Snorkel and Snorkeling Sites, Cayman Islands
 
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devils grotto cayman snorkel site photo
Prevailing weather conditions, together with your experience and comfort in the water will determine where all of the best snorkel sites for you are on any given day when you snorkel in the Cayman Islands.

With the exception of a few very special snorkel sites reserved for our forum members, we will show you all of the very best Cayman snorkel sites, including many that very few visitors are aware of.

Many dramatic Cayman snorkel sites lie remarkably close to shore in relatively shallow water. The photo to the left was taken at Devil's Grotto in George Town less than 30 yards from shore in about 30 feet of water. Besides an interesting topography and abundance of fish, giant tarpon and masses of silverside can often be seen while snorkeling at Devil's Grotto, which is part of the Eden Rock/Devil's Grotto marine park.
cayman snorkel sites eden rock photo

You can access this magnificent protected assortment of Cayman snorkel sites absolutely free from Eden Rock Diving Center, who will also rent any snorkel or flotation equipment you require. If you are coming on a cruise, be sure to pass the first somewhat misleading "Eden Rock" sign, which is actually a different operation; proceede a few steps further and you will see the real Eden Rock, which is a new modern facility with showers and an easy entry/exit ladder. Just look for the Eden Rock red apple logo.
More Eden Rock Snorkel Information

Cayman Islands Snorkel Guide

Cali Shipwreck Snorkeling

Coral Gardens Snorkeling Information

Geneva - Kathleen Shipwreck Snorkel Information

Half Moon Bay Snorkeling

Morritts Tortuga Snorkel Information

Seven Mile Beach Snorkeling

Smith Cove Snorkeling

Stingray City Snorkeling

Sunset Reef Snorkel Information

Turtle Reef Snorkel Information

More Cayman Islands Snorkel Information


cemetery beach cayman snorkel site photo

Good snorkeling can be found in the waters off virtually any resort or condo along Seven Mile Beach. In general, the closer to George Town you are on Seven Mile Beach, the better the snorkeling conditions will be; this is due primarily to the slightly more rocky composition of the shoreline, which provides a habitat for many interesting sea creatures. There are of course exceptions, such as Cemetery Beach, which is a very popular snorkel site with fair to good snorkeling. Cemetery Reef lies roughly 30-50 yards from shore in 20-40 feet of water. Its close proximity to Seven Mile Beach and relatively easy access from a typically calm sandy beach make this one of Cayman's more popular snorkel sites. On a scale from 1 to 10 by Cayman's exceptionally high snorkel site standards, Cemetery Reef snorkel site a 3. Please bear in mind that the Cayman Islands are one of the top ten diving destinations in the world so snorkeling conditions in the Cayman Islands are among the highest in the world; hence, what would rate as a 3 in the Cayman Islands would easily be a ten or higher somewhere else, like Florida or the Bahamas. You will find a comprehensive Grand Cayman snorkel site rating topic at our forums, with every Cayman snorkel site assigned a rating based on average weather and sea conditions.
More Cemetery Reef Snorkel Information

cali shipwreck cayman snorkel site photo

Wreck of the Cali is a perfect snorkel site for beginners. Many of the cruise ships sell a Cali snorkel trip—some call it a "wreck and reef" tour. Here's a picture of Cayman's Cali Shipwreck snorkel site, less than 50 yards from shore. You can easily swim to it in about 30 seconds—a minute tops, if you are not a strong swimmer. The Cali Wreck lies in about 20-30 feet of water with a very easy entry/exit cove. Besides the wreck itself, there are an abundance of fish and interesting marine life in and around the wreckage. The surrounding cove area is an interesting snorkel site in itself, with lots of interesting critters in and around the rock formations that comprise the shoreline. This is one of the best beginner reef/wreck snorkel sites on Grand Cayman and it is absolutely free and accessible to the public, as are all of the beaches in the Cayman Islands, commencing from the vegetation line.
More Cali Wreck Snorkeling Information

smith cove photo grand cayman snorkel site

Smith Cove, located less than 2 miles east of George Town is one of Grand Cayman's most popular snorkel sites. The primary reef structure is loacted between 50 and 100 yards from shore at 40-60 feet, making that area more suitable for diving. However, the area in and around the rocky cove is only 10-20 feet deep, which makes it ideal for snorkeling. The rocky cove structure creates many interesting formations and even shallow swim throughs, in addition to a large variety of fish, corals and many forms of marine life. Smith Cove offers a picnic table, fresh water and portable bathroom facilities all free to the public.
More Smith Cove Snorkel Information

