A diver explores the cracks, crevices and holes in a coral reef on the island of Grand Cayman

Wall to Wall Excitement and Variety

This is the birthplace of the wall dive. It started when scuba pioneers returned from the Cayman Islands with tales of sheer underwater cliffs that plummeted to unseen depths. Generations of underwater enthusiasts have since made these three islands the leading diving destination in the Caribbean. And there's something for all interests and abilities, from introductory immersions on shallow reefs to extended-range explorations that push the boundaries of recreational diving. Choose an intimate dive lodge on the quiet Sister Islands or indulge at an upscale resort in the heart of Grand Cayman's famous Seven Mile Beach. Swap stories with dive masters at the local pub or dine in five-star opulence. Whatever your style, the Cayman Islands can accommodate.

Highlights

  • Best for: Any activity from discover scuba to technical deep diving
  • Best season to visit: Year round, with eastern Grand Cayman sites best in summer
  • Weather: Mid 70s in winter to high 80s in summer. The rainy season runs from May to October, but precipitation does not affect diving conditions

Things to Do

The Cayman Islands Information

About Diving in the Cayman Islands

Though most famous for walls, the underwater landscapes of The Cayman Islands also feature more gradual slopes, spur-and-groove coral formations and shallow sites, along with several noteworthy wrecks. Diving takes place on all sides of each island. Sites to the west of Grand Cayman offer the calmest waters and close proximity to the majority of dive resorts, but boats visit all sides of the island, and divers are served by the most extensive scuba infrastructure in the Caribbean. Water temperatures remain in the low to mid 80s.

Diving in the Cayman Islands Tips

Brush up on your computer and multi-level diving skills for maximum enjoyment and more bottom time on wall dives. Search out the little critters but also keep an eye on the blue water for chance encounters with passing pelagics. Advanced open water credentials are suggested if you want to tour the lower decks of the USS Kittiwake.

Best Places to Dive in the Cayman Islands

The USS Kittiwake has become Grand Cayman's signature wreck, but there are several smaller wrecks also worth a dive. Stingray City, just because. Devil's Grotto and Snapper Hole for the tarpon and swarming silversides. Ghost Mountain pinnacle for dramatic views and abundant marine life. North Wall sites such as Babylon require a longer boat ride but reward with dramatic topographies. If visiting the Sister Islands, Bloody Bay Wall is a must-do, and the Tibbetts wreck provides a rare opportunity to dive on a former Russian warship.

What to Pack for Diving in the Cayman Islands

To reduce clutter on dive boat decks, use a mesh day bag for dive gear. Grand Cayman offers a number of good shore diving sites on the west coast, providing additional opportunities for immersion following morning boat dives.

Specials

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Cayman Islands

Cayman Brac Beach Resort

CAYMAN BRAC - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 Night standard room accommodations, breakfast and dinner daily, 12 boat dives, welcome cocktail, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers and hotel taxes. Valid through 1/18/18. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,140 per person double diver

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Cobalt Coast Dive Resort

WEST BAY - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 night standard accommodations, 12 boat dives, unlimited shore diving on boat dive days, welcome cocktail, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 5 drinks daily, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 1/18/18. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,300 per person double diver

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Cobalt Coast Dive Resort

WEST BAY - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 night standard accommodations, 12 boat dives, unlimited shore diving on boat dive days, welcome cocktail, breakfast and dinner daily, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 1/18/18. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,030 per person double diver

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Cayman Brac Beach Resort

CAYMAN BRAC - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 nights accommodation, 12 boat dives, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, welcome cocktail, managers cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 11/17/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $975 per person double diver

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Cayman Brac Beach Resort

CAYMAN BRAC - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 nights accommodation, 17 boat dives, welcome cocktail, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 3 drinks nightly, managers cocktail recetption, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 1/18/18. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,375 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 night poolview accommodations, 12 boat dives, welcome drink, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 11/17/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,150 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 night poolview accommodations, 12 boat dives, use of dive computers, welcome drink, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 1/18/18. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,345 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 night poolview accommodations, 17 boat dives, use of dive computers, welcome drink, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 2 drinks per night, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 1/18/18. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $1,645 per person double diver

