Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Cayman Islands

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Devil's Grotto

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Off Eden Rock Reef off South Church Street
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Eden Rock

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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in George Town, Eden Rock has lots of tunnels and abundant marine life. See edenrockdive.com South Church Street
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South Side

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Wreck of David Nicholson

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Located at Sunset House, the wreck lies in approx 80 ft. surrounded by coral reefs.
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Amphitrite

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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AMPHITRITE is a bronze (I think!) mermaid approx 10 ft. tall and I believe she is by a Canadian artist. She is in approx 50 ft. not far from the wreck of David Nicholson. For more info, you can visit their site at Sunsethouse.com
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North Side

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Turtle Reef

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Along North West Point, all is great for shore diving with a long continuous mini wall just before the famous North Wall.
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Cemetery Reef

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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At the west end of Seven Mile Beach. It is a nice coral reef in shallow water.
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Wreck of the Cali

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Located in George Town, accessible through Don Foster's Dive. Donfosters.com
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Bloody Bay Wall

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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I highly recommend the Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman.
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North Wall

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Along the north shore of Grand Cayman, there are several places you can access and after a short swim be on the North Wall.
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Babylon

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Best to paddle out to the buoy and then drop down on the wall. Just east of Old Man Bay on Grand Cayman's east end.
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Smith's Cove

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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A small public beach with facilities. A few yards away are large coral reefs.
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Coconut Harbour

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Tidivers.com are located on the waterfront along the south shore and also have shore diving facilities to reefs.
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West Bay

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Sea View Hotel

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Great shore dive with mainly coral reefs and marine life. Bobsotosdiving.com
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Waldo's Reef

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Randy's Gazebo

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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The walk out towards Randy's is quite easy, but when you get to about 4'-5' of depth you will encounter scattered coral heads which come very close to the surface. It is an easy matter to walk around these--when you can see them. But if the waves are big and breaking inshore, the water may be too foamy to spot the coral heads. If that's the case, I think it might be best to save this one for a calmer day. Once you get past those coral heads there are no further obstacles, but it would not be a pleasant experience to get slammed into one of those coral heads by a breaking wave or strong surge. As you swim towards the mooring ball at Randy's you will come up on a large canyon in the wall. Following is my best freehand attempt at a plan view of this site: The base of the mooring line is near the bottom center of this drawing, You will probably want to start your exploration of this site by descending at the base of the canyon at the lower left above. If you want, you may go down the chimney I have labeled. The entrance is quite obvious, and the chimney is plenty wide enough to accommodate the largest diver. The top starts at about 40', and this vertical chimney will let you out at around 80. There is a slight bend on the way down, so if you go head first you will need to position yourself on the way down so that you can bend at the waste to go around the bend. Try it…it's fun! When you reach the bottom of the canyon, head northeast along the wall and go out towards the deep blue. This is not a completely sheer wall, but it is quite steep--perhaps averaging a 70 degree slope, or more. I like to fallow the wall at between 80' and 100' as I head east on the wall towards the gazebo. Finally you will look up and see the gazebo sitting out from the wall on a huge coral pedestal. The gazebo is a large coral archway facing NW/SE. The base is at about 70', and the opening through the archway is perhaps 8-'10'. I like to stay down below the gazebo as I explore around the base of the pedestal, then come up the canyon behind it until I am at about 70'/ The view in front of you is surely one of the most picturesque sights on Little Cayman. The deep blue is framed by the archway of the gazebo, thus making this an ideal spot for taking shots of your dive buddy. From the back of the gazebo, you can go through it and check out all the sponges living around the gazebo. Then head back to the southwest at about 60'. Very shortly you will see a big ledge above you at about 50'. Go up on top of that ledge and check out the masses of schooling fish there. There are always large numbers of French Grunts, Schoolmasters, Yellow Goatfish, Mahogany Snapper, etc. They are totally used to divers swimming in their midst, so they are unlikely to scatter as you fly in. Continuing on into the canyon where you entered earlier, look up on your left, about 20' before the entrance to the chimney. From below you might not notice that behind those big rocks you see there is a long, narrow cavern which leads back to a nice little swim-through. Go to the far western end of that cavern and scoot over the rocks, then turn back to the east and follow your way under the ledge. The swim-through is easy to navigate, and it leads to a vertical opening in the hardpan at around 30'. After you come up this opening, look back at the hardpan over the swim-through and the ledge you just traversed and note all the Champaign-like bubbles coming through the small fissures in the coral. The area on the surface of the hardpan is just as exciting to interesting to explore as the wall was earlier. This is aquarium diving, with an abundance of both juvenile and adult reef fish. When it's time to head back to shore, go on the reciprocal course of 150deg. It's not a difficult swim by any means, and I often have to stop when I get to 10' to let the 3 minute stop that started at 20' time out. When you do poke your head up, it still looks like a long way to the shore, but you will be walking most of that distance. While it is possible to reach Randy's Gazebo from the entry at Bloody Bay Dive Resort (see Great Wall West/Great Wall East/Ringer's Wall), it is a very long swim from there which is normally against the current. Instead, there is a much nicer access point which is slightly upstream from Randy's Gazebo. Starting at the intersection of North Coast Road and Spot Bay Road (at the "pizza man's house"), go east for 0.9 miles. At 0.6 miles you should reach the drive to Bloody Bay Dive Resort. A few hundred feet after that there is another drive off towards shore--one which I don't think leads to a particularly good entry point. The drive you want is that next one. Another way of describing this drive is that it is the first one you will reach proceeding west after going around the bend in front of the blue roof house by Mixing Bowl. This is a long, narrow drive which is quite close to sea grapes on the west side of the drive. The ground is firm until you get very close to the water line, but there is no room to turn around on this drive. Thus you will have to back out after you drive in. When you get near the waterline, take a look at the two mooring balls you see out in front of you. The large mooring ball to your left, on a heading of about 330deg, is Randy's Gazebo. The ball off to your right, at about 020deg, is Donna's Delight. Then the next ball to the east from Donna's Delight is Marilyn's Cut. All three sites can be accessed from this entry point.
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South Sound

