The FOUR C's
Important Jewelry Facts
Souvenirs and Gift Stores
Turtle Farm Boatswain's Beach
Eden Rock Dive Shop
Lighthouse Restaurant Gift Shop
Marriott Beach Resort Shops
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All Cayman shopping establishments on our website are evaluated on an ongoing basis to bring you the most current and reliable Cayman shopping information. With Cayman Islands shopping options to suit every imaginable taste and budget, we present a broad selection of only the most highly valued shopping in the Cayman Islands. Unlike most websites, Cayman Activity Guide does not endorse any store prior to conducting an extensive evaluation process and maintaining favorable reviews at our forums. Shop Cayman with confidence, secure in the knowledge that every single Cayman shop, store or gallery that you see on our website has been carefully selected to assure your total Cayman shopping satisfaction.
Cayman Shopping Tips:
• Plan your shopping trips to George Town during late afternoon hours to avoid the traffic created by cruise ship visitors in the early morning.
• Avoid rush hour traffic between 5:00 and 6:00 weekdays.
Grand Cayman offers dramatic and diverse Cayman Islands scuba diving as the product of geology, which played a key role in fashioning the Cayman Islands into one of the most sought-after watersports destinations in the world. Residing atop the peak of a sheer submerged mountain range, the Cayman Islands are surrounded by the Cayman Trench. The northern edges of the Trench form the massive wall known as the Cayman Ridge, which plunges dramatically to depths in excess of 25,000 feet, making it the deepest point in the Caribbean sea. This drop-off (or ‘wall’) commences its vertical descent approximately 100 yards from shore where depths range from 40 to 60 feet. When you dive Cayman, you can expect to see an abundance of sea life on every Cayman dive.
Once you arrive in the Cayman Islands you may notice that the cost of living is somewhat higher than your home town. The Cayman shopping variance can be largely attributed to shipping costs and import duties associated with most retail products. The exchange rate is also a factor, as US dollars are worth approximately 20% less than Cayman Island dollars. However, this does not mean that there are not tremendous Cayman shopping bargains available to the informed Cayman shopper.
Shopping for that perfect gift to take home is facilitated by a wide variety of stores to choose from throughout the Cayman Islands. Some of the least expected places often have the most unique and affordable gifts offering the greatest value. Many of the gift shops at Grand Cayman’s various attractions as itemized in our Cayman Shopping Directory are government owned and represent some of the Cayman Islands best shopping deals.
Without a doubt, when it comes to shopping in the Cayman Islands, Activity Guide is your best friend! Nowhere else will you find so many coupons, special offers, discounts and bargains for all kinds of Cayman Islands shopping items. From the least expensive trinket to the most extravagant Cayman shopping items all the way up to and including a multi million dollar home, Activity Guide will save you money: directly, with coupons and discounts; and indirectly, by putting you in touch with the most cost effective and visitor friendly means of obtaining the very most of your valuable Cayman shopping dollars.
Shopping Tip: Always, check the coupon and shopping sections of Activity Guide prior to making any Cayman shopping decisions. Depending on the commodity, you will usually save between 10 and 20 percent on all of the most highly valued Cayman Islands shopping items.
Cayman stores accept US or CI cash, travelers checks and most major credit cards. If you are shopping in the Cayman Islands we offer many discounts for all of Cayman's most popular items. All of the establishments we recommend offer:
1. Items that cost less in Grand Cayman than most other countries—In some cases, even lower than the country where the product was manufactured. Just one example of this is high quality brand name Japanese cameras at Cathy Church Photo Center, which are priced even lower than in Japan!
