Cayman Islands Driving Guide
Cayman Islands is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit.
The charming and incredible Cayman Islands, the desired Caribbean getaway for travelers that want adventure and relaxation, you may discover coral reefs and shipwrecks underwater, hike through a 200-year-old Mastic Trail, or go to an interactive swim at Stingray City. Whichever way you want to go and activities you want to do, the Cayman Islands can certainly provide for you.
Expensive tours wouldn't be enough for you to discover the islands. Traveling by public transportations would accumulate more time in your vacation that it needs. If you want to find out what the islands have in store, car rentals are the best way to travel. You can manage your own time and have a fantastic road trip to each destination. This guide will help you know what you can-and-can't do and what documents you need to rent a car and enjoy your trip as a seasoned driver of the Cayman roads, not to mention the destinations you can go to while driving in the Island.
How Can This Guide Help You?
When visiting other countries without knowing the essential information before your travel, you might end up regretting your vacation. Understanding this guide can help you prevent many disasters that might come your way, and who knows, you might go home without having the authorities giving you any ticket violation. This guide's content includes the Cayman Islands’ border status, general information like driving in the Cayman Islands with zip codes, driving etiquette, and so much more.
The Cayman Islands is a group of islands under the United Kingdom territory in the Caribbean Sea. It's made up of the Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and the Cayman Brac, located about 180miles (290km) northwest of Jamaica. The islands are from the outcroppings of a submerged mountain range that stretches northeastward from Belize to Cuba. Their capital city, George Town, is on the Grand Cayman.
Current Border Status and Updates
As of October 1, 2020, airports and ports for international passengers departing and arriving are still closed in Cayman Island. Travelers may only enter Cayman Island if they're Caymanians or have permanent residence in the area. Other visitors may be approved if they are studying in Cayman Island with a student visa and persons with family ties (spouses, fiances, parents, grandparents, and siblings) or has work permit holders.
Although leaving Cayman Island doesn't need approval, Governments continue to warn that outbound travels should only be limited to essential or medical needs until regular air services resume. If you want to know more about the travel restrictions about a country, check the travel restrictions page of the International Driver’s Association now by clicking this link: https://internationaldriversassociation.com/travel-restrictions/
Entry Requirements to the Cayman Islands
Visitors from the United States, Canada, UK, Jamaica, Indi, China, and the British Commonwealth, do not require a visa for the Cayman Islands if their primary purpose is to travel. They are permitted to stay for a maximum of six months, but you will be required to present your return ticket upon arrival in the Cayman Islands. Also, if you're not a prohibited immigrant and you provided an immigration officer documents stating that you are:
- Approved by a work permit to work in the Cayman Islands
- A dependant of the license to the person named in a work permit
- A person who has permission to reside permanently
- A holder of a valid re-entry permit
If you are one of the listed above, you are also not required to provide a visa upon entering the Cayman Islands, even if you are from a country that needs to have a visa. Prohibited immigrants include the penniless, mentally disordered, persons that are a health hazard to the community, a prostitute or living in prostitution, previously deported, a convicted person sentenced to twelve months or more, and declared to be undesirable immigrants for economic or moral reasons.
For travelers that require a visa, you may visit the Cayman Resident website for more information about their requirements.
Safety Protocols in the Cayman Islands
To minimize the spread of the Covid-19 on Cayman Island, they have implemented a vital and several layers of protection. A multi-agency public sector team executed a safe and efficient quarantine process; these are:
- PCR testing
- Observing through geofencing technology
- personal duty and commitment to follow guidelines
- Random checks and penalties for non-compliance
For inbound travel:
- Check if you're included in the categories of eligible travelers.
- All travelers must be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival.
- Apply to a Travel Cayman team to request your choice of quarantine arrangement and for you to travel.
- Should have health insurance with Covid-19 coverage
- PCR testing for all travelers upon arrival
General Knowledge About the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands is a group of islands under the United Kingdom territory in the Caribbean Sea. The country is composed of three islands: the Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and the Cayman Brac, and it is located about 180miles (290km) northwest of Jamaica - a country which they were dependent on in the 20th century.
Where is the Cayman Islands Located Geographically?
The Cayman Islands is located to the south of Cuba and northeast of Honduras, and it is between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The Cayman Islands is considered a part of the geographic Western Caribbean Zone and the Greater Antilles - a grouping of large islands in the Caribbean Sea.
What is the Language They Speak?
The Cayman Islands' official language is English, heard in various dialects, and Spanish is often a second language. Caymanian ancestry is mainly British but has about one-fifth of European, one-fifth of blacks descended from African slaves, and two-fifths mixed African and European ancestry. The rest are of other mixed heritage or ex-pirates.
