Shopping in the Cayman Islands

Despite the Cayman Islands high cost of living, visitors can still find luxury items at discounted rates

Photo credit: © Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
 

The Cayman Islands is one of the most visited watersports destinations in the world, with diving being a top activity. Still, there is more than enough to keep vacationers occupied on solid ground. Shopping for souvenirs and discounted goods is one way to spend some of your time.

The cost of living in the Cayman Islands tends to be higher than many places in the United States, and the United States Dollar (USD) is worth 20 percent less than the Cayman Islands Dollar (CI).

Where to Shop

The best shopping in the Cayman Islands is found in Georgetown, where a good selection of duty free, luxury items can be purchased. These are often discounted up to 30 percent, but it helps to know how much you would be spending back home so you can determine if you are getting a good deal or not. Most of the shops here are located within walking distance of the cruise terminal, which makes it a very popular shopping locale. Malls such as the Bayshore Mall are located in the heart of Georgetown if department store shopping is your desire.

In addition to the major shopping center that is George Town, dozens of other smaller shopping complexes can be found in other towns throughout the Caymans. Grand Harbour Centre is one of the islands' newer facilities. The Countryside Shopping Village is located in Savannah.

The best way to ensure that you are picking up a locally made craft is by visiting the Cayman Craft Market. Not only is it a great location to browse carts set up by local vendors, but the park like setting provides a place for a relaxing stroll. The Farmer's Market Cooperative is another location where you can support local vendors, by purchasing everything from produce to crafts.

Gifts and Souvenirs

Despite the lower value of the U.S. Dollar in the Cayman Islands, there are plenty of deals to be had. The products with the best value will be high quality goods from foreign countries that are often deeply discounted, and locally made handicrafts.

Like anywhere else in the Caribbean, you will find fun souvenirs in the Cayman Islands, such as key chains, shot glasses, t-shirts, post cards, and coffee mugs with the words “Cayman Islands.” These are affordable, widely available, and great options for you to bring home. Perhaps you are looking for something a little more unique. Artwork, shell jewelry, wood carvings and woven items make for excellent take homes, as well as bath and beauty products such as soaps, perfumes, and facial scrubs. Recently, underwater photography has begun to take off, so be on the lookout for art galleries that feature these unique prints. Don't forget the edible items, like the oh-so-popular rum cakes, jams and jellies, seasons and salts, and locally distilled rums.

If you're hoping to find some gifts you might want to visit Too Hot Downtown, which is found within downtown Georgetown. A nice mixture of fun apparel, souvenirs, and gifts, Too Hot is all about offering shoppers unique options and are particularly proud of their T-Shirt selection. If you'd like to call before you go, do so at (345) 949-7428.

A second possibility is Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet, which is located less than a mile to the southeast of Too Hot Downtown. It would be impossible to list everything sold at Blue Iguana, but there are a few things you will definitely find there, including classics like island-style t-shirts and caps, magnets, coffee mugs, post cards, and shot glasses. You will be able to find them on South Church Street .

A third shop you might enjoy is One 345 Swanky Shack. New York Times Travel called it one of the "best kept secrets in the Caribbean." This shop is the island's premier shop featuring locally created designs that encompass all of your clothing, accessories, music, and rum needs for men, women, and children. Find them at 65 North Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Many of the gift and souvenir shops in the Cayman Islands are summarized here:

Gifts and Souvenirs In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Phone Location
Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 943-5000 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Caymania Duty Free Duty Free Store (345) 949-4380 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
De Sunglass Man Sunglasses Shop (345) 949-8964 Seven Mile Beach
Duty Free Duty Free Store (345) 945-2160 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Harley Davidson Grand Cayman Gift and Souvenir Shops -- Downtown Georgetown
Last Chance Souvenir Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 945-4024 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
One 345 Swanky Shack Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 949-3080 Downtown Georgetown
Pirate's Grotto Duty Free Store (345) 945-0244 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Pure Art Gallery and Gifts Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 949-9133 1.2 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Georgetown
The Duty Free Centre Duty Free Store (345) 949-8964 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Too Hot Downtown Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 949-7428 Downtown Georgetown
Too Hot Westshore Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 949-7428 Seven Mile Beach
Treasure Chest Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 948-1333 0.7 mi. North of Central Cayman Kai

Specialty Shops

While locally made goods will undoubtedly provide visitors with the best deals, cameras and camera accessories are also available at excellent prices. Jewelry is another option. Name brands such as Bacarrat, Cartier, Gucci, Lalique, Tiffany, and Versace are available at discounted prices throughout the Caymans.

