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Packing for the Cayman Islands

We're happy to say that you won't need to pack a steamer trunk for a vacation in the Cayman Islands. No matter what your planned activities, you'll find that these are casual islands.

Unlike some other Caribbean islands which recall a more proper British standard of dress especially during high season, Cayman adheres to American standards of casual comfort, due in a large part to the high number of American ex-pats that now call this land home. Shorts and t-shirts are the uniform of these islands.

Be sure to bring along at least two swimsuits (the high humidity means that clothing takes extra time to dry). Swimwear is appropriate only for the beach, so you will want a cover-up, no matter how casual, for lunches and quick excursions.

Evenings are relaxed too. We've worn shorts and sandals to many al fresco restaurants on these islands. There are some establishments on Grand Cayman where you'll feel more comfortable in long pants, a collared shirt, or a simple dress; we've indicated these in the text. Nightlife is also laid-back - leave the sequined dress for a trip to San Juan or Aruba.

Sundresses, polo shirts, and sandals are seen in the islands' nightclubs and comedy clubs; most evening activity, however, takes place in the beach bars, where you'll feel most at home in those shorts once again.


If you'll be making Little Cayman or Cayman Brac your home base, we recommend double-checking your packing list. Remember, these are remote islands with few stores. You'll find the basics but the selection will be slim.

Here's a brief checklist for all Cayman visitors:

  • Passport
  • Airline tickets/eticket confirmation
  • Snorkel, fins, and mask
  • Sunscreen
  • Aloe vera gel
  • First aid kit
  • Cameras, flash and film (we recommend an inexpensive underwater camera, too)
  • Drivers license, proof of insurance for car rental
  • Swimsuit
  • All prescriptions (in original bottles)
  • Mini-address book
  • If you'll be scuba diving, don't forget your "C" card as well as any gear you typically bring along: compass, dive tables, dive computer, weight belt, mesh bag, dive boots, logbook, and proof of insurance.
  • Anglers should pack a pair of polarized sunglasses, helpful on the glaring flats for spotting those wily bonefish.

And if you forget something? Don't worry. Grand Cayman has everything you'll need - clothing, medicines, watersports gear, camera equipment, you name it albeit at prices somewhat higher than you might find at home.


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