The Cayman Islands are located in the western part of the Caribbean Sea. They are part of the British crown territories but are nevertheless very Americanized. They were discovered by the famous navigator Christopher Columbus and are governed by the emblematic figure of the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II. The Cayman Islands are represented by three islands of different areas: Grand Cayman is the main and extends over 197 km²; Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are the little sisters of the bigger island and measure respectively 26 and 36 km². This archipelago is a high place of history in the chapters of explorations and colonies. George Town is the administrative capital. It has a tropical climate with summer heat all year round. It is the largest city in the Cayman Islands but also the liveliest, considered, by the way, as one of the most important banking centers in the world. The archipelago is indeed a real tax haven that attracts many offshore companies. These islands were undeniably subject to sanctions from the European Union. Whether on a relaxing holiday or for a more athletic diving trip, the Cayman Islands will delight all those seeking exoticism and escape. Several nature reserves and water parks host endemic terrestrial and marine species that you will not see anywhere else, some of which are unfortunately in danger of extinction. The crystal-clear waters and incredible panoramas are a delight for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. The islands host approximately 250 dive sites that are sublime and abound with a colorful fauna and flora.
Where to go for diving in the Cayman Islands?
Diving in Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is the main island of the archipelago. It is a prime destination for a diving holiday. It has a myriad of possibilities for different dives between steep walls, unusual caves and extraordinary wrecks. The limpid waters are particularly home to a large amount of stingrays and a rich animal and plant biodiversity, very interesting for macro photography.
The West Wall is the most famous wall of the island with a varied topography made of tunnels, caves and caverns that attract a very diverse fauna, coupled with an excellent visibility and a water temperature that is very appreciable.
For beginning divers and snorkelers, we strongly recommend the exploration of Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto but also Fish Pot Reef. These sites are accessible at all levels and allow to see tropical fish, stingrays but also eels in the tunnels and caves of this site.
You want to be amazed by an explosion of colors? The dive sites La Mesa and Victoria Secret will be perfect for this. Both have beautiful soft and hard coral formations, specimens of sometimes-rare species. You will find finger corals and beautiful sponges. There are also many shipwrecks. These are mainly cargo ships and remains of boats that have become the refuge of an abundant flora and a very diverse fauna. The wrecks of Balboa, Cali or Oro Verde all rest in the abyss. The most recent wreck is certainly that of the USS Kittiwake. This boat sank in 2011 to a depth that remains accessible, is protected by a national park and is an excellent discovery for snorkeling.
Diving in Cayman Brac
A diving trip in Cayman Brac offers an exotic and charming experience. The landscapes are breathtaking and more than 40 sites are practicable for diving in warm waters and colored by underwater life. It is a spot of choice to make beautiful shots!
The Bret Brothers Boulders dive site is ideal for an outing for macro photography. A marine rainbow is visible in these colored flora backgrounds. At this site, coral elk horn, soft corals, hard corals, tubular sponges and gorgonians dominate amid a host of tropical fish and green moray eels.
For a richer dive in animal life, we recommend to discover Wilderness Wall, vertiginous wall as the name suggests. Tunnels and canyons are the main attraction where you will be able to see groupers, schools of bigeye trevallies, schools of snappers and angelfish. It is also interesting to explore the Cemetary Wall where you will enjoy a dive rich in more impressive pelagics such as morays, stingrays, snappers, sharks, eagle rays and even funny turtles.
Do not miss under any circumstances, an immersion in the heart of the wreck MV CAPTAIN KEITH TIBBETS. This is surely THE diving spot in Cayman Brac, steeped in history, transformed today into an artificial reef. This Russian warship bought by the Cayman Islands is now entirely covered with corals and fish of all kinds. There are blennies, groupers, barracudas, moray eels, scorpion fish, hawksbill turtles, and garden eels.
Diving in Little Cayman
The youngest of the three islands is a little gem that is full of surprises. A real sanctuary for iguanas, its panoramas are also breathtaking. Isolated beaches, lagoons and mangrove forests make it a magical natural environment. The dives are accessible at all levels and are mainly in the Bloody Bay Marine Park. The species that inhabit these waters are mostly turtles, lobsters, groupers, eagle rays or blennies, lobsters, crabs, nurse sharks and moray eels. Large walls completely covered with dense and lush vegetation are also present on this site. It is, without doubt, the most beautiful spot of Little Cayman.
When to dive in the Cayman Islands
In the Cayman Islands, you are assured, whatever the weather conditions, to be diving in incredible spots that will give you strong aesthetic shocks. However, it is advisable to be careful during the hurricane season between June and November because the sea may be agitated. The water temperature and visibility are very pleasant and offer unforgettable diving trips.
What are the diving conditions?
Water temperature: You will be immersed in water with an average temperature of 25 to 28 ° C all year, which is pleasant for a dive.
Visibility in clear waters is excellent but can be blurred by swell. It is around 100 to 200 feet depending on the location of some dive sites. Visibility would tend to be greater along the large drop-offs.
The currents are variable but offer dives that are accessible to all. Large pelagics can be seen in rough seas.
Difficulty and level: From snorkeling to macro photography and deep diving, there is something for everyone and for all levels. From beginner to experienced, you will necessarily find your way. It’s even an ideal destination for beginners.
What can we expect to see when diving in the Cayman Islands?
How can we put it? Every dive spot in the Cayman Islands is authentic and you will feel like a fish in the water. This is all the charm and warmth of the Caribbean. The sites are numerous and unique, the setting is idyllic and magical, the fauna and flora are rich in colors and nuances. It is a haven of peace surrounded by flamboyant vegetation and populated by animal species, some of which are endemic. Historical and preserved wrecks where rode sharks, turtles, moray eels, snappers, groupers, tarpons, snappers, seahorses and especially the star of these places the stingray, make the experience even more impressive. An abundance of corals, sponges, anemones and sea fans bloom along rusted carcasses caused by water and time, to offer us a sumptuous vision. In a nutshell, it’s a destination to discover at least once in a lifetime!