Cayman Islands Snorkel Guide

More Cayman Islands Snorkel Information


As you venture out to deeper water, be mindful of currents and keep a watchful eye on your point of entry. Darker areas below the surface usually denote the presence of a reef, sometimes only several feet below the surface. Here you will find myriad species of colorful fish including: snapper, angelfish, tang, barracuda, damselfish, trumpet fish and parrot fish. Take three deep breaths (and no more), holding the third breath and dive down for a closer look at the fascinating creatures below. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! There are many fish and corals which deliver a painful (and sometimes toxic) sting; also, the reef is an extremely delicate entity which can be easily destroyed by contact.

Excellent snorkeling can be enjoyed in the waters off virtually any resort or condo’ on Seven Mile Beach. Other popular spots include: Cemetery Beach, Public Beach, Wreck of the Cali , Smith Cove, Eden Rock, and Devil’s Grotto. Refer to our dive site map to easily locate these and other popular snorkeling locations.

Visit our message board at www.caymanactivityguide.com/forums where you will find pictures, photos, reviews, directions, tips, maps, reports and all the inside information on the very best snorkel sites in the Cayman Islands. It takes only a few seconds to register and it's absolutely free.

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Cayman Islands Popular Shore Diving Dive Site Locations :

Eden Rock - Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Clouds of sergeant majors and yellowtails surrounding snorkellers feeding them; this has become the trademark of Eden Rock, a popular snorkel site found just south of George Town, Grand Cayman's main port and centre of commerce. Stairs cut in the ironshore allow easy access to the water. Meander out over the shallows until you find yourself hovering over a mass of huge coral heads connected by tunnels and caves. A dive shop on the shore provides rental gear and instruction as needed. If you continue to the south, you will find other great sites such as Devil's Grotto, a unique extension of Eden Rock. Devil's Grotto features the same massive, hulking coral heads with even more open chimneys and swim-throughs. Sprawling out along the shoreline (to the west) off these sites is a spur and groove formation of coral peaks and gullies leading out to the edge of the wall. This is segmented into reefs named after the resorts sitting on the shoreline. You will find Parrot's Reef, Seaview Reef and Sunset Reef. Each resort gives you gear rental, instruction and guidance.

Wreck of the Calie
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore Access
The Cali was a four-masted schooner sunk just outside the harbour north of George Town in 1944. 220 feet long, she had been converted to diesel engines, the remnants of which are now spread across the bottom along with her hull. Declared a hazard to navigation, she was blown up shortly after her sinking. Her depth is a maximum of 24 feet at the sand, rising 10 feet off the bottom at places. You will recognize winches, boilers, hull plates and ribs nicely encrusted with sponges and corals. Shore access is excellent and the swim is just 75 yards. Watch for the resident population of Tarpon. Wreck of the Gamma The Gamma is an old freighter that has been sitting just off the shore north of the Cali for decades. Her hull is half exposed and half submerged and presents a striking view. Shore access is easy from a protected rough sand/crushed coral cove. She sits immediately offshore. Depths barely reach 10 feet. Many varieties of fish shelter under the stern while schools of silversides inhabit the interior. One snorkeller has even sighted a 300-pound jewfish. The ship's location is easy to find: walk to the shoreline just north of town and you can sight her. The entry cove is slightly north of the wreck.