One of the more popular specialty retailers in the area is Eden Rock Diving Center. This store is found in Georgetown, in western the Cayman Islands. Specializing in excursions to Eden's Rock and Devil's Grotto, Eden Rock Diving offers equipment rentals, guided snorkeling, and guided dives. With options available every day of the week, you'll be able to see two of the most prominent underwater sites in the area during your island stay. They're located at 124 South Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Another option is Lobster Pot Dive Center, which is found within a mile to the north of Eden Rock Diving Center. From introductory courses all the way up to Divemaster, the first professional rating, you'll learn from the best on island when you sign up for dive training with Lobster Pot Dive Center. You can even take specialty dive courses that will teach you about specific areas of interest such as Enriched Air Nitrox, wreck diving, deep diving and underwater photography. Visitors will find them at 245 North Church Street , on Grand Cayman.

Deep Blue Divers: Operating in partnership with Lobster Pot Dive Center, Deep Blue Divers is run by Master PADI Instructor Nick Bucklet who has been voted the "Best Dive Operator for Cayman Diving and Scuba Diver Certification" by Destination Cayman. Dive operators do not get more knowledgeable than this, so if you're looking to learn from the best, this is your chance. They're located at 245 North Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Be sure to look through the table below to learn more about specialty shops located in this area.

Specialty Shops In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Phone Location
Aqua Watersports Premium Rentals Watersports Equipment Shop (866) 212-8027 1.4 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Balaclava Jewellers Ltd Jewelry Store (345) 945-5788 0.5 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach
Bodden Town Art Shop Art Gallery (345) 943-2827 Bodden Town
Cathy Church Underwater Photo Gallery Art Gallery (345) 949-7415 0.8 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Cayman Diving College Dive Shop (345) 945-1611 Georgetown
Cayman Islands National Gallery Art Gallery (345) 945-8111 Seven Mile Beach
Deep Blue Divers Dive Shop (345) 916-1293 Georgetown
Divers Down Dive Shop (345) 945-1611 Georgetown
Divers Supply Dive Shop (345) 949-7621 Seven Mile Beach
Divers World Dive Shop (345) 949-8128 1.2 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Divetech at Lighthouse Point Dive Shop (345) 949-1700 West Bay, Western part of the Cayman Islands
Eden Rock Diving Center Dive Shop (345) 949-7243 0.3 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Effy Jewelers Georgetown Jewelry Store (345) 945-9003 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Happy Fish Divers Dive Shop (345) 547-5699 West Bay
Indigo Divers Dive Shop (345) 525-3932 Grand Cayman
Kennedy Gallery/Cayman Fine Art Art Gallery (345) 949-8077 1.7 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Lobster Pot Dive Center Dive Shop (345) 946-8685 0.5 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Sandon Feat Gallery Art Gallery (345) 949-7263 Seven Mile Beach
Topaz Handcrafted Jewellery Jewelry Store (345) 949-7661 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Waterman Cayman Surf Surfing Gear Store (345) 769-7873 0.7 mi. South of Central Seven Mile Beach

Clothing and Apparel

Interested in shopping for clothing? You might enjoy a visit to Lladro Boutique -- it's located in downtown Georgetown. Lladro is one of the most recognized brands in porceline figurines has a boutique in the Cayman Islands. The prefect spot to spend some of your duty free allotment, Lladro Boutique has a passion for creating artistic pieces that will stand the test of time. If you are looking to call before making reservations, do so at (345) 949-7477.

Another shop to consider is Devil's Hangout -- which is located 6.1 mi. (9.9 km) from Lladro Boutique. Devil's Hangout is a t-shirt and accessory shop that features a collection of gift items with sass. It isn't uncommon for a sales associate at this spot to tell you to "Go to hell!" and mean it in the nicest way possible. You will find them at 77 Hell Road, on Grand Cayman.

A third apparel shop you might want to visit is Atlantic Kids Clothing. Atlantic Department Store has everything needed to outfit your entire family. As one of the largest department stores in the Cayman Islands that centers on clothing above all else, this is the spot you'll want to hit to shop for everyone at once.

Check out the chart below if you want more information.

