What are the ingredients that make a diving holiday a success? Well, it simply has to be something worth getting wet for! Grand Cayman diving can certainly offer this. Incredible reef structures, dramatic walls, an array of marine life and a good wreck – there’s more than one reason to take a splash around the crystal clear waters of the Cayman islands. Whether you are a seasoned diver or someone hoping to take their first steps towards mastering the technical skills, Grand Cayman is perfectly poised to offer an exemplary launching pad into the turquoise splendour of the Caribbean and laced in luxury Cayman Villas.
Introduction – Grand Cayman Diving
The Cayman Islands are located in the heart of the Caribbean. These British Overseas Territories are an English speaking group of islands that sit south of Cuba, East of Mexico and Northwest of Jamaica. Consisting of a group of three islands, Grand Cayman is the main territory where most international flights will touch down. At a mere 76 square miles, this pretty island has many gorgeous beaches, the most famous of which is West Bay Beach better known as Seven Mile Beach – one of best Cayman Island beaches.
This sweeping crescent shaped beach, stretches along the western side of Grand Cayman and is home to many lovely resorts, villas and hotels.
The capital city of George Town, is a popular stopping off point for cruise ships and there is excellent Duty Free. Grand Cayman has a reputation as one of the better places to buy cameras and associated equipment as well as jewellery. Resort wear is readily available too in many of the retail centres around the port.
There’s a bit of colonial heritage to be explored too around the islands, most especially on Grand Cayman. There are endless activities and fun things to do in Grand Cayman. But if history and shopping aren’t really your bag and you feel more at home as an active holiday-maker, then the coastal splendour of Grand Cayman will become your preferred playground.
Where to start ….?
Let’s start with the presumption that you are a novice to the realm of Grand Cayman diving. The first natural step to take when contemplating this exhilarating sport is to get some qualified tuition that will allow you to embark on some of the world class scuba diving Grand Cayman islands have to offer. Within around three hours, you and your group can learn all about the equipment you will use, the hand-signals that will allow you to communicate in the silent world beneath the waves and embark on your very first Grand Cayman scuba diving adventure.
The extraordinary thing about this sport is that it opens a window, for its eager participants, into an utterly new world. It’s truly hard to explain to anyone who has yet to peer beneath the great mantle of the Caribbean what a vast and exotic world awaits.
The water keeps us buoyant so we can manoeuvre like rather inelegant fish many feet above a living reef system. The colours and variety of coral coupled with the movement of fish and marine life, dazzle us with so many textures. There is no such thing as “I tried diving once”. It is the beginning of a lifetime love affair especially when you embark on some of the best diving in Grand Cayman.
The eager novice or experienced diver will not need to hire boats to get off-shore to enjoy some quality diving. The very nature of the geography of the islands allows some of the best Grand Cayman diving in and around Eden Rock Dive Centre. You can hire the equipment you need from the Dive Centre and swim out from shore to the easily accessible reef. As well, the famous Devil’s Grotto, a really interesting cavernous dive destination is one of the most popular shore diving Grand Cayman destinations.
Tunnels and other interesting formations in and around Eden Rock combine to create naturally-forming underwater architecture, flooded with light that creates the perfect conditions for a memorable dive.
The relatively near distance to shore, can make this destination for an introduction to the art of scuba diving a safe and manageable experience.
Grand Cayman diving reviews say it all. The word “awesome” turns up time and time again as the unexpected topography of tunnels and caverns that intersect the large reef that surround Grand Cayman offer so many perspectives to new and experienced snorkelers and divers. The lack of high winds around Grand Cayman make it less suitable for surfing enthusiasts but ideally suited for diving. High waves and blustery conditions do not make for safe navigation of reefs or wrecks. Luckily, the glorious weather that make the islands so appealing for holiday makers create the ideal conditions for jumping in a boat to dive in open water.
Turtles, eagle rays, sharks, parrot fish …. There is so much to dazzle us. We can move through these fishy waters without fear of these cold-blooded creatures. If you do a little bit of research before you venture out, you should be able to identify quite a number of species during your dive.
What do divers look for?
The number one key requirement is visibility. Ask anyone who has been diving in murky and cloudy conditions and they will say that the virtually ‘unlimited’ visibility of the waters in and around Grand Cayman are incredible.
About Mairead Moriarty
Born and raised in Co Kerry, lived in London, New York, San Francisco, Dublin. Owner of one very battered suitcase, a well-worn passport and a million memories.
It seems very fitting for a travel writer that my surname translates as ‘Skilled Navigator’. Apart from an occasion when, aged 3, I got lost in a Supermarket in Tralee, I have managed to live up to my name! Curiosity is probably the driver that has sent me on magical mystery tours around the world. I want to ‘feel’ a place. I want all my senses to be engaged: from the history and geography that has influenced a country or city, the arts and achievements of its natives, anything and everything really. Regardless of whether I am on a local train travelling through Morocco, or poking around in Marconi’s study in Bologna or on a canal boat weaving through the heart of the English countryside, the same rules apply - ask questions, talk to locals, eat what they eat, sit quietly with nature and simply be. Assimilate as much as is possible so as to understand the soul of a place. That is my passion. That is the compass by which I navigate.