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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The Chamber

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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Tortuga Club

Grand Cayman, Caribbean

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This is a drift snorkeling site in 1-20 ft of water over a garden of soft corals, sponges and fans on sandy bottom. Squirrel fish, crabs lobsters and shrimp hide in holes and filefish, boxfish, puffers and other oddities are abundant. At the end of the drift is the Tortuga Club dock. Baitfish school under the dock as do larger reef fish. Barracudas lurk to take advantage of the plenty. One walks south off the resort beach property to just past the first house to the south. There is a small sandy break in the seaweed there. Enter at that point and swim out about only 25-50 yards. Drift north with the mild current up to or just past the Tortuga Club dock. Do not venture out over the wall or too far north because there is a swift current there that'll take you to Cuba (I'm told). Small flounder and rays hide in the sand off the south side of the dock and the sandy bottom to the north blossoms with anemones at night. After midnight, large tarpon circle closely around the dock occasionally making lightning-swift feeding raids on the fish that congregate under the lights there. These tarpon can be mesmerized and with a flashlight beam for very close inspection. Eels come out to forage in the grassy areas at night. Be careful... several scorpion fish bask under the dock on a regular basis. East End: Tortuga Club There is one highway that loops along the shore on the east end of Grand Cayman. Just south of the extreme northeastern tip of the island is a large pink condo/resort development called the Tortuga Club. One can simply park in the parking lot and walk around the resort buildings to the beach. This is primarily a snorkel site. The dive shop on the premesis offers boat dives and will not rent tanks for shore dives.
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Lea Lea's Leap (Coconut Walk)

