Cayman Island Snorkeling

Cayman Island snorkeling can be enjoyed by people of almost any age, and a boat isn't always needed to enjoy this popular local pastime. Many of the top snorkeling sites in Cayman Islands are just a short swim away, as is the case with the wreck of the Cali. As for the other top sites, such as Stingray Bay, they require a boat to get to. Regardless of how snorkelers reach their intended sites when it comes to Cayman Island snorkeling, they can expect to enjoy a rewarding experience. The clarity of the waters that surround the Cayman Islands is about as good as it gets, and that means that snorkelers will be able to get a good look at the wrecks, the reefs, and all the fascinating creatures that they can expect to see while exploring the underwater world.

Regardless of which island visitors choose to visit on a Cayman Islands vacation, snorkeling can be part of the agenda. Grand Cayman Island's Seven Mile Beach is the most popular tourist hangout in the island chain, and there is plenty of good snorkeling along this idyllic strip of sand. Reefs can be found just offshore at Seven Mile Beach, and anyone who is staying at one of the resorts or vacation rentals can explore them to their heart's content. Grand Cayman snorkeling isn't limited to the sites off of Seven Mile Beach, and no visit would arguably be complete without a stop at Stingray City. Of all the snorkeling sites in Cayman Islands, Stingray City is the most renowned. A series of sandbars comprise the site, and the relatively shallow water is home to stingrays that snorkelers can feed, pet, and photograph.

Grand Cayman snorkeling can involve a lot of different experiences. In Georgetown, the wreck of the Cali is worth exploring. The Cali is a 200-foot-long schooner that was purposely sunk off the Georgetown shores in 1957. As is true of most submerged ships, it soon became an artificial reef, providing shelter for a variety of marine creatures. Eels, octopus, sea urchins, and tropical fish are just some of the creatures that are commonly spotted at the site of the Cali. To get to the Cali wreck, all snorkelers have to do is swim about 100 feet out. Once they get to the site, the ship is just twenty feet below the surface.

Whether tourists are hanging out in West Bay, Georgetown, or Bodden Town, they will be close to some excellent Grand Cayman snorkeling sites. In West Bay, the Miniwall that can be found at the Turtle Farm is a great place to snorkel, especially since it remains a relative secret. Towards Bodden Town, the small cove at Beach Bay is just one more snorkeling site of interest. Much like the Miniwall at the Turtle Farm, the cove at Beach Bay is usually devoid of crowds, so visitors won't feel rushed or bothered while they admire the fish, the corals, and anything else that happens to make an appearance. One of the great things about snorkeling, and diving for that matter, is the element of surprise.

Cayman Island snorkeling is a blast regardless of which island visitors find themselves on. Off the coast of Little Cayman, for example, Bloody Bay Wall offers a spectacular underwater ecosystem to examine. As is true of most of the top snorkeling sites in the area, Bloody Bay Wall is also an excellent diving site. Found just off the north coast, this site boasts a reef that slopes off severely. Soft and hard corals alike cling to the cliff walls, and the more mobile creatures include eels, lobsters, tiny shrimp, and numerous tropical fishes. As for the waters in the general area, they are also known to attract barracudas, turtles, sharks, and stingrays, lending to the possibility of a surprise encounter.

For snorkeling enthusiasts who enjoy the site of the Cali wreck off Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac's wreck of the Captain Keith Tibbets is also worth keeping on the radar. This Soviet frigate went under in 1996, and while the wreck site is relatively young, sponges and corals are present in good number, as are a variety of fish. As is true of most of the best sites off the coast of Cayman Brac, this wreck is on the northern side. After checking out the wreck, snorkelers and divers alike can venture over to the site known as West End to inspect the colorful reefs and the abundance of marine creatures that frequent them.

In addition to snorkeling off the shore on a Cayman Islands getaway, travelers can also arrange snorkeling tours. These tours typically include sites such as Stingray City and Bloody Bay Wall. Plenty of dive operators can be found in the Cayman Islands, and in addition to diving services, they also tend to offer snorkeling services. These services can include lessons and trips to fun snorkeling sites.

For those who plan on doing a lot of Cayman Island snorkeling during their vacation, bringing a mask and a snorkel is recommended. A good mask that fits well can be priceless, and there's a certain amount of comfort that comes with having your own snorkel.

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