An Insider’s Guide to Diving Grand Cayman
Experienced divers can explore the depths of the reefs, while beginners can take advantage of the calm waters and gentle currents. The three islands of the Cayman Islands have something to offer for all levels of divers. Grand Cayman is home to the world-famous Stingray City, as well as sites such as the Kittiwake shipwreck and the USS Vandenberg. Little Cayman is known for its vibrant coral gardens and dramatic drop-offs, while Cayman Brac is known for its shore dives and underwater caves.
Diving Grand Cayman Waters Is A Unique Experience
Grand Cayman’s unique geothermic topography along the Cayman Trench engenders sheer vertical walls plunging literally miles into the sapphire abyss. With walls starting 100 yards or further from shore, almost all wall diving is conducted by boat, in group tours of six to twenty or more divers. Assuming comfortable, well-equipped boats with suitable swim-steps, operators taking the fewest number of guests will generally provide the greatest experiences and personal service.
Boat Diving Grand Cayman: The Island Tours
Boat diving is the single most popular guided tour in the Cayman Island, with dozens of dive companies servicing some two-thirds of the islands’ approximate quarter million overnight visitors every year, in addition to millions of cruise arrivals. Lack of industrial or geomorphological runoff combined with sheer vertical topography creates consistently exceptional vertical visibility, typically in excess of 100 feet.
With over 100 pinned dive sites and dozens of dive operations, Grand Cayman boat diving tours are as abundant as they are diverse.
Where to dive in Grand Cayman depends largely upon prevailing weather and sea conditions, with the most consistently calm waters being on the west side, from Seven Mile Beach to Northwest Point. For boat dives and certifications, I use Cayman Diving (tell them Marc sent you for a 10% discount) and I am always adding to my certifications (it almost cost the same to get a certification as it does to just do some boat dives). www.caymandiving.com
Shore Diving Grand Cayman for Beginners & Experts
Shore diving in Grand Cayman will present divers with dozens of spectacular options, dependent primarily on prevailing wind and sea conditions. If it’s been a year or more since your last dive, shore diving in shallow water gives you an opportunity to practice before going boat diving. But shore diving is not just for beginners! Some of the most advanced divers on the planet come to the Cayman Islands for the abundant shore diving and general ease of access to an enormous diversity of dive sites, ranging from beginner to expert.
About Diving Grand Cayman: Dive Spots
Some of the most extraordinary diving on Grand Cayman is accessible from shore. While sheer walls average 100 plus yards from shore, the greatest bio-diversity can be found at depths below 100 feet. Grand Cayman shore diving can be broadly defined to three main districts:
|George Town||Seven Mile Beach||West Bay||Northside|
|where you can dive Smith Cove, Cali Shipwreck, Eden Rock, Devil’s Grotto and Eden Rock||where you can dive almost anywhere near shore, with the best diving generally being near the northern end of Seven Mile Beach||where you can dive world famous Turtle Reef||where advanced divers and swimmers can dive spectacular pristine reefs and walls, subject greatly to prevailing weather and sea conditions|
Eden Rock, Sunset House and many dive operators offer tank rental to certified divers for about $5/fill.
5 reasons why you should consider a scuba diving vacation in Grand Cayman
- One of the best destinations for diving in the world
- Annual Top 100 and Gold List by Scuba Diving Magazine
“The Cayman Islands dive industry has done it again and brought home top honors… The awards are divided into the Overall Destination Awards alongside the individual company awards.”
- More than 200 diving sites
- Calm waters and ideal temperatures (79-180 °F) for diving
- Lots to see: besides coral, expect to see spotted eagle rays, stingrays, hammered head sharks, green sea turtles, sea anemones, French angels, groupers, eels, Caribbean spiny lobsters, Caribbean reef sharks, etc.
And did we mention shipwrecks?
Diving Grand Cayman Reefs and Shipwrecks
Kittiwake Dive Site
You can snorkel overhead and see the main decks and topography of the ship, plus take a look down the smoke stack that opens up straight down to the bottom of the hull and the engine rooms.
There is no end of rooms to explore this wreck, which will soon enough become an artificial reef, enhancing the marine environment with new fishery stock and habitats for marine life.
You’ll love the tropical diving. Grand Cayman’s North Wall plunges deeper than 1800 metres/6000 and offers beautiful wall diving with opportunities to see spotted eagle rays and sea turtles. You’ll also find the famous Stingray City.
Grand Cayman also offers accessible shore diving. Scuba divers can swim out to buoyed markers to reach the coral reef wall. With little to no current, beach dives are a unique option on this island.
SOME POPULAR DIVE SITES IN GRAND CAYMAN
EAST SIDE GRAND CAYMAN
Black Rock Drop Off
WEST SIDE GRAND CAYMAN
NORTH SIDE GRAND CAYMAN
Eagle Ray Pass
Princess Pennies Pinnacle
SOUTH SIDE GRAND CAYMAN
Red Bay Caves
After a refreshing day of diving Grand Cayman waters, you’ll need a place to stay in the Cayman Islands; consider our unique Cayman Island vacation rentals.