Grand Cayman Travel Information
Local time is GMT -5.
Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. American style two-pin plugs are standard.
English is the official language. Spanish is also widely spoken.
There are no specific health risks associated with travel to the Cayman Islands and food and water are generally considered safe. No vaccinations are required, but vaccination for hepatitis A is recommended and travellers should always be up to date on vaccinations for MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and tetanus-diphtheria. Dengue fever has been reported in the Caribbean region and insect protection measures should be taken. Medical facilities are relatively good in the Cayman Islands, with two good hospitals, but serious illness or injury may still require evacuation. Visitors should take out adequate travel and medical insurance to cover the possible need for an air ambulance. There is a decompression chamber available in the Cayman Islands.
Most restaurants and hotels automatically add a 10 to 15 percent service charge to the bill, otherwise a gratuity of the same amount is expected. At hotels, a 10 percent government tax is also usually added to the cost of your room. Taxi drivers expect a 10 to 15 percent tip as well.
The Cayman Islands has a relatively low crime rate. Nevertheless, visitors are advised to take the usual sensible precautions they would anywhere else in the world to prevent being the victims of petty crime. Do not leave valuables lying about, keep them in a hotel or other safety deposit box. Visitors should be aware of the risk of flooding during hurricane season (June to November) and follow local advice with regards to leaving the island in the event of an approaching hurricane.
The culture of the Cayman Islands is a blend of American, British and West Indian traditions. The churchgoing Caymanians appreciate politeness and modesty - topless bathing and nudity is illegal and beachwear in not acceptable off the beach.
The Cayman Islands are one of the principal financial centres in the world. The hub of business and banking is in George Town on Grand Cayman. Business dress within the financial industry is formal, but other businesses may have a more relaxed protocol. After hours meetings are usually fairly casual. Handshakes on introduction are followed by the exchange of business cards. General business hours are 8am to 5pm, while banks open at 9am and close at 4pm Monday to Friday.
The international access code for the Cayman Islands is +1, in common with the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean, followed by 345. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom). International direct dialling is available. Mobile phone coverage is good and operates on a GSM 900/1800 network; phones can be rented. Internet cafes are widely available.
Travellers entering the Cayman Islands may take 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 225g of tobacco, as well as one litre of alcohol, without paying duty on these.
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