Diving in the Cayman Islands – magnificent marine life, stunning reefs and exciting sites

By Lindsey Turnbull on 28th July, 2017

Diving in the Cayman Islands is an incredible experience, with magnificent marine life, stunning reefs, and exciting sites to be seen, it’s no wonder it has become one of the world’s top dive destinations.

diving in the cayman islands

An underwater photographer moves through the schooling silversides at Devil’s Grotto in Grand Cayman. {Photo credit Alex Mustard}

The three islands of Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman sit on the tips of an undersea ridge which plunges in places to more than 21,000 feet, providing spectacular walls and drop-offs. The warm, clear, calm waters together with an incredible variety of marine life make our seas an amazing diving experience. Each of the three islands offers its own unique underwater adventure and there are a number of dive schools to help novice and experienced scuba divers get the best from the estimated 365-plus sites – at least one for every day of the year! Not only can you explore the many natural wonders, such as swim-throughs, sheer walls, and brilliant coral formations, two manmade sites are also waiting to be explored.

Diving Cayman Islands

Just 800 yards off Seven Mile Beach is one of the most famous wreck dives in the world, the remains of USS Kittiwake. The decommissioned vessel was given to the islands by the United States around a decade ago so that it could be deliberately sunk in shallow waters. Today it provides a superb dive site and an artificial reef that is home to all manner of sea life.

Meanwhile, in the waters off Cayman Brac, the Captain Keith Tibbetts, a 330-foot-long frigate built by the Soviet Union for the Cuban navy, has been attracting divers for 20 years since it was also deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef. It’s now home to thousands of brilliantly-coloured fish and a variety of sponges.

Stingray City, Grand Cayman {Photo credit: Katerina Stavreva}

Stingray City, Grand Cayman {Photo credit: Katerina Stavreva}

On Little Cayman, Bloody Bay Wall is rated as being the most spectacular site on all three islands, plunging down thousands of feet.  But Cayman’s best-known site, for diving, snorkeling and simply taking a tour, has to be Stingray City, a sandbar where the Atlantic Southern Stingrays congregate in shallow waters just inside the reef. Tour boat captains ferry visitors out to the site for the experience of a lifetime, giving you the chance to handle and feed these gentle creatures. A rare and special experience.

If you’ve enjoyed diving in the Cayman Islands, you should definitely give stand up paddleboarding a go – read more here!