What Is the Land Area of the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Islands land area is about 259 square kilometers (100 square miles). The Cayman Islands are located between two tectonic plates, moving eastward and westward - minor tremors cause the plates' movements.
What’s the History of the Cayman Islands?
Cristopher Columbus found the Cayman Islands on May 10, 1503, during his last journey to the West Indies. It's first named Las Tortugas by the Spaniards because of the many turtles around the area. By 1530 it was known as Caimanas or Caymanes for alligators reported to be natives on the island. Jamaica conceded a number of the Caribbean islands, including the Caymans, to Great Britain after the "Treaty of Madrid" in 1670, which resulted in the first permanent settlement on the Grand Cayman.
At that time, most of the island population were British mariners, pirates, shipwrecked passengers, African slaves, and the land-grant holders from Jamaica. Because of the combination following the freeing of slaves in 1835, the remote islands became a socially equal society. Politically the Cayman Islands was an internally self-governing territory of Jamaica (1958 to 162) until they relapsed to direct British rule in 1962.
Today, the Cayman Islands is still a popular tax haven since they never implemented any income tax, capital gain tax, property tax, payroll tax, withholding tax, or any wealth tax on the island.
What Is the Island’s Zip Code?
The postal service inside the island uses the Cayman Islands Postal Codes for inbound mails on the island. These postal codes consist of the island code, hyphen separator, and a section code introduced in 2006. Since the Cayman Islands is a small portion of the Caribbean Sea, there are only three island codes, meaning if you're driving in the Cayman Islands, the zip code would only change if you take a boat ride to another island of the Cayman, and these island codes are:
- KY1 for Grand Cayman
- KY2 for Cayman Brac
- KY3 for Little Cayman
What is the Population of the Island?
The Cayman Islands is a group of islands in the Caribbean sea and are from the outcroppings of a submerged mountain range. That's why the population in the area is smaller than the other islands globally. According to the Cayman Islands statistics in 2018, released by the Economics and Statistics Office (ESO), there is a population of around 65,813, broken down as follows:
- George Town - 34,878
- West Bay - 12,624
- Bodden Town - 12,649
- North Side - 1,678
- East End - 1,979
- Sister Islands Cayman Brac and Little Cayman - 2,006
What Is Their Government?
The island's government's structure came into effect in 2009 that provided internal independence under a governor, council, and a Legislative Assembly headed by the British monarch (represented by the governor). The governor leads most of the government's responsibilities, such as the council, foreign affairs, defense, internal security, and the police. Under the governor's care, a deputy governor must be a Caymanian, that assists the governor and head of the civil service.
The council consists of a premier, six other members selected by the governor, and two non-voting members. Lastly, the Legislative Assembly consists of 3 non-elected members from the council and 15 elected members.
What Are the Facts about Their Tourism?
The Cayman Islands has a tropical climate making it one of the area's main assets for their economy regarding tourism. The islands' temperatures are moderate and have an average of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). The rainy seasons are from mid-May to October, and colder temperatures are from November to March, ranging between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius).
International Driver’s Permit for the Cayman Islands
The quickest and easiest way to enjoy the island is by car, and to do that, you would need to have an International Driver's Permit. An IDP is a translation of your native license, meaning it can eliminate the potential language barrier between you and the authorities. And here, we will answer some of the most frequent questions about the IDP.
What Are the Benefits of Using an International Driver’s Permit in the Cayman Islands?
When using an International Driver's Permit in the Cayman Islands, you are permitted to drive around its premises, and rental car companies will require you to have an IDP before you look for a vehicle to rent. The IDP is a translation of your native license and is highly recommended to citizens with non-English permits.
Suppose you're traveling is from a country that's part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and has a valid drivers licence and IDP. In that case, you can start driving in the Cayman Islands for six months, but if you're not from a country that's not part of the OECD, you can ride for one month around the area together with your valid license and IDP.
Is My Local Driver’s License Valid in Cayman Island?
All local licenses are valid in the Cayman Islands as long as you have an IDP or Visitors Permit with you. If caught driving without any of the two, you may be fined, sent to jail, or deported. If you think to rent a car in the Cayman Islands, you will not be permitted by the car rental companies if you don't have an IDP.
Does An International Driver’s Permit Replace A Native License?
An International Driver's Permit does not replace your license. It is part of the country's requirement if you wish to drive while visiting. An IDP also does not permit you to navigate around your home country. It is not a driver's license, and depending on where you live, the consequences may either be light or not.
When Can I Apply For an International Driver’s Permit?
Applying for an International Driver's License will depend entirely on you. You may register as early as one to three years or as late as two to three months before your flight. Applying for an IDP three years before your travel will give you lots of time to plan on your vacation, and you would be able to save some pocket money knowing that you have one less requirement on your list.