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Cobalt Coast Dive Resort

WEST BAY - SAVE UP TO $350 includes 7 night standard accommodations, 12 boat dives, unlimited shore diving on boat dive days, welcome cocktail, breakfast and dinner daily, manager's cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 12/17/17. Book by 12/8/17. *Purchase of airfare required. Price advertised includes $250 air credit and $100 bonus credit using promo code CAYMAN100 with purchase of airfare on select airlines.
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From $775 per person double diver

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Compass Point Dive Resort

EAST END, CAYMAN ISLANDS - 3-NIGHT PACKAGES including options of 1 or 2- bedroom accommodations, 2 days of 2-tank boat dives with Ocean Frontiers, car rental for length of stay, hotel tax, and service charges. Additional nights, 5 night and 7 night packages also available. Valid for travel 4/8/17-12/22/17.
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From $625 per person double diver

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Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman

NORTH SOUND, CAYMAN ISLANDS - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 night standard accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives, complimentary use of dive computers, free WiFi, use of kayaks M-F 10am-12pm, complimentary access to off-site World Gym, complimentary shuttle to Seven Mile Beach and George Town, roundtrip airport transfers hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 10/31/17.
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From $1,242 per person double diver

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Wyndham Reef Resort

EAST END, CAYMAN ISLANDS - NON-REFUNDABLE SPECIAL RATE includes 7 nights beachfront studio accommodations (non-refundable), 6 days of 2-tank boat dives, welcome drink, 2 bottles of water, daily resort activities, free WiFi, use of bicycles, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 11/17/17 & 11/26/17-12/15/17. Book by 11/15/17.
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From $1,393 per person double diver

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Comfort Suites and Resort

SEVEN MILE BEACH, CAYMAN ISLANDS - SUMMER SALE includes 7 night studio accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives, breakfast daily, free WiFi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 10/31/17.
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From $1,186 per person double diver

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Lighthouse Point Oceanfront Condos

WEST BAY, CAYMAN ISLANDS - 7-NIGHT PACKAGE includes 7 night quad accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives, unlimited shore diving at Lighthouse Point, use of dive computers, wine, beer, soda, and water at check-in at Lightbouse Point Condos, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Valid 9/4/17-12/17/17.
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From $1,190 per person quad diver

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Packages

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Compass Point Dive Resort

EAST END - 7-NIGHT PACKAGES including choice of 1 or 2 -bedroom accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives with Ocean Frontiers, breakfast daily, car rental for length of stay, hotel tax, and service charges. Additional nights, 3 night and 5 night packages also available.
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From $1,280 per person quad diver

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Sunset House

GEORGE TOWN, CAYMAN ISLANDS - DIVE PACKAGE includes 7 nights courtyard accommodations, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives, unlimited shore diving, welcome drink, daily breakfast, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges.
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From $1,598 per person double diver

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Cayman Brac Beach Resort

CAYMAN BRAC - CLEARLY CAYMAN includes 7-Night Dive Package includes standard room, 6 days of 2-tank morning and 5 days of 1-tank afternoon boat dives with free use of dive computer, welcome rum punch, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 3 drinks nightly, free wi-fi, manager’s cocktail reception, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges. See additional listings for more current specials.
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From $1,725 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - AUTUMN CASCADES 7-night dive package includes pool or ocean view room, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives with free use of dive computer, welcome rum punch, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, free Wi-Fi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges. Click below for 7-night packages including all meals and diving for travel 7/29/17-10/28/17. See additional listings for more current specials.
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From $1,500 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - THE GREAT WALL GETAWAY 7-night dive package includes pool or ocean view room, 6 days of 2-tank boat dives with free use of dive computer, welcome rum punch, daily breakfast and dinner, free Wi-Fi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges. See additional listings for more current specials.
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From $1,695 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - THE OCEAN ODYSSEY PACKAGE includes 7-night dive package includes pool or ocean view room, 17 boat dives with free use of dive computer, welcome rum punch, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, free WiFi, 2 drinks nightly, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges. See additional listings for more current specials.
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From $2,544 per person double diver

