Grand Cayman is famous for the diverse array of scuba diving opportunities. From wall dives to cave dives, and reef dives to wreck dives, the possibilities are almost endless. Visibility is commonly between 80-100 feet, allowing for amazing underwater experiences and awesome photographs to be taken. The island offers both shallow and deeper dive sites to suit every level of scuba diver from novice to highly experienced.
Grand Cayman is surrounded by amazing wall dives. Extending out from shore, the reef system starts shallow until it meets the edge of the wall. Prepare to be left speechless by the dramatic drop offs, interesting tunnels, and fun swim-throughs. The impressive topography is perfectly complimented by the variety of marine life.
Stingrays are the first thing that comes to mind when you mention Grand Cayman. However, turtles, nurse sharks, moray eels, eagle rays, invertebrates, and a whole profusion of schooling reef fish abound on every dive. The corals and sponges are in reasonable condition on the shallower reefs, but tourism has had an impact. There are over 200 dive sites around Grand Cayman - a reason for the high return rate of vacationing divers.
Stingray City is one of the most popular sites to visit, to see southern stingrays up close. Be wary of it getting extremely busy when cruise ships are in; you may have a more enjoyable dive elsewhere.
Luckily, the island is dive-able on all sides, which is great for never having to miss a day’s diving due to adverse weather. Dive centers will choose the site based on the environmental conditions.
The north side of the island boasts a unique wall, where it is common to see squadrons of eagle rays. This area is open to the trade winds and most often dived in the calmer months of April-October. Highly rated dives here include Eagle Ray Pass, Princess Pennies Pinnacle, Lemon Reef, Roberts Wall, and Roundabout.
When conditions allow, the shallow sites of the southern side of Grand Cayman are a must. Dive sites such as Laura’s Reef, Red Bay Caves, Charlie's Caverns, Ned’s Tunnels, and Sky’s Arch are firm favorites. Topography is typically spur and groove coral formations, with limestone formed fingers creating interesting swim-throughs.
The west side of the island is the biggest crowd-pleaser. The sheer diversity of marine life that is found is astonishing; from rare blennies and nudibranchs, to larger visitors such as turtles and rays. Conditions are generally great year-round, making this a comfortable area for all levels of dive experience. A good dive is the wreck of the USS Kittiwake; purpose-sunk in 2011, this 251-foot long submarine rescue vessel commands attention. She sits upright in 55 feet of water, rising to within 10 feet of the surface - great for snorkelers as well as divers. Other awesome sites to visit include Trinity Caves, Round Rock, Big Tunnels, Bonnie’s Arch, Bolero, and Victoria’s Secret.
The east end has 55 amazing dive sites to explore. Journalists and photographers love the marine encounters that occur in this area. Caribbean reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays, tarpon, grouper, thousands of silversides, and all the tiny critters hang out here! Don't miss diving Grouper Grotto, Snapper Hole, Black Rock Reef, Babylon, and Pat's Wall.