Life in Cayman

Love where you live, live where you love.

If you are thinking about moving to or investing in the Cayman Islands, or have just taken the leap, congratulations! Welcome to the best decision you ever made.  As some one who made that leap almost 30 years ago, I know what I am talking about.

In Cayman, you work to live, not the the other way round.  The home / work balance is definitely in the favour of home and whilst work is fun, work mates are better, but happy hour with the gang is the best.  And happy hour in Cayman isn't just a Friday feeling.  

Feeling good about yourself, getting a fantastic dose of Vitamin D and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors with a great group of family and friends is what life in Cayman is all about. 

Safe, clean, sought after year round temperatures, with a growing economy and stable Government, and a population that prides itself on its CAYMANKIND kindness, this is the home you have been looking for. 

Any questions, ask us!  After all, I was standing in your shoes once upon a time. 

Somethings to know if you want to move/purchase property here.

Cayman is made up of 6 main districts:

George Town, West Bay, Bodden Town, East End, Northside and South Sound, with multiple villages within these areas.

George Town and South Sound are most central with West Bay at the top end of Seven Mile Beach popular for those wanting to be close to the action and the world famous beach.  

There are lots of clubs catering for all kinds of interests and activities. From sport to amatuer dramatics to art and music there literally is something for all ages to get involved with. Charities here raise an extraordinary amount of money for some great causes and there are regularly events to get involved with to this end.   Caymans population is made roughly made up of half native residents and half expatriates. This means new arrivals will not be short of finding like minded individuals seeking out friendships nor well established groups eager to welcome in new members. 

The Cayman Islands continue to have a strong faith and many various branches of the church are represented here.  Sunday is still recognised as a day of rest and most businesses are closed.

Supermarkets are not allowed to open on Sundays or religious days. Whilst many people here are visitors and a swim suit is the attire of the day, it is still expected for 'shirt and shoes' to be worn in shops, gas stations and so forth.   Many people head to the beach for cookouts to meet with family and friends  and make the most of many of the watersports.  Many restaurants offer fabulous Sunday Brunches too which are a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

Bringing these few things that you may not think about can speed up the process of getting organized and settled.

1    Your child’s current immunization records.
2    Any school references for your children so they can be appropriately placed.
3    A reference from your current or previous landlord.
4    A bank reference letter – necessary to open a local account.

Also note*

*Workers will need to have a work permit in place taken out by the employer on proving their are no Caymanians available to do the job.  Dependants are only allowed to also come, if certain financial thresholds are met.

*Visit first if you have the opportunity before you make up your mind about making roots here. Start up costs are not cheap and the laid back beach life style it isn't for everyone, especially those that miss family very much.  

*Not all properties and complexes allow pets so consider before bringing them with you as it can impact your choices.

*Expatriates will need to access private school facilities of which there are a few which are of a good standard. There is the option of US and UK curriculum.

*Workers are required to pay into a Government approved pension fund. 

*Independently wealthy residents can apply for permanent residency. 

Getting Around

Public transport is regulated in the Cayman Islands. There is a bus service that runs to each of the main areas of the island making getting around that much easier. They are abundant during rush hours. They are usually only a couple of dollars regardless of where you want to go. There are a few official bus stops around but it is easier just to flag one down when you see it approaching (single deck mini buses) and they will normally drop you at a spot that is mutually convenient.

There are a large number of taxis operating on the island and, like the buses, these are regulated with a central committee fixing the more than reasonable fares. Again, these can be flagged down or the numbers for them can be found in the local phone books. hire car companies are plentiful and offer pick up services.    Cars are readily available on the island for purchase, new and second hand, due to the transient population. Bringing your own vehicle from overseas can be an option but duty charges vary between 25-40% depending on the value of the vehicle, regardless of age and when it is brought down. Remember also that the climate here can be very tough on vehicles.

Wherever you live in Cayman, you will never be too far from the sea, shops, a bus route and you should always feel safe. Times are changing though and common sense dictates that doors and windows should be kept closed and locked.

Schools & Health Care

The medical facilities on Grand Cayman are good. There are an abundance of private clinics as well as Government Health Clinics in each district.  Health insurance is mandatory in almost all cases and all Doctor, dental and hospital visits need to be paid for. 
In George Town there is the Government Hospital and the privately run Chrissie Tomlinson Hospital. Both provide a full range of modern, up to date care in good surroundings. The Shetty Hospital in East End is attracting much interest and need from neighbouring islands and as well as offering specialist care, also provides  ‘medical tourism’ – focused around cosmetic surgery. There are other more central clinic also offering many of these procedures. In cases of extreme illness or injury patients are air lifted to the United States for further care. 

Education has come a long way in the last 25 years, with young people no longer needing to go off island for the best in secondary and further education.
As in health care, there are a vast range of governmental and private schools in the Cayman Islands, though expatriates are generally required to send their children to one of the many private schools on the island. Day care and preschools often provide care for babies allowing mums to return to work when necessary, up to the age of 5. This is complimented by Kindergarten in the private schools, and then standard education is available in both the American and British systems right through the grades to high school and college.  Cayman Prep & High School, Cayman International School and St. Ignatius Prep & High School, as well as Triple C School offer a full range of education to A level / graduation standard that are affiliated with many of the colleges in the US and UK.  The University of the Cayman Islands as well as UCCI offer many degree and technical programs. Local students as well as many overseas students attend the sites located in Savannah and George Town.

Food & Drink

Food is important to the people of Cayman.  There are multiple events around it that draw international interest and world famous celebratory chefs, as well as local food festivals celebrating traditional Caribbean food. It is food that brings friends and family around a table, no church meet is complete without a home cooked donation and no self respecting islander would consider a boat trip or beach day without some fabulous local delicacies to enjoy. 

There is a huge wealth of restaurants in Cayman, specialising in a vast range of flavours from around the world.  Many of the restaurants are world class and are owned / headed up by famous chefs, particularly in the hotels. 

Jerk Chicken, Conch in various forms, fried plantain, oxtail and rice and peas are just a few of my personal favourites. 

Most of the 'fancier' establishments can be found along the Seven Mile Beach / West Bay Rd entertainment strip.  However if you want good home cooked local food especially fresh fish, head to the districts!