Cayman Islands Travel Information
Local time is GMT -5.
Electrical current is 120 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, and rubella) and tetanus-diphtheria. Dengue fever has been reported in the Caribbean region and insect protection measures should be taken. There are three well-equipped hospitals on Grand Cayman, two in George Town and one in the Eastern part of the island; a smaller facility on Cayman Brac can handle most routine medical problems. Serious illness or injury may still require evacuation, so visitors should take out adequate travel health 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, though a gratuity of the same amount is expected. At hotels, a 10 percent government tax is also usually added to the cost of rooms. 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 sensible precautions to prevent being the victims of petty crime. They should keep valuables in a hotel or other safety deposit box rather than leave them lying about, and should be aware of the risk of flooding during hurricane season (June to November). It's recommended that visitors 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. Churchgoing locals appreciate politeness and modesty, and visitors should remember that topless bathing and nudity is illegal. Beachwear is 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. International direct dialling is available. Hotels and restaurants with free WiFi are widely available.
Travellers entering the Cayman Islands may bring in 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, as well as one litre of alcohol duty free.
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