Grand Cayman is one of the most sought-after destinations in the Caribbean—and one of the most expensive. Travelers accustomed to booking upscale accommodations in the U.S. may find their favorite hotel brands on Grand Cayman Island are two or three times the price during peak season.
However, Grand Cayman’s silky beaches, dazzling sunsets, laid-back atmosphere and plethora of attractions make it too valuable to pass up for your next beach vacation. Rather than giving the island a miss because of the high cost of lodging, here are tips on enjoying the island on a more modest budget.
Affordable Lodging on Grand Cayman
A quick check of hotel rates during the February peak found many upscale national brands ranging from $700 to over $1,000 per night (plus taxes and resort fees). For more modest budgets, Comfort Suites Seven Mile Beach Grand Cayman has rooms from around $250 USD per night during peak season, and travelers save money with the included hot-breakfast buffet and in-suite kitchenettes. The famed Seven Mile Beach is only a few steps away, where the hotel maintains free lounge chairs and umbrellas for guests. There’s also a modestly priced pool bar and restaurant on site.
Skip The Rental Car on Grand Cayman
Rental cars are an added expense, particularly with fuel (around $5 USD/gallon at press time) and insurance, and an added frustration for drivers not used to driving on the left side of the road. On Grand Cayman, bus service covers virtually the entire island with frequent service at fares comparable to U.S. city transit.
Pro tip: allow extra time when taking the bus, particularly during commuter periods; buses are frequent, but won’t stop if they’re already full.
How to Dine on a Budget on Grand Cayman
When not cooking in your kitchenette, dining out in Grand Cayman is priced similarly to the rest of the Caribbean. Portions are relatively hearty, particularly at casual dining establishments, and lighter eaters often make two meals out of a single serving (kitchenettes come in handy for refrigerating and reheating leftovers). Try Peppers Bar & Grill for generously portioned barbecue and grilled fish and Rackam’s for oceanfront dining in Georgetown.
Affordable Tours & Attractions on Grand Cayman
Relaxing on the beach is cheap or free, but the rest of the island has plenty to offer. The upfront price might seem high, but tours are a way to explore some of the island’s best sites. Many of Grand Cayman’s most memorable spots are only accessible via water, and a good value we’ve found is the Six Senses Eco Tour. It hits the best stops in a five-hour boat tour, including Stingray City (to swim with stingrays for an Instagrammable moment), Starfish Point, a lunch stop at Rum Point and narrated tour of the coastal mangroves for $100—a good value for a packed day with free hotel pickup. Ocean lovers will also love the Cayman Turtle Center, where adult admission starts at $18 and sea turtle selfies are complimentary.