2. Products that may only be obtained in the Cayman Islands, such as Caymanite gifts, statues, jewelry and many more.
3. Most importantly, we thoroughly evaluate every establishment before promoting them so you can be absolutely assured: If it's in Activity Guide, It's the Very Best! We have discounts for all of the Cayman Islands, Even the ones you misspell spell Cayman! Here are the most common misspellings we see for Grand Cayman Shopping: - Grand caiman shopping - Grand camen shopping - Grand caimen shopping; and even - Grand kaymen shopping! However you spell it, your Grand Cayman shopping experience will be one of the most rewarding in all your travels if you shop exclusively at Activity Guide recommended stores in Grand Cayman and use our many free shopping discounts and coupon offers. No matter what your shopping needs, we can show you where to find your souvenirs, gifts, and everything else you need all at the lowest discount prices anywhere in Grand Cayman!
Duty rates vary according to the commodity classification and many items are free of duty altogether. Anything manufactured in the Cayman Islands is not subjected to duty. This means you will find the best prices when shopping in the Cayman Islands for:
• Native crafts
• Cayman crafted jewelry
• Tortuga rum cakes (forum registration required)
• Local art
and just about anything else created in the Cayman Islands, implementing ingredients or constituent elements from the Cayman Islands.
However, even locally produced products may have significant price variances due to factors such as the ingredients uses to make them and how efficiently the company operates. Barring any leader ads or going out of business sales, you can always bee assured of the best value for your Cayman shopping dollars by shopping at the stores you see on our website and forums; and in Activity Guide Magazine when you arrive.
One thing that you can always be assured of is that you will pay no sales tax in the Cayman Islands. If you see a product listed at $1.10, when you go to the checkout counter you can expect to hand the cashier exactly one dollar bill and a dime and be on your way. As a matter of convenience, many stores price their items to round off at the nearest dollar or quarter dollar; few establishments in the Cayman Islands price their items at $1.99, as is so prevalent in many other countries. Similarly and with few exception, Cayman Islands shops do not bargain or negotiate their prices, which is commonplace in Mexico and Jamaica. So again, if you see something priced at $1.10, when you go to the checkout counter, you can expect to hand the cashier exactly one dollar bill and a dime and be on your way.
If change is necessary, you will usually be given Cayman Island dollars, which are valued approximately 20% higher than a US dollar. The exchange rate fluctuates slightly but the average visitor would never notice a few fractions of a cent here and there. Try a few examples with our currency converter and you will quickly realize that unless you plan on exchanging vast amounts of money during your vacation, you will spend more money in lost vacation time by running around from bank to bank trying to save a fraction of a cent, than simply paying with your US dollars and using your CI change during your vacation. You will of course end up with a few CI dollars at the end of your vacation, which you could bring home with you as a souvenir or drop off at the Cayman Humane Society; they do a lot for the animals of the Cayman Islands and they can always use a few dollars; and you will always leave the Cayman Islands with an even warmer feeling.
There are also many commodities not manufactured in the Cayman Islands that are subject to little or no duty, making them less expensive in the Cayman Islands than many other parts of the world; in some cases, prices in the Cayman Islands will be even lower than the country where the goods were manufactured! This is owing primarily to luxury and other self-imposed taxes or duties applied by many countries. Cameras and camera accessories are a good example, where many Japanese brands cost less in the Cayman Islands at Cathy Church than they do in Japan, where they are manufactured. This is just one example and there are many similar goods that you can obtain in the Cayman Islands that are the best Cayman Islands Shopping Bargains. Cigarettes and liquor are other examples but you must know where to purchase them; and the difference can be as high as 500%! That's right, you will spend more than five times for almost all tobacco and liquor products depending on where you purchase them, which is all explained in our Cayman Shopping Bargains.
Duty Free Shopping Tip: Don't be fooled by misleading advertising! There are several stores and even an entire mall in Grand Cayman where "duty free" is used as part of the store title, shop, building or certain sections of stores. That does NOT necessarily mean that everything is duty free. There are only two ways to obtain completely duty free products and that is when you are leaving the Cayman Islands; either in the departure lounge at the airport or delivered to you at the cruise ship dock. If you are allowed to carry the goods out of the store yourself and are not in an enclosed departure area, you are not paying true duty free prices. It is as simple as that and the price difference can be as much as FIVE times or more!
