The Ultimate Guide to Diving in the Cayman Islands

Discover the best Grand Cayman Dive Sites with Red Sails Sports

What does your dream diving destination look like? Does it have crystal-clear water with incredible visibility?

Are there eerie shipwreck dives, deep drop-offs, and colorful coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life?

Is it a paradise island with pristine white sand beaches, luxury resorts, and an array of activities to keep you entertained when you aren’t diving?

Welcome to Grand Cayman, a world-class diving destination that attracts visitors from near and far!

At Red Sail Sports, we’re leaders in scuba diving experiences in Grand Cayman.

We love helping guests create unique, memorable vacations, so we have used our decades of expertise to put together your Ultimate Guide to Diving in the Cayman Islands.

Keep scrolling down to find all the essential information you need to plan a diving adventure you’ll never forget.

And if you have any questions for us at any point, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Why You Need to Go Diving in Grand Cayman?

Sitting in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, Grand Cayman is the largest of the three Cayman Islands. The other two are Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.

Our little slice of paradise is a picture-perfect Caribbean Island that’s ideal for a vacation as adventurous as it is relaxing.

But most importantly, the Cayman Islands are is home to over 365 dive sites across all three islands – Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, and Grad – so basically a dive site for each day of the year.

And there’s something for divers of every level here, from shallow coral gardens to deep walls.

When you factor in all three of the Cayman Islands, there are 365 dive sites to explore!

On top of all this, the diving conditions in Grand Cayman are near-perfect. Visibility can reach an incredible 150 feet on some days.

The Cayman Islands as a collective have previously been awarded the number-one spot in scubadiving.com’s five best places to dive in the Caribbean and Atlantic.

And this is just one of many prestigious awards over the years.

Put simply, Grand Cayman is one of the premier diving destinations in the world.

Top Scuba Diving Sites in Grand Cayman

The topography around Grand Cayman has a Grand Canyonesque quality that defines our diving sites.

Whether you’re diving on the West End, East End, or North Shore, you can expect a staggering showcase of towering canyons, precipitous walls, and coral reefs with beautiful swim-throughs.

Just some of the best Grand Cayman scuba diving sites include…

Scuba Diving in West Bay, Cayman Islands

  • Trinity Caves
  • Big Tunnels
  • Turtle Schooner Reef
  • Neptune’s Wall
  • Orange Canyon
  • Brown Rock
  • Little Tunnels
  • Round Rock
  • Marty’s Wall

Seven Mile Beach Scuba Diving

  • USS Kittiwake
  • Caribbean Club Sand Chute
  • Aquariums
  • Oro Verde Wreck and Paraside Reef
  • Wildlife Reef
  • Lone Star Ledges
  • Eagles Nest
  • La Mesa

North Wall Scuba Diving

  • Tarpon Alley
  • Eagle Ray Pass
  • Princess Penny’s Pinnacle
  • Lemon Reef
  • Roberts Wall
  • Roundabout

East End Scuba Diving

  • Lighthouse Reef
  • Anchor Point
  • Northern Lights
  • Kelly’s Caverns
  • Highrock Drop Off
  • Babylon
  • The Maze
  • Fish Tank
  • Snapper Hole

Best Wall Dives in the Cayman Islands

If you’re specifically looking to enjoy the thrill of wall dives in Grand Cayman, you’re spoilt for choice!

Our small island is actually the peak of the Cayman Ridge, an underwater mountain range.

As such, Grand Cayman is surrounded by sheer walls on all sides. These rock faces descend for thousands of feet below the surface to sandy plains.

The result is spectacular wall diving sites that are among the best in the world.

Some of the highlights include:

The North Wall — an unmissable Grand Cayman dive area offering a stunning vertical drop into the deep blue. It’s home to a bounty of marine life, including the stingrays at Stingray City, sharks and other large pelagic creatures.

The West WallWest Side diving in Grand Cayman is renowned for its hospitable conditions, such as remarkable visibility, vibrant coral reefs and colourful sponges, abundant marine life, shipwrecks, caverns, and much more!

The East WallEast End diving in Grand Cayman ventures into one of the least crowded areas to explore, so it has an almost pristine ecosystem that is a joy to discover. Shark sightings on the East Wall are generally more common than the other walls.

Dive Trips to Grand Cayman's USS Kittiwake

The USS Kittiwake has truly put Grand Cayman on the world’s wreck diving map.

The Kittiwake is a former US Navy submarine rescue ship that was scuttled in 2011 to create an artificial reef.

With easy access to the ship’s interior and an awe-inspiring collection of marine life, this wreck has a reputation as one of Grand Cayman’s unmissable dive sites.

It lies around a half mile off the coast of Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman’s West End and is only accessible by boat.

Check out our own 1-tank Kittiwake wreck dive and 2-tank Kittiwake wreck dive to discover more about this unforgettable experience.

Swimming With the Rays at Stingray City, Grand Cayman

Stingray City is another of Grand Cayman’s most iconic experiences. However, there are technically two Stingray Cities.

One is simply known as Stingray City, of Stingray City Sandbar. This spot is the sandbar sitting in water around two to three feet deep.

Because it’s easy to stand up and interact with the playful southern stingrays, this is where the majority of visitors to Grand Cayman will head for amazing animal encounters.

If you are wondering if it’s safe to swim with stingrays, we wrote all about it in this blog: Can the Stingrays at Stingray City Sting You?

Guide to Coral Reef Diving in Grand Cayman

In addition to dramatic walls and shipwrecks, Grand Cayman’s oceans have a breathtaking collection of coral reefs.

