Scuba diving in Grand Cayman

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Dive sites in Grand Cayman

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About diving in Grand Cayman

by Scubacrowd

Grand Cayman is the biggest island of the archipelago, with a relatively high number of inhabitants (50 000). The Grand Cayman Island is much more developed than Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. As many hotels and shops were built in the last years, Grand Cayman has something to offer for everyone. Since the population is higher and more tourists are coming every year, the infrastructure has improved. You can choose from many hotels, restaurants, luxury shops, culture and nightlife.

The island is shaped like a giant claw and is located near the coast of Cuba and is classified as United Kingdom's territory. The island is divided to 5 districts: Bodden Townm East End, George Town, North Side and West bay. East End district consists of numerous natural attractions and is the least populated area. In contrast, George Town is the capital of Cayman Islands and is famous for its off-shore banking and investments, with 43 out of 50 largest banks in the world. The most famous thing to do at Grand Cayman is the Stingray City excursion where tourists can interact with large rays in waist-deep water. 

The island has over 159 diving sites, among the best of the Caribbean. It has all the diving you can imagine: walls, deep diving, reefs and wrecks.

If you're visiting Grand Cayman in the end of April or early May, you might get to see Batabano, the Grand Cayman carnival where there are live music and dancers parading the streets in costumes along with many exotic food to taste. There is also in April the Cayfest which is the National Festival of the Arts where you can really get to known the island's culture through all kinds of art forms. Local specialities include Rum Cakes, jams, sauces and jewellery. You might want to pack a budget since it's pretty expensive to be on holiday there.

Anyhow, Grand Cayman also offers unspoiled woodlands or parks such as the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, where you can find a variety of plant life. Fine white, sand beaches, such as the Seven Mile Beach are located on the west end of the island. Grand Cayman is also a popular place for scuba diving. Popular dive sites are the coral "Coconut Wall" also known as Coral Walkthe wall reef "Crossroads", filled with colorful sponges and corals where you can dive to 30m, and the amazing wall dive "Dangerous Dan's Drop off", that's not-so-dangerous as the name suggests where you will see many colorful fishes and is rarely visited by divers. But perharps the most spectacular is the Kittywake, the latest dive vacation attraction of Grand Cayman. Sunk in 2011, the ship is now surrounded by Goliath groupers for tourists to see and admire.

During your dive holiday in Grand Cayman you will mos likely see Stingrays, Electric Rays, Parrotfishes, Hogfishes, Tarpons, Groupers, Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays, Moray Eels, among others and colorful sponges.

Stingrays: The Stingrays are a real attraction of Grand Cayman and you can visit them at Stingray City where you can get to feed them and cuddle with them. They are very friendly and can even be lifted out of water for a short while. Do be careful with their sharp tail, they can hurt your if you're not careful. They can be very big and will swim to you once they see you.

Electric Rays: These rays are dangerous and should be avoided because as their name implies, they produces electric discharges ranging from 8 to 220 volts to stun preys and to defend themselves. Relatively rare, you should keep a clear distance if you do happen to see one in Grand Cayman, or anywhere else. They are smaller in size and their tail aren't pointy like the Stingrays.

Parrotfish: These beautiful fishes use their beak-like mouths to eat algae and produces white sand-like poop. Some beaches in the Caribbean have only white sand thanks to these guys. The fine white particles accumulate over the year and are pushed to shores by the waves, forming beautiful white sand beaches. Parrotfishes are usually green, pink and yellow mixed together. They keep the corals from being eaten an help preserve the Grand Cayman's reefs from algae.

Groupers: These fishes can sometimes be spotted because they are...giants. They are much rarer nowadays but can still be seen swimming about the Grand Cayman dive sites. They are often accustomed to divers and some do tolerate being touched. Cayman is a very important breeding ground for the Groupers today.

Sharks: Reef Sharks are pretty common sights among the reefs and coral walls in Grand Cayman. Often curious, they to tend to be shy and passive if they've seen enough divers for a day so make sure you are there first. You can also find Nurse Sharks sleeping under overhands or in nooks while diving reefs, They are very gentle by they are relatively shy and will swim away if you approach too close.

Eagle Rays: These Rays are majestic with spots on their back. They are always a pleasure to be seen up close. You will find school of them flying above open ocean or close to the reefs. They are pretty passive and usually don't approach divers. They are a common sight in Grand Cayman.

Eels: They often poke their head out from holes in the reef to see what's going on and can be approached closely. They are docile creatures but will retaliate if provoked, so keep a fair distance and don't try to touch them. Moray eels ad spotted eels are common sights around here.

Turtles: Grand Cayman is also famous for its turtle farms so you will be seeing quite a few Green Turtles swimming by. You can visit a farm at Boatswain's Beach on Grand Cayman if you do not wish to get wet to see one. They can be approched closely for a few moments since they are quite passive.

Seabed: Grand Cayman's seabed has several different habitats: seagrass covered sand, tongue and groove reefs, fringing reefs, deep reef walls, etc. You can find all sorts of corals here including the Star Corals, the Brain Corals, Fire Corals, etc. The sponge population is also very varied with spectacular Giant Barrel Sponges. Grand Cayman is a true breeding ground for all kinds of fishes. The corals in this are are one of the few that are able to resist degradations over the years due to human activities.