Where Can I Apply For an International Driver’s Permit for the Cayman Islands?
You may apply for an IDP online if you want to take advantage of the early registration, or you may register once you get to the Cayman Islands. To apply for an IDP in the Cayman Islands, you would need to go to your chosen car hire company and fill out the IDP form.
Do I Need an International Driver’s Permit?
Having an International Driver's Permit in the Cayman Islands is a must if you want to drive in the country. Whether which country you're from, just as long as you're not a “prohibited immigrant,” you will need to apply for an International Driver's Permit.
Who Needs an International Driver’s Permit?
All travelers who would want to go to the Cayman Islands must have an International Driver's Permit if you're going to drive around the country. It's also better to have different experiences of road rules when driving in the Cayman Islands than riding public transport. The roads on the Cayman Islands are in good condition, and it's easy to navigate your way around the area.
When Will I Use My International Driver’s Permit?
You can use your IDP once your rental car has been delivered or have chosen a vehicle to rent when you arrive in the Cayman Islands. When driving in the Cayman Islands, one requirement is your IDP. You would need to have your IDP together with your local license and a copy of your car insurance every time you navigate the Cayman Islands roads
How Long is an International Driver’s Permit Valid?
The validity of your International Driver's Permit will also depend entirely on you. For example, you registered for a three-year effect on your IDP; then it will be valid for three years. The same concept goes to two years and one-year validity.
Would An International Driver’s Permit Still Be Valid When Your Native License Expired?
The International Driver's Permit is only valid when your driver's license is still in effect. If your IDP is still useful for a couple of months or years, but your local driver's license expired, you will not be able to use your IDP until you have renewed your driver's license.
What To Do If I Lost My International Driver’s Permit?
If you lost your International Driver's Permit, you could contact the company where you registered your IDP for them to replace it. If you applied for an IDP in the International Driver's Association, you could reach them through call or message them on their website stating that you have lost your IDP. The company would first get some information about you for verification and replace your IDP for free - the only thing you would shoulder is the shipping fee.
Renting a Car in the Cayman Islands
Driving in the Cayman Islands is easier and quicker to get around the island. With the help of car hire companies, you can easily choose the type of vehicle you want during your stay. Before renting a car, there are a few factors that you need to know when driving in the Cayman Islands, like your requirements, budget, and the type of vehicle to use. When exploring the island, renting a car is far more affordable than an organized tour.
Where to Rent a Car?
There are multiple rental companies on the island, so you won't have a hard time finding a car hire that would suit your preference. Take note that some companies will require you to make a reservation 6 to 36 hours before you pick-up your vehicle. These rental companies are:
- Avis in Grand Cayman Airport and West Bay Road in George Town
- Budget in Grand Cayman Airport
- Cayman Auto Rentals in Church St. in George Town
- Hertz in Grand Cayman Airport
- Thrifty in Grand Cayman Airport
Companies like Avis and Hertz are international car rental companies. If you want to have an early reservation, you may do so on their website before arriving on the island. We all know that booking online is more convenient than giving yourself the trouble to travel to their office when you know that it can be delivered at the airport at the time of your arrival.
What Are the Documents Needed?
Renting a car in the Caymans is easy if you have your valid driver's license and IDP. If you fail to present your IDP, the company can provide you with a Visitor's Permit during the time of your rental. You will also need your credit card to pay for the expenses when renting a car. Companies make sure that every customer is satisfied with their accommodation and the vehicle of their choosing.
Having an IDP when you choose to rent a car is far easier for visitors with a non-English driver's license. It can eliminate any language barrier, and you could have a smooth and easy process.
What Vehicle Types Can You Rent?
When renting, you need to know what options are available and what kind of category of vehicle you want to rent. You may wish to rent a motorcycle, scooter, or mobile car. If you have your family or friends with you, it's less expensive to rent an SUV, a nine-seater van, or an economy car. Having to rent a car means you can save a lot of your pocket money than public transportation.
What Are the Age Requirements?
To rent a car, the driving age in the Cayman Islands must be 21 to 25 years old (depending on the company) and has held a license for at least two years to rent a car or have full coverage on the insurance, but not more than 75 years old. Make sure to talk to the car hire company before signing any agreement with them.
Do I Need to Apply for Car Insurance to Rent a Car?
Applying for car insurance in the Cayman Islands is part of the requirement when renting. There are some places on the island that would need you to invest more in car insurance, and there is some insurance that might not be applicable in your trip. Make sure to read the fine print on your agreement and talk to the company before signing anything. You might pay an immense amount more than you need to on your vacation.
