Shore Dives in the Cayman Islands

Posted: July 18, 2013 by kirisyko in Scuba diving, Water
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Caribbean (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

The Cayman Islands – which include Grand Cayman and its sister islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – are at or near the top of every serious diver’s “want to explore” list because of the series of vertical walls that ring the three islands. More than 100 named wall-diving sites are just the starting point. Shore diving here is easy to arrange because there’s access to reefs and mini-walls right near many beaches and dive shops.

Where is It?

The Cayman Islands are located in the far western Caribbean, 480 miles South of Miami.

When to Go?

There’s diving year-round, but the worst part of the rainy season is in September and October. The water temperature averages 82 degrees. In the spring and autumn plankton blooms, which could obstruct visibility.

Pros and Cons

If you can’t dive for any reason, Grand Cayman is one of the premier shopping stops for electronics, jewelery and much more in the Caribbean islands. The island has three golf courses open to the public, plus the Greg Norman course open only to guests staying at the Ritz-Carlton.


If you love to go scuba diving, but don’t want to spend hours on a dive boat (especially in rough water) to reach the best coral check out these islands which all offer spectacular scuba dives right off the shore. Bonaire, for example, has more than 80 markers indicating places where you can walk off the shore and be in a coral garden within a few hundred feet. Scuba divers on Lady Elliot Island, actually part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia, can swim into coral canyons just off the shore.


At most resorts, the shore dives cost less than a boat dive.

1. Bonaire

Bonaire is actually the peak of a submerged mountain, so deep sloping reefs surround much of the island. There are 86 markers along the shoreline that indicate where divers can just walk off the shore and find spectacular coral within a few hundred yards. Image just walking off the shore swimming for three or four minutes and being in the middle of an underwater art museum. It’s easy to do in Bonaire.



2. Curacao

Curacao is one of the so-called ABC Islands (Curacao, Bonaire and Aruba) that are part of the Netherlands Antilles, an autonomous region of the Netherlands. The island has more than 60 marked dive sites ranging from walls to shipwrecks and even an airplane wreck. To reach many of the sites you simply have to walk offshore. The capital, Willemstad, is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.

Where is It?

The island is located between Aruba and Bonaire in the southwestern Caribbean. It’s 35 miles north of Venezuela.

When to Go?

It’s located just outside of the hurricane belt and the temperatures average 82 degrees year-round.

Pros and Cons

Curacao is only 38 miles long and 7.5 miles at its widest spot, but here you’ll find a variety of things to do from lazing on the beach to gambling in the casinos. Activities range from touring (and tasting) at the Amstel Brewery in the capital, which produces beer from 100 percent distilled seawater, to visiting the floating market or the Hato Caves.



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