While expats are often drawn to the island for its tax-free salaries, the cost of living in the Cayman Islands is high. This is largely due to import taxes, while the island's popularity as a tourist destination pushes up travel and accommodation prices. Most expats moving to the Cayman Islands will be well prepared to shoulder the costs, however, as salaries tend to be correspondingly high.

Cost of accommodation in the Cayman Islands 

Accommodation will likely be an expat's biggest expense, but the prices vary dramatically depending on the area. Accommodation in George Town, the capital, tends to be the priciest, owing to its proximity to amenities. Sought-after areas, such as Seven Mile Beach, located on the island's west side, are also eye-wateringly expensive due to their popularity with tourists. It's cheaper to live on the island's eastern side, but long commute times make this a less appealing option.

Cost of transport in the Cayman Islands

Getting around in the Cayman Islands comes with its own budgetary considerations. While the islands are relatively small, distances can add up for those routinely travelling from one end of Grand Cayman to the other. Petrol prices are higher than in places like the US but perhaps on par with some parts of Western Europe. Cars themselves, especially imported ones, can carry a hefty price tag, as they're subject to import duties. On the brighter side, public transport, such as buses, is quite affordable and might remind Aussies or Kiwis of fares in smaller towns back home.

For those who prefer taxis, they are readily available, but the cost per kilometre can add up, especially during peak tourist season or during special events. Those looking to combine fitness with frugality might consider cycling, especially in the cooler months.

Cost of groceries in the Cayman Islands

When filling the kitchen cupboards, expats might find themselves gasping at the grocery bill in the Cayman Islands. Since most products are imported, there's a premium on everyday items. A simple loaf of bread or a litre of milk can cost significantly more than one might be used to in the US. Fresh produce, especially if not locally grown (as is commonly the case), can also carry a higher price tag.

Savvy shoppers might turn this into an adventure of discovery. Local markets offer a chance to pick up fresh local produce, often at better prices than supermarkets. Plus, the benefit of tasting the unique flavours of the Caribbean might just offset that higher grocery bill. Buying in bulk and looking for discounts can also make a difference to the monthly budget.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in the Cayman Islands

Those fancying a night out or a leisurely weekend brunch will soon realise that entertainment and dining in the Cayman Islands, while delightful, can be pricey. Eating out, especially in the more touristy spots or upscale restaurants, can feel like dining in central London or Paris, and a simple meal can be equivalent to what one might spend on a lavish dinner in some parts of the world. Drinks, especially imported ones, carry a premium too.

On the entertainment front, activities like diving, cinema or attending special events are a treat, but the cost can be akin to similar outings in places like Sydney or New York. However, the islands also offer plenty of free or low-cost outdoor activities. Beach days, hiking and simple sunset watching are not only easy on the pocket but also a feast for the eyes.

Cost of education in the Cayman Islands

The cost of education varies depending on the type of school a child attends. For non-Caymanian students, public schools charge more than they would for local students. Still, this is considerably less than the fees for private or international schools.

Private and international school fees range between schools but are generally on the high side. Some schools offer sibling discounts, and most private schools require annual fee payments. While these schools charge high fees, the standard of teaching and facilities usually more than compensate for this. 

Cost of healthcare in the Cayman Islands

Healthcare in the Cayman Islands is of high quality, but it comes with a matching price tag. The islands have state-of-the-art medical facilities similar to those in major Western countries. Expats from the US might find the costs comparable to what they're used to, while those from countries with public healthcare systems, like the UK or much of Western Europe, will find it considerably steeper.

Most residents opt for health insurance to help offset these costs, and some employers offer coverage as part of their compensation package. Prescription medicines, primarily imported, can also be costlier. Regular health check-ups, dental care and specialist visits are also pricey. The silver lining is the peace of mind that comes with receiving top-notch care in modern facilities run by trained professionals.

Cost of living in the Cayman Islands chart

Prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices for October 2023 in George Town.

Accommodation (monthly rent)
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centreKYD 4,800
Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centreKYD 3,300
One-bedroom apartment in the city centreKYD 2,300
One-bedroom apartment outside the city centreKYD 1,700
Food and drink
Dozen eggsKYD 7
Milk (1 litre)KYD 2.90
Rice (1kg)KYD 5.35
Loaf of white breadKYD 4
Chicken breasts (1kg)KYD 9.40
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)KYD 10
Eating out
Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurantKYD 120
Big Mac MealKYD 11.50
Coca-Cola (330ml)KYD 2.90
CappuccinoKYD 6
Bottle of beer (local)KYD 6
Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)KYD 0.30
Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)KYD 100
Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)KYD 340
Taxi rate/kmKYD 5
City-centre public transport fareKYD 2.25
Gasoline (per litre)KYD 1.55

Expat Health Insurance

Cigna Health Insurance

Cigna Global Health Insurance.

Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.

Get a quote from Cigna Global - 20% off

Moving Internationally?

Sirelo logo

International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.

Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.

Get your free no-obligation quotes from select removal companies now!