Road Rules in the Cayman Islands
There are many different nationalities in Cayman, meaning there are car drivers in the area from other countries. Knowing the island's road rules are highly advised if you want to drive in the Cayman Islands, like the max speed limit and disabled parking badge. This section will discuss all of the essential rules and some of the Cayman Islands' standard regulations that you might also hear in your hometown.
What Is the Law About Drinking and Driving in the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Islands Drinking and Driving rule is one of the road rules that are strictly enforced. If you are caught having more than 0.100% alcohol (100mg in 100ml of blood) in your system, you will either be fined CI$1,000 (Cayman Islands Dollars) or sent to jail for six months. You also lose your driving rights (i.e., driving license in the Cayman Islands or IDP) for a year. During the islands' holiday seasons, the National Drug Council grants free bus ride services to prevent extreme road accidents.
Is There a Law About Texting While Driving?
Although the rule of texting while driving is standard around the world. On Cayman Island, the use of a mobile phone without using a hands-free device, while driving can get you penalized for CI$150. The only exception to this is contacting the emergency hotline, 911, to report an accident, and it is impossible to stop the car.
What Are the General Standards of Driving in the Cayman Islands?
Knowing the basic rules is as important as knowing the essential road rules. The only difference is that basic rules won't get you in deep trouble. You may get away with a warning or a ticket without any means of losing your driving privileges or getting jail time.
The speed limit on the island ranges 40 to 80 km/h (25 to 50 mph), but if you're inside a school zone, the speed limit is slower, about 24km/h (15mph) when there are road markings or signs that are posted, or if there are amber lights are flashing. Speed limit is strictly observed, especially in school zones. That's why speeding tickets can be quickly given to people that go over the speed limit.
Children Car Seats
One of the traffic regulations on the island is the car seats for children. Car seats are for children under two years old and should not be suited in front of a chair that has an airbag. It is to make sure that infants won't suffocate on the airbag in case it suddenly inflates. A rear-facing child's car seat may have to be installed in your car as well.
Disabled Parking Badge
Disabled parking badges are for physically impaired people. You can register at the Department of Vehicles and Drivers Licensing or DVDL for CI$5 or CI$50 if you prefer a license plate. Suppose a person is caught illegally parking on disabled spots. In that case, they will be receiving a ticket or sometimes publicly shame you on their social media page where they post pictures and videos of you illegally parking - sometimes both.
What Are the Speed Limits in the Cayman Islands?
Like any other country globally, the Cayman Islands also has different speed limits for different roads. When driving in the Cayman Islands town and city, the speed limit is between 40-48 km/h (25-30mph), open roads are usually 64km/h (40mph), and for bigger roads, it's 80km/h (50mph).
What Is the Seat Belt Law in the Cayman Islands?
Caymanians are very strict when it comes to the road rules, and even as simple as forgetting your seat belts, you can get pulled by the authorities. Not wearing a seatbelt may not be as heavy as overspeeding, and visitors on the island may get away with a warning. But to have a stress free road trip, make sure always to check your seatbelt if it's appropriately clipped.
What Is the Right of Way?
Knowing when to give way to other vehicles in a foreign country saves you from arguments and accidents. On the Cayman Islands, they have a few of the four-way-stops where all cars that would approach it will make a full stop, and whoever gets to stop first in the four-way-stop will be the one who proceeds first.
If you're on a roundabout, all vehicles move clockwise and give way to all traffic coming from the right. And if you see a school bus flashing its light and had entirely stopped, drivers cannot pass the bus - front and rear sides. It allows children to get on and off the bus smoothly and cross the road if they need to.
What Is the Legal Driving Age?
Like most countries, the Cayman Islands' legal driving age is 18 years old, and you must have a full driver's license before getting behind the wheel. Car hire companies on the island require the visitor to be at least 21 years old and have held a license for two years to rent a car. Although, if your age is under 25, you might not get full coverage on insurance, better talk to the company first to make sure if you have or don't have a full-length if you're under the said age.
Is There a Law About Overtaking?
On the island, if you're on the road with a single or double solid white (sometimes yellow) position in the middle of the road, you cannot overtake the car in front of you. Additionally, if you see a school bus on the road that has entirely stopped and flashed its lights, you can not pass them, whether you are in front or behind the bus since kids are getting on and off the bus and with some crossing the road.
What Side of the Road Will You Drive on the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Islands is part of the British territory, and just like most of the countries in the United Kingdom, the island operates on the left side of the road. Driving in the Cayman Islands city roundabouts, you need to stay in the right-hand lane if you're going straight, and if you're turning left, you would need to remain in the lleft-hand lane.
Driving Etiquette in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands is a remarkably safe place for both tourists and residents, and one of the safest locations on the island when driving is the Grand Cayman. With courteous drivers, well-lit streets, well-paved roads, and scheduled beaches, you can only truly enjoy the beautiful island if you decide to rent a car.
