Turtle Reef Snorkeling
The 3rd most popular snorkel dive spot in Grand Cayman.
Tuesday 2 October 2018 06:23 GMT
North of Georgetown at the northwest point of Grand Cayman, the snorkelling at Turtle Reef is known for its isolation and quiet compared to other dive sites on the island. The region has an iron shore which allows for exceptionally clear and colorful water but there really isn’t much to see in the 10 to 25 foot deep waters. There are scattered coral formations about 60 feet offshore where a mini-wall dropoff starts. Make sure to only snorkel here when the surf is calm and wind is low since there is not barrier reef offshore. Out along the wall, it’s worth snorkeling to the south along the wall for a little ways to admire the big fish and soft corals. During Turtle Reef snorkeling, you may encounter butterflyfish, tangs, parrotfish, stingrays and sea turtles among the sponges and sea fans. Occasionally, there have been some hammerhead sharks frequenting the area, most likely due to the release of sea turtles from the Turtle Farm.
The Turtle Reef snorkelling is located about 1,000 feet north of the Cayman Turtle Centre (aka “Turtle Farm”). The best access for Turtle Reef is the small cove located near the intersection fo NW Point Road and Vixville Drive behind the westside of the Macabuca Tiki Bar (Cracked Conch Restaurant). There is a ladder right in the bar leading down into a small cove, which is also perfect for kids to explore. The bar is super cool to let families hang out to snorkel if they aren’t jammed.
After a long day of snorkeling at Turtle Reef, you might want to grab a cool drink at the Macabuca Tiki Bar. The onsite Sundivers shop has an outdoor shower to rinse.
To reach the snorkeling on Grand Cayman Island by air, you will fly into the Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM). There are regular flights from Houston, Dallas and Miami. Once on Grand Cayman Island, the snorkeling dive sites are easily accessed by renting either a scooter or jeep, both of which are common means of transportation on the island. There is also a public bus that covers most regions of the island. When departing the Cayman Islands, there is a departure tax of $37.50USD. This tax may be included in the airline ticket, but you will want to verify in advance.
The Turtle Reef snorkeling is located north of the Cemetary Reef snorkeling dive site and across the road from the Turtle Farm to the north. Some snorkelers will park at DiveTech to use their easy water access and snorkel all the way north up to Turtle Reef along the iron shore.
Overall, Turtle Reef is the 3rd most popular snorkel dive spot of all 25 snorkeling dives in Grand Cayman. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Turtle Reef including West Bay Beach, Herbies Place, Lighthouse Reef, Cayman Turtle Centre, Tabyanna Beach and Schoolhouse Reef.