Flights to Grand Cayman Island (GCM)
When Sir Francis Drake visited the islands in 1586, he was impressed by its gigantic saltwater crocodiles — called Caymanas by the natives — and the name stuck. Today, visitors know this breezy British territory primarily as an international offshore banking center. But visitors also flock to it for its clear blue waters, excellent shopping and relaxing vibe.
The epitome of white sand beaches and luxury lifestyle, your island adventure awaits on Grand Cayman. Of course, there’s more to meet the eye on this island that’s only 75 square miles in size. A British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, it’s rich in history with a unique culture all its own. The island of Grand Cayman contains five districts, which act like beach towns and vary in size.
George Town serves as the capital of the Cayman Islands, containing the popular Seven Mile Beach and the West Bay District with many resorts and restaurants. On the other side of the island, East End and nearby areas offer secluded beaches. Of course, you’ll also find some of the Caribbean’s best diving and interesting nightlife all around the island.
Located on the island of Grand Cayman, the Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) serves as the main international hub for visitors to the Grand Cayman Islands — as an exit point to Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Most notably, this Grand Cayman-based airport contains several open-air “waving galleries” which serve as large porches with views of the planes taking off and landing. Below these galleries, the Owen Roberts International Airport is housed in a single terminal building. Crowds vary depending on the time of year, but you should be able to navigate the airport with little trouble.
- Many taxis are available from the airport, located in the ground transportation area.
- Pre-booked buses and limousines also pick up from Owen Roberts.
- Find most major rental car agencies located in the Rental Car Building, just a short walk from the main terminal.
The largest of the three islands, you can almost feel your blood pressure drop as soon as you land on Grand Cayman. From vacationers to locals working in the booming tourism industry, no one’s in a hurry here. So take your time and enjoy each moment. Whether you’re sunning or swimming, the hardest part of visiting Grand Cayman will undoubtedly be leaving.
The Seven Mile Beach, the island’s hub, bustles with fine hotels, luxury shops and restaurants that serve fresh, local seafood. Just to the south sits George Town, the region’s capital city and a shopper’s paradise — with no sales tax on everything from fine watches to other jewelry and electronics.
When you’re ready to escape it all, head out to Stingray City in the North Sound. There the only hustle and bustle comes from the stingrays, which are familiar with the visiting divers and snorkelers and come in for close encounters. For other natural encounters in this diving and snorkeling hub, visit the Eden Rock Dive Center. Or for a different perspective, take a tour on the Atlantis Submarine.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman offer unique adventures that will delight visitors of any age. Find many opportunities to interact with local wildlife, from Stingray Point to guided safaris or at the Cayman Turtle Centre. For older kids and teens, check out the array of skate and watersports available at the Black Pearl Skate and Surf Park.
ATTIRE (WHAT TO PACK)
If you’re visiting for the British territory’s national pirate festival, don’t forget your swashbuckling attire. Any other time however, bring your beach attire and something more formal for evenings out. Be sure to stock up on sun protection also, including high-SPF sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. If you fly to Grand Cayman from May to October, be sure to bring a lightweight raincoat for warmer temperatures.
Like many Caribbean destinations, the best time to visit is in North America’s winter — November to March. This is Grand Cayman’s dry season, when you’ll enjoy comfortable sea temperatures around 78°F with daytime air temperatures around the same. In the summer, the temperatures reach the mid-80s. From May to October, expect more precipitation and pack accordingly.
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