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Best Places to Snorkel in the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman offers as much entertainment below water as it does above water. Don a mask and snorkel and immerse yourself in an exotic landscape of coral and tropical fish. Don’t be surprised if you completely loose track of time – it’s a captivating world down there!

Things To Know Before Getting Started & Insider Tips

No skill or previous experience is required, other than the ability to swim, and apart from the cost of purchasing or renting snorkel gear, it is completely free! You can rent snorkelling equipment at Divers Supply in Seven Mile Beach or at Eden Rock Diving Center in George Town.

It's important to remember that snorkelling can be dangerous and the following safety measures should be observed: never snorkel alone, stay close to shore and be aware of boat traffic, never touch any marine life and use a flotation vest if needed. Another essential rule of snorkelling is to never touch the coral as it damages the reef and can cut or sting you.

Here are a couple of insider snorkelling tips to help you enjoy your snorkelling excursions: practise above water or in shallow water first to make sure you are comfortable and use a defog solution to prevent your mask from fogging up.

Grand Cayman Snorkelling Sites

Stingray City & Sandbar (North Sound)

Only accessible by boat, this is an absolute must! There are two sites – the shallower Sandbar, which is 3ft-4ft deep, and Stingray City, which lies at 12ft and is often declared the best 12ft dive in the world. You will be surrounded by dozens of tame southern stingrays, who will brush past you with their silky wings looking for food.

Turtle Reef (West Bay)

Primarily a shore dive with a mini–wall, snorkeller's can follow the edge of the wall, looking at the colourful reef fish and soft corals. Access to the water is easy from Macabuca (opposite the Turtle Centre in West Bay). If you are lucky you will catch a glimpse of sea turtles and stingrays.

Lighthouse Point

Just a short swim from shore, snorkellers can enjoy the mini wall and thriving reef at Lighthouse Point. You’ll also see the Guardian of the Reef statue. Gear rentals are available at the on-site dive shop Divetech.

Seven Mile Beach

  • Cemetery Beach - Swim out to sea for 5 to 10 minutes to find the most vibrant part of the reef. A top snorkelling spot on SMB.
  • Governors Beach - A white buoy marks a coral reef where you’ll find lots of friendly fish and maybe even some rays.
  • Marriott - Check out the 300 artificial reef balls installed in the water in front of the hotel which are now home to stunning marine life.

George Town

  • Cheeseburger Reef - In front of Burger King, access is from a small sandy patch on the north side of the building. Swim straight out to sea for 100-200 yards to find an abundance of reef fish and impressive coral formations rising up to within 10ft or less of the surface.
  • Wreck of the Cali  - Less than 70ft from shore, opposite Le Vele restaurant, the wreck of a 244ft freighter lies in 20ft-30ft of water. Sunk in 1948, over the years numerous fish and corals have made their home in and around the wreck.
  • Eden Rock and Devil’s Grotto - From Eden Rock or Don Fosters, swim out to the mooring balls marking these two dive/snorkel sites. Explore tunnels and overhangs, where large tarpon and grouper hang out. In the summer months the caves fill up with millions of tiny silversides – a very impressive and magical spectacle.

South Sound

Smith Cove - Swim straight out from the beach and meander through coral heads scattered over a shallow sandy bottom. Explore the shoreline either side of the beach where the ironshore creates interesting rock formations with lots of little gulleys and inlets.

Prospect

Spotts Beach- A great site to spot turtles as  they feed on the sea grass. Beware of the strong currents.

Eastern Districts

  • Morritts Dock - Underneath the Morritt’s dock a plethora of curious fish congregate. They seem unafraid and quite happy for you to swim with them. Do not swim out to the reef at this spot though as the currents can be very strong.
  •  Cayman Kai Public Beach - A good drift snorkel, the east to west current will push you along towards Rum Point. Expect depths of 3ft-10ft and lots of fish and soft corals.
  •  Rum Point, Cayman Kai - The calm and shallow waters off Rum Point make this an ideal spot for beginners. There is a little reef to the right of the dock and many fish congregate under the dock.

Note: Ocean Frontiers offer a number of snorkel tours around the East End, their crew will take you to the best spots.

Cayman Brac Sites

Snorkelling in Cayman Brac is best off the north shore, weather conditions permitting.

Buccaneer’s Inn, at the end of Robert Foster Lane, has a ladder in place to access the water.

The unfinished Barcadere has created a salt water swimming pool which is also pleasant for gentle , sheltered snorkelling. Do not venture out into the open sea from here unless you are a strong swimmer and the sea is very calm.

Radar Reef in Stake Bay is also a good shore dive and snorkel.  

Little Cayman Sites

Because the drop off is so close to shore in Little Cayman, snorkellers can swim out from shore and peer over the underwater precipice that plunges down many thousands of feet.  Bloody Bay Wall is the most famous section of wall in Little Cayman.

Jackson Bay and Preston Bay also have excellent snorkelling but as these sites are exposed, only attempt this in very calm seas.

Eco Note: Please note taking shells or any form of marine life from the sea is prohibited. The exception is conch shells that are the by-product of conch fishing. Visitors may take home up to three conch shells per person.

Although it is tempting to attract schools of fish while snorkelling by feeding them bread or other leftovers, please refrain from doing so: the fish will not derive the nutrients they need and consuming human food may be bad for their health.

Snorkelling Tours

10% off

Stingray City and Snorkel Tours

By: Captain Marvin's

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 28.8 $ 32 Book Now
Discount

Daily Stingray City Sandbar Tours

By: Tours Cayman

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 32.4 $ 36 Book Now
10% off

Full Day Snorkel Lunch Trip

By: Frank's Watersports

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 64.8 $ 72 Book Now
Discount

Kayak & Snorkel Tours

By: Sea Elements

Recommended ages: 10+

From KYD $ 36.8 $ 40 Book Now
Discount

Private Boat Charters

By: Cayman Luxury Charters

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 220 Book Now
Discount

Private Boat Charters with Crazy Crab

By: Crazy Crab

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 460 $ 500 Book Now
Discount
20% discount

Sea Trek Helmet Dive

By: Sea Trek and SNUBA Cayman

Recommended ages: 8+

From KYD $ 56.96 $ 71.2 Book Now
Free snorkel gear

Six Different Snorkel Tours

By: Ocean Frontiers

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 40 Book Now
10% off

Three Stop Stingray City Snorkel Tour

By: Ambassador Divers

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 34.56 $ 38.4 Book Now
10% off

Fishing Trips and Private Charters

By: Frank's Watersports

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 450 $ 500 Book Now
20% discount

Shipwreck SNUBA Tour

By: Sea Trek and SNUBA Cayman

Recommended ages: 8+

From KYD $ 56.96 $ 71.2 Book Now
Discount

Aquafest Tuesday Stingray Tour

By: Tours Cayman

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 39.6 $ 44 Book Now
10% off

Half Day Snorkelling Trip

By: Frank's Watersports

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 32.4 $ 36 Book Now
Discount

Rum Point Wednesdays

By: Tours Cayman

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 50.4 $ 56 Book Now
Discount

Super Thursday Stingray/Turtle Tour

By: Tours Cayman

Recommended for all ages

From KYD $ 50.4 $ 56 Book Now