Scuba diving in Grand Cayman
Scuba diving in Grand Cayman
Scuba diving in Grand Cayman is one of the main reasons many people visit the island. In addition to long beautiful beaches and crystal clear water the island is home to some of the best dive sites in the archipelago. Grand Cayman, like the other Cayman Islands is the tip of a sea mount which drops down to depths of hundreds of meters a short distance from the coastline. This means that similar to most diving in Cayman Islands, the dive sites of Grand Cayman are on reef walls and shallow sand bottoms close to the shore. If the spectacular range of life on the walls and shore aren’t enough to keep you occupied Grand Cayman diving also has the island’s crown jewel to offer, the wreck of the USS Kittiwake.
There is so much to enjoy when you are scuba diving in Grand Cayman and there really is a dive site for every level of diver. Grand Cayman scuba diving offers less experienced divers, beautiful crystal clear waters full of stingrays and more advanced divers can experience the colossal deep walls and abundant reef life of the Grand Cayman wall which runs all around the island. Amazing visibility, beautiful reefs and lots of marine life this island is what scuba diving Cayman Islands is all about.
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Marine Life in Grand Cayman
The range of deep walls and sandy flat bottoms means that the marine life you can see while scuba diving in Grand Cayman is varied as well as plentiful. Diving close to shore means sandy bottoms and of course stingrays which are very tame due to people feeding them. There are also plenty of hawksbill turtles grazing on the shallower reefs and huge numbers of reef fish.
The reefs and walls around Grand Cayman are caked with corals, barrel sponges and sea fans making for some spectacular swim-throughs. It is also possible to see eagle rays swooping over the edge of the walls and even hammerheads hanging out in deeper waters.
Best Dive Sites in Grand Cayman
The Grand Cayman wall runs underwater, all around the island and is home to some of the best dive sites in Grand Cayman island. Babylon is thought to be one of the top dive spots on the more remote North Wall. The dive site has a deep reef wall covered in barrel sponges and gorgonians and there is a chance to see turtles and hammerheads too. For marine life this is one of the best dive sites Grand Cayman has to offer.
For those who enjoy caves, to the east of the wall there are also spectacular caverns and swim-throughs at the Big Tunnels to the East and Trinity Caves close to seven-mile beach. On the other end of the diving scale at seven-mile beach, flocks of novice and even more advanced divers visit the famous Stingray City in the North sound. This is one of the best dive sites in Grand Cayman for diving with stingrays. The rays here are very tame due to years of locals and tourists feeding them and you will be surprised just how many there are.
Probably one of the most iconic Grand Cayman dive sites is the wreck of the World War II ship USS Kittiwake. The ship was bought and sunk by the local government in 2010 as an artificial reef and dive site. The wreck has not had time to grow significant life yet but the ship itself is spectacular to see. The visibility and the experience of diving such a historical wreck is what scuba diving on the Kittiwake is all about.
Best Time to Dive in Grand Cayman
Scuba diving Cayman Islands is possible all year round although divers should note that from June to October the island is in hurricane season and conditions can vary. This can sometime be an advantage as the change in winds can open up dive sites in the South of the island that are normally inaccessible. The water temperature ranges from 21 degrees in the winter and 27 degrees in the summer so be sure to bring the right exposure suit for your dive trip.
Experience Level for Diving in Grand Cayman
There are dive sites in Grand Cayman for novice and advanced divers. Close to the shore there are many very interesting shallow flat bottomed sites with stingrays and turtles for less experienced divers. The deeper walls are perfect dive spots for advanced and technical divers with greater depth and lots of bigger fish on offer. Learning to dive in Grand Cayman is easy with a large number of dive schools available and some liveaboards will also offer dive courses onboard.
How Do I Get to Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman is the most easily accessed of the Cayman Islands with an international airport located on the island. This airport takes flights from various US airports and from London, UK. The capital George Town and the seven-mile beach are both popular locations for people diving Grand Cayman as there are many dive trips departing from here. A great way to explore the dive sites of Grand Cayman and it's sister islands is on a Cayman Islands liveaboard.