodations.

    Travel Information
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    By Air
    Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman is easily accessible.

    Entry Documentation
    A valid passport (with at least six months before expiration) and return and onward tickets are required for all visitors to Cayman.

    Green Cards
    Green card holders must have a valid green card and valid passport from their country of origin.  In some cases, visas are still required for entry into Cayman.

    Customs and Immigration
    All persons traveling to and from Cayman must clear Customs & Immigration.

    Departure Tax
    A US $25 departure tax applies to all ticketed air passengers departing from Cayman, and may already be included in the price of your airline ticket.

    Departure Tax
    A US $25 departure tax applies to all air passengers departing from Cayman.

    Ferries
    None

    Importation
    Each visitor is allowed to bring 4 liters of wine or one case of beer; 1 liter of alcohol; and 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco.

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