Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s something for everyone. From shallow reef systems to deeper shipwrecks, there are plenty of sites to explore. With the right gear, such as fins and a snorkel, you’ll be able to discover a whole new world beneath the surface. Snorkeling ranks among the most popular things to do in Grand Cayman, largely because it is free and so extraordinarily convenient, with good snorkeling directly adjacent to almost all waterfront properties. Mask, fins and snorkel can be rented for about $10/day at most local dive shops, or purchased online for under $50. If you are an experienced snorkeler or good swimmer, purchasing your own snorkel gear beforehand will prove more affordable, while ensuring consistent fit and comfort.
Beginners can practice in the shallow waters near shore or anywhere with a calm surface and shallow sandy bottom. Before swimming out to the reef, take a few minutes and become accustomed to the equipment and breathing through a snorkel. Rest on your back keeping your lungs fairly full to realize that you cannot sink in saltwater and become comfortable in the water prior to snorkeling where you are not able to stand up.
Top snorkel sites include: Smith Cove, Eden Rock, Starfish Point, Cemetery Beach and Cali Shipwreck.
Virtually all non-private snorkel tours include a stop at world famous Stingray City, where dozens of playful Southern Stingrays interact with millions of visitors every year. With dozens of companies in Grand Cayman offering Stingray City Snorkel tours, factors such as price, number of passengers, and other snorkel stops become important factors to consider in selecting your snorkel tour operator.
Stingray City Sandbar is by far the most sought-after snorkel tour on Grand Cayman, with close to 100 tour operators offering Stingray City snorkel tours and excursions. Because many companies cater to a behemoth cruise industry, the most important factor in choosing a snorkel tour operator is the number of guests they take; choose a tour operator who takes less than thirty guests to maximize snorkel time, comfort and safety. Soto’s Cruises is one of the most affordable and crowd free snorkel tour operators in Grand Cayman, averaging only 12 guests per trip.
Most operators offer more than one stop, with the northern Barrier Reef, Coral Gardens and Starfish Point being among the most appealing and diverse snorkel sites. Stingray City is such a popular snorkeling attraction in Grand Cayman that only private charters offer snorkel trips exclusive of Stingray City. Cayman Private Charters offer custom snorkel tours to any snorkel site in Grand Cayman; rates for private charters average $500/hour.