How to get around on Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman island is a bit different from many other tropical or Caribbean destinations, in that there are not many all-inclusive resorts. Rather Cayman is known for a large and diverse culinary scene of individual restaurants and bars. As such, when you stay on Grand Cayman, you'll want to get out and see what the island has to offer.
This leads to the question - what is the best way to get around the island?
Unfortunately there are no ride-sharing services here like Uber or Lyft, so what are our alternatives?
Rent a car
Our first choice for transportation is renting your own car. With many car rental agencies on-island, car rentals are widely available and surprisingly inexpensive. At the time of this writing, a quick check of a popular travel website showed as little as $58 USD for a compact car weekly rental! All rental cars will be newer, in good shape and come with automatic transmissions. Some cars will be right hand drive, while others will be left hand.
While not 100% accurate, Google maps will work in the Cayman Islands. Turn-by-turn directions function reasonably well, and it can be a good way to navigate. For those who wish not to using roaming data, it is possible to download a map for later offline use with Google maps applications. Google maps seems to be the best mapping service to use presently. We find Apple maps isn't terribly accurate.
Now of course the Cayman Islands are a British Overseas Territory, and when driving here, one must drive on the left side of the road. For those unfamiliar, this can be an exciting novelty, or a terrifying nightmare. Also if you plan on indulging in adult beverages, it might be better to chose a different method of getting around. Be sure to read our other blog post on how to drive on the left.
The downside with car rentals, is you will (of course) get the hard sell on extra insurance, that will raise the price of the rental significantly. Before renting a car in Cayman, be sure to see if your car insurance or credit card will cover you when abroad - some will not. Some added expenses with a car will include a temporary Cayman driver's license - usually $16. Lastly, remember that gasoline is more expensive here - typically $4-5 KYD ($5-6.25 USD) per gallon.
Take a Taxi
Taxi's are an option here in the Cayman's. Taxi's here tend to be vans. They do not have meters for fare tracking, and tend to be a bit pricier than what you may be used to in the United States. Fares are based on the area you are going to, and sometimes subject to the driver's discretion. They also charge by the number of persons you have in your party. While taxi's are can be a good option for a large family traveling together, for singles or couples there are cheaper ways to get around.
Cayman's public busses are our favorite way to transit the island. Many destinations you'll want to travel to, are on or near a bus line. Busses here are also vans that hold up to 12 passengers and very inexpensive. Fares range from $2 to $5 KYD ($2.50 -$6 USD) depending on what route you are taking. An oddity of the Cayman Bus system is you pay the driver when you get off the bus, rather than when getting on. During slow times, drivers will sometimes even deviate from their routes to get you right to your doorstep.
Busses can be hailed from anywhere on the road. While there are some designated bus stops, simply wave at a passing bus and they will pull over to let you board.
A full bus map may be found here.