Turtle Reef
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
Cayman Islands famous Turtle Reef was rated the number 1 shore dive in the Caribbean by diving magazine in 2010. Just north of the Turtle farm lies Turtle Reef. Snorkellers can access it through the shore facilities. Weather and sea conditions being equal, Turtle Reef is easily one of the best shore diving and snorkeling sites in Grand Cayman.

Cemetery Beach Reef
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore Access
This patch reef is located near the north end of Seven Mile Beach off a waterfront cemetery. The entrance is from a lovely sand beach leading to that strikingly transparent turquoise water for which the Cayman Islands are so justly famed. The reef itself is a long, narrow patch reef in less than 10 feet of water. You will find some elkhorn corals on the crown of this reef. The big attraction is the fish. Bring some food; make some friends. It's a bit of a swim, about 100 yards, and there is an occasional current, so be aware and cautious. All in all, an unforgettable snorkel site.

Coral Gardens
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
This shallow reef line is located on the i nside of the barrier reef off the North Sound. Less than 10 feet to the bottom, she is known not so much for her reef structure as she is for her fish and invertebrate population. The coral itself is host to a multitude of small creatures clinging to her. Above this are masses of fish such as grunts, yellowtails and sergeant majors along with many other visitors. This site is further offshore and can only be explored by booking with one of the many boats who visit there. Watch for the semi-resident green-sea turtle; it often pays snorkellers a visit.

Stingray City Sandbar and Stingray City
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Boat Access
These two sites have become justly world-famous for the unusual interaction between Southern Stingrays and humans. For years, Stingrays have dined on the castoff portions of fish as local fishermen cleaned their catch and tossed the remnants overboard. Local divers discovered this community, developed it, and today, this gathering of rays (ranging from small to some four-feet across) accepts food and strokes alike from snorkellers, all in complete safety. Sandbar is a pure-white sand ridge in just 3 feet of water off the North Sound, boat access only. You can literally stand and feed the rays from your hand. Stingray City reflects interaction in 12 feet of water. This is an extraordinary, not-to-be-missed adventure!

Wreck of the Geneva - Kathleen
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
The Geneva Kathleen - a two-masted, wooden-hulled, 200-foot plus schooner - met her demise on Grand Cayman's east end during a raging hurricane in 1929. It pushed her hard onto and then over the shallow barrier reef protecting the Cayman shore. Her remains sit there now in just seven feet of water, her iron winches and bollards encrusted by soft and hard corals. Enter via a protected beach (ask local dive shops for directions to the beach and the wreck) and snorkel right along the shoreline. A trail of artifacts will gradually lead to her grave just inside the reef. Currents here can sometimes be quite strong, but more often than not, it is very calm.

Smith's Cove
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
Located on the south side of Grand Cayman, Smith's Cove is a beautiful, protected limestone cove. The site features a white, sandy bottom with lovely coral head formations and small tropical fish. It is accessible from shore where there is a lovely picnic area for your pre- or post-snorkelling lunch.

Morritt's Tortuga
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
You can snorkel right off the dock at Tortuga located on the eastern end of Grand Cayman. It is a shallow area with coral formations, sea fans and schooling fish. Rum Point Club Offers another convenient snorkelling site where you explore right off the shoreline or the dock. You'll find coral formations and coral heads, schooling fish and a sandy bottom.

Sunset Reef
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
East Sunset Reef is a nice shallow reef area offshore but accessible by boat. Frequently used as a scuba training area, it features massive coral heads reaching from a twenty-foot bottom to the very surface (and beyond on a low tide). Shallower areas display a garden of sea rods, sea whips and such. Generally good visibility.

Half Moon Bay
Grand Cayman Dive Site and Snorkel Site
Shore and Boat Access
This small, semi-circular bay features an exposed, limestone bottom pock-marked with holes, small ledges and other topographical features perfect for hiding little critters. This is its attraction, not magnificent coral heads, but fascinating smaller fish and invertebrates. Watch for crabs, shrimp, eels, sparkling tropical fish and more. Very shallow with an easy entrance.

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