What's the best time to visit Grand Cayman?
The best time to visit Grand Cayman is from December to April, during the dry season with warm temperatures ideal for swimming and outdoor activities. This period, also the island’s high season, features sunny days and hosts major tourist events like the Cayman Cookout and Cayfest. Despite being the busiest time, it offers excellent conditions for water sports and exploring nearby islands.
Grand Cayman, the most popular island out of the Cayman Islands, is a very popular cruise ship stop, but more and more people are stopping overnight to discover its treasures.
This island is one of the most glamorous destinations in the Caribbean, with glitzy resorts, high-end shopping opportunities, and casinos.
However, you don’t have to be fabulously wealthy to enjoy the famous Seven Mile Beach, or the island’s hidden treasures such as the Smith’s Cove snorkeling spot. For a day away from the beach, head to the historic Pedro St. James house or the newly opened Crystal Caves.
Grand Cayman is a quintessential beach destination, which means the weather matters a lot when planning your vacation. Keep reading to learn more about the best time to go.
Overall Best Time to Visit Grand Cayman
The best time to visit Grand Cayman is during the winter (December-April), which is also the island’s high season. It may be winter in Grand Cayman, but that doesn’t mean that it’s cold.
According to the Cayman Islands Weather Service, the island has a tropical marine climate, which means that it’s warm pretty much all year round. In January and February, average temperatures are in the high 70s, making it quite pleasant to walk around and even go swimming if you’re brave.
The main benefit of visiting in the winter is that it coincides with Grand Cayman’s dry season. Like most tropical places, Grand Cayman has a dry and rainy season.
Its dry season is during the cooler months, from November to April. During this time, you can expect sunny days almost daily, although sometimes there are afternoon showers even during the dry season.
If you just want to go swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving and prefer the water to be warmer, then the best time to visit is in March or April. By March, average temperatures are up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the water warms up as well.
March is the least rainy month, so you’ll still have great weather. The spring is also the best time to enjoy water sports such as scuba diving or snorkeling because water conditions are the best.
The water is warm enough that for shallow sports you won’t need to put on a wetsuit, and visibility is at its best because there is no rain or runoff.
December to April is definitely the high season in Grand Cayman, which means there are plenty of people around. That also means it’s the best time to come if you want to enjoy the nightlife or see and be seen.
Most events geared towards tourists occur during this time, such as:
- Cayman National Parade of Lights, a parade of boats decorated for Christmas (early December)
- Cayman Cookout, a national culinary festival (January)
- Cayfest, an annual celebration of the arts (February/March)
The dry season is also the best time to visit some of the other Cayman Islands, such as Little Cayman. The dry weather means that ferries between the islands run frequently and without much rocking, so you can get there comfortably.
Visit in February or March to catch Little Cayman Mardi Gras, one of the traditional carnival celebrations that runs throughout the Caribbean.
Cheapest Time to Visit Grand Cayman
The absolute cheapest time to visit Grand Cayman is in the fall months of September to November, but you can get good deals combined with better weather by visiting in late April-May.
Fall is the least popular time to visit Grand Cayman, so you can find discounts on hotel rooms, some lowering their rates by as much as 50%.
However, your attempt to save during this time may be thwarted by frequent hotel closures, as well as additional expenses such as travel insurance. If you visit during the spring, you can still find hotel deals and have a slightly better experience than during the very rainy fall.
In early May, once the spring break rush is over, you can get discounts of 20-30% on hotel rooms, even those in top resorts. If you are flying to Grand Cayman, the least expensive time for flights is usually in early spring, in March or April.
The best time of the week to fly is on a weekday, usually Monday or Tuesday. Outside of the busiest seasons, you may even find deals on cruise trips. The benefit of visiting during the spring is that you get the best combination of discounts and a good experience.
The rainy season doesn’t start until May, and even then, it’s not very intense, just the occasional shower. Spring is the best season for snorkeling and scuba diving thanks to warm water temperatures and high visibility.
Fishing is also great during this time. You don’t want to save money by visiting during the peak of the rainy season, then spend all your day trapped in the hotel room.
Least Busy Time to Visit Grand Cayman
The least busy time to visit Grand Cayman is from May to early October, as the summer and early fall marks the low season on the island.
Cruise ship passengers are the biggest source of crowds on Grand Cayman, since the island is still most popular as a cruise destination.
By looking at the official cruise schedule for the port of Grand Cayman and figuring out when there are the least cruise ship arrivals, you can get an idea of when there are the fewest crowds on the island.
Between May and the first part of October, there is a distinct dip in cruise ship docking. During the high season, there are three or four ships a day, but now there are not even daily arrivals.
The fewest cruise ships arrive in August and September, which both have only 17 cruise ships scheduled for the entire month. In the summer months of June, July, and August, you can expect hot temperatures reaching into the mid-80s, but only moderate amounts of rain.
In June and July, there are a moderate number of guests around, usually families traveling during summer vacation, but the crowds fizzle out by August. To truly have the beach to yourself, visit at the end of summer.
Worst Time to Visit Grand Cayman
The worst time to visit Grand Cayman is during September and October, which is when the worst of the rainy season hits.
The rainy season lasts from May to November, but according to official meteorological resources by the Cayman Islands territorial government, the rainiest months are September and October. During these months, you can expect over 200 millimeters of rain.
Hurricane season in the Caribbean lasts from June to November, peaking in September and October. While the Cayman Islands are actually north of the hurricane belt and don’t get affected by storms directly most years, hurricane season does mean there is more rain around this time.
Many businesses take advantage of the low season to close during this time, so the bargains you get may not be worth showing up and finding out that what you wanted to do was closed. The rain also makes hanging out on the beach unpleasant and lowers visibility in the water.
Things to Consider
Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking the best time to visit Grand Cayman:
- Book hotels and flights one or two months in advance for the best deals. While you may be able to get last-minute deals sometimes, more often than not, hotels and airlines increase prices right before a reservation.
- The holidays are the most popular times to visit Grand Cayman. Expect plenty of crowds and sky-high hotel prices from mid-December to early January. If you’re not constrained by school schedules, it’s better to visit during another time.
- Check US and UK holidays. Crowds increase when visitors from these northern countries have major holidays, since they are the countries of origin for most Grand Cayman visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions about finding the best time to visit Grand Cayman:
What is the best month to visit Grand Cayman?
The best month to visit Grand Cayman is April. You can catch the last of the dry season weather, it’s warm enough to go swimming, and the worst of the high season crowds have gone home.
When is the rainy season in Grand Cayman?
The rainy season in Grand Cayman lasts from mid-May to mid-October, with regular daily showers, especially in the afternoon.
When is the hurricane season in Grand Cayman?
Hurricane season in Grand Cayman is from June to November, like in the rest of the Caribbean.
What is the least expensive month to visit Grand Cayman?
September is the least expensive month to visit Grand Cayman, but for a combination of bargains and decent weather, visit in May.
How many days is enough for Grand Cayman?
Five to seven days are enough for Grand Cayman for maximum relaxation, but many visitors just see the island on a quick cruise ship stop.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Grand Cayman?
The best time to visit Grand Cayman is during the high season, from December to April, when the weather is warm but dry, perfect for the beach. So, with so many amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today!