Your Guide to Coral Reef Diving in Grand Cayman

Welcome to Grand Cayman, an aquatic paradise in the Caribbean Sea!

With crystal-clear waters, mesmerizing visibility, vibrant marine life, and breathtaking coral reefs, our island is one of the world’s best dive destinations.

And at Red Sail Sports, we love introducing people from near and far to these treasures beneath the waves.

As leaders for scuba diving in Grand Cayman, we visit amazing dive sites daily.

We know the waters surrounding our island inside out, so we’ve put together this guide to coral reef diving in Grand Cayman to help you plan your dive vacation.

Scroll down to find out more! And if you have any questions for the Red Sail Sports team in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

diving boat with divers

Do You Have Your PADI Certification?

Before you board a dive boat, you must have the necessary qualifications.

Scuba diving in Grand Cayman is a treat for beginners and seasoned divers alike, but to ensure your safety, and to make the most of your experience, you must obtain certification.

We recommend obtaining your qualifications through PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).

PADI certificates are recognized all over the world and never expire. However, you will need to take a refresher course if a significant amount of time passes since your previous dive.

Not certified yet? No worries! Becoming a certified scuba diver in the Cayman Islands is easy with Red Sail Sports!

We offer a range of PADI courses in Grand Cayman to suit all skill levels. 

Our expert instructors will take you through the necessary training, including confined water sessions and open-water dives. 

By the end of your course, you’ll be a certified diver ready to explore Grand Cayman’s captivating coral.

2 Divers pool practise

Some of the Best Coral Reef Dive Sites in Grand Cayman

All three of the Cayman Islands are flanked by the Cayman Trench to the south. At around 25,216 feet (7,686 meters) below sea level, this is the deepest part of the Caribbean Sea.

The combination of low-lying limestone platforms and narrow island shelves is key to creating the perfect conditions for prolific coral reefs.

5 divers in cayman islands

When scuba diving in Grand Cayman, just some of the many highlights include:

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights is just one of the incredible sites on our 2-Tank AM Wall Dive (East).

Expect a dazzling display of colors as you immerse yourself in beautiful coral gardens teeming with schools of shimmering fish and a diverse range of other marine life.

The Northern Lights takes its name from the natural phenomenon of sunlight playing on the coral. This results in a stunning range of dancing hues beneath the surface.

This symphony of light and life is one of the many reasons to dive in the Cayman Islands.

Diving in cave in Cayman Islands

Sunset House Reef

Located just off the coast in front of the Sunset House Resort, this reef is accessible from the shore. However, you can still join boat excursions too. 

Keep your eyes peeled for tiny critters like nudibranchs, shrimp, and seahorses hiding among the corals. 

You will also find Amphitrite, Siren of Sunset Reef, here. This is a 9-foot mermaid stature and a highly popular feature.

Orange coral reefs

Oro Verde Wreck and Paradise Reef

And here’s another two-for-one diving experience! Let’s start with the Oro Verde. 

This former Venezuelan freighter now sits on the sandy sea floor off Seven Mile Beach, serving as an artificial reef that attracts a diverse range of marine life. 

Barracudas, groupers, and eagle rays are often spotted circling this fascinating wreck.

Nearby Paradise Reef is a thriving underwater oasis complete with a wealth of tropical fish and vibrant coral gardens.

If you love exploring shipwrecks, read our guide to shipwreck dives in the Cayman Islands for a more detailed look at this side of diving.

Diving amongst coral reefs

Babylon (North Wall)

Brace yourself for an awe-inspiring dive at Babylon on Grand Cayman’s North Wall. 

As the wall plunges into the abyss, you’ll find yourself surrounded by an explosion of colors from sponges, corals, and vibrant marine life. 

With a labyrinth of swim-throughs and canyons, as well as coral in all kinds of intricate shapes, Babylon is a dream-like environment.

Keep an eye out for passing reef sharks and eagle rays in the deep blue.

Is the North Wall on your Grand Cayman diving bucket list? We think you’ll love our 2-Tank AM North Wall Dive.

diving in boat wreck

USS Kittiwake

The USS Kittiwake, a sunken submarine rescue ship, has transformed into a mesmerizing artificial reef. 

So if you love discovering coral reefs and shipwrecks, you’ll love this site!

Located off Seven Mile Beach, this wreck offers a truly remarkable diving experience.

If this sounds like your kind of adventure, check out our 2-Tank Kittiwake Wreck Dive.

Divers clean up

Explore Responsibly — Grand Cayman’s Marine Conservation

As avid divers, we at Red Sail Sports understand the importance of preserving our delicate marine ecosystem. 

When diving in Grand Cayman, we encourage you to follow responsible diving practices. 

Avoid touching or disturbing marine life, maintain proper buoyancy control, and refrain from collecting souvenirs from the reef.

We are proud to participate in various conservation initiatives, including reef clean-ups and restoration projects.

diving in cayman islands

Start Planning Your Scuba Diving in Grand Cayman!

We hope this guide to coral reef diving in Grand Cayman has inspired you to visit. We can’t wait to welcome you aboard one of our dive boats!

And remember, this guide is only an introduction. There’s only so much we can fit into one blog!

Consider checking our previous guide to the best scuba diving in the Cayman Islands for even more information and inspiration!

You can continue to plan your adventure by browsing our full range of Grand Cayman scuba diving opportunities with Red Sail Sports.

Would you like more information about any of our tours or excursions? Simply get in touch with any questions you have.

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