You can always trust Activity Guide recommended establishments for all your Cayman shopping needs. Whether the goods are partially or completely duty free, if it is Activity Guide recommended, you can be assured of receiving the absolute highest value for your Cayman shopping dollars.
By taking advantage of tax and duty free opportunities, you can realize significant savings on your Cayman shopping purchases. As a rule of thumb, the more you shop in the Cayman Islands, the more you will save, provided you purchase the most duty friendly and locally produced items of the greatest value, as itemized throughout our Cayman Islands shopping section.
You will find some of the best prices on the planet on many items while shopping in the Cayman Islands by taking advantage of duty free shopping. The term duty free is often misinterpreted when shopping in the Cayman Islands, often to the extent that uninformed unwary visitors and even locals often end up spending more on so called "duty free" products than they would for like commodities in a major world city or through websites.
Visitors will quickly discover that the cost of most sundry items in the Cayman Islands are somewhat higher than in the US. This is largely owing to a dichotomy of the costs associated with transporting goods to a remote island; and duty, which is paid to the Cayman Islands government upon the transfer of ownership of certain goods and commodities. However, there are many items with little or no duty, as well as arts and crafts manufactured in the Cayman Islands.
Collectively, these items and commodities represent the products that will yield the best Cayman Islands shopping bargains:
Cayman Islands Shopping Tip: Don't be fooled by misleading advertising! There are several stores and even an entire mall in Grand Cayman where "duty free" is used as part of the store title, shop, building or certain sections of stores. That does not necessarily mean that everything is duty free. There are only two ways of obtaining completely duty free products:
1. when you are leaving the Cayman Islands in the airport departure lounge; and
2. when you are leaving the Cayman Islands by ship and the goods are delivered to you at the cruise ship dock.
If you are allowed to carry the goods out of the store yourself and are not in an enclosed departure area, you are not paying true duty free prices. It is as simple as that and the price difference can be as much as FIVE times or more!
Activity Guide goes to extraordinary lengths to ensure that every single establishment we recommend represents the absolute highest value. Unlike other magazines and websites that advertise anyone who will pay them, we turn away dozens of Cayman stores, shops, galleries and businesses every month because they to not meet our exceedingly high standards. We want our readers to experience the very best of the Cayman Islands so they will return and tell their friends, while hopefully appreciating all of the wonderful establishments that Activity Guide takes great pride in introducing them to. With so many Cayman shopping experiences to choose from, we want our readers to see and experience the many wonderful shops, stores, galleries and other Cayman Islands shopping options that will provide the greatest cultural exposure, while offering what we feel are the very best prices for everything from groceries to gifts and souvenirs. To that end, we continually evaluate every Cayman shopping option and provide detailed reviews, videos and in most cases discounts and special offers available to our readers, making what are already the most highly valued establishments even more affordable.
For Cayman Islands shopping, the parameters we use to determine which Cayman shops provide the most highly valued shopping in the Cayman Islands, each establishment is evaluated using the following criteria, combined with their ongoing favorable reviews at our forums. We very much appreciate everyone's Cayman shopping feedback and any other establishments that we recommend so if you have time, please take a few minutes to register at our forums and give us your feedback, which is important to us and helps visitors determine where to go during their visit to the Cayman Islands.
☼ Knowledge of staff
☼ Friendliness of staff
☼ Uniqueness of products to Cayman
☼ True Duty free value (when applicable)
☼ Parking availability
☼ Valid US warranties (when applicable)
☼ Cultural significance of products
☼ Diversity of price range
☼ Overall value
☼ Consistency of product availability
☼ Talent and popularity of artists
☼ Ability to ship overseas
Cayman Islands Shopping Tip: When purchasing imported duty free goods, be sure to obtain a written warranty that is valid in the US. All Activity Guide recommended establishment offer such a warranty, as with camera equipment purchased at Cathy Church Gallery and Photo Center.