Scuba diving in Little Cayman
Scuba diving in Little Cayman
Scuba diving in Little Cayman was said by Cousteau to be some of the best diving in the world. The dive sites in Little Cayman certainly offer some of the best diving in Cayman Islands, with huge steep walls and some beautiful shallow reefs closer to shore as well. The island itself, is one of the tips of the underwater mountain that forms the Cayman Islands. This means only a few hundred meters from shore there are sheer drops from five meters to a thousand meters deep.
Diving in Little Cayman is a truly remote Caribbean experience too with small dive resorts dotted around the quiet beaches. In many places on Little Cayman it is even possible to dive from the shore. There are both shallow reefs and deeper walls with turtles, sharks and beautiful corals all around the island. Little Cayman scuba diving is particularly spectacular in the marine parks to the North, Bloody Bay Wall and Jackson reef.
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Marine Life in Little Cayman
The richness and variety of marine life on the island’s deep walls is one of the reasons scuba diving in Little Cayman is so popular. These walls are thick with hard and soft corals as well as hundreds of invertebrate critters and reef fish. Huge groupers and turtles can be seen close to the walls feeding on the reef. Most of the turtles here are resident hawksbill turtles which means it is likely they will stick around while you are diving. The groupers in Little Cayman are Nassau groupers. These fish are known to be less camera shy than other breeds and their beautiful spotted bodies are a dream come true for photographers scuba diving in Little Cayman.
Lobsters and shrimps are often spotted poking their heads out of hiding holes and from behind corals. There are however bigger animals to be seen when you are scuba diving in Little Cayman too. Caribbean reef sharks are becoming more frequent around the reefs and walls since the culling of lionfish began in earnest. These big grey sharks can grow to around three meters long and are usually not put off by the presence of divers. Huge barracuda can also be seen hanging out above the reefs looking for food.
Best Dive Sites in Little Cayman
It was Bloody Bay Wall marine park that Cousteau was referring to when he named Little Cayman as having the best diving in the world. Most people who scuba dive Cayman Islands claim this is one of the region’s best dive sites. The protected area is a huge sheer wall that starts at five meters and drops down into the abyss, the amazing visibility sometimes makes this sight a little bit dizzying for divers. Here you can see Caribbean reef sharks, turtles and some very friendly groupers. There is also a huge range of both soft and hard corals and anemone to be seen all over the wall.
To the North Jackson Bay is also home to a collection of some of the best dive sites in Little Cayman. One of the best dive spots is Eagle Ray Roundup which is not only home to its signature ray but stingrays, turtles and a beautiful coral reef too. Jackson Reef and Wall are home to rich corals, sponges and anemone and make for an excellent night dive with hundreds of critters hidden away. To the very far North of Jackson Bay, The Cascades dive spot offers fantastic drop-offs and dramatic topography along with a few sharks, turtles and a fantastic reef.
Best Time to Dive in Little Cayman
It is possible to go scuba diving in Little Cayman all year round and the water temperature only varies from 21-27 degrees. It is worth noting however that from June until October is the hurricane season in the Caribbean. During this time there can be harder conditions making many of the northern dive sites such as Jackson Reef and Blood Bay Wall inaccessible for divers.
Experience Level for Diving in Little Cayman
Diving in Cayman Islands in general is suitable for beginners and more advanced divers. Some dive spots, for example the deeper walls in Little Cayman might be more suited to more experienced divers but there is still plenty of diving for novices too. Much of the Jackson Reef area is fairly shallow and enjoys a sandy bottom and lots of great marine life. There are so many excellent dive spots in Little Cayman there is something for all levels. Generally, even with up to four dives per day on offer Cayman Islands scuba diving never gets too strenuous.
How Do I Get to Little Cayman?
Getting to the Cayman Islands for your dive trip is relatively simple with international flights coming from the USA and London to Grand Cayman airport. Transfers to Little Cayman are possible either by a small aircraft transfer or by chartering a private boat. A small number of Cayman Islands liveaboard operators will usually start and end itineraries in Grand Cayman which also visit Little Cayman.