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Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman

 


 

Scuba diving in Grand Cayman offers cleaner and more transparent waters than other islands in the Caribbean region, with the superb visibility. Large schools of fish, flocks of turtles, various rays, reef walls, caves and tunnels do not leave guests indifferent! Known for its amazing wall dives, beautiful coral reefs and visibility that often reaches more than 30 metres, the Cayman Islands offer some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean.

 

Stingray City Cayman

Stingray City

 

Scuba diving in Grand Cayman: General Information

Cayman Islands comprise a group of three islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. It is ideal for diving. In the coastal waters of the islands, cleaner than the average in the Caribbean, live exotic fish, turtles and various types of stingrays.

Grand Cayman - the largest and most developed island of the archipelago . Here are the main attractions, popular restaurants and shops with large professional and amateur diving equipment. Grand Cayman - amazing wildlife kingdom, that impresses by its pristine beauty. Nature gave Cayman rare plants and animals, which can not be found in other countries and continents.

Cayman Brac - a small island with a bizarre relief formed by numerous cliffs. The island has no trendy galleries or masterpieces of colonial architecture and monuments of technological culture, that we may find in megalopolises of the world. Island literally breathes with nature, which attracts enthusiasts of ecological tourism and the people, dreaming to achieve inner harmony and peace of mind. The main attractions of the island are the mysterious caves and mangroves lost in the thickets.

Little Cayman is the least developed and inhabited island of the archipelago. Most of the island is occupied by swamps, lagoons and ponds spilled in dense mangroves. Our imagination will be definitely hit by deserted unspoilt beaches of the island. There is a preserved rare colony of iguanas, numbering about two thousand in Little Cayman. The island is also known as one of the best places for diving.

 

The three Cayman Islands are small, coral-encrusted summits of an underwater mountain range surrounded by the waters of the western Caribbean.

It's no surprise that the three Cayman Islands are known for gorgeous, sun-kissed beaches and world-class scuba diving and snorkelling. Bloody Bay Wall is the most famous, but all three islands have dozens of great dive sites that make scuba diving in Grand Cayman unforgettable. Even if you don't put on a mask and fins, you can still experience the sea's wonders at Stingray City, or from the comfort of a submarine.

 

Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: Diving Conditions

  • depths: 2-37 metres/12-120 feet;
  • visibility: 18-30+ metres/60-100+ feet;
  • currents: calm and almost current free;
  • water temperature: 26-28C/78-82F all year-round;
  • dive season: all year-round;
  • weather & air temperature: hurricane season is June- November; 21-27C/70-80F all year-round;
  • access: shore diving (many beach access points), boat diving, liveaboards;
  • skill level: beginner/advanced/snorkel;
  • main diving recommendations: with or without 3-5 mm dive suit, dive computer, boots, fins, mask, snorkel, gloves, flashlight for night dives, dive insurance, OWD qualification (as a minimum)

 

Scuba diving in Grand Cayman: Marine Flora & Fauna

The clear waters around the Cayman Islands are home to a remarkable array of marine life. With underwater visibility often exceeding fifty metres, reliably warm sea temperatures and lack of pollution the islands have some of the healthiest reef structures remaining in the entire Caribbean.

Many divers and snorkelers will be thrilled to see some of the larger marine species that visit the reefs! So don't forget to grab your underwater camera to make portraits of the representatives of the local population:

  • star corals, brain corals, sea fans, giant barrel sponges;
  • southern stingrays, yellow stingrays, electric rays;
  • parrotfish;
  • spanish hogfish;
  • silvery tarpons;
  • groupers;
  • reef sharks;
  • spotted eagle rays;
  • colourful wrasses, squirrelfish, basslets and angelfish;
  • moray eels;
  • green turtles

 

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Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: Scuba Diving Centres

The Cayman Islands are recognized as the birthplace of recreational diving in the Caribbean. Today, Cayman is one of the world's top dive destinations, with more than 40 dive operations and 200 dive sites marked with moorings, which make scuba diving in Grand Cayman thrilling and comfortable.

You may find below small number of the local well-known dive centres, which not only guide you around many beautiful dive sites, but also may certify you in scuba diving career progression.

 

Ambassador Divers Brac Scuba Shack Cayman Diving School Cayman Marine Lab
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Cayman University Divers Indigo Divers Living The Dream Divers Tortuga Divers at Morritt's
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Just a few Dive Shops in Gozo (click on TripAdvisor icon to read divers' reviews)

 

 

Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: The Most Popular Scuba Diving Locations

There are well over 200 dive sites on Grand Cayman. There is a great diversity of marine life and topography to choose from awesome scuba diving in Grand Cayman on all four sides of the island: North, East, South and West.