Clothing and Apparel In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Phone Location
Allee Designer Fashion Boutique Boutique (345) 946-6464 2.0 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Arabus Boutique Boutique (345) 949-4620 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Atlantic Department Store Department Store (345) 945-5824 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Atlantic Kids Clothing Department Store -- Grand Cayman
Cartier Boutique Boutique (345) 949-7477 Downtown Georgetown
Cayman Shoe Shop Shoe Store (345) 945-7414 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
De Sunglass Man Sunglasses Shop (345) 949-8964 Seven Mile Beach
Devil's Hangout T-Shirt Shop (345) 945-3322 1.0 mi. West of Central West Bay
Funky Monkey General Clothing Store (345) 943-8659 0.5 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach
Infinity Fashions Boutique (345) 949-1063 West Bay
Just Add Water Boutique (345) 945-4208 0.5 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach
Le Classique-Shoe & Leather Emporium Shoe Store (345) 949-7121 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Lladro Boutique Boutique (345) 949-7477 Downtown Georgetown
Nike Store Shoe Store (345) 945-6453 Downtown Georgetown
Penha Boutique (345) 949-6513 Downtown Georgetown
Sport N Zone - Nike Store Shoe Store (345) 945-6453 Downtown Georgetown
Swatch Boutique Boutique (345) 949-7477 Downtown Georgetown
The Beach Boutique Boutique (345) 949-8128 1.2 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Young World Fashions Boutique (345) 949-6313 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown

Food and Grocery

Looking for some food? Premier Wines & Spirits is found within Georgetown, in western the Cayman Islands. This shop offers a huge selection of various liquors and beers. Additionally, you can purchase accessories or just pop in for a tasting. Reach them at (345) 943-3333.

Another possibility is GC's Liquor Depot, which is found 3.0 mi. (4.8 km) to the north-northwest of Premier Wines & Spirits. GC's Liquor Depot is conveniently located on Seven Mile Beach, offering an intriguing selection of local spirits, beer, and wine. You can even pick up some snacks and a souvenir for home. Guests can find them at 1428 West Bay Rd, on Grand Cayman.

Hurley's Marketplace: The top grocery on the island, Hurley's has everything locals need to keep their kitchen's stocked with top products from around the globe as well as fresh local seafood and produce. Guests will find them at 1053 Shamrock Road , on Grand Cayman.

Take a look at this table if you want more information.

Food and Grocery Stores In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Phone Location
Billy's Supermarket Grocery Store (345) 948-1321 Cayman Brac
Cayman Taffy Company Confectionery and Nut Store (345) 943-2333 1.2 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Foster's Food Fair-IGA Grocery Store (345) 945-3663 1.1 mi. East of Downtown Georgetown
GC's Liquor Depot Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 924-7332 3.6 mi. North of Central downtown Georgetown
General Nutrition Center Nutrition and Body Care Store (345) 945-7690 1.1 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Hurley's Marketplace Grocery Store (345) 947-8488 2.2 mi. East of Central Georgetown
Kirk Supermarket Grocery Store (345) 949-7022 0.6 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Paradise Coffee Coffee and Tea Store (345) 943-3388 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Peperman's Coffeehouse Coffee and Tea Store (345) 945-3751 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Pioneer Bakery Bakery (345) 948-0519 Grand Cayman
Premier Wines & Spirits Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 943-3333 1.3 mi. Northeast of Downtown Georgetown
Shopsmart Grocery Store (345) 943-2319 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Tortuga Rum Company Georgetown Bakery -- 0.9 mi. East of Downtown Georgetown
West Indies Wine Company Store Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 640-9492 1.8 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Wine & Glass Ltd Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 945-1325 1.3 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Georgetown

...Name brands... are available at discounted prices throughout the Caymans...

 

Duties, Taxes, and Tips

Though there is absolutely no sales tax in the Cayman Islands, duty fees depend upon the item that is purchased. Any item manufactured in the Cayman Islands, such as art, native crafts and jewelry, photography, and Tortuga rum cakes is duty free. It is important that you are aware that some stores in the Cayman Islands use the phrase “duty free” in their title. Do not be fooled. Only stores in the airport or at the cruise terminal are completely duty free. These other stores may have a few duty free items, but not all.

Shops in the Cayman Islands accept the legal currency, which is the Cayman Island Dollar, as well as the U.S. Dollar, traveler's checks, and major credit cards. You will find that more stores are open between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A few other tips to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Cruise ship passengers descend upon George Town early in the mornings, so if it is possible, save your shopping trips for the afternoons. This will help you to avoid the crowds.
  • Be aware that haggling and bargaining is not commonplace in the Cayman Islands as it is in some other Caribbean Islands. Trying to do so with a salesclerk will be considered as poor form.
  • It is illegal to export products made from turtle, as well as Caymanite.

Whatever you plan to pick up, shopping in the Cayman Islands is a must. Not only will you need to bring home souvenirs for your friends, but you'll want to make sure you choose something for yourself as well. Be it a luxury item or a handmade craft, there are many great products to be found on the islands.

 

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