George Town, Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

The Cayman Islands,  are located 90 miles south of Cuba and George Town is its Capital, located on the largest island in the system - Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman, a British territory, is the epitome of "white sand and turquoise waters." Because of this and it's strong economic climate (5th in the world), Grand Cayman is one of the top destinations in the Caribbean.

George Town Grand Cayman offers world-class scuba diving and snorkeling, opportunities to swim with stingrays and turtles, great shopping in George Town city center, and some of the most beautiful beaches you've ever seen.

Currency: Cayman Island Dollar (CI); US Dollars are accepted at most locations as well. ATMs are plentiful as the Cayman Islands are an international banking center.

Wireless Internet: Many different shops and restaurants offer Wi-Fi, though not all for free.

Languages: English

Where You Dock in George Town, Grand Cayman

Tendering in Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman Tender
Photo credit: James Willamor / Foter / CC BY-SA

Ships have to anchor off-shore and tender their passengers in. There are 2 docks in downtown George Town – North & South. Take note of where your tender drops you off as the docks can be quite busy when there could be as many as 5 ships in port. Be advised, if the waters are rough, sometimes captains decide it will be unsafe to tender passengers into Grand Cayman and the port will be skipped.

Getting Around George Town, Grand Cayman

Walking: The tendering docks are a short walk from town. Shopping and restaurants are a close distance

Taxis: Many taxis are found by the port. Taxis aren’t metered, but have rates set up by the government, based on 1-3 passengers. Any distance less than 2.2 kms (1.4 miles) is charged a flat fee of $8 CI. Note that it is customary to tip your taxi driver 15-20%.

Bus: There are public buses (mini-vans) that travel around the island on 9 different routes, all identified by a different color. The central bus depot is located is George Town and buses leave every 10-20 minutes, depending on the route. There are some bus stops along the way, but passengers typically will just tell the driver when they want to get off. Also, if you see a bus and it honks its horn, you can wave your hand to flag it down and it will stop to pick you up. It is between $2-$3.50 CI for a ride.

Car Rental: There are different car rental companies located at the airport or near Seven Mile Beach. Visitors must buy a a driving permit (approx. $16 CI) and it is good for 6 months. It’s relatively easy to drive around Grand Cayman – roads are good and traffic rules are followed. Note: It’s a British territory, so cars drive on the left, even though most cars still have steering wheels on the left side.

Shopping In George Town, Grand Cayman

Jewelry and watches are hot items in Grand Cayman since everything is tax free. Rum cake is also a local specialty and a popular spot for purchasing them is Tortuga Rum Company, located in various locations around the island. Small unique shops dot the harbor front offering crafts and souvenirs.

Cardinal Ave, George Town – home to some great, upscale duty free shopping including Kirk Freeport, Swatch, Cartier Boutique, Kirk Leather, and more. Closest to the North Cruise Terminal

Bayshore Mall, George Town – Closest to the South Cruise Terminal – stores include Kirk Freeport, Cartier, Timezone, Miche , Lalique, and more.

West Shore Shopping Plaza – West Mile Road, Seven Mile Beach – upscale boutiques and galleries

Dining In George Town, Grand Cayman

Photo credit: Dusty J / Foter / CC BY

Grand Cayman has quite a restaurant scene, possibly due to its high standard of living. Conch-based dishes tend to be the island’s specialty but you can find any type of cuisine imaginable, from Caribbean to Asian to Bar & Grill and everything in between. There are chain restaurants such as Hard Rock Cafe, Margaritaville, Subway, Wendy’s & Burger King, if you feel like eating something familiar. Many of the restaurants are in Georgetown or Seven Mile Beach.

Champion House – 43 Eastern Ave – a favorite with locals, a friendly atmosphere serving large portions of Caribbean favorites

The Brasserie – 171 Elgin Ave – fresh, farm-to-table dining in a Caribbean plantation style setting

Sunshine Grill – 1465 Esterley Tibbetts, Seven Mile Beach – cute cafe across from the beach, American & Caribbean cuisine

Things To Do in George Town, Grand Cayman

 
Photo credit: roger4336 / Foter / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: roger4336 / Foter / CC BY-SA

Scuba Diving, Snorkeling & Snuba – The Cayman Wall is known the world over as a great dive site. Devil’s Grotto is the perfect place for snorkeling or snuba diving (divers breathe through long air tubes from surface tanks instead of tanks on their backs)  – check out the wreck of a 1940’s schooner.

Cayman Islands National Museum – located on Harbor Drive, this museum houses the largest cultural and art collection on the Cayman Islands.

Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park – 65 acres of trails, beautiful gardens and natural wetlands. A perfect spot to relax.

Cayman Turtle Farm – Northwest Point Road, West Bay – a breeding ground for up to 16000 turtles – see babies get fed and perhaps released into the wild

Dolphin Discovery – West Bay – swim and play with dolphins in a large pool

Photo credit: James Willamor / Foter / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: James Willamor / Foter / CC BY-SA

Beaches:

Seven Mile Beach – voted one of the best in the Caribbean with lounge chairs, water sports & great spots to snorkel.

Secluded Beach – Cayman Kai or Rum Point – you’ll be heading in the opposite direction of everyone else, to northeast of George Town (30 minute drive). Amenities such as water sports and restaurants are available.

Beach for Water Sports – East End for windsurfing or Cemetery Beach for snorkeling (north of Seven Mile Beach)

 

See all excursions in Grand Cayman

Top Tours & Excursions In George Town, Grand Cayman

Photo credit: James Willamor / Foter / CC BY-SA

Stingray City by Jet Ski & Snorkel Drive your own Jet Ski out to the shallow Stingray City sandbar, about a 30 minute ride. Swim among and feed the stingrays, then drive over to the barrier reef to snorkel. You will then have the option to end your time at Seven Mile Beach or head back to George Town....

Duration: 2.5 hours Activity Level: Moderate
Photo credit: minnemom / Foter / CC BY-ND

Grand Cayman Hell & Turtle Farm Orientation The short tour of Grand Cayman gives you an orientation of the island with still enough time to explore on your own! You’ll stop a the turtle farm and tour of Hell as well as other photo ops including Seven Mile Beach....

Duration: 2 hours Activity Level: Easy
Photo credit: petersbar / Foter / CC BY

Stingray City & Two Snorkel Stops Avoid the crowds by heading to Stingray City on a cabin cruiser. Interact with, feed and swim with the gentle stingrays before heading to the Barrier Reef , then Coral Gardens for 2 stops of fantastic snorkeling....

Duration: 3.5 hours Activity Level: Moderate Note: There is also a tour with only 1 snorkel stop. See here for details.