Cayman Islands, Caribbean

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The walk down to the waterline is a bit tedious, since you are climbing over rocks which are unsteady and perhaps 1' in diameter. But it's not a long way, so feel your way down the hill carefully. As you start out, the water will quickly become knee deep, then stay that way for a couple hundred feet. The bottom is "crunchy" and so not exactly pleasant walking. I do suggest putting your fins over you hands, because there are lots of sea urchins here. When the water depth gets to 4' or so, there are scattered coral heads which come up close to the surface. It's not hard to pick your way through these coral heads when the water is calm, but if the seas are rough and the froth is obscuring your view of the bottom it might be best to save this one for a calmer day. Personally, I prefer to head towards the Lea Lea's ball (the one on the right) first. My reason for doing this is that I like to dive Lea Lea's fairly deeply, whereas Coconut Walk is best done as a shallow dive. If you're going to stick to just one of the two sites, though, take your pick. They are equally easy to reach. Just head straight for the mooring ball of your choice. 1. Lea Lea's Leap Wow! Where do I start? There is just so much here. Following is a freehand sketch of the dive site which will have to serve as a basis for discussion purposes: As you approach the mooring pin from the bottom of this drawing, you will first note the two large sand pits on either side of the mooring pin anchor. These are worth checking out, so drop down as soon as you get to the south edge of these pits. Occasionally you will find a nurse shark in here. Hiding under a ledge at the bottom right of the right sand pit (the one on the east) there is often a very large Moray Eel. When I say "very large", this fellow is the biggest one I have ever seen--about 8' long and nearly a foot in diameter. Also, check out any sea fans you see broken off and lying in the sand. They often have Flamingo Tongues on the bottom side, so pick up the fan and turn it over. Recently I found one fan with 10 Flamingo Tongues on it. (By the way, these aren't nudibranchs; Flamingo Tongues are Class Gastropoda--snails.) After looking for the Moray on the right hand sand pit, go up and over the small stretch of hardpan separating it from the canyon on the right. You will drop down to about 50' at the southern end of that canyon, and the bottom slopes down from there. If you have a light, shine it on the canyon walls and expect to see a blaze of color. As you continue down the canyon (which is about 150' long), you will see an opening off to your right. We call this the "Meditation Chamber", since going in there can give you the calming sensation of being in a chapel. There is a very small opening at the top of it which admits some light, but you should not try to enter or exit through that opening. Again, shine a light around the sides and ceiling of the chamber and note the brilliant hues of purple, pink, red, yellow, etc. On the back wall, slightly off to the left and about 4' up from the floor, is the largest Green Tube Tunicate I have ever seen. This guy looks to be a foot long, though I actually measured it at 9". It is completely exposed, so you can study both the intake and the exhalant siphons. When you come out the bottom of the canyon, you're likely to be near 100'. I like to angle upwards gently at this point and slowly cruise to the west up to about 80'. If you're only going to explore Lea Lea's, you may want to head down the wall to the east for a ways and check out all the caves along the way. Going west, there are a couple of small canyons along the way and numerous deep overhangs. I've found lots of Green Tube Tunicates along here as well, though none so large as the one in the Meditation Chamber. After perhaps 200', you will see a second canyon cut into the hardpan. Just before you head in, stop to notice all the schooling fish hanging about. As you start in the west canyon, you should notice there is a large island off to your right, with reef tops at about 60'. Again, lots of Schoolmaster, Yellow Goatfish, Mahogany Snapper, etc., like to school here. As shown in the drawing, there is another canyon on the other side of this island. I like to cruise in the cut on the east side of the island, go up on top of the island, then cruise on out the cut on the west side of the island and head on down toward Coconut Walk. However, you may want to follow this west canyon all the way in, then come up on the hardpan and explore the coral heads on top of the hardpan. Just going out the east canyon, exploring the meditation chamber on the way, cruising the wall down to the west canyon, coming back in the west canyon, and then exploring the hardpan is plenty of excitement for a 45 minute dive. Or, if you have the air, you may want to head on west toward Coconut Walk... Coconut Walk is at least as complex a dive site as Lea Lea's, perhaps more so. This one is best done as a shallow dive, mostly at 50'. As you head west from Lea Lea's, start to come up towards 50'. Initially you will be on the sheer wall section of Bloody Bay, but before long you will see a ledge emerge at about 60'. This develops into the two tier drop-off system that prevails from here all the way around the western tip of the island. There is an inner drop-off at about 35'-40', then a ledge averaging about 60' deep, then the main drop-off. As you cruise west after the ledge starts, my suggestion is to try to stay right at the bottom of the inner drop-off. You will see numerous deep canyons below you which cut through the ledge and go out to the deep, and over each one of these canyons there are large schools of fish milling about. You will also notice some deep ledges cut into that wall coming down from the inner drop-off and then you will see lots of enticing swim-throughs running parallel to the inner drop-off. Explore to your heart's content. But don't ignore some of the peninsulas that stick out into the deep. The tops of those have much to explore as well. If you get the idea that you could have spent your whole dive exploring these canyons, ledges, caves, and swim-through's...you're right! As you cruise down, keep an eye out to your left for the giant pillar coral up on the hardpan. This is about 75' west of the Coconut Walk mooring pin, and it is something you don't want to miss. Unlike most corals, which feed at night, pillar coral feeds 24/7, so the polyps are always extended. This beauty is over 5' tall, with several offspring springing up nearby. Since pillar coral grows at about 1/4" per year, you can do the arithmetic and see that this treasure deserves your respect. Please do not touch, but instead take delight in the masses of juvenile Surgeonfish taking shelter among the coral shoots. This thing is teeming with life of many different sorts. When you're ready to head back, cruise the hardpan towards Lea Lea's, then cut inshore. You really don't even need to follow a compass beading here. You'll see grooves in the hardpan running gently uphill, and these grooves will take you in the right direction. To reach the entry point, start at the intersection of Spot Bay Road and North Coast Road. This is the road intersection just to the east of McCoy's Lodge at the "pizza man's house". From that intersection, go exactly 0.4 miles east on North Coast Road. At that point, there is a rocky drive going off to your left. Currently, there is a Coldwell Banker "for sale" sign just before the driveway, but there is no telling how long that sign will stay up. When you turn onto the driveway, have no fear of getting stuck. The bed here is coarse gravel, and you can drive right up to the point at which the ground drops away to the shoreline only 25' or so away. One of the really nice aspects of this shore entry is that you can come back and not have your feet covered with sand. That depends on how close to the drop-off you park, of course. There's even enough room to turn a car around here, so you can back right up to the edge. When you look out to sea, you will see one small mooring ball slightly to your left and a larger ball slightly to your right. The one on the left is the Coconut Walk ball, and the one on the right is Lea Lea's Leap.