What If Your Car Breaks Down?
If your car unexpectedly broke down in the middle of the road, you would need to call your insurance company to assist you with your rental car. According to a Cayman Resident website, the island doesn't have any roadside assistance, unlike other countries. However, not all insurance companies provide this kind of support.
If you're unsure on where to get your insurance, you want to look up Fidelity Insurance and The Insurance Company of the West Indies (Cayman) Limited (ICWI). They offer battery jumpstarts, flat tire change, and towing as part of their services.
What If the Police Stops You?
Police officers in the Cayman Islands are called The Royal Cayman Islands Police Services or RCIPS. The RCIPS is the national police service that has a unified command structure. They are unarmed services, with a fortified response capacity to give a full range of police service all around the Cayman Islands. When concerning police stops, it is pretty standard on the island since many visitors don't follow the most straightforward road rules like violating the max speed limit, not wearing a seat belt, and mobile phone use when driving.
Police officers on the island are friendly even if they give you a ticket if you violated some road rules. And some might ask you for something in return so that you could go on a warning, do not agree to bribery even if they insist. Politely decline the offer, and if they still pursue you on what they want, you may report them at the nearest police station.
What If You Ask for Directions?
Asking for directions in the Cayman Islands is as easy as breathing since their primary language is English. Most of the locals on the island wouldn't mind if you ask for directions; they would willingly help you find your way around and give you an accurate guide on where you need to go.
What If There Are Checkpoints?
When going to checkpoints in the Cayman Islands, approach the police officer and allow the officer in charge to speak to you. Prepare all documents such as driver's license, IDP, and passport. Driving in the Cayman Islands during quarantine is still the same when meeting a checkpoint, and essential workers should have a letter prepared by the company that states they are required to go to work.
For more information about the RCIPS, you can visit The Cayman Islands Government's social media page, where they post video updates about driving in the Cayman Islands, especially when driving in the Cayman Islands during the quarantine.
What Is the Best Time to Visit the Cayman Islands?
The Cayman Islands is a hot and humid, tropical island all year round with cool weather from late November to mid-April, but the best time to visit the island is from March to June, where the summer season is at its peak. During this time, the water is clear and calm, perfect for sailing, fishing, snorkeling, and diving. Also, driving around the Cayman Islands during this weather is ideal since these months don't frequently rain.
Meanwhile, June to November is the time of the rainiest season. Hotels are up to 50% off since it's the time where there are a few visitors on the island. Driving in the Cayman Islands during this weather is dangerous since the roads are slippery. So let's say you visit during the rainy season. If you are driving in the Cayman Islands now, you would need to be extra cautious on the road and always check your tires if it's in good condition to have a safe drive.
How can I Exchange my License for a Caymanian Driving License?
To exchange your license for a Caymanian driving license, you must become a legal resident first on the island. You would need to visit any DVDL office no later than three months after migrating to the Cayman Islands. At the Department of Vehicles and Drivers Licensing or DVDL, you must provide the needed documents to schedule a theory exam. Taking this exam means that you understood their traffic laws. Once you passed the exam, you would need to pay a transfer fee of CI$50 to have it processed.
Driving Situations and Conditions
Knowing the driving situations and conditions in a foreign country could mentally prepare you if you find yourself in a challenging position on the road, especially if you're driving in the Cayman Islands now during the pandemic, where you could expect more checkpoints on the road and curfews.
Are Caymanians Safe Drivers When it Comes to Driving in a Taxi in the Cayman Islands?
Locals on the island aren't just delightful if you want to ask them something, but they're also lovely on the road. Caymanians are safe drivers whether they're driving in a taxi in the Cayman Islands. Even if the island feels too populated because of foreign tourists, locals take extra caution even if their job is truck driving in the Cayman Islands.
Especially in 2018, when an insurance company launched a campaign called "Cayman's Safest Driver." It is an application where it identifies whether you're a safe driver on the road by the car's vibrations and scores each trip you made within the day, but they would need to turn on their GPS for it to work. And when the campaign stopped, one lucky driver got the chance to win up to CI$10,000.
How Frequent are Road Accidents in the Cayman Islands?
In 2019, there were about 7,850 traffic tickets given to the Cayman Islands people (locals and tourists), compared to 2018, where there were 7,525, which increased by 4.23% since travelers overpopulated the island. Speeding tickets also rose from 2,124 in 2018 to 3,094 in 2019 (45.7%).While drinking under the influence (DUI) of alcohol decreased from 321 in 2018 to 272 in 2019 (15.3%). Still, about 24% of DUI's in 2019 were suspected of having doubled and tripled the legal limit when breathalyzed by police officers.
