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Banks and Exchange Services
You should not need to change money in Grand Cayman, since U.S. dollars are readily accepted. ATMs generally offer the option of U.S. or Cayman dollars. The Cayman dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar at the rate of CI$1.25 to $1. Be sure you know which currency is being quoted when making a purchase.
Electricity is reliable and is the same as in the United States (110 volts/60 cycles).
Cayman Hyperbaric (Hospital Rd., George Town, Grand Cayman. 345/949-2989.)
Sending a postcard to the United States, Canada, other parts of the Caribbean, or Central America costs CI25¢. An airmail letter is CI75¢ per half ounce. When addressing letters to the Cayman Islands, be sure to include the new postal codes that have been introduced.
All visitors must have a valid passport and a return or ongoing ticket to enter the Cayman Islands. A birth certificate and photo ID are not sufficient proof of citizenship.
The area code for the Cayman Islands is 345. To make local calls (on or between any of the three islands), dial the seven-digit number. Many international cell phones work in the Cayman Islands, though roaming charges can be significant. Mobile phone rental is available from LIME and Digicel, the two major providers; you can stay connected for as little as CI$5 per day plus the cost of a calling card (denominations range from CI$10 to CI$100). International per-minute rates usually range from CI35¢ to CI60¢.
Crime isn't a major problem in the Cayman Islands, but it is always a good idea to take general precautions such as locking your room, using your hotel safe, and avoiding walking on the beach or on unlighted streets at night.
At the airport, each adult passenger leaving Grand Cayman must pay a departure tax of $25 (CI$20), payable in cash. It isn't usually added to airfare—check with your carrier. A 10% government tax is added to all hotel bills. A 10% service charge is often added to hotel bills and restaurant checks in lieu of a tip.
At large hotels a service charge is generally included; smaller establishments and some villas and condos leave tipping up to you. Although tipping is customary at restaurants, note that some automatically include 15% on the bill—so check the tab carefully. Taxi drivers expect a 10% to 15% tip.
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