Having long been a world-famous destination for diving, the Cayman Islands offers a tantalising array of distinct and breath-taking dive sites.
Warm seas, excellent underwater visibility, vibrant coral reefs and unique wrecks are just a few of the enticing offers that makes Cayman a must-see for beginner and experienced divers alike.
It is said that scuba diving initiated the tourism industry for these tropical islands. Today, Cayman boasts a whopping 365 dive sites after the government launched its ‘Dive 365’ programme in 2008, to give divers plenty of opportunity and choice to experience the full range of wondrous sites these islands have to offer.
Here, we highlight five of OUR absolute favourite sites that must not be missed when visiting these Caribbean jewels.
Kittiwake, Grand Cayman
The USS Kittiwake, a former navy submarine rescue ship is now one of Cayman’s most impressive wrecks, sitting on the white sands of the ocean floor. It was sunk near Seven Mile Beach in 2011 to make an artificial reef.
Now lying on its port side in 75’ of water, with the shallowest part of the wreck just 27’ below the surface, it provides perfect conditions for both beginners and experienced divers. There is easy access to the interiors, which includes a mess hall and hospital station, making it a very fun exploration as well as a unique one!
Devil’s Grotto and Eden Rock, Grand Cayman
With its abundant marine life and superb coral formations, Devil’s Grotto is a wonderful shore dive to experience. It is located on the southern side of Seven Mile Beach, approximately 46 feet below the surface, and separated from Eden Rock dive site by a sand gully.
During certain times of the year, divers can see a variety of fish including Silversides, barracuda, tarpon and parrotfish.
With bountiful, mystical caverns, inter-connecting, other-worldly tunnels and natural caves to explore, Devils Grotto is truly an underwater oasis and an unmissable site for underwater photographers.
MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Brac
This 330-foot Russian warship is the only of its kind accessible to divers in the Western Hemisphere. It’s located off the north shore of Cayman Brac, having been sunk there in 1996.
High visibility and low currents make ideal conditions to take in the plentiful marine life that frequent here. Turtles, scorpion fish, green moray eels and eagle rays are just a few of the countless species you can spot. You’ll be captivated by the colourful sponges and corals which have become abundant since this ship was given its new home.
You can also follow the radar tower down, swim along the rails and past the bow guns of this fabled warship. With such variety on offer, this site makes an outstanding dive for both new and experienced divers.
Wilderness Wall, Cayman Brac
This site has been described as ‘enchanting’ and ‘magical’ by those who frequent it. Located on the south side of Cayman Brac, this dramatic, plunging drop-off is host to a wealth of fascinating marine life, sponges and corals.
You can see canyons and crevices cut through the wall and a large pinnacle rises away from it. Here you will see a range of fish, from jacks, angelfish, groupers and snappers. Be sure to look out for the friendly turtles who are inquisitive, as well as the grand stingrays that often swim here.
Again, with all the variety and beauty offered here, this site is one of our top recommendations.
Bloody Bay Wall East and West, Little Cayman.
Little Cayman may be the smallest of the three islands but is host to one of the most renown sites on the planet - Bloody Bay Wall. It’s a perfect vertical drop-off that plunges from within 20 feet of the surface to depths of more than 3,000 feet.
Visibility is usually excellent here, which means you can take in with pleasure the captivating sea life. Extravagant coral formations and waving sea fans are bountiful. Look out for large orange elephant ear sponges, black corals and wire corals and seahorses. This site truly feels like you are stepping into an underwater, majestic forest.
Also likely to be viewed are turtles, lobsters, spot eagle rays and groupers.
All in all, the Cayman Islands is without a doubt the essential go-to place to visit for a stunning diving experience, friendly islanders and good accommodation.