Surface area : 260.0 km2
Population : 32000 inhabitants
In Grand Cayman shops, the most advantageous purchases are the duty free products: luxurious jewellery, branded watches, British crystal. Black coral jewellery is one of the archipelago's specialities and collectors can also find beautiful pieces retrieved from sunken boat wrecks of the 16th and 17th centuries. You will find colourful cotton everywhere, and relatively cheap souvenirs. Shops are usually open during the week from 9:00 to 17:00.
Food is fairly expensive, but you won't be disappointed. In the restaurants of George Town and Seven Miles Beach, you'll have the choice between American tex-mex food, served with plenty of beer or, if you prefer, delicious local dishes. The Caribbean is the perfect place to try fresh fish, seafood or tropical fruits.
Just as in the United States, it is customary in restaurants to leave a tip of 10% of the bill's total, when tips are not included in the service. Although the archipelago is very touristy, it is strictly forbidden to be topless on the beaches. Finally, laws concerning the protection of the sea bed are very strict. For instance, it is forbidden to pick up coral or sponges. The fines are heavy and there can even be prison sentences.
You can visit the Cayman Islands outside of the high tourist season which runs from October to April. Aside from the risk of hurricanes, the climate is just as pleasant during low season. You will enjoy not being surrounded by tourists, as well as cheaper accommodation between April and October. The cost of living is high in the Cayman Islands, so make the most of seasonal reductions!