English is the official language of the Cayman Islands, and although the locals have developed their own distinct accent over the years, there is also heavy influence from Jamaica. Spanish is also commonly spoken in the islands, mainly by immigrants from Cuba and Central America.
Although the Cayman Islands dollar (CI$) is the islands’ official currency, US dollars are also commonly accepted at most establishments. The exchange rate between the two currencies is fixed at a value of US $1.25 to one Cayman Islands dollar. Major credit cards and travelers checks, especially those in US dollars, are also commonly accepted nearly everywhere. There are only four ATMs on the Cayman Islands.
The Cayman Islands share the same Eastern Time Zone as the eastern United States, five hours behind GMT, but do not observe Daylight Savings Time. Therefore, the Cayman Islands are an hour ahead of Eastern Daylight Time between April and October.
The Cayman Islands use the same 110V electricity settings and Type B plug sockets as the United States and Canada. Although many hotels provided adapters and transformers for guests from other parts of the world, visitors should still bring their own equipment to be on the safe side.
The Cayman Islands dialing code is +1, while its international country code is 345. Although international telephone calls from hotels can come with high surcharges, visitors can also easily rent cellphones on the Cayman Islands if their own TDMA and GMS cellphones do not work on the islands. Most Cayman Island hotels have either centrally situated business centers or wireless internet access, but visitors lacking internet access in their hotels can easily visit one of the numerous Cayman Islands internet cafés.
Endless duty-free shopping opportunities are among the Cayman Islands’ main attractions. United States residents, regardless of age, who stay on the Cayman Islands for over 48 hours may bring home up to US $800 of duty-free goods. US citizens whose Cayman Islands stay is under 48 hours have a US $200 maximum duty free allowance. Visitors 21 years of age or older can bring back up to 200 cigarettes or 100 non-Cuban cigars. Alcohol limits are a liter of spirits, four liters of wine, or a case holding up to eight liters of beer. Antiques over 100 years old and original artwork can also be brought home duty free.
Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Grand Cayman: +1-345-949-0623 or http://www.caymanislands.ky.
Consulates in Cayman Islands
Honorary Consulate of United States, Grand Cayman: +1-345-945-8173 Honorary Consulate of Canada, Grand Cayman: +1-345-949-9400 Consulate of Barbados, George Town: +1-345-926-8303 Jamaican Consulate, Grand Cayman: +1-345-949-9526 Honorary Consulate of India, Grand Cayman: +1-345-949-5829 Honorary Consulate of Brazil, Grand Cayman: +1-345-949-9876 Honorary Consulate of Austria, Grand Cayman: +1-345-949-9333
Emergency services: 911