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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - THE CLASSIC CAYMAN 7-night dive package includes pool or ocean view room, 6 days 2-tank morning boat dives, 5 1-tank afternoon boat dives with free use of dive computer, welcome rum punch, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 2 drinks nightly, manager’s cocktail reception, free wi-fi, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and service charges. See additional listings for more current specials.
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From $1,995 per person double diver

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Resorts

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Sunset House

GEORGE TOWN - With tropical Colonial furniture and Wi-Fi access throughout the beautiful landscaped property, Sunset House is located on the water’s edge with excellent diving right offshore. Sunset Divers, the onsite dive operation, offers an exciting, professional, customer service-oriented staff.
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Cobalt Coast Dive Resort

WEST BAY - Located 3 miles north of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach in the village of West Bay near the Cayman Turtle Farm, this resort was built in the style of a Caribbean Great House and offers laid-back luxury in an upscale casual atmosphere. Amenities include a full service restaurant, Duppies Bar and an oceanfront pool. Reef Divers, one of Cayman's most reputable dive operators, is also located on site.
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Cayman Brac Beach Resort

CAYMAN BRAC - Bring your vacation to life at this exclusive beachfront resort. Enjoy casual buffet dining at The Palms Restaurant or fine dining in the Grand Palm. Enjoy a full-service day spa, pool, kayaking, fitness center, boutique, bikes, tennis, along with valet-style diving with Reef Divers. Click below for 7-night ANCHOR WALL dive package including 6 days of diving and breakfast and dinner daily. See additional listings for more current specials.
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Compass Point Dive Resort

EAST END - Experience Grand Cayman’s tranquil East End from this beautiful oceanfront resort offering one, two and three bedroom condominiums with private patio or balcony. The resort also offers 2 freshwater swimming pools, a hot tub, BBQ pits, bikes and kayaks for guest use on a complimentary basis. Eagle Ray’s Dive Bar & Grill is located onsite and is open for lunch and dinner daily. PADI 5-Star dive operation Ocean Frontiers is located on site.
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Comfort Suites and Resort

SEVEN MILE BEACH - This all-suite resort is affordably priced and located just 50 yards from Grand Cayman’s famous Seven Mile Beach. All suites have either kitchenettes or full kitchens. Complimentary daily breakfast buffet and free WiFi are also included. Ambassador Divers, a PADI dive operation, is located on site to provide a wide array of dive services as well as snorkel tours to Stingray City and the wreck of the Kittiwake.
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Holiday Inn Resort Grand Cayman

NORTH SOUND, CAYMAN ISLANDS - The Holiday Inn Resort is the perfect destination for adventure and diving vacations. Guests can make use of the poolside covered patio, the pavilion on the beach, and our meeting room. They can enjoy a workout in the on-site Fitness Center, play a match of tennis, a game of beach volleyball, or take a jog around the surrounding golf course. Enjoy refreshing cocktails and international cuisine at the Blue Iguana Grill and Lounge.Guests can jump on a Jet Ski and visit popular attractions such as Stingray City or Rum Point or use our complimentary shuttle to dine, sight see or enjoy nearby Camana Bay, Fosters Food Fair, Public Beach and George Town. On-site dive operator Divetech is available for all of your diving needs.
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Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort

SEVEN MILE BEACH - Centrally located on world-famous Seven Mile Beach, Marriott's Grand Cayman Resort offers superior service and understated luxury in a relaxed atmosphere. All rooms are well-appointed and offer private balconies. Amenities include 4 restaurants, La Mer Spa, a beachfront pool, fitness center and a wide array of both land and watersports activities. Dive services are provided by Red Sail Sports offering a full array of watersports including dive excursions, dive instruction, snorkeling and sailing excursions, parasailing and more.
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Wyndham Reef Resort

