Diving the Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands have 365 dive sites, one for each day of the year. You'll never tire of the diving with a variety like that. Warm, crystal clear waters are the standard, year around. The underwater topography can vary dramatically from site to site.
The calm West side of Grand Cayman sports several World Class wall sites including Trinity Caves, Big Tunnel and Orange Canyon. There are also several wrecks just a short boat ride from the beach such as the Oro Verde, Doc Polson and our newest wreck, The USS Kittiwake. The shallow reefs are inhabited by a myriad of "diver friendly" fishes waiting to pose for a photo.
Shore diving is available at resorts and remote locations all around Grand Cayman. Spur & Groove coral fingers, labrynths of caves, wrecks, statues and mini walls await the adventurous shore diver.
Grand Cayman's North wall provides excellent diving with shear walls starting in 50' of water and plummeting to 6000'. It is home to Eagle Rays, Sharks and Mantas. Green Moray eels can be seen free swimming along the wall and among the corals.
Cayman University Divers routinely operates on the North and West sides of Grand Cayman and also offers guided, narrated shore dives. Be sure to join us for your next Cayman dive adventure.
West Side Dives
The West side of Grand Cayman (Seven Mile Beach) has 75+ mooring balls in a 10 mile stretch for dive boats to tie to. The depths hold 4 sunken ships resting within recreational diver limits. Their sinking dates range from 1932 to 2011 and are up to 241' in length.
The deep wall dive sites starting from the Northwest Point of the island, down toward the West Bay dock feature the most unique formations on the West Wall. Here you will find elaborate canyons and tunnels formed from 16,000 years of coral growth. Examples include the famous dive sites, Big Tunnel and Trinity Caves, while the colors of Orange Canyon's Elephant Ear sponges will definitely impress.
For the shallow dives, spur and groove coral formations form in 25'-30' of water about a quarter mile off the beach, and stretch out into the 50' deep sand beds immediately before the West wall. These coral reefs hold entire communities of creatures including Lobsters, Eels, Turtles and Nurse Sharks. Look for Eagle Rays and Sting Rays feeding in the sandy areas.
Add to this the calm, warm water, along with great visibility and schools of a myriad of small fishes and you have the perfect day of diving.
North Wall Dives
The North Wall has a sheer vertical face plummeting to 6000' and has craggy passageways that lead us down and spit us out on the deep wall.. Here you have the best chance of seeing the larger pelagic creatures. We often encounter groups of Eagle Rays swimming in formation along the top of the wall. You may get the chance to see Reef Sharks and Hammerheads as well.
South Side Dives
When the winds shift and the seas get a bit too rough for comfortable diving on the North or West sides of Grand Cayman, we get to offer our customers a real treat, South Coast diving! These dive sites have been formed by Mother Nature's constant barrage of waves, creating dramatic spur and groove coral formations. Elkhorn & Staghorn corals adorn the tops of the shallow reefs at 15-20 feet where the battle for supremacy amongst the corals forms amazing overhangs, ledges and tunnels. You will love the labyrinth of passageways you'll discover during your South Coast Adventures. Many cracks and crevices are home to Lobsters and Nurse Sharks. The areas between the vertical wall and shallow dive sites offer fields of Soft Corals and Sea Fans. The South Wall eventually drops 26 thousand feet into the Cayman Trench.
Shore Dive - Turtle Reef
Turtle Reef is a short swim out from Macabuca at the Cracked Conch. It starts as a shallow sand flat that leads you to a mini-wall, starting in 30' and dropping to 60'-70'. This vertical mini-wall even has overhangs and ledges with plentiful fishes, corals and sponges. Turning left is a great dive and turning right gives you a whole other dive. Move out into the sand and search for Eagle Rays and Stingrays. Look closer at the plants in the sand and you may find the Seahorses, Frogfishs and Nudibranchs hanging out there.