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13 Dive Centres in Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands, known as a scuba diving haven (as well as being a tax haven). This location is one of the world’s best for scuba diving sites and adventures. The Cayman Islands are an autonomous British Overseas Territory located in the Western Caribbean just south of Cuba, and it’s made up of three islands: Grand Cayman Island and the more rural islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

With white sandy beaches and mesmerizing crystal blue waters, the Cayman Islands are the epitome of Caribbean elegance and style, and their world-famous dive sites make it a premier choice for scuba divers.

Scuba Diving in The Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are the perfect combination of what you’d expect from a scuba diving holiday in the Caribbean: excellent visibility, pristine coral reefs and hundreds of eye-poppingly gorgeous dives sites to satisfy every diver, either by boat or directly from the shore.
The country continues to receive global recognition not only for its chart-topping dive sites but also for its commitment to promoting a diving culture with respect to the environment. Scuba diving plays a major part in the tourism industry, and as such, it is highly organized and professionally run. There are many government initiatives promoting diving opportunities that encourage marine conservation and dive safety practices.

There are many dive centres, all offering a full spectrum of diving courses with PADI, SSI and BSAC, from beginner to instructor and tech level. You can expect dive shops to adopt sustainable dive practices, which are further enforced by a highly-experienced, fun-loving and eco-friendly dive teams. Most of the staff come from English-speaking countries, such as the UK, USA and Canada.

The majority of dive centres are located in Grand Cayman, but there are also exciting diving possibilities in the more laid-back sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Best Dive Sites in The Cayman Islands

USS Kittiwake, Gand Cayman, is not to be missed. This former navy ship was converted into an artificial reef in 2011, and it soon became one of the world’s best wreck dives. This majestic ship lies on a sandy bottom at 20 metres and features five decks that have been cleared for easy penetration. This is a dive for every level, and even snorkelers can enjoy the panoramic view from above.

Devil’s Grotto and Eden Rock, Grand Cayman, are two easy shore dives that feature stunning swim-throughs and fantastic coral formations. The play of light and abundance of marine light make it a popular diving spot for photographers and videographers. With a depth between 4-12 metres, divers have plenty of bottom time to have fun in one of the best dive sites in the Cayman Islands.

Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman, is not for the faint-hearted. Located inside Bloody Bay Marine Park, Bloody Bay Wall has a spectacular combination of excellent visibility, marine life, and out of this world topography. The wall starts at about 8 metres and drops down into the deep blue. The wall is covered with big and exotic sponges, brightly coloured corals, and a prolific array of fish. Watch out for Nassau groupers, triggerfish, lobsters and turtles. Diving the Bloody Bay Wall is an absolute must for diving junkies!

MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Brac, is the only Soviet warship accessible to divers in the Western hemisphere. The Cayman Islands brought this ship over from Cuba in 1996 and turned into an artificial reef. This Russian 100-metre frigate lies at 33 metres and rises to 12 metres from the surface, making it an exhilarating intermediate dive with some sections still accessible to scuba divers. Some highlights include the turret guns, picturesque sponges and hard corals plastered all over.

When to Visit the Cayman Islands

The best time to visit the Cayman Islands largely depends on your travelling preferences and needs. With an average 300 days of sunshine a year, scuba diving in the Cayman Islands is great all-year-round. However, it can be impacted by the hurricane season.

Like most of the Caribbean, the Cayman Islands has a flood of tourists during the winter, when the cold hits Europe and North America. From December to April, the Cayman Islands are indeed an ideal Winter holiday destination, with low risk of rainfalls and moderate temperatures between 22-30C.

From May to November, the temperatures soar, and there’s a higher risk of rain. If the heat is not an issue and you have other plans other than spending time on the beach (and diving) this time of year sees fewer visitors and, consequently, a drop in hotel prices.

Although the Cayman Islands are not heavily affected from tropical storms and hurricanes, September through to November is the riskiest time of year to visit, because it coincides with the Caribbean hurricane season, which officially runs from June to November.

If you’re planning a trip during the peak winter season, book your flight and accommodation months in advance.

Getting to The Cayman Islands

Most tourists arrive by plane at the international airport on Grand Cayman Island. There are many international flights from Europe, North America and other Caribbean nations.

You can also fly directly to Cayman Brac. However, it has a very limited international scheduled service and is mostly used for inter-island travel. On an even smaller scale, Little Cayman’s airport is used exclusively for inter-island flights.

Another popular way of getting to the Cayman Islands is by sea, either by cruise or, if you’re among the more discerning travellers, by private yacht.

The Cayman Islands, especially Grand Cayman, is a favourite port of call for many seafarers and international cruise lines, with thousands of passengers flocking into the capital city of George Town each day.

Getting Around

Making your way around the Cayman Islands is straightforward and easy. Most people choose to rent a car, enjoying the freedom and flexibility of getting around at their own pace. However, if you’re not comfortable driving in a foreign country, there are friendly and efficient taxi stands scattered all over.

Grand Cayman also has a public transportation system that runs through different districts, making it a reliable and inexpensive way of getting around. These can be flagged down anywhere along the road.

By contrast, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman do not have public buses. Nonetheless, getting around these small islands is quite easy. You can explore the island by foot, but if you want to stay out of the heat, you can get a taxi, or rent a car or a bike.

There are no ferries operating between the islands, so the only option of getting around the Cayman Islands is by domestic flights, or private boat hires.

Eat, Sleep & Drink

As one of the world’s favourite diving destinations, when travelling to the Cayman Islands you should adopt a mind-frame of “Dive, eat, sleep, drink & repeat”.

Most of the tourists stay on Grand Cayman, where you can dive to your heart’s content at some of the most famous dive spots. This is also where the majority of hotels and dive shops are located, with many international hotel and restaurant chains.

However, if you’re looking for a more relaxing holiday to detox from the digital and commercialised world, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac offer the ultimate wellness retreat to nourish your heart and feast your eyes on kaleidoscopic dive sites.

Accommodation can range from simple yet quite expensive guesthouses to luxury villas and hotels.

Non-Diving Activities

While the Cayman’s are best known for their diving scene, there are plenty of other exciting things to do, such as rum tasting and nature and wildlife tours. The majority of tourist attractions are on Grand Cayman, but Little Cayman and Cayman Brac also have their fair share of stunning beaches and historical landmarks.

As far as water-related activities go, don’t miss Stingray City, a series of shallow sandbars located in Grand Cayman. Animal lovers and water enthusiasts can interact with stingrays in their natural environment. You can feed, pet and take memorable photos.

The Cayman Islands are also renowned for their abundance of sea turtles. When Christopher Columbus first discovered the islands in 1503, he called them “Las Tortugas” because of the large numbers of green sea turtles. Today, visitors can still see them in large numbers in the wild, or at educational and conservation centres and farms.

Go to Hell! And take a friend with you. In Grand Cayman, tourists can go to Hell, an area with devilish-looking black limestone formations. Don’t forget to send a postcard to recount your journey to Hell and back.

Safety

The Cayman Islands are a safe travel destination, with a very low crime rate and world-class diving conditions.

Many dive operators run lionfish culling programmes to remove as many of this invasive species from the water as possible. However, it is illegal to carry you own spear gun, as is damaging coral reefs, wearing diving gloves or taking any marine life from the sea, whether it’s dead or alive.

There are many marine conservation laws in place, so it’s imperative that you adopt good diving habits, from being neutrally buoyant to respecting marine life. By booking your excursion with a dive operator, you can rest assured that you will see the best of what the Cayman Islands have to offer in full comfort safety.

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