260 sq km (100 sq miles).
211.2 per sq km.
British overseas territory and parliamentary democracy.
Head of state:
HM Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, represented locally by Governor Helen Kilpatrick since 2013.
Head of government:
Premier Alden McLaughlin since 2013.
110 volts AC, 60Hz. North American-style (flat) two-pin plugs (with or without round grounding pin) are standard.
Ask people to define their idea of paradise and they may well describe the Cayman Islands, a Caribbean archipelago renowned for its beautiful beaches, world-class diving and incredible food.
Mere specs in the Caribbean Sea, the Caymans are made up of three islands in all: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. These British Overseas Territories are home to around 50,000 people, a significant number of whom are British expatriates working in everything from finance and property to scuba diving and services.
A trip to the Caymans is all about switching off. The extraordinary beaches on all three islands are perfect for whiling away lazy days, whilst the surrounding waters are a treasure trove of marine life, making them a hit with divers.
The financial industry looms large over the islands and there’s no income tax, leading many to believe that paradise really does exist here. Still, the high duty on consumer goods, food and fuel makes the cost of living sharply felt.
If you’ve got the cash, there’s an exceptional selection of high-end restaurants scattered across the archipelago – more than 200 on Grand Cayman alone. Island cuisine is also celebrated at Cayman Cookout, an annual culinary jamboree that attracts chefs from around the world. If that’s a bit highfalutin for you, then drop in at Taste of Cayman, which is a far more accessible food festival.
The jamborees come thick and fast throughout the winter months. Pirates Week celebrates local culture and the archipelago’s swashbuckling history, while Heritage Days allow visitors to sample local food, entertainment and history of the island in even more detail.
Another noteworthy jamboree is Batabano – the Cayman Islands’ own version of Carnival, complete with floats, extravagant costumes, steel bands and all the dancing you can muster. So pour out a glass of the local brew, Swanky, grab a spot on Seven Mile Beach, sit back and enjoy the show.
Last updated: 19 October 2015
The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. ‘We’ refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Crime rates are low, but you should take sensible precautions to protect your personal safety and belongings. Do not leave valuables lying about. Use a hotel safe or a safety deposit box where possible. Take particular care of your passport as this can’t be renewed or replaced in the Cayman Islands. Report the theft or loss of your passport immediately to the police (from whom a written report must be obtained). In a genuine emergency, the Cayman Islands Passport Office may be able to issue an Emergency Passport.
Minibuses are the only form of local public transport. They run only on the main routes. For other journeys, taxis are available or you can hire a car. Driving is on the left, as in the UK. Observe the speed limits, wear your seat belt at all times and do not drink and drive. It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, offenders face a mandatory fine of CI$150.
Airlines require earlier check-in times for passengers and luggage. Both hold-loaded and carry-on luggage is subject to being hand-searched. Allow extra time at the airport and check the recommended check-in time for your flight with your airline. Travellers must ensure they comply with local immigration requirements, eg retention of immigration card issued on arrival for departure.
The Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory so doesn’t have formal British consular representation. All emergency assistance needed by British nationals is delivered by the Cayman Islands government.
In an emergency dial 911.
If you’re a victim of crime, contact the Royal Cayman Islands Police on 911.
Birth and Death registration enquiries:
Telephone: + (1 345) 244 3103
You can get information about marriage requirements in the Cayman Islands from the Passport and Corporate Services Office:
Telephone: + (1 345) 943 7678
Telephone: + (1 345) 943 7678
Passport Information: telephone: + (1 345) 943 7678
telephone: + (1 345) 949 8344