Motor vehicle accidents also increased in 2019 by 2,806 compared to 2,409 in 2018 (16.4%). It resulted in about nine fatalities, 21 heavily injured, and 438 slightly injured. Almost all of these accidents were caused by one driver who was driving under the influence of alcohol.
What Are the Common Vehicles Used in the Cayman Islands?
The most typical vehicles used on the island are compact cars, SUVs, and Vans since most of the visitors in the area would be most likely to have more than two companions. A few use camper vans on the island since many travelers would prefer to stay in hotels near the beach.
Are They Using KmH or MpH?
Since the Cayman Islands is under British territory, they use the miles per hour as their speed measurement just like any other country in the UK. Even though they've officially converted to KpH, citizens under the United Kingdom are still using MpH.
What Is the Road Situation in the Cayman Islands?
Road conditions on the island are flat and are simple to navigate. They are well maintained, and you'll get a probability to see that there are little to no potholes on all of the roads on the island. And most of the people on the forum on one website said that "they can not compare the streets on the Cayman Islands to other countries around the world."
Things That You Can Do in the Cayman Islands
Driving as a tourist in the Cayman Islands may be an excellent experience for all tourist drivers, especially if you're tired of the extensive traffic in your country. But how about driving on the island as a worker, let's say truck driving jobs in the Cayman Islands or driving a taxi in Cayman Island? It is possible to work in the Cayman Islands if you want to, but there are things that you need to understand before you start looking for a hiring driving job in the Cayman Islands.
You would need to know that there are two types of working visas (the Temporary Work Permit and the Yearly Work Permit Grant) on the island, and once you understand these, you can easily apply for any driving jobs in the Cayman Islands.
Can I Drive As A Tourist in the Cayman Islands?
Driving as a tourist on the island is certainly possible, but operating as a worker while having a tourist visa, well, that's a whole different matter. Having a job, especially a driving job in the Cayman Islands, while having a tourist visa can get you deported and get you into their list of prohibited immigrants or sent to jail, which would also get you on their said list.
The government on the Cayman Islands is continually checking immigrant workers to ensure that they are and still legally permitted to work on the island. So they can easily catch and arrest you if you're working illegally.
What Are the Driving Related Requirements for Long-Term Stay?
Deciding that you want to stay longer on the island would require you to find a job on the Cayman Islands and have a working visa. When applying for a working visa, you would need to get hired by an employer first since they're the ones who would register you to the Cayman Islands Government Department of Workforce Opportunities and Residency Cayman (WORC). The employee must also have a basic understanding of the English language to perform their driving duties in the Cayman Islands efficiently.
One requirement when finding a driving job in the Cayman Islands is the English language. For people that didn't grow up in a country that has a native English language, you are required to take a test from the "International English Language Test Systems" (IELTS) or in "Test of English for International Communication" (TOEIC) for the employer to identify if you can understand the language.
Also, locals from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, and Nicaragua must retake a full VDRL and HIV blood work on arrival in the Cayman Islands before starting the job.
What Are the Requirements For a Working Visa?
Let's say you saw a driving job in the Cayman Islands that's hiring. You would need to know that there are two types of working visas on the island, the Temporary Working Permit (TWP) and the Yearly Work Permit Grant - Occupation License (GOL). The temporary Working Permit can give you no more than six months of working visa on the island. It regularly takes 5-10 business days to process and approve, and the applicant can't be a resident on the island while it is being processed. Requirements for the Temporary Working Permit are:
- Application Form for TWP
- One passport size photograph
- Original police clearance issued from the country of residence with a stamp and sign that's valid for six months
- Full medical examination (chest x-rays, a blood test for HIV and VDRL legitimate for six months, and PCR test)
On the other hand, the Working Permit or GOL can allow you to work for up to three years. Processing for a GOL can take a maximum of two months, and you may apply for a GOL while working with a TWP on the island. On the application, you are required to include all accompanying dependents, a divorce declaration (if applicable), and a police clearance certificate.
Adding dependents to a Work Permit will have an additional fee, and the one covering the cost will depend on the agreement between the employee and employer. If you plan to bring your family with you, supporting them will be considered, so discussing it with your Affinity contact is highly recommended.
What Are the Requirements For a Driving License in the Cayman Islands?
Foreigners with an overseas driver's license would still need to take a theory test on one of the Department of Vehicle & Drivers' Licensing (DVDL). It ensures that they've understood the Cayman Islands road rules since the island is strictly implementing their traffic rules. You may use your IDP or your driver's license if you're from a Convention country while, and if you're using your driver's license, you may use it for no longer than six months.
Foreigners who don't have a driver's license or have enrolled in a Graduated Driver's Licensing Program from a different country need to take a driving test in the Cayman Islands, the theory test for driving knowledge, and the practical road test. Once you passed these driving tests in the Cayman Islands, you can now process your driving license in the Cayman Islands at the DVDL.