 

Dive Sites Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman Dive Sites

 

Grand Cayman dives can be categorized by:

  • wall diving - Grand Cayman is surrounded by a wall, which generally starts at about 40-60 feet deep and slopes off to over 2,000 feet in some places.  There are hundreds of wall diving sites situated all around the island, and each can accommodate any level of certification or skill;
  • wreck diving - there are several ship-wrecks around Grand Cayman, like Ore Verde, Balboa, Kittiwake (West side), Ten Sails (East side);
  • reef diving;
  • shore diving

 

Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: NORTH SIDE GRAND CAYMAN DIVING

North Side Cayman islands diving considered by some to be the best of Cayman diving. This place is home to one of famous local inhabitants - eagle rays. In the summer time it is not unusual to see large numbers of these beautiful creatures swimming together along the wall and "sniffing" clams in the sand.

Grand Cayman’s north wall is among the most vertical and dramatic in all of Grand Cayman. Stingray City and Stingray City Sandbar are situated along Grand Cayman’s north wall. One of the most popular north wall dive sites on Grand Cayman is Eagle Ray Pass. Besides the frequent sightings of spotted eagle rays, this expansive dive site includes many other species of marine life and corals in and around sheer vertical pinnacles, caverns and swim-throughs. The overall diversity, combined with its consistently 100 foot plus visibility, makes Eagle Ray Pass an island favorite while scuba diving in Grand Cayman.

Hammerhead Hill dive site is located at the middle of the North wall, named after the coral hill, where is a mooring pole. You can find hammerhead shark here, but do not miss the spotted stingray though!

One of the most well known dive sites on the north - is Babylon. The wall starts at about 40 feet, goes vertical for a spell, then turns into a series of cascades of plate coral below 100 feet. Big spotted eagle rays are frequent visitors, along with other open water species. There are abundant sponges and even black coral bushes. You can do this from a dive boat run by one of the north shore operators or as a shore dive, with the wall starting about 300 yards offshore.

 

Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: EAST SIDE GRAND CAYMAN DIVING

East end diving on Grand Cayman will typically involve rougher sea conditions due to prevailing trade winds, but the rewards are often worth the rough ride! One of the most visited dive sites is The Maze. It is Located in Grand Cayman's South Channel, close to the famous wreck of the Ten Sails. This honeycomb of deep, narrow coral ravines evokes an underwater labyrinth. Sponges and soft corals greet you at every turn, along with such creatures as Caribbean reef sharks, green turtles, and spotted eagle rays. Depths range from 17 to 30m (56-98 ft).

 

Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: SOUTH SIDE GRAND CAYMAN DIVING

Because of the prevailing southeast winds, it’s rare to dive South Side dive sites, though when getting there is possible, the dive sites are breathtaking. There are opportunities for virtually all levels of divers to explore this stunning underwater world. Grand Cayman's south walls are just as dramatic as their western partners, and the shallower reef dives along Grand Cayman's southern coast are spectacular. Dive sites like Japanese Gardens feature many caves, tunnels, swim-throughs, chutes and some of the most elaborate coral formations anywhere in the Cayman Islands. While not an everyday destination, the South Side is a hidden gem when the weather dictates.

 

Scuba Diving In Grand Cayman: WEST SIDE GRAND CAYMAN DIVING

Diving Grand Cayman’s west side offers the most consistently calm sea conditions and a delightful mix of wall diving, reef dives, shipwreck diving and shore diving. West side scuba diving in Grand Cayman now includes the USS Kittiwake shipwreck, which has recently received a great deal of national exposure. There are too many awesome dive sites to name them all, but here are a few:

  • Trinity Caves that offers us pleasant walk through a small channel in the reef at a depth of 23 meters. Under the reef are the famous caves - Trinity Caves with several long tunnels. Trinity Caves often filmed for special magazines about diving;
  • Big Tunnels - reef, pierced by three tunnels at depths ranging from 24 to 40 meters. Divers often see tarpons around the reef;
  • Bonnie’s Arch named for photographer Bonnie Charles, who disappeared on the wall some years ago, this site is at the north end of West Bay. A gentle carpet of sea fans, gorgonians and tube sponges gradually rolls over the edge of the wall. The arch itself is mesmerizing, but take some time to poke around the base and say hello to variety of reef dwellers who hang around;
  • Devil’s Grotto - one of the places that created the glory of the Cayman Islands. Reefs are close to shore, near Georgetown. There are through channels. The maximum depth of 15 meters;
  • Angelfish Reef - great place for the night, and for day dives, decorated with coral bushes and small coral heads

 

Scuba diving in Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac offers great variety of dive spots and require from the diver appropriate certifications. Even if you don't have any - do not worry, all dive centres that operate in Cayman archipelago have the rights to certify to PADI different levels.

 

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