EAST END - The white sands of Grand Cayman are your welcome mat and the crystal clear waters are your playground. Since all the rooms are right on the beach, you’ll enjoy sweeping, unobstructed views of the Caribbean Sea; the hallmark of Wyndham Reef Resort – Grand Cayman. Comfortably furnished with colorful island decor, our Studios, One-Bedroom or Two-Bedroom Villas are perfect for couple and families alike. Each of the 152 spacious and comfortable villas deliver the beachfront bliss you’ve been looking for and deserve. At Wyndham Reef Resort you can take advantage of the rare opportunity to upgrade your stay to All-Inclusive so you never have to cook on vacation and you can feel totally pampered all day long!
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Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort and Spa

SEVEN MILE BEACH - The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa offers 343 luxuriously appointed guest rooms amid lush tropical gardens with waterfalls and fountains, freshwater pools, whirlpools, restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating, lounges, 24-hour room service, swim-up pool bar, fitness center and luxury spa. Red Sail Sports is located onsite offering diving services.
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Lighthouse Point Oceanfront Condos

WEST BAY - Cayman's first fully solar and wind-powered "eco" resort offers luxurious 2-bedroom oceanfront condominiums just steps from some of Cayman's best dive sites. Built by the founders of Divetech, one of Caribbean's most highly regarded and professional dive operations, all units have unobstructed Caribbean views from private balconies. Divetech is on site to provide unparalleled diving experiences from their new state-of-the-art facility and 24/7 shore diving. Click below for 7-night packages including diving. Contact us for 4 to 6-night packages.
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Little Cayman Beach Resort

LITTLE CAYMAN - Experience some of the Caribbean's best diving while staying at Little Beach Cayman Resort. This iconic dive resort caters to divers of all levels and provides valet-style diving as well as instruction, Nitrox and many other services. Gourmet meals are served buffet-style from the Birds of Paradise dining room while the Beach Nuts Bar is located pool side and is a favorite gathering place when the dive day is done. The Nature Spa also offers a variety of treatments for the ultimate indulgence. Click below for 7-night CLASSIC CAYMAN dive package including 6 days of diving and all meals. See additional listings for more current specials.
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Liveaboards

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Cayman Aggressor IV

The crystal clear warm waters of the Cayman Islands have made it one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Divers aboard the 110-foot Cayman Aggressor IV will spend 7 days exploring the many walls and shipwrecks of Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac (weather permitting). Onboard guests can relax in the air-conditioned salon or lounge in the shaded sun deck. After a full day of diving, while enjoying chef-prepared meals and snacks, soft beverages, along with local beer and wine, guests can relax in the upper deck hot tub.
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Diving in The Cayman Islands

It would be impossible to see all the underwater attractions of The Cayman Islands on a single visit. Dive sites ring all sides of Grand Cayman, and the Sister islands of Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, providing a total of at least 365 named sites. You could literally dive a different site every day for a year. The best way to make sense of this plethora of underwater opportunities is to understand what each coastline has to offer. On Grand Cayman, the western shore is protected from trade winds and easterly swells. The shores of Seven Mile Beach drop gradually to a sandy plateau dotted with coral heads. This calm mid range is home to a number of diveable shipwrecks, including the fully-intact USS Kittiwake. a 250-foot submarine support vessel put down in 2009. Other wrecks sit in depths from 20 to 70 feet, and in varying degrees of decomposition. These include the Oro Verde. Balboa, Cali and Doc Polson. Offshore of the shelf, walls begin at depths of 70 to 60 feet and drop to more than a mile. The island's southwestern corner offers a rocky coast with some of the island's best shore diving, with grottoes and swim throughs that attract tarpon and swarms of baitfish. The island's north shore is known for steep walls and vertical canyons, while the south and east coast start with spur-and-groove formations that drop more gradually toward the outer walls, which begin at greater depths. Sand-bottom canyons cut between these formations, which sometimes rise to create vertical ramparts that project outward from the reef line. On the north shore of Little Cayman, walls start at depths as shallow as 20 feet along Bloody Bay Wall, while the south side provides more extensive coral shallows and spur-and-groove formations that lead to a deeper drop. Cayman Brac offers north-side walls similar to Grand Cayman, and shallow to mid-range reefs to the south, which is also the site of the Captain Tibbetts, a former Russian frigate put down as an artificial reef in 1996. A majority of dive operations on Grand Cayman are located on the island's western end, or in the expansive lagoon known as North Sound. Depending on the site, boat trips typically last from 15 to 45 minutes. East end operators provide easier access to sites along the windward coast, while dive operations on both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are located on the southern coast, and make daily trips to north-shore sites. Extended range diving is a growing subset of the Cayman diving scene, and those with appropriate training and equipment can visit deeper sites down to the island's sponge belt at 200-plus feet.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A valid passport is required for entry with one available page for entry stamps. No Visas are required for U.S. and Canadian citizens. Check the entry and exit requirements here.