New drivers may enroll in a driving school in the Cayman Islands, either The Real Thing Driving School or Martin's School of Motoring. These driving schools in the Cayman Islands both have a simple goal for their students, ensuring that every student would be a good and safe driver.
Can I Renew My Working Visa While Still Working on the Cayman Islands?
It is possible to renew your working visa while still working on the Cayman Islands, as long as the application was submitted before the expiry of your previous work permit. Renewing your working visa while still working on the island can allow you to apply for a Permanent Residence (PR) and a Permission to Continue Work (PCW) on the island if you plan on migrating to the Cayman Islands.
Is it Possible to Apply for Residency in the Cayman Islands As a Driver?
No matter what your job is in Cayman, if you have been living on the island for at least eight years but not exceeding nine years, you are eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident on the Cayman Islands. You may apply for a Permanent Residence after you have reached your eighth year on the island - no more than nine years and no less than eight years.
If you have been denied a permanent resident, they may go to the court to ask for your right to appeal. If the appeal has been rejected or not made, you are entitled to stay on the island for no more than 90 days and must leave the island when the period expires. For more information about the Permanent Residence, you may visit the website of Immigration in Transition to WORC.
Top Road Trip Destinations in the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands, located in the Caribbean Sea, is a perfect getaway for tourists that love relaxation and adventure. With its coral reefs, shipwrecks, steep underwater walls surrounding the three tropical islands, and hiking trails, it's sure to make your driving in the Cayman Islands itinerary full in whichever destination you go.
Seven Mile Beach
The Seven Mile Beach is named as one of the "Ultimate Beaches in the region" by the Caribbean Travel and Life. Surrounded by Casuarinas and Coconut trees, this gorgeous range of soft sand and crystal sea beach might be the dream vacation you need. The beach is 5.5 miles long that gives its visitors a peaceful place to lay on the beach even with the cruise ship passengers that would gather on its shores.
The Seven Mile Beach is an excellent destination for paddleboarding, water-biking, and long walks on the beach for people that loves exercising and exploring. It also has the best view of the sunrise and sunset, and near the coast lies the top hotels and resorts that Cayman has to offer. Indeed, this beach is the perfect destination for travelers who want the ideal relaxation for their vacation.
How to get to Seven Mile Beach?
If you arrived at George Town's Owen Roberts Airport, there would be two ways on the map that you could drive from George Town, Cayman Islands, to the Seven Mile Beach, by Esterly Tibbetts Highway, which is a nine-minute drive and W Bay Road, that is a 12-minute drive.
Esterly Tibbetts Highway
- Take Roberts Dr.
- Turn right to Dorcy Dr.
- Then turn left to Esterly Tibbetts Hwy.
- Follow Esterly Tibbetts Hwy to W Bay Road.
- From W Bay Road, you will see the long beach on your left.
W Bay Road
- Take Roberts Dr.
- Turn left onto Dorcy Dr.
- Slightly turn left onto Crewe Rd.
- Continue to Elgin Ave.
- Turn left onto Shedden Rd.
- Turn right onto Harbour Dr.
- Follow Harbour Dr., N Church St., and W Bay Road.
- From W Bay Road, you will see the long beach on your left.
Stingray City is one of the top tourist charms and one of the most famous depthless water snorkel and dive places in the Caribbean. A shallow sandbar where you can ride custom-built boats to meet, feed, cuddle and kiss stingrays. If you have any fear of stingrays, this is the best location where you can overcome it. You may kneel on the sand and watch these noble creatures swim around you. You may also swim, dive, and snorkel in Stingray City to make the most out of this tourist destination.
How to get to Stingray City?
When driving to Stingray City, you would see in your Cayman Island map that the fastest way to get there from George Town Airport is by Elgin Ave. It is a five-minute drive with minimal traffic on your way to Stingray City.
- From George Town Airport, head west on Roberts Drive toward Breezy Way.
- Then turn left onto Dorcy Drive.
- Slight left onto Crewe Rd, go through the first roundabout, and take the second exit.
- When you get to the 2nd roundabout, take the second exit onto Elgin Ave.
- Turn left onto Shedden Road.
- Then turn right onto Harbour Drive.
- From there, you would see the Stingray City on the left, across from Island Time and Real Vision.
George Town, capital of Cayman Islands, where tourists can shop in multiple duty-free shops, or for visitors who are a fan of the arts, you can visit the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. The gallery exhibits an extraordinary collection of local arts and theme exhibitions by both Caymanian and international artists. An Art Cafe is also available in the area where visitors can relax and admire the elegant sculpture gardens. It is also one of the best stations to go to on rainy days.
