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 souvenirs you should think about visiting Too Hot Downtown, which is located 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 would like to call ahead, you can do so at (345) 949-7428.

Another option is Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet, which is located within 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. They're on South Church Street .

A third place to consider is One 345 Swanky Shack. On the racks and shelves here you'll find clothing, accessories, and souvenirs that define the island. They are located at 65 North Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Check the following table for more information.

Gifts and Souvenirs In the Cayman Islands
Name Phone Location
American Greetings (345) 949-0442 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Beautiful Home & Gifts (345) 945-3637 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet (345) 943-5000 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Caymania Duty Free (345) 949-4380 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Conmac Gifts & Souveniers (345) 947-7790 East End, Western part of the Cayman Islands
Duty Free (345) 945-2160 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
East End Garden & Gifts (345) 947-0737 East End, Western part of the Cayman Islands
Gifts With A Difference (345) 945-1907 Seven Mile Beach
Gifts With A Difference (Nixon) (345) 949-7229 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Gwen's Gift Shop-Hades Hideaway (345) 949-1177 Grand Cayman
Harley Davidson Grand Cayman -- Downtown Georgetown
Kc's Souvenirs Beachwear & Cosmetics (345) 949-1237 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Klassic Luggage & Gifts (345) 943-4438 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Last Chance Souvenir (345) 945-4024 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
One 345 Swanky Shack (345) 949-3080 Downtown Georgetown
Pure Art Gallery and Gifts (345) 949-9133 1.2 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Georgetown
Suntracker (345) 949-9059 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Too Hot Downtown (345) 949-7428 Downtown Georgetown
Too Hot Westshore (345) 949-7428 Seven Mile Beach
World Gift Imports (Cayman) (345) 946-6292 0.2 mi. Northwest of Central Seven Mile Beach

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 area's popular speciality shops is Eden Rock Diving Center. This venue is located within Georgetown, in western the Cayman Islands. Guided dives leave each day at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. A one tank dive takes about 90 minutes, and a two tank dive, about three hours. Find them at 124 South Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Another good option is Lobster Pot Dive Center, which is located less than a mile away from Eden Rock Diving Center. Lobster Pot Dive Center is open from 7:00am until 5:00pm Monday through Saturday, and until 4:00pm Sunday. Find them at 245 North Church Street , on Grand Cayman.

Deep Blue Divers: Deep Blue offers daily dives to some of the top underwater attractions in the area, including the Kittiwake Wreck, Stingray City, the Cayman Wall, and more. Stingray City in particular is perfect for new divers because it only goes 12 feet deep, and snorkelers can take advantage of this location as well. Guests will be able to find them at 245 North Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Be sure to look at this table to learn more about specialty shops available.

Specialty Shops In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Phone Location
Artifacts Ltd Antiques and Used Merchandise Dealer (345) 949-2442 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

Hoping to find some new clothing during your vacation? You might want to visit Lladro Boutique -- which is located in downtown Georgetown. All Lladro pieces are hand crafted and must meet the highest standards before being fired, painted, and sent on to boutiques around the world. When you tour this shop in the Cayman Islands, you'll find a wide array of figurines and home decor. If you have questions and want to call ahead, you can do so at (345) 949-7477.

A second option is Devil's Hangout -- which is located 6.1 mi. (9.9 km) from Lladro Boutique. Experience hell for yourself Monday through Thursday, 7:00a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. The property is situated at 77 Hell Road, on Grand Cayman.

A third apparel shop you might want to visit is Atlantic Kids Clothing. Since Atlantic Department Stores unveiled their line of children's clothing in 2000, they've had everything needed to cloth everyone in the family, from babies on up to adults. You'll find undergarments, clothing, shoes, jewelry, and other accessories available here.

Take a minute to read this table for a listing of apparel shops serving the Cayman Islands.

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
Ching Boutique Boutique (345) 949-0084 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Devil's Hangout T-Shirt Shop (345) 945-3322 1.0 mi. West of Central West Bay
Fefe's Boutique Boutique (345) 947-2492 1.9 mi. West of Central Savannah
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
Juana's Fashions Boutique (345) 945-7926 2.0 mi. West of Central Bodden Town
Just Add Water Boutique (345) 945-4208 0.5 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach
La Sherie Fashion & Design Boutique (345) 949-7431 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Lladro Boutique Boutique (345) 949-7477 Downtown Georgetown
Lorna's Exquisite Fashions Boutique (345) 949-9628 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
One & Only Boutique Boutique (345) 945-7074 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Penha Boutique (345) 949-6513 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

Want to check out some local food offerings? Premier Wines & Spirits is found within Georgetown, in western the Cayman Islands. A company that cares about selling its customers the top wine and spirits out there, Premier has a knowledgeable staff and a wide selection that will appeal to even the most discerning connoisseur. To reach them, call (345) 943-3333.

A second option is Hurley's Marketplace, which is found a short distance away to the southeast of Premier Wines & Spirits. The store is kept stocked with several thousand items from North America, Europe, and Asia in order to allow for variety in the kitchen. Certified Angus beef is sold in the meat department, while you can also buy locally caught seafood and fresh produce. They are located at 1053 Shamrock Road , on Grand Cayman.

Cayman Taffy Company: Cayman Taffy Company offers over 20 taffy flavors as well as a number of chocolate treats, toffee, peanut brittle, and caramel popcorn. Every piece of candy is made in the Cayman Islands, so you know that you will enjoy quality and freshness with every bite. If you would like to call ahead of time, you can do so at (345) 943-2333.

Take a minute to read this table for more information about your options.

Food and Grocery Stores In the Cayman Islands
Name Type Phone Location Island
Big Daddy's Fine Wine & Spirits Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 948-8186 West End Cayman Brac
Billy's Supermarket Grocery Store (345) 948-1321 Cayman Brac Cayman Brac
Cayman Taffy Company Confectionery and Nut Store (345) 943-2333 1.2 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Foster's Food Fair-IGA Grocery Store (345) 945-3663 1.1 mi. East of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
General Nutrition Center Nutrition and Body Care Store (345) 945-7690 1.1 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Hurley's Marketplace Grocery Store (345) 947-8488 2.2 mi. East of Central Georgetown Grand Cayman
Kirk Supermarket Grocery Store (345) 949-7022 0.6 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Paradise Coffee Coffee and Tea Store (345) 943-3388 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Peperman's Coffeehouse Coffee and Tea Store (345) 945-3751 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Pioneer Bakery Bakery (345) 948-0519 Grand Cayman Grand Cayman
Premier Wines & Spirits Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 943-3333 1.3 mi. Northeast of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Shopsmart Grocery Store (345) 943-2319 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Tortuga Rum Company Georgetown Bakery -- 0.9 mi. East of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
West Indies Wine Company Store Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 640-9492 1.8 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
Wine & Glass Ltd Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 945-1325 1.3 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman

...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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