The Cayman Islands provided another opportunity to dive in the Caribbean. Here are some tips to help plan your dive trip to the Cayman Islands plus a video of our diving adventures.
The Cayman Islands are where I hit 50 dives and started appreciating the small things. Maybe it was me finally feeling the most steady and calm while diving as I ever have (only took about three years!), but I truly enjoyed diving during this trip. We also saw nudibranches, very small sea slugs, for the first time, among many other favorites.
Best Time to Dive in the Cayman Islands
It’s always a good time to dive in the Cayman Islands. The temperature is 21-27°C/70-80°F year-round. Be wary of diving from June to November because of hurricane season; you never know what will happen.
Which Cayman Island to Dive?
Grand Cayman is the biggest island and the easiest to get to because of direct flights from the U.S. Getting to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman will require another flight after landing in Grand Cayman. Little Cayman and Cayman Brac are both about a 40-minute flight from Grand Cayman while Little Cayman to Cayman Brac is a 10-minute flight.
Grand Cayman is the most developed island, with hordes of tourists and businesses that support tourism. Little Cayman is the quietest, with one main road, one police officer, and a handful of resorts. Cayman Brac is in the middle, though still much quieter than Grand Cayman.
It’s fun to visit at least two islands to get different experiences. You’re more likely to have a more intimate dive experience on Little Cayman or Cayman Brac unless you book a private tour on Grand Cayman. That means more personalized instruction, smaller groups, and guides that are more inclined to point out smaller wildlife.
The Best Dive Sites in the Cayman Islands
There are more than 200 dive sites around Grand Cayman and around 60 dive sites each near Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Here are the most well-known dive sites:
- Bloody Bay Marine Park, Little Cayman
- Mixing Bowl, Little Cayman
- Devil’s Grotto and Eden Rock, Grand Cayman
- USS Kittiwake, Grand Cayman
- Babylon, Grand Cayman
- MV Captain Keith Tibbets, Cayman Brac
- Stingray City, Grand Cayman
I did my first wreck dive in Grand Cayman! I also very quickly learned I do not like wreck dives, haha. USS Kittiwake served as a submarine rescue ship for 49 years and was donated by the U.S. Maritime Administration. It was purposefully sunk near Seven Mile Beach in 2011. In 2017, a tropical storm pushed the ship onto its side. The tilted ship felt like a fun house to me and the mind games made it harder to dive. It threw off my center. We also went through some very narrow entryways and made sharp, tight turns that made me uncomfortable about bumping into the ship. There wasn’t a lot of wildlife to see. I would much rather go through swim-throughs and see more fish and coral, which we did a lot of on our other dives.
What You’ll See Diving in Cayman Islands
We saw nudibranches for the first time! These sea slugs come in all different sizes and designs, and they were so small, I had no clue what they were until we talked about them after the dive. We also saw lots of turtles, squid (even ones mating, haha), rays, and free-swimming sharks! (The sharks I saw previously were sleeping.)
Some of my favorite fishes also made an appearance, including squirrelfish, drum fish, and puffer fish.
Cayman Island Dive Shops, Dive Resorts, and Liveaboards
Vibrant tourism in the Cayman Islands means plenty of dive options, good and bad. Sometimes that means diving with beginners, which makes your dive a little more hectic. It’s easy to feel like one of many tourists being shuffled on and off boats day after day. You’ll also get dive guides that are less than enthused about having to dive AND being vocal about it, whether they mean for their customers to hear or not. To avoid all of that, I recommend researching dive shops before you book and find ones with smaller dive groups. Also, when you’re there, chat up your dive guides and they may be more inclined to personalize your dive as much as possible.
Dive Resorts – Little Cayman
Because Little Cayman is so small, there are a few options and many offer all-inclusive packages that include your accommodation, meals, and diving.
- Pirates Point – We had a great time staying and diving at Pirates Point. It was a short trip but we got several dives in and enjoyed the island. The food was fantastic!
- Little Cayman Beach Resort
- Conch Club
- Southern Cross Club
Dive Resorts – Cayman Brac
Dive Resorts – Grand Cayman
Dive Shops – Grand Cayman
- DiveTech – For diving in Grand Cayman, I narrowed down my choices to Dive Tech and Living the Dream Divers and in the end, the pricing was better at Dive Tech and they had a pink boat. We had a pretty good experience with DiveTech. The instructors were knowledgeable for the briefings and the equipment was in good shape. All the dive spots were no more than five minutes away from shore. Some trips had a bigger group than I would have liked and less experienced divers, but there was always time at the end of the dive to explore on our own. We dove with Lee as our guide several times and he made our experience better with his enthusiasm and knowledge. DiveTech also offers hotel and diving packages to make planning easier. Owner Jo has made DiveTech’s branding all pink everything, from the boat to the towels, so that’s pretty fun!
- Living the Dream Divers
- Don Fosters
- Epic Divers
- Ocean Frontiers
Cayman Islands Liveaboard
While the Cayman Islands wouldn’t be my first choice to return to for diving, I’m glad I experienced it. The abundance of dive sites assures you’ll have something new to see on every dive. I liked the overall dive experience better in other countries and there are certainly more affordable diving options in the Caribbean. If you’re a more advanced diver, I recommend a charter (or a guarantee from a dive shop) to the best dive sites. If you’re traveling with people who don’t dive or want a variety of activities, Grand Cayman has plenty of options for everyone to find something they like.
Check out this video of our dives in the Cayman Islands!
P.S. Diving has unexpectedly become a big part of my life. From growing in a new skill to discovering the incredible underwater world, it’s been life-changing. Check out all my other diving posts here.