Customs and Formalities of the Cayman Islands

Customs and Formalities of the Cayman Islands

Learn about the customs and formalities of Caymanians, the people of the Cayman Islands.

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Last updated 19 December, 2023
Handmade headwear for sale at a local Cayman market

Life in the Cayman Islands is pleasantly laid back, although not as slow-paced as other Caribbean islands. Things run fairly efficiently here and you will find you can get most of the goods and services you are used to at home.

A Strong Religious Tradition

Caymanians are easy going, friendly people who are proud of their Islands and will gladly share their knowledge with you. They also have a strong Christian tradition and as such are modest and respectful people and will appreciate being treated with the same courtesy.

In particular, Sundays retain a revered status, with bars refraining from hosting dancing and live music. Most shops are closed, including supermarkets. Communities actively engage in regular church attendance and there is an unwavering sense of family, cultural heritage, and national pride.

The Cayman Islands National Museum is housed in the oldest surviving public building of the Cayman Islands, built in the 1830s. The Museum provides creative and educational exhibits and fun programming.

A British Influence

Queen Elizabeth II in 1983, the first reigning monarch to visit the Islands. Courtesy of the National Archives

There is a strong emphasis on politeness and modesty, partly due to the history of Cayman as a matriarchal society and partly due to the strong British influence. Handshaking is the usual greeting. A person may be introduced by his or her first name (such as "Mr. Tom" or "Miss Lucy"), because of the large number of people with similar surnames (such as Ebanks or Bodden). It is customary to open any conversation with a “Good Morning” or “Good Afternoon” and if you know the first name of the person you are talking to, it is polite to preface their name with Miss or Mr (Miss Annie, Mr Charles), particularly if they are older than you.

Beach Etiquette

Unlike many tourist destinations, there is no "beach-hawking" culture; topless bathing is illegal, and wearing swimsuits off the beach is frowned on, although casual dress is acceptable. As it is a tropical climate, light organic cottons, silks and all-natural breathable fabrics are the best selections for apparel.

Originally built in the 1700s, the Mission House served as the residence for Presbyterian missionaries who played a pivotal role in shaping Cayman's cultural and religious landscape. Click to arrange a visit.

Arriving on a Sunday?

If you are coming to Cayman on a Sunday and are desperately in need of provisions, although the main stores are closed by law, there are several small supermarkets such as McRuss and Shop Right which should have what you need. 

Learn more about Caymanian history, culture and some of the major events celebrated in Cayman.

Learn more about Caymanian history, culture and some of the major events celebrated in Cayman.


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