Immunizations

Vaccinations are not required for entering the Cayman Islands if you're coming from the U.S., Britain, or Canada. Please check with your doctor or visit the Center for Disease Control's website here for more information.

 

Culture and Customs

For almost as long as it has been a mecca for divers, Grand Cayman island has also served as an international hub of finance and banking. This has provided the island with one of the highest standards of living in the region. Upscale shops, galleries and modern office buildings line the streets of downtown George Town, while West Bay Road is lined by high-end beachfront resorts and the gateway facades of new residential developments. But these islands aren't just for the international elite. Not far from five-star dining, one can purchase a meal of jerk chicken and peas'n rice from a beachside shanty, or savor a cold draft and a game of dominoes with a crew of fishermen and dive masters. At trip to the island's eastern shore, or the palm-fringed shores of Rum Point is like stepping back in time, while a flight to the Sister Islands is a different world entirely. Social climbing on Cayman Brac means inviting someone to join you for a walk up the Bluff Road for panoramic island views from Deadman's Point. On even quieter Little Cayman, nightlife might involve a tumbler full of rum and a beachside hammock under the stars.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electrical current is 110 volts AC, 60Hz. American-style two-pin plugs are standard and adapters aren't needed for U.S. and Canadian appliances.

Phone service is provided by Cable & Wireless. Check with your provider to see what rates apply or you will be subject to roaming charges.

There are many public WiFi hot spots on Grand Cayman and most hotels offer WiFi.

Water Quality

Cayman water supplies piped water to the Seven Mile Beach and West Bay areas of Grand Cayman and is safe to drink by World Health Organization (WHO) standards. Cayman Brac supplies desalinated salt water and Little Cayman has its own water system. If you are unsure of the water quality, bottled water is also available for purchase.

Language & Currency

English is the official language. The local currency, is the Caymanian dollar, but the U.S. Dollar is used interchangeably. Credit cards are widely accepted. The Cayman Dollar is represented as CI and offers denominations o f $100, $50, $25, $10, $5, $1 and coins of 25 cents, 10 cents, 5 cents and 1 cent. Check the current exchange rate here.

Time

The Cayman Islands are on Eastern Standard Time (EST) and do not observe Daylight Savings Time. The Caymans are 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-5 GMT).

Location, Size and Population

The Cayman Islands are comprised of 3 islands and are a British Overseas Territory located in the Western Caribbean. They are located South of Cuba and Northwest of Jamaica. Grand Cayman, the largest of the three Cayman Islands, lies in the far Western Caribbean, 480 miles south of Miami and occupies 76 square miles. The sister islands of Cayman Brac (14 square miles) and Little Cayman (10 square miles) are 89 miles to the northeast of Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman is approximately 22 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point. Cayman Brac is 12 miles long and just over a mile wide and has the most dramatic topography of the trio. Little Cayman, only 10 miles long and a mile wide, is flat, reaching a maximum elevation of 40 ft. The three islands are limestone outcroppings, the tops of a submarine mountain range called the Cayman Ridge, which extends west southwest for the Sierra Maestra range off the southeast part of Cuba to the Misteriosa Bank near Belize. The population of the Cayman Islands is 60,764 (2016).