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 might want to visit One 345 Swanky Shack, which is located in downtown Georgetown. 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. The property can be found at 65 North Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

A second place to consider is Harley Davidson Grand Cayman, which is found 0.4 mi. (0.6 km) from One 345 Swanky Shack. Originally gaining popularity for their finely crafted motor cycles, Harley Davidson is now a house hold name, and one that is celebrated. If you've got a Harley lover in your immediate circle, stop by this Cayman Islands location before heading home to pick up a souvenir.

Another place you might enjoy is Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet. With over 1600 unique souvenir items available at Blue Iguana Souvenir Outlet, you can be certain that you'll find something "Cayman" for every person on your shopping list. The convenient location on the waterfront in George Town allows you to stop in as you tour the popular tourist area. They're on South Church Street .

Many gift and souvenir shops in the Cayman Islands are shown right below.

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
Harley Davidson Grand Cayman Gift and Souvenir Shops -- Downtown Georgetown
Last Chance Souvenir Gift and Souvenir Shops (345) 945-4024 1.6 mi. East 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

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 interesting speciality shops in this area is Eden Rock Diving Center. They are located within 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 world during your island stay. They're at 124 South Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Another option is Lobster Pot Dive Center, which is located within a mile to the north of Eden Rock Diving Center. A PADI 5 Star Dive Resort that works in partnership with local dive boat operators, Deep Blue Divers and Wall To Wall Diving, Lobster Pot Dive Center offers daily dive training, certification and boat diving with some of the top professionals in the field. This dive facility has its own dock which is a rarity among dive operators on island. They're 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 Buckley 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. Guests can find them at 245 North Church Street, on Grand Cayman.

Many of the specialty shops located in the Cayman Islands are summarized in the following chart.

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
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
Cathy Church Underwater Photo Gallery Art Gallery (345) 949-7415 0.8 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Cayman Islands National Gallery Art Gallery (345) 945-8111 Seven Mile Beach
DI Watch and Design Jewelry Store (345) 949-3688 Downtown Georgetown
Deep Blue Divers Dive Shop (345) 916-1293 Georgetown
Divers Down Dive Shop (345) 945-1611 Georgetown
Divers Supply Dive Shop (345) 949-7621 1.7 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
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
Duty Free Cuban Cigars Tobacconist and Cigar Shop (345) 322-0208 0.6 mi. South West of Central West End
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
Esteban Gallery Art Gallery (345) 947-2787 0.6 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
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
Waterman Cayman Surf Surfing Gear Store (345) 769-7873 0.7 mi. South of Central Seven Mile Beach

Clothing and Apparel

Looking for some clothing? Consider dropping by Lladro Boutique -- it's found within 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. To talk to them, call (345) 949-7477.

Another place to consider is Atlantic Kids Clothing -- which is found to the of Lladro Boutique. 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.

A third apparel shop you might want to visit is Atlantic Department Store. Whether you're in need of a new outfit, a special piece of jewelry, or some pretty lingerie, you'll find it all in this expansive department store. If you would like to call before booking a room, do so at (345) 945-5824.

Take a moment to look through the following table 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 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
Funky Monkey General Clothing Store (345) 943-8659 0.5 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach
Godfrey's Enterprise Ltd Clothing Store (345) 949-7953 0.2 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Infinity Fashions Boutique (345) 949-1063 5.8 mi. North of Central Georgetown
Just Add Water Boutique (345) 945-4208 0.5 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach
Lladro Boutique Boutique (345) 949-7477 Downtown Georgetown
Penha Boutique (345) 949-6513 Downtown Georgetown
Swatch Boutique Boutique (345) 949-7477 Downtown Georgetown
The Beach Boutique Boutique (345) 949-8128 1.2 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown

Food and Grocery

Got the munchies? 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. If you'd like to call before making reservations, do so at (345) 943-3333.

A second option is GC's Liquor Depot, which is located 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. They're at 1428 West Bay Rd, on Grand Cayman.

Hurley's Marketplace: 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. Visitors will be able to find them at 1053 Shamrock Road , on Grand Cayman.

Check the table just below for more information.

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
Big Daddy's Fine Wines & Spirits Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 949-8763 Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman
Billy's Supermarket Grocery Store (345) 948-1321 Cayman Brac Cayman Brac
Foster's Food Fair-IGA Grocery Store (345) 945-3663 1.1 mi. East of Downtown Georgetown Grand Cayman
GC's Liquor Depot Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (345) 924-7332 3.6 mi. North of Central 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
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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