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ER RATES GENERIC BACKPACK

Where can I use the Cayman Islands Dollar?

In the Cayman Islands! The Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD) is the official currency used in the Cayman Islands. It's usually abbreviated with the symbol CI$ to distinguish it from other dollar currencies. 

The US dollar is also widely accepted throughout the islands. The CI$ is fixed to the US dollar at $1.25 US Dollars to $1.00 Cayman Islands Dollar.

ER MONEY GO FURTHER

How much spending money do I need for the Cayman Islands?

The Cayman Islands are generally much more expensive than the UK as they still import 90% of their food and consumer goods. Supermarkets tend to sell pretty much anything from across the world, including Waitrose sausage rolls! A 20% import tax is added to most items, so expect to pay more of a premium for food and alcohol. 

We've included a detailed breakdown of costs below, but at a glance we'd recommend:

  • Budget traveller- £120 per day
  • Mid-range - £120-£200 per day 
  • Luxury - £200+ per day 

Useful tip: If you're travelling around the islands, the best way to get around is by hiring a car. This can range from £15 to £58 depending on the size and model of the car. You'll also need to factor in the price of a local driving permit, which costs around £15.

Budget your Cayman Islands trip

Most visitors to the Cayman Islands spend their time shopping, eating out, relaxing by the beach or swimming with stingrays. 

Cayman Island’s capital, George Town, is home to the must-see Seven Mile Beach with its beautiful beaches, bars and high-end restaurants. Popular itineraries also include a trip to Little Cayman, where you'll find one of the island's most famous beaches called Point of Sand. Point of Sand's shallow waters makes it a great place to snorkel - you might even spot a loggerhead turtle! 

Shopping in the Cayman Islands is duty-free, so it's a great place to stock up on items such as watches, china, crystal, perfume, luxury cosmetics and fine jewellery. The most popular place for shopping is George Town and Seven Mile Beach. 

Low budget 

Medium budget 

High budget 

Overall budget for 1 day pp: less than C$125 Overall budget for 1 day pp: C$125-210 Overall budget for 1 day pp: more than C$210

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • Street food or self catering C$8-C$11
  • Cheap hotel room: C$133 per night
  • Beer: $3.80-C$5.50

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • Double room at midrange hotel: C$167–250
  • Two-course dinner with drink: C$33-42

Food, drink & accommodation in budget

  • Double room at top-end hotel: from C$210
  • Three-course dinner with drinks: C$40-100

Activities in budget

  • Minibus: C$2.50
  • Lounging on Seven Mile Beach: Free
  • Hiking in Cayman Brac: free

Activities in budget

  • Taxi ride: C$17
  • Snorkel trip: C$33-43
  • Cycling in West Bay: bike hire from C$10
  • Stingray City group tour: from C$40

Activities in budget

  • Car rental: C$30-40
  • Two-tank dive: C$90
  • 3-hour food and cultural tour of George Town and Camana Bay: C$100

Typical costs in the Cayman Islands

Food

If you're on a budget, street food will cost between £7-£10 (C$8-C$11). A two-course lunch or dinner in a mid-range restaurant will cost you between £30-£45 (C$33-50). For a luxury option expect to pay upwards from £50 (C$55) per person.

Sleeping

Hostels aren't really a thing in the Cayman Islands, but budget hotel rooms start from £125 per night (C$133). A double at a mid-range hotel starts from £150 (C$166) and anywhere upwards from £190 (C$208) for a luxury stay.

Drinking

A beer will cost you between £3.50 and £6 depending on the type of bar/restaurant you're in. Opt for a local beer like Caybrew to keep costs down. More of a soft drink person? A good cup of coffee will cost £3.50-£4 and a coca-cola about £2.

ER DENOMINATIONS DENOMINATIONS

What denominations do Cayman Island Dollars come in?

The Cayman Island Dollar comes in the following notes and coins:

Banknotes

$1, $5, $10, $25, $50 and $100 dollars

Coins

1c, 5c, 10c, 15c, 25c, 50c, $1, $2

Cayman Island Dollars FAQs

Can I use US dollars in the Cayman Islands?

US Dollars are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and attractions, but unless the rate is posted in US Dollars it's usually better value to pay with Cayman Island Dollars. This is because the vendor will typically add an extra foreign exchange fee to convert the price into US Dollars. 

What currency is KYD?

KYD is the abbreviation for Cayman Islands Dollar, the official currency of the Cayman Islands. The currency symbol is C$ to distinguish it from other dollar currencies.

Are the Cayman Islands expensive?

The Cayman Islands are expensive relative to other popular holiday destinations. 80% of goods are imported to the islands, which drives up the cost of everyday items. The Cayman Islands' tourist industry is also heavily focused on luxury travel so while the quality of food and accommodation is typically high, you'll pay a premium for it. 

As with anywhere, it's definitely possible to get by on a budget in the Cayman Islands by opting for free activities like hiking and lounging by the beach, and by getting your food from supermarkets and street food vendors. 

Because of the high prices, it's wise to take a bit more cash with you than you would for a typical European beach holiday. That way you'll have peace of mind and you won't get stung by credit card fees while you're away. 

Do I need cash or card for the Cayman Islands?

Cities and popular tourist resorts typically accept major credit cards, but you'll still need cash for tips, taxis, buses, markets and buying food and drinks from local eateries. When you get out into small towns, you'll definitely need cash.

It's worth being mindful that any transactions using non-domestic credit cards will be charged in US Dollars which means that you'll usually be charged a non-sterling exchange fee of around 3% to the transaction, plus a fee to convert the currency from Cayman Island Dollars to US Dollars. 

It's a good idea to order your Cayman Island Dollars before you go, as you'll always get a better exchange rate than withdrawing from the ATM when you arrive. ATMs in Cayman Islands usually charge a non-sterling exchange fee of around 3% of the transaction, plus a charge to withdraw the cash. If you use your UK card in shops and restaurants, a spending fee of 50p-£1.50 will also typically be applied each time you use your card.

Are the Cayman Islands tax free?

The Cayman Islands are a tax-free country, including no tax for shopping. Most items you'll buy are both duty and sales tax free, which means they can bought at a much lower price than in either the Unites States or Europe. A shopper's paradise!

How much should I tip in the Cayman Islands?

Tipping is commonplace across the Cayman Islands. In restaurants, 10-15% will usually be automatically added to your bill. If it isn't, it's polite to add a tip of the same amount (or more if you've had exceptionally good service). 

Resorts or hotels often add a 15% service charge to the bill. If not, tip C$1-3 a day for housekeeping.

In taxis, agree the fare before you get in the cab and tip 10-15% on top of this.

For tour guides, anywhere from C$10 is acceptable for a half-day tour. 

Can I haggle in the Cayman Islands?

Haggling isn't common-place in the Cayman Islands as prices in duty-free shops are already heavily discounted.

Buy Back

Leftover Cayman Islands Dollars?

No problem. We'll buy back any Cayman Islands Dollars you have leftover at excellent rates, leaving you with more cash in your pocket (and a tidier desk drawer).

We will buy back up to GBP300 worth of currency per order, as per our terms and conditions.

To request a buy back, email [email protected] with your order number. 

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