They have formed in the shallow waters that lead to the steep drop-offs down into the abyss.

This means that most reefs here are conveniently located and only a short boat ride away.

And some are shore dives that don’t require any transportation other than you finding your way to the dive entry point.

This is because some of the best shore dive spots in Grand Cayman have ladders or steps built directly into the water for easy access.

Scuba diving at Turtle Reef, a mini wall with a sharp descent to around 60 feet, is a highlight for anyone taking the plunge.

Devil’s Grotto and Sunset House Reef are just two more of the many popular coral reef shore dives in Grand Cayman.

For more information about how to visit shore dive sites independently, or any other location on the island, read our guide on how to get around in the Cayman Islands.

Marine Life in Grand Cayman

The warm water around Grand Cayman is home to an incredibly diverse range of marine life.

Just some of the sights you can see include:

  • Caribbean Reef Sharks
  • Nurse Sharks
  • Southern Stingrays
  • Spotted Eagle Rays
  • Sea Turtles
  • Parrot Fish
  • Angel Fish
  • LionFish
  • Groupers
  • Flamingo Tongues
  • Tarpon
  • Silversides
  • Green Moray Eel
  • Caribbean Reef Squid
  • Octopuses
  • Elkhorn Coral
  • Sponges

And this is only an introduction! There’s far more marine life at home in our oceans, including a staggering array of invertebrates.

Grand Cayman PADI Certification Courses and e-Learning

Before you can enjoy scuba diving in Grand Cayman or any other destination, you must earn the necessary certification.

You do this by participating in the PADI Open Water Course. This is the most popular diving course globally and will provide you with the full certification you need. We also offer 1-day Discover Scuba Diving Resort Courses daily through our hotel properties (Marriott, Westin,Ritz and Kimpton Seafire). This is the perfect way to give scuba diving a try in easy conditions before committing to a full certification.

At Red Sail Sports, we cover every aspect of dive training, including PADI certification, resort and refresher courses, as well as advanced and first aid training.

Browse our full range of dive courses in Grand Cayman and find out how you can become the diver you want to be.

Colorful coral reefs in the Cayman Islands

What are the Risks of Scuba Diving in Grand Cayman Island?

There are always inherent risks associated with diving, and this is true for sites around the world.

But the Cayman Islands has a reputation as being one of the safest places to dive in the Caribbean.

This is because we welcome such a huge number of divers from all over the world and we enjoy some of the easiest dive conditions you’ll find anywhere. What’s more, scuba diving is a highly popular hobby among the local residents.

As such, the safety standards here are exceptionally high, and the diving equipment and boats are of excellent quality.

Safety is and always will be our top priority at Red Sail Sports. We follow strict safety guidelines and protocols to ensure that our divers have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Before each dive, our instructors provide a thorough briefing on the dive site, the equipment, and any potential hazards.

We also conduct regular safety checks and provide emergency equipment on every dive.

Scuba Dive in Grand Cayman with Red Sail Sports!

We hope this Ultimate Guide to Diving in the Cayman Islands has inspired you to join us on one of our scuba diving tours in Grand Cayman.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, Red Sail Sports can help you make the most of your time in our diver’s paradise.

Check out our Diving Experiences below…

Seven Mile Beach Scuba Diving

With over 50 dive sites along the west side! The perfect combo of deep drop-offs, wrecks, and amazing coral. All west dives leave from the Kimpton Seafire, the Westin, and the Ritz beach.

2-Tank AM West Wall Dive in Grand Cayman

FromFrom CI$120
Grand Cayman's West Wall is famous for its huge sand channels, swim-throughs and amazing scenery.

2-Tank AM North Wall Dive in Grand Cayman

FromFrom CI$120
Marvel at the spectacular shear drop of the North wall & keep your eyes peeled for any large pelagic creatures that may swim by!

2-Tank Kittiwake Wreck Dive in Grand Cayman

FromFrom CI$130
A guided dive through the wreck of the ex-USS Kittiwake, followed with a shallow coral reef dive.

East End Scuba Diving

With our sister company Tortuga Divers, where you can enjoy a variety of sites including caves and swim-throughs, coupled with superfluous marine life.

2-Tank AM Grand Cayman East Wall Dive

FromFrom CI$130
The East walls of Grand Cayman feature some spectacular dive sites including Anchor Point, Babylon, Turtle Pass, and Northern Lights to name a few.
Scuba diver and fish in Grand Cayman diving with Red Sail Sports

2-Tank AM Shallow Dive in Grand Cayman’s East End

FromFrom CI$130
Two separate shallow dives visiting the East End's most beautiful shallow sites. Some favorites include: Snapper Hole, Cinderellas Castle, Grouper Grotto, and Black Rock Reef.
diving boat with divers

1-Tank PM Shallow Reef Dive in Grand Cayman’s East End

FromFrom CI$80
A shallow reef dive to one of the many shallow East End dive sites with reefs ranging from 25 - 50ft.

Dive Courses

Learn to Scuba dive, refresh your skills, or expand your diving knowledge.

Scuba diving beginners course

Grand Cayman Resort Scuba Course

FromFrom CI$156
Learn to dive in just one day and discover the beauty of Cayman's underwater world under the guidance of one of our professional Instructors.

PADI Reactivate Refresher Course

FromFrom CI$200
Haven't dived in 6+ years? No worries! Red Sail Sports can ease you back into the world of scuba diving with this intensive one day course covering everything including theory and skills.
Scuba diving instructor with 2 divers

Dive Refresher Course

FromFrom CI$156
If you haven't dived in 2-6 years, Red Sail Sports refresher is the perfect choice to refresh your skills.