Snorkeling Around Grand Cayman

Whether you're an experienced snorkeler or your trip to the island will be the first time you encounter the sport, Grand Cayman is a spot that tops the list of snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean.  Not only are some of the most breathtaking sites easy to access, but they are great for all skill levels as well.

Snorkeling conditions on the island will vary depending on where it is you are.  To the south and up along the east coast you'll encounter rougher waters which will have to be monitored to ensure you can snorkel safely.  On days when the current is calm, you'll be able to glimpse more interestingly formed corals that have been shaped by the movement of the sea. 

Along the west coast, especially at Seven Mile Beach, is where the most popular snorkeling sites are located.  There are several artificial reefs here, and tourists staying in resorts along the coast flock to these waters because there are significant amounts of fish, coral, sponges, and more to be seen within 100 yards of the shore.  Further out are several different wreck sites.

The most sought after snorkeling location around Grand Cayman is without a doubt Stingray City, with the Kittiwake Shipwreck And Artificial Reef being a close second.  There are numerous tours that make trips to these sites on a daily basis, many of which combine snorkeling and diving, so if you're traveling with someone who wants to do some scuba diving this will be a great opportunity.  

Local tour guides are very passionate and knowledgeable, so don't hesitate to sign up for a snorkeling tour if you'd like to do some deep water snorkeling.  Still, if you prefer to go it alone you'll spend between $10 and $20(USD) a day to rent a snorkeling kit that includes your mask, snorkel and fins.

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to explore what's down below you might enjoy Stingray City. One of the most popular sites in the entire island group, this is the place to go if you want to interact with stingrays. At this shallow sand bar, you will be able to feed, touch, and swim along with hundreds of stingrays. This snorkeling site is located in the northwestern part of Grand Cayman.

Devil's Grotto is another option. This location is known for its series of tunnels that are a favorite resting and hiding spot for numerous marine animals. Tarpon, in particular, are known to stay around this area during the day.

A third place to consider is Eden Rock. This is where visitors will find one of the single best places in the Cayman Islands to see schools of fish swimming around. In addition, you can find a sprawling coral reef, and interesting underwater landscapes. Just realize that this is a very popular spot, and is often crowded.

A fourth place to go snorkeling is Cemetery Beach. Just offshore of this location is a reef that is home to schools of parrot fish and many other marine animals, including reef sharks. If you're interested, this site is found within West Bay, in the western part of Grand Cayman.

East End is a fifth site to consider. The eastern part of Grand Cayman may be a bit less popular, but it still has some fantastic snorkeling. In fact, off Colliers is one of the best places on the island to tarpons, conch, coral, and other marine life – all without the crowds found in the west.

Look through this table to find out more about 18 of the most popular locations where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Grand Cayman
Site Location
Stingray City 7.0 mi. North-Northeast of Central Georgetown
Devil's Grotto 0.4 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Eden Rock 0.3 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Wreck of the Gamma 0.9 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Turtle Reef 6.7 mi. North-Northwest of Central Georgetown
Cemetery Beach 5.3 mi. North of Central Georgetown
East End 3.6 mi. North-Northeast of Central East End
Parrot's Landing 0.6 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Coral Garden 3.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central Georgetown
Rum Point 0.8 mi. North of Central Cayman Kai
Water Cay 0.6 mi. West-Southwest of Central Cayman Kai
Frank Sound Beach 6.5 mi. East of Central Bodden Town
Wreck of the Cali 0.3 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Smith's Cove 1.5 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Georgetown
Barefoot Beach 4.0 mi. North of Central East End
Seven Mile Beach 3.8 mi. North of Central downtown Georgetown
Old Man Bay Beach 0.2 mi. Northeast of Central Old Man Bay
Water Cay 0.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Cayman Kai

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the best snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're ready to snorkel during a boat trip, you can check with Jolly Roger. Live the life of a pirate aboard the Jolly Roger, one of the Cayman Islands favorite day sailing adventures.

Another option to investigate is Cayman Islands Sailing Charters. Although they will tailor each trip to your needs, they typically take their guests to visit the Sand Bar, Stingray City, Rum Point, and Starfish Point for sailing, swimming, and snorkeling. They're located within Georgetown, in western Grand Cayman.

Still another option is Sail Cayman. Owned and operated by Neil Galway, an Irishman who loves sailing and the Cayman Islands, Sail Cayman is unique because it allows guests to choose between sail boats and power boats for their excursions.

Take a look at the following chart for a list of boat trips and day sails that offer snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Grand Cayman
Name Phone Location
Black Princess Charters (345) 949-0400 West Bay
Cayman Islands Sailing Charters (345) 525-1222 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Jolly Roger (345) 945-7245 0.8 mi. East of Downtown Georgetown
Ocean Frontiers (345) 947-7500 Grand Cayman
Pirates Of The Caymans (345) 623-7245 Seven Mile Beach
Red Sail Sports Charters (345) 623-5965 Grand Cayman
Sail Cayman (345) 916-4333 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Sun Rays Tours -- 1.6 mi. North of Central Seven Mile Beach

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for someone offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Living the Dream. Snorkelers are welcome to tag along when scuba diving trips head out to Stingray City or the USS Kittiwake Wreck. They can also charter a full day trip of snorkeling to create a more personalized adventure. They are located within Seven Mile Beach, in the western part of Grand Cayman.

A second company catering to snorkelers is Abanks' Watersports. Encouraging visitors to skip the "cattle dive operations" and choose a more personalized service, Abanks' Watersports keeps every one of their daily dive excursions small in order to create the perfect dive experience for you.

A third option is Eden Rock Diving Center. Two of the most popular snorkeling reefs are within easy reach of this operator's headquarters: Devil's Grotto and Eden Rock. They're located within Georgetown, in the western part of Grand Cayman.

The table below shows information concerning 19 places that offer services related to snorkeling.

Snorkeling Services On Grand Cayman
Name Type Phone Location
Abanks' Watersports Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 945-1444 0.6 mi. Southeast of Downtown Georgetown
Absolute Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 916-4133 Georgetown
DNS Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 916-2490 Seven Mile Beach
Deep Blue Divers Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 916-1293 Georgetown
Divers Down Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 945-1611 Georgetown
Divers Supply Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 949-7621 1.7 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Divers World Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 949-8128 1.2 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Divetech Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 946-5658 Grand Cayman
Don Fosters Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 945-5132 Georgetown
Eden Rock Diving Center Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 949-7243 0.3 mi. South West of Downtown Georgetown
Epic Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 526-5020 Georgetown
Living the Dream Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 526-3483 2.0 mi. North of Downtown Georgetown
Lobster Pot Dive Center Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 946-8685 Georgetown
Ocean Frontiers Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 947-7500 East End, Eastern part of Grand Cayman
Off The Wall Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 945-7525 Grand Cayman
Pirate Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 324-3271 Seven Mile Beach
Red Sail Sports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (345) 945-5965 3.5 mi. North of Central Georgetown
Sea Trek and SNUBA Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 949-0008 Downtown Georgetown
Seven Mile Watersports Snorkeling Tour Operator (345) 949-0332 Seven Mile Beach

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling article.

You can easily spend every day of your Grand Cayman getaway snorkeling, and it is not uncommon for tourists to bring their gear with them wherever they go just in case the mood strike them.  The beautiful and mysterious underwater world that surrounds the island may never be fully explored, but that doesn't mean you can't give it a try. 


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