The Cayman Islands offer a range of stunning underwater landscapes. Its thriving reefs, gradual slopes, wrecks, and super-friendly marine life make it one of the Caribbean’s most popular diving destinations.
A scuba adventure in the Cayman Islands is a dream come true. Exploring the best things to do in the Cayman Islands promises an unforgettable experience, from snorkelling in crystal-clear waters to savouring local culinary delights.
Experience the vibrant reefs and diverse marine life in the clear waters of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, or Cayman Brac!
Turtles and Groupers
Most scuba divers will say Stingray City is their favourite dive site in the Cayman Islands, but there are other wonders to discover. Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman offers a vertical drop covered with electric yellow tube sponges, black and wire coral, and waving sea fans. Eagle rays glide in blue water while triggerfish, Nassau groupers, and seahorses keep divers company.
Reef sharks, eagle rays, and Barracuda cruise the blue waters of Randy’s Gazebo on Grand Cayman’s South Side. This shallow dive is renowned for its photo-perfect finger coral heads swarming with juvenile reef fish.
Thanks to predictably clear water, Cumber’s Caves on Little Cayman is like an underwater circus with four 50-foot cave entrances and a wall teeming with life. This site also includes the stunning Cathedral, where divers explore a marine landscape adorned with barrel sponges, reef fish, and macro critters. On Grand Cayman, the wreck of the Kittiwake is an enticing destination for wreck and coral lovers. Penetration is encouraged at this former submarine support ship, where divers can enjoy the many interior rooms and search for nudibranchs.
For non-divers, barracudas conjure up images of vicious sharks or menacing pirates with their villainous appearance and set of sharp teeth. But scuba divers crave underwater encounters with these sleek and misunderstood creatures.
Often, the best place to find Barracuda is near shipwrecks. The irregular surfaces of a wreck create habitats for coral, sea anemones, and other small marine life, making them a magnet for fish and attracting Hawksbill Sea Turtles. On the Cayman Islands, you can visit a World War II Russian gunship teeming with colourful ocean life at a depth of 18 meters.
Known for their speed and aggression, barracudas can be found all over the Caribbean. They live in various habitats but are most famous for their presence at dive sites like Sipadan’s Barracuda Point, which is expected to be in the middle of a swirling vortex of these large predatory fish. Fortunately, while they are often described as “brutal,” attacks on humans are rare. They are more likely to be scavengers taking advantage of the leftovers of other predators.
Sharks may be intimidating for some people, but in the Cayman Islands, you’ll find yourself swimming alongside these magnificent creatures. The North Wall, a steep underwater cliff that plunges into the ocean’s abyss, is a hot spot for spotting Caribbean Reef Sharks and, with a bit of luck, even a Hammerhead Shark.
A thriving marine ecosystem depends on the healthy balance of predators and prey. As apex predators, sharks are essential in maintaining reef health by controlling populations of herbivorous fish that overgraze on corals. The tireless efforts of scientists and dive operators in the Cayman Islands have helped to raise awareness and foster a new appreciation for these misunderstood sea creatures.
You don’t need to be an expert scuba diver to join a shark diving tour, but you need basic scuba certification. It’s best to contact your dive operator for specific pricing and available packages. Remember that, like any marine life, you should never feed sharks, as this disrupts their natural behaviour and can lead to aggression.
Stingrays performing theatrically in front of entranced scuba divers is the classic Cayman Islands dive image. But this Caribbean destination offers much more, especially for wreck and wall lovers.
For example, some wreck off Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach gets top marks for clarity. Its dazzling 60-foot tunnel system is breathtaking and illuminated by dappled sunlight streaming overhead portals.
Another showstopper is the Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman, which plunges to 22,000 feet and is dotted with tiny caves, crevices, and swim-thrus. Big-lipped Nassau grouper, spotted eagle rays and reef fish make this site their home year-round.
For a more mellow dive, you can visit the reef wall and scuttled Soviet warship Captain Keith Tibbetts off Cayman Brac. This 100-meter anti-submarine frigate is an easy entry for certified wreck divers, with multiple penetration routes available through its foreboding gun turrets. In addition, it’s a great spot to view Caribbean reef sharks and big-eyed jacks.
While large fish and dramatic drop-offs draw scuba divers to the Cayman Islands, an equally fascinating world of microorganisms also thrives here. Nudibranchs (or sea slugs) are among Earth’s most colourful and diverse creatures, with more than 3,000 known species.
Nudibranchs are often no more than two centimetres long and come in many shapes and colours. Their ornate exteriors provide camouflage in their habitat, protecting them from predators that see their mollusk-like shells as food. The blue glaucus, for instance, drifts on ocean currents while hiding its iridescent foot behind the gill-like organs that cover its back.
Whether you are an expert photographer or an aspiring beginner, the Cayman Islands are the perfect place to experiment with your underwater camera. Capturing the breathtaking beauty of our walls, wrecks, and coral reefs is easy here – especially in apparent, comfortable water temperatures. From the swim-throughs of Randy’s Gazebo to the nooks and crannies of Trinity Caves, there are plenty of fantastic photo opportunities in The Cayman Islands.