Located in the western Caribbean Sea, the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory, encompasses three islands: Grand Cayman, the largest island, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
With stunning beaches and strong infrastructure, the Cayman Islands offers a year-round tropical climate and is home to residents from more than 130 different countries.
Access to world-renowned beaches and marine life
The Cayman Islands, and in particular Grand Cayman, is known for its beaches. Seven Mile Beach is consistently ranked one of the top beaches in the world and is the most visited beach in Grand Cayman. Home to many luxury resorts, Seven Mile Beach also features condos and restaurants and boasts perfect sunsets most nights as the beach faces west.
In South Sound, past the city centre of George Town, you will find a stretch of sand that is surrounded by ironshore called Smith Cove. Known for its calm waters, it’s a great place to bring a picnic, soak up the sun and relax on the beach. Further out of town you can find Rum Point, a great beach for families, providing calm, shallow waters. Not far from Rum Point is Starfish Point. Many people come here by boat to marvel at the thousands of starfish that make this area home.
Water activities for the whole family
For an island that is only 102 square miles in size, Grand Cayman offers a wealth of activities. Besides its stunning white sand beaches and its warm, clear waters, Cayman is probably best known for scuba diving. A top diving location in the world, Cayman Island boasts 365 dive sites — meaning you could visit one new site a day and never dive the same site twice. If you don’t dive, don’t worry. With visibility of 100 feet or more, you can see plenty of marine life just snorkeling.
As you might imagine, fishing, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding, and sailing are all popular in Cayman. One must experience in Grand Cayman is Stingray City. This shallow area is the home to hundreds of stingrays who welcome visitors every day. Take out a charter, stop at sandbar, get out and stand in 3-5 feet of water as the rays dance around you. It’s an incredible family experience.
Grand Cayman is loaded with family fun activities such as the Cayman Turtle Centre, Black Pearl Skate Park, the Mastic Trail, and the annual Pirate’s Week Festival among many others.
International shopping and dining
The Cayman Islands has hundreds of fine-dining restaurants. Locals and tourists come to Cayman for the many annual food festivals, including Taste of Cayman and the Cayman Cookout.
Grand Cayman is duty-free, which attracts luxury shoppers looking for a bargain on fine jewelry, watches, china, crystal, and more.
A variety of property options
Buying property in the Cayman Islands is a relatively easy and uncomplicated process for non-residents. Unique to Cayman is the requirement to pay a ‘one time only’ property stamp duty (purchase tax). Whether you purchase a home or condo in the Cayman Islands, property owners do not have to pay annual property or sales taxes; neither do they have to pay inheritance or death tax. Before you begin your home buying journey, ensure you understand the key steps you need to take.
The Cayman Islands offers a wide array of properties at a variety of price points. As you may imagine, the most desirable area to live in Grand Cayman is on Seven Mile Beach. With numerous condo complexes and a select number of estates, prices along this stretch of soft white sand are high. But one of the best things about Grand Cayman is its relatively small size, which means Seven Mile Beach can be a walk, bike ride or short drive away from your home.
Less than five miles away is the Seven Mile Beach corridor which is home to many canal-front single-family homes, condos, and estates. The communities of South Sound, Prospect, and West Bay are a bit further out but offer larger affordably priced homes and condos. If you are looking for a quieter escape, then Rum Point and Cayman Kai might be perfect for you. About 25 minutes away from the airport, these districts are much smaller in size and provide more privacy.
If you are interested in buying a newly constructed home, you will find a number of options. Currently, there are more than 75 new developments either being built or in the planning stages
If you prefer to purchase a resale condo or home, most come fully furnished. This means all you need to bring to your new home is your personal effects. You can get settled much faster and begin enjoying all that the Cayman Islands have to offer.
Find out how RBC can help you on your journey to vacation home ownership in the Caribbean.
With more than 20 years of real estate experience, Michael Binckes is a Cayman Islands realtor with RE/MAX Cayman Islands. He is currently in the top 5 of real estate agents in the Cayman Islands and a top-ranked agent with RE/MAX Global. www.michaelbinckes.com
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This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.