The Cayman Islands are a paradise of warm, crystalline waters, where marine life is lush and everyone, both beginners and veterans, can dive in search of both powerful emotions and relaxing underwater pleasures.
The Cayman Islands are an ideal destination for divers, even if the diver is traveling alone, with a friend, or with someone who is not a diver. And they are also a great destination for diving groups. Most hotels on the islands have their own dive centers or have agreements with dive centers. All dive centers on the islands work under the highest quality standards and are very professional and profoundly serious at work.
While every diver has their favorites, we have pinpointed seven of our best spots for attacking a tank and diving.
Top 7 Dive Spots On Cayman Islands:
1. Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman
Hands down on the best diving area in the Caymans, Little Cayman’s Protected Marine Park (named for a naval battle) boasts a spectacular combination of bountiful marine life and unprecedented visibility. Clinging to its sheer wall – which drops nearly 2000m into the abyss – is an otherworldly vertical forest of neon yellow tube sponges, giant swaying fans, and bioluminescent coral. You’ll also likely see sea eagles, turtles, lobsters, Nassau groupers, and cheeky triggerfish at any of the many sites along the wall, but some more interesting moorings are Eagle Ray Roundup, Mixing Bowl, and Randy’s Gazebo.
2. USS Kittiwake, Grand Cayman
After an illustrious half-century of service, they stripped this former Navy ship of hazardous materials and sank in the northern part of Seven Mile Beach in 2011. With marine growth on the Kittiwake still minimal, the fun is exploring the 76-year-old ship. 5m – all five levels of her. After going through the canteen, hospital station, propulsion rooms, and ammo lockers, you can even have your Titanic moment at the bridge. With a maximum depth of 20 meters, this is a dive for all levels, while snorkelers can also enjoy exceptional views.
3. Babylon, Grand Cayman
The famous Grand Cayman wall spans the entire island, with dive sites on all four sides. But we find the most sensational diving spots along the Northern Wall. Perhaps the most famous is Babylon. While there are plenty of places for novice divers to see on the sand flats atop the wall, those who go deeper will get acquainted with some truly breathtaking scenery. Among the mélange of black coral, giant purple sea fans, and barrel sponges, parrotfish, barracudas, sea eagles, green turtles and hawksbills, and even the odd hammerhead bind you to spot. One of the more remote sites on the North Wall, we usually visit Babylon as part of a live-aboard or full-day dive safari.
4. MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Brac
Brought from Cuba and sunk off the north coast of little-visited Cayman Brac in 1996, Captain Keith is the only Soviet-built warship accessible to divers in the Western Hemisphere. In 2004 Hurricane Ivan broke the 100-meter wreck in two, but both sides are still accessible, with the turret guns making a great photo. The wreck is now home to barracudas, large groupers, moray eels, and colorful sponges. Parts of the ship are also still penetrable.
5. Stingray City, Grand Cayman
Originally drawn to the sandbanks of Grand Cayman’s North Sound by the fisher who cleaned their catch here, the local southern stingrays are now so peaceful that it is possible to hand feed them. While most visitors opt for a Stingray City tour that allows them to wander into the shallows and “embrace” the rays, divers enjoy more of a 3D experience at a depth of approximately 4m while really huge rays come up for snacks (instructors provide squid to feed them). One of the best shallow diving in the world, it is also perfect for beginners.
6. Jackson’s Bight, Little Cayman
Most divers come to Little Cayman for Bloody Bay Wall, but the slides, tunnels, crevasses, and barriers that makeup Jackson’s, which are also in Bloody Bay Marine Park, are arguably just as spectacular. From tiny poisonous bubbles to cute eagle rays and elegant Caribbean sharks, there is a lot to see here. Even the deserted sandy areas are teeming with tilefish, yellow-headed jawfish, peacock peacocks, and garden eels.
7. Ghost Mountain, Grand Cayman
Just off Grand Cayman’s north point, a giant mushroom-shaped pinnacle appears to “appear” through the cobalt blue water as you approach underwater. Surrounded by instructor fish, it covers this looming feature in a carpet of creatures from blood-red sponges to star coral spiers and banded coral shrimp. Experienced divers will be rewarded with a splendid view of the spectacular cave crowded with gorgonians at the maximum depth of 30m.
For a complete list of certified dive operators across the islands, visit the Cayman Islands Tourism website.