Located in Cayman Islands, the snorkeling in Grand Cayman offers over twenty awesome snorkel dive spots. The best Grand Cayman snorkeling based on popularity are considered to be Stingray City, Smiths Cove, Turtle Reef, Cemetery Reef, and Eden Rock. For a detailed dive site description and printable snorkel dive map, just select a Grand Cayman snorkeling dive below.
Just south of downtown Georgetown, the Eden Rock snorkel spot offers arguably the finest snorkeling on Grand Cayman. Off this ironshore, the water clarity is truly exceptional, there is plentiful reef fish and three distinct massive reef formations to explore. Eden Rock is a large chunk of limestone that is coated with coralline algae, sponges, sea fans and patches of living coral towers. Eden Rock snorkelers tend to see grouper, stoplight parrotfish, blue parrotfish, damselfish, trumpetfish, sergeant majors, yellowtail snapper, sea turtles, eagle rays and tarpon. This dive spot can be a crowded place for snorkeling during weekdays when cruise ships are in the adjacent port.
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. There are scattered coral formations about 60 feet offshore where a mini-wall dropoff starts. 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.
North of Georgetown at the north end of Seven Mile Beach, the snorkelling at Cemetery Beach Reef is known for its seclusion, especially relative to the other dive sites around the island. The beach is particularly scenic with its huge Australian pines. This patchy reef has scattered coral heads of average health that have plenty of reef fish and occasional resting nurse sharks or sea turtles.
South of Georgetown on Grand Cayman, the snorkelling at Sunset House is known for the Nicholson shipwreck and the submerged Amphrite brown statue. When snorkeling off Sunset House, you may spot stingrays, eels and sea turtles. There is a scenic spur and groove coral reef formation located further offshore.
North of Georgetown at the northwest point of Grand Cayman, the snorkelling at Lighthouse Reef is popular for coral heads and clear water of an ironshore. The Lighthouse Reef snorkeling spot is located about a half mile south of the Cayman Turtle Centre (aka “Turtle Farm”). The best access for Lighthouse Reef is the small cove located at the DiveTech dive shop. There is a small manmade cove with stairs and a ladder the provides easy entry down the ironshore line. The surf needs to be very calm with little wind to enter and have great clarity. One of the favorite underwater sights off the ironshore here is the Gardian Of The Reef statue.
East of Georgetown in the East End, the snorkeling at South Channel Garden offers a scenic spur and groove reef formation to explore. Since it's pretty shallow, the best South Channel Garden snorkeling is near high tide. At this boat-accessed snorkel spot, you may encounter angelfish, sergeant majors, cowfish and occasional reef sharks among the elkhorn and brain coral formations.
Just north of Georgetown, the snorkelling at the Wreck Of The Gamma offers the chance to swim around a half-submerged wreck. The Gamma is an old 200 foot long freighter that is partially submerged and is visible from shore. It is located just north of the Cali wreck on the north side of Georgetown. While many snorkelers access by boat, this is an easy shore-accessed dive spot.
Southeast of Georgetown, the snorkeling at Spotts Beach is best known for resident sea turtles about 200 feet straight off the pier. While there is a small protective reef, these water still require very calm surf to enjoy since there is usually a moderate current. If you can catch Spotts on a calm surf and windless day, it can be a truly spectacular place to snorkel. It is best several hours before or after high tide.
Just north of Georgetown, the snorkelling at Cheeseburger Reef offers some of the most scenic reefs on Grand Cayman. The reef sits in water from 10 to 40 feet deep about 300-600 feet offshore. The reef is located in downtown Georgetown just offshore of a fast food restaurant (Burger King). There isn't much to see until you get far enough offshore to the reef During Cheeseburger Reