Best Souvenirs from the Cayman Islands

parrots inside a keepsake shop
by Toni Keesee

We know you’re going to love every minute of your vacation in Grand Cayman and that you’ll want some mementos to bring home to remember your time here. So we’ve put together this handy list of souvenirs that we think you’ll cherish from the Cayman Islands and where you can find them—including some highlights of our very favorite souvenir shops. Keep reading to learn more.

Caymanite

Caymanite is a semi-precious stone only found in the Cayman Islands. When buffed it is a beautiful rainbow of earthy colors. Jewelry is the most popular Caymanite keepsake, but local artists are creative; you can find keepsakes such as small cross sculptures made of Caymanite, turtles, business card holders, and even knives made out of the local rock. Most souvenir shops will at least have a small collection of Caymanite, but I highly recommend checking out Pure Art Gallery & Gifts for your own Caymanite. They have a huge selection of offerings all made by locals. We also found the neat knife below at the gift shop in the National Gallery.

Caymanite Gifts

Seven Fathoms Rum

Seven Fathoms Rum, made by Cayman Spirits Co., is one of the most unique rums you’ll ever come across. Why? It’s aged in oak barrels under the sea! The ocean waves rock the barrels back and forth and create a smooth, delicious rum. It’s available for sale at most liquor stores on the island and at the Cayman Spirits Co. distillery itself. At the distillery you can also enjoy samples and a tour if you like. This is a great gift to take home and enjoy for special occasions.

bottles of rum

Thatch Plaited Bag or Gift

Plaiting silver thatch palm is an age-old local tradition that dates back to early settlers on the island. The tree itself is indigenous to the Cayman Islands and is celebrated as the National Tree. Due to its strength, silver thatch was used for making rope and was one of the largest and most depended upon exports of the island in early days. Islanders also created many household items and gifts out of the silver thatch. Today you can still find locals with great talent for plaiting, a skill that has been passed down from generation to generation. Bags, hats and gifts plaited from silver thatch can be found at several souvenir shops. Our favorite place to find it is Pure Art Gallery & Gifts, the craft market or farmers markets.

Hats and Bags made of Silver Thatch

Local Books

Learning more about the heritage and history of a place is a beautiful way to continue to develop a deeper connection to it. We have no doubt you’ll fall in love with the Cayman Islands when you visit, and you’ll want to visit again, so get to know it even better by picking up stories and reflections from local authors. For being a small island, there is a surprising amount of material available. Everything from butterflies of the island, history of Wreck of the Ten Sails, Cayman Epics, recipe books, local vocabulary to memoirs and much more! Some of the best places to find books by local authors and about the islands are the gift shops at the Cayman Islands National Museum and the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

books displayed on a shelf

Books by local authors and about Grand Cayman at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands Necklace

The Cayman Islands Necklace from Rocky’s is a very popular keepsake and gift. You’ll see many women sporting them while on the island. The necklace includes a plate designed in the shape of the island and is available in small, medium and large and yellow gold, rose gold, white gold and sterling silver. Other outlets carry similar versions of the necklace, but it’s clear that Rocky’s has paid attention to the finest of details in creating the island outline. This necklace is a beauty, and will sit close to the heart, a representation of the warm memories you will hold near to your heart after visiting.

island shaped necklace of Grand Cayman

Photo courtesy of Rocky’s Diamond Gallery.

Local Consumables

Taking something home that you can use in your daily life is such a fun way to participate in the tradition of keepsaking. Grab consumables like hot sauce, coconut oil, coffee, salt and more all handmade or produced on the island. Everytime you drink them or use them at home you’ll be transported to your happy place: Grand Cayman. The best place to find these items is at a grocery store or farmers market, both of which we wrote previous posts about. Give each a read for specifics on these unique souvenir ideas!

sea salt made in Grand Cayman

Cayman Sea Salt produced in the Cayman Islands.

Anything from Pure Art Gallery & Gifts

Almost everything in Pure Art is created by local artists or creators. You will find amazing arts and crafts throughout the store, all with a story and a connection to the island. Gorgeous paintings adorn the walls of the lovely cottage (a historic building that’s been relocated to its place today and originally belonged to the current owner’s grandparents). You can also expect racks upon racks of beautiful handmade jewelry, soaps, lotions, home decor, cooking goods and more. Located just outside of George Town, the quaint location and unique building make for a whimsical setting.

handmade sign outside of pure art

Anything from Goodness

Goodness is another must-visit gift shop in the Cayman Islands. Located in George Town, most of the items inside are locally crafted or Cayman themed. The shop features incredibly thoughtful creations like the sea fan and bougainvillea earrings—an exquisite set of earrings that feature “preserved bits of sea fan, palm leaves & bougainvillea” from the island. You’ll find souvenirs for all ages inside including books and onesies for kiddos and jewelry and home decor for adults and much, much more. They recently unveiled some mugs featuring local sayings like, “soon come” which are so authentic and so fun. This store has lots of personality and some of the best gifts you’ll find on the island!

inside the shop goodness

T-Shirts from Red Sail Shops

If you’re looking for your standard souvenir like a t-shirt, ballcap or mug then we recommend checking out one of The Shops of Red Sail Sports. The Treasure Chest at Rum Point is our favorite. You can count on great designs and good quality from Red Sail.

inside the treasure chest gift shop at rum point

A Little Piece of Cayman to Cherish

Hopefully with all of the advice in this post you’ll find the perfect piece of Cayman to take home with you. That memento that will remind you of the island that has solidly planted itself on your heart. If you'd like more places to look, there are a plethora of souvenir shops in downtown George Town, and also don't forget to stop into fine art shops like Kay Smith Art and Carlos V Garcia Fine Art Gallery in The Grove.

Next time you are looking for a place to stay in the Cayman Islands look no further than Christopher Columbus Condos. We’re on one of the most gorgeous stretches of Seven Mile Beach, and as a 30 unit complex you get a lot more of the beach to yourself than with the high rise hotels on the south side of SMB. Browse availability here. We look forward to hosting you!