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Cayman Islands Shopping and nightlife

Shopping in Cayman Islands

George Town is a mecca for those in search of duty-free goods, and also offers numerous small boutiques. Local products such as jewellery made of Caymanite (the islands' semi-precious stone), hand-woven baskets, hats and fans, colourful paintings and underwater photographs make excellent souvenirs. Local foods, including tropical fruits, can be bought or sampled at the Farmers' Market every Wednesday at Camana Bay, other days around the island, stalls along the roads toward the East End and particularly Saturday mornings at the Agricultural Grounds in Lower Valley.

The Tortuga Rum company specialises in rum and rum cake plus a range of delicious hot sauces of various styles. The Cayman Spirits Company is a relatively new addition to the rum world, being behind Seven Fathoms (which is apparently matured at a secret location seven fathoms under the sea) and the Governors' range of spirits. Blackbeard's also has its own range of spirits including Cayluha – a witty pun on the famous chocolate liquor.

Camana Bay is the main place that offers North American and European fashion brands, furnishings and household goods. Many luxury goods and essential food products are duty-free but duty of up to 20% is charged on other items. George Town still has boutiques and lots of duty-free stores.

Local art and crafts are available from a number of places including Cayman Craft Market, situated on the waterfront in George Town, the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal and Pure Art Gallery & Gifts, a lovely traditional Cayman house to the south of the capital.

Shopping Note

Turtle products cannot be imported, even by persons in transit, into any country which has signed the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. This includes the USA, Canada and the UK. Caymanite cannot be taken out of the country in its raw form.

Enterprising stores taking advantage of Cayman's confused licensing laws have pushed the boundaries between bar, liquor store and hotel shop, which obviates the need to stock up before 1900 on a Saturday for wine and beer. Supermarkets do not have liquor licenses.

Shopping hours

Mon-Sat 0900-1700. During peak tourist season, many shops open later and also open on Sundays. Supermarkets and liquor stores are closed on Sundays.

Nightlife in Cayman Islands

The Seven Mile Strip is the most lively part of Grand Cayman for the visitor, with numerous bars, clubs, restaurants and beach bars catering for tourists. Locals tend to go to the George Town bars for their entertainment, which can make for an interesting experience. A comedy and variety club is situated in the Strand. Most bars have DJs and/or live music at the weekends and often midweek too. Keep an eye out for pub quizzes in aid of the Cayman Islands Humane Society, usually taking place at the excellently-named Irish pub Fidel Murphy's.

Music is varied and clubs offer everything from live DJs to salsa, reggae, calypso and disco. Concerts and theatre productions (www.artscayman.org) are staged at the Harquail Theatre, off West Bay Road, and the Prospect Playhouse, Red Bay. There is also a multi-screen cinema in Camana Bay.

Dinner cruises onboard a replica pirate ship or a 19th-century tall ship can be booked through local watersports operators. On Cayman Brac there are occasional weekend dances with local bands and community events, such as talent shows and other stage productions, at the Aston Rutty Center.

Local publications with nightlife information include Key To Cayman, What's Hot, What to Do, Destination Cayman and Friday's edition of the Caymanian Compass.