If you want to know all about the islands' natural history, you can visit the National Trust for the Cayman Islands Visitor Center. The National Trust's goal is to preserve the natural, artistic, and architectural sites on the island. Its primary mission is to protect the natural resources along with the wildlife that inhabits them.
How to get to the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands?
Typically, the first destination you will land when you get to the Cayman Islands is George Town. This driving direction will guide you on how to get to the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands from the airport in George Town. Before driving, take a look at your Cayman Island map. You will see that it would only take a few minutes to get to the museum.
- From the airport, head west on Roberts Drive toward Breezy Way.
- Then turn right onto Dorcy Drive.
- From Dorcy Drive, turn left onto N Sound Road.
- When you get at the first roundabout, take the third exit onto Esterly Tibbetts Hwy.
- Then at roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on Esterly Tibbetts Hwy and continue for 450 meters.
- You will see the National Gallery on your left.
How to get to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands Visitor Center?
If you like to go to the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, the driving direction in the Cayman Islands on the map will point you directly to S Church St., for a quicker route if you're starting from the airport.
- From the airport, head west on Roberts Dr toward Breezy Way.
- Then turn left onto Dorcy Drive.
- Slight left onto Crewe Road, go through the first roundabout, and take the second exit.
- As you get to the second roundabout, take the second exit onto Elgin Ave.
- From Elgin Ave., turn left onto Shedden Road.
- Then turn left onto S Church Street and continue for 1.8 km. You will see the National Park on the right beside Casa Luna.
If you plan to apply for an International Driver's License for the Cayman Islands before your trip, you can go to the International Drivers Association. They have guides on how to avail an International Driver's License for the Cayman Islands, and there are also some telephone numbers available to contact the company for assistance.
Devil's Grotto is a famous underwater oasis where you can see many vibrant corals and marine life. The best way to end your diving experience is to swim through the natural caverns, tunnels, and caves for you to relish every inch of the underwater oasis.
How to get to Eden Rock Diving Center?
Devil's Grotto is only eight-minutes away from Seven Mile Beach. So you can add it to your "driving in Cayman Island itinerary" if you have one. You may visit the Eden Rock Diving Center to hire an assistant diver to guide you on your swim 46 feet under the sea. This driving direction will guide you from Seven Mile Beach to the Eden Rock Diving Center.
- From Seven Mile Beach, head south on W Bay Road toward Earth Cl for 1.0 km.
- From W Bay Road, take the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on W Bay Rd.
- Continue onto N Church St., and Harbour Drive.
- Harbour Dr turns slightly right and becomes S Church St., continue for 400 meters.
- Your destination is on the right after Sunny Side up Beach Cottage.
Cayman Crystal Caves
Cayman Crystal Caves is an underground cave and the island's oldest geological wonder since the cave took millions of years to develop its shape. The cavern took its form as the dripping water caused mineral deposits to form different rock formations, which also became crystals over time. It has even attained the nickname of Cayman Pirate Caves since it is believed that pirates used the caves to bury their treasure.
To visit the Cayman Crystal Caves, you would need to book a tour in advance. During the tour, you would see three different caves and the tropical forest surrounding it. With the various rock formations and waters below, make sure to take a moment to absorb every detail of the caves' beauty.
How to get to Crystal Caves?
The Crystal Caves is a 27-minute drive if you're coming from George Town. While it may be a bit far from the other destinations, it will be the perfect road trip for you and your companions. Some might even video the drive through the Cayman Islands for a memorable souvenir since you will be coming from southwest to northeast.
- Head southeast on Agnes Way. From there, you would encounter four roundabouts.
- From the first roundabout, take the 1st exit to Linford Pierson Highway and stay on Linford Pierson Highway until the third roundabout.
- As you get to the third roundabout, take the second exit to Crewe Road.
- Then at the fourth roundabout, take the second exit to Shamrock Rd.
- Continue to East-West Arterial Rd to Shamrock Rd.
- From Shamrock Rd, drive for 9km, turn left to Bodden Town Road and continue for 8.7km.
- Turn left to Frank Sound Rd and continue to drive onto North Side Rd.
- From North Side Rd, you would see your destination on the left across Island Bites.
The Cayman Islands is a perfect getaway if you wish to experience nature itself since locals help their island preserve natural resources and wildlife. There are many incredible destinations in the Cayman Islands, not only in the Great Cayman but also in its sister island, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
For people that love to dive, Cayman Island is also one of the ideal destinations to go to since there are plenty of shipwrecks, corals, and fishes that you can explore under the sea. Overall, the Cayman Islands is for every type of traveler out there. May you want to relax, swim, hike, and explore, the island's treasures would capture every visitor.
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