Electricity

Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. American style two-pin plugs are standard.

Language

English is the official language. Spanish is also widely spoken.

Money

The Cayman Islands dollar (KYD) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. It is fixed to the US dollar at US$1.20. Currency can be exchanged at the banks, bureaux de change and many hotels. Banks are open Monday to Saturday. US dollars are accepted as payment in most establishments and are the preferred currency for exchange. ATMs are widely available and major credit and debit cards are accepted.

Tipping

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.

Health

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.

Safety

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.

Local customs

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.

Doing business

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.

Duty free

Travellers entering the Cayman Islands may bring in 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, as well as one litre of alcohol duty free.

Communications

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.

Passport & Visa

All visitors are required to hold sufficient funds for their intended period of stay in the Cayman Islands, as well as a return or onward ticket and the documents required for further travel. Tourist visas can generally be extended for stays of up to six months. It's recommended that passports be valid for six months after the intended period of travel.

Entry requirements

United States passport holders must have a valid passport or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, as well as proof of citizenship, such as an original or certified birth certificate. No visa is required for stays of a maximum of 6 months for tourists, or 10 days for business travellers. However, the length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

UK nationals require a valid passport or proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalisation certificate, accompanied by an official photo ID (e.g. driver's licence), for travel to the Cayman Islands. No visa is required for stays up to a maximum of 6 months for tourists, or 10 days for business travellers. However, the length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

Canadian nationals do not require a passport for travel to the Cayman Islands providing they hold a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, as well as proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Canadian citizens can stay in the Cayman Islands visa-free for a maximum of 6 months as tourists and 10 days as business travellers. However, the length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

Australian nationals must have a valid passport beyond the period of intended stay. No visa is required for a maximum stay of 6 months for tourists or 10 days for business travellers. The length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

South African nationals require a passport valid beyond the period of intended stay in the Cayman Islands. No visa is required for a maximum stay of 6 months for tourists or 10 days for business travellers. However, the length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

Irish nationals require a passport valid at least beyond the intended period of stay. No visa is required for a maximum 6 month stay for tourists or 10 days for business travellers. The length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

New Zealand nationals must have a passport valid beyond the period of intended stay. No visa is required for a maximum 6 month stay for tourists or 10 days for business travellers. The length of visa-free allowance varies depending on the endorsement on the passport.

Useful contacts

Cayman Islands official tourism website: www.caymanislands.ky

Emergencies: 911

Embassies / consulates in other countries

British Embassy, Washington DC, United States (also represents Cayman Islands): +1 202 588 6500.

Cayman Islands Government Office, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7491 7772

British High Commission, Ottawa, Canada (also represents Cayman Islands): +1 613 237 1530.

British High Commission, Canberra, Australia (also represents Cayman Islands): +61 2 6270 6666.

British High Commission, Pretoria, South Africa (also represents Cayman Islands): +27 12 421 7500.

British Embassy, Dublin, Ireland (also represents Cayman Islands): +353 1 205 3700.

British High Commission, Wellington, New Zealand (also represents Cayman Islands): +64 4 924 2888.

Embassies / consulates in Cayman Islands

United States Consular Agent, George Town: +1 345 945 8173.

UK Embassy in the Cayman Islands, George Town: +1 345 244 2434

Canadian High Commission, Kingston, Jamaica (also responsible for Cayman Islands): +1 876 926 1500.

Australian High Commission, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago (also responsible for Cayman Islands): +1 868 822 5450.

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