cayman travel guide

Site Features
Search & sitemap

Photo galleries

Cayman travel news blog
Choose an Island
Grand Cayman
Cayman Brac
Little Cayman
All about Cayman
Cayman FAQ
Tourism information

Cayman Islands National Museum

The Cayman Islands National Museum is, in our opinion, one of the finest museums in the Caribbean. A visit here is a great way to learn more about Cayman history and culture. Over the years, this seaside building has served as a courthouse, jail, and meeting hall. Today the historic structure (which is located across from the cruise ship terminals) is home to over 2,000 artifacts.

You'll enter on the ground floor, and begin with an eight-minute slide show about the history of these islands. From there, enjoy a self-guided tour of the museum whose exhibits range from natural history to early Cayman life. Be sure to look at the exhibits on the island's early turtlers and the utensils handmade by residents, everything from leather sandals to sisal switches used to fan away mosquitoes.

A bathymetric map displays the depth of the seas around the Cayman Islands, including the Cayman Trench at 23,750 feet below sea level. Other exhibits feature natural history: mangrove swamps which create a rich birding environment; caymanite, a semi-precious stone unique to the Cayman islands; and displays on local marine life.

Some of the most fascinating displays recall the early economy of the Caymanians. An oral history program reveals the history of early turtlers who made a living capturing the now protected reptiles. Exhibits show the tools of the early residents such as the muntle, a club used to kill fish, the calabash, a versatile gourd that once dried had many uses, sisal switches used to beat mosquitoes away, and wompers, sandals worn on the East End, originally made from leather and later from old tires.

After your museum tour, you'll exit through the museum shop which stocks Cayman-made items. If you don't have time for a tour, you can also just pop in the museum shop for a look.

This museum is housed in the Old Courts Building, one of the few 19th-century structures left on the island. Outdoor steps lead up to the second story of the building and those 12 steps gave rise to a Cayman saying: "walking the 12 steps," which meant you were being taken to court.

Location: Harbour Drive, George Town


Return to Grand Cayman Index

| About Us | Press Room |Advertising | Privacy | Disclaimer | Contact Us | is a division of LT Media Group LLC
All rights reserved
No text or photos from this site may be used without permission of LT Media Group LLC