East End Snorkeling
The 9th most popular snorkel dive spot in Grand Cayman.
Sunday 28 January 2018 06:50 GMT
The entire east coast of the island of Grand Cayman is protected by a fringing reef creating ideal conditions for snorkeling. This East End stretches from Reef Resort & Morrits Resort in the north to Compass Point Dive Resort & the village of East End in the south. There are numerous excellent snorkeling spots along the East End including both shore-acessed and boat-accessed dive spots. The snorkeling offers a mix of sand flats, scattered coral heads and also fringe reef.
The protective fringe reef is located roughly 700 feet offshore and is accessible by swimming, kayaks and tour boats. However, within the reef, the waters are known for strong currents and surges so all snorkelers need to exercise extreme care. Matter of fact, every year there are several drownings due to the difficult conditions are you head offshore. Definitely use a diver-down flag and snorkel with a buddy.
The most popular snorkeling spot for beginners and families tends to be near the Morritts Resort pier. The co-located Tortuga Divers rents snorkel gear and can provide advice. The shallow area right around the pier has scattered coral formations with sea fans and plenty of reef fish which the kids will enjoy. There is also good snorkeling to be found to the right and to the left of the pier, with the right side being better. There is a man-made boat channel from the pier out to the fringe reef. This channel does have a strong current and needs to be given a wide berth.
Further north from the Morritts pier, there is a gap in the fringe reef in front of the Reef Resort. If you enter the water north of Reef Resort in front of the lone house, there fringe reef provided good protection again and there are good coral heads to check out on the way out the fringing reef. Again, be aware of the strong currents and surges.
A popular boat-accessed East End snorkeling spot is directly east off the Ocean Frontiers dive shop called Sunset Reef. It is just south of a large gap in the fringe reef and the fresh water offers good clarity.
After a long day of snorkeling at East End Reef Resort, you might want to grab a cool, refreshing drink at Tukka Beach Bar centrally located midway down the East End, or head to Eagle Rays Dive Bar at Compass Point Resort.
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.
Overall, East End is the 9th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 24 snorkeling dives in Grand Cayman. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby East End including Queens Monument, Barefoot Beach and Anchor Point.