Cayman Islands travel guide
About Cayman Islands
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.
260 sq km (100 sq miles).
60,764 (UN estimate 2016).
215.7 per sq km.
British overseas territory and parliamentary democracy.
Premier Juliana O'Connor-Connolly since 2023.
Caribbean Hurricane season normally runs from June to November. If you are in the Cayman Islands then guidance for how to stay safe and how to contact local authorities is available on the Cayman Islands Emergency website.
Before you travel, check the ‘Entry requirements’ section for The Cayman Islands’ current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting.
It is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Natural Disasters.
As the Cayman Islands is a British Overseas Territory, there’s no formal British diplomatic or consular representation. The local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance. See Emergency assistance
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the Cayman Islands, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for the Cayman Islands on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in the Cayman Islands.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you begin to feel any COVID-19 symptoms, take a lateral flow test (LFT). It remains a Public health requirement for positive LFT results to be reported through the Cayman Islands Government website. If you test positive, you will need to complete a confirmation PCR test at one of Health Service Authority’s testing centres, and then isolate for no less than 7 days.
There is no requirement for a person to test once they have completed isolation.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Public spaces and services
There are no government requirements or limits on public gatherings in the Cayman Islands.
Mandatory mask wearing requirements in the Cayman Islands have been removed. However, owners or operators of establishments such as health care facilities, residential home care facilities, the prison, or places of detention may require visitors to wear a face covering or mask prior to entry.
For further information, check the Cayman Islands Government website. You can find full details about the restrictions, including exemptions, in the regulations published on the Cayman Islands Government website.
Any breach of the regulations will be subject to a CI$10,000 fine or two years imprisonment or both.
Healthcare in the Cayman Islands
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.
View Health for further details on healthcare in the Cayman Islands.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
Help and support
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact the relevant Cayman Islands local authority. See the section on “Emergency Assistance” for further information.
Crime rates are low, but you should take sensible precautions to protect your personal safety and belongings:
- don’t 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 don’t drink and drive. It’s 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.
Hospital (Non-Emergency) Medical Assistance
For non-urgent medical assistance, contact either of the Islands hospitals at:
Grand Cayman Hospital: (345) 949 -8600
Cayman Brac Hospital: (345) 948 2225
The National Emergency Notification System (NENS) is a free mobile app launched by the Cayman Islands Government, that delivers emergency alerts by email, SMS and app notification. Residents and visitors can download the app on their mobile devices.
National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC): (345) 949 6555 (Available on activation)
Or visit the NEOC website for the latest updates.
Marine Emergency Response
For Marine Emergencies contact:
The Royal Cayman Islands Coast Guard: (345) 649 6722
Royal Cayman Islands Police (Marine Unit) (345) 945 2432
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in the Cayman Islands, attacks can’t be ruled out.
There is a high threat of terrorist attack globally affecting UK interests and British nationals, including from groups and individuals who view the UK and British nationals as targets. You should remain vigilant at all times.
The Cayman Islands is a separate legal jurisdiction to the United Kingdom and has its own laws.
There are harsh penalties for those caught with drugs of any kind. The possession or importation of weapons (including air pistols and catapults) or ammunition (including empty magazines) is illegal. Those caught will be subject to severe penalties.
Observe customs regulations on the import and export of agricultural products and the protection of marine and animal life. There are a number of marine and animal specimens that may not be taken from the islands. If in doubt, check with the customs office before buying, or attempting to import or export such items.
Same sex marriage is no longer legal in the Cayman Islands, however legislation was passed in September 2020 legalising civil partnerships. Hotels and resorts are generally welcoming, regardless of sexual orientation. Local attitudes can be conservative and some people may not approve of public displays of affection between same-sex couples. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
This page has information on travelling to Cayman Islands.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in the Cayman Islands set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Cayman Island’s entry requirements apply to you, visit Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control Website.
There are no restrictions due to COVID-19 for anyone travelling to or within the Cayman Islands.
Travellers are no longer required to:
- apply to travel (via Travel Cayman)
- quarantine or isolate upon arrival
- be vaccinated prior to arriving in the Cayman Islands
Travellers are encouraged to check the requirements of their destination before travelling.
For more information on relocating or travelling to the Cayman Islands, see the Cayman Islands Customs and Border Control website.
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
Check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
If you are visiting the Cayman Islands your passport should be valid for at least the duration of your intended stay in the Cayman Islands. Check the Cayman Islands Government website for further details.
For information on visa requirements, please consult the Cayman Islands Government website.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each overseas territory page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in overseas territories. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the local territory government.
If you need to get further supplies of your prescribed medicine whilst you are in the Cayman Islands, you will need to visit a registered physician, who will either countersign your UK prescription or issue a new one. It is likely that you will have to pay for your medicine up front then submit a claim for reimbursement through your travel insurance.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
One case of dengue fever has been confirmed in the Cayman Islands so travellers should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. For more information see the website of the Health Service Authority.
There are three well-equipped hospitals on Grand Cayman, two in the capital George Town and one in the Eastern part of the island. A smaller facility, Faith Hospital, on Cayman Brac, can cope with most routine medical and dental problems. Treatment is expensive and more serious cases will normally be stabilised in the Territory before being transferred to the United States of America.
Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad. Your insurance should include air ambulance, third country (USA) medical treatment and repatriation.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
The hurricane season in the Cayman Islands normally runs from June to November. Monitor local and international weather updates from the Cayman Islands National Weather Service and the US National Hurricane Centre, and follow the advice of the local authorities including any evacuation orders.
See our tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.
If you are in the Cayman Islands then guidance for how to stay safe and how to contact local authorities is available on the Cayman Islands Emergency website.
A number of earthquakes have struck the Cayman Islands in recent years. The largest, of magnitude 7.7, struck approximately 75 miles ESE of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman on 28th January 2020. A number of sinkholes appeared and large number of aftershocks but no serious damage or injuries.
All major credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and local shops. The local currency is the Cayman Islands Dollar (CI$) but transactions using non domestic credit cards will be charged in US$. The US dollar is widely accepted throughout the islands. The CI$ is fixed to the US dollar at $1.25 US Dollars to $1.00 Cayman Islands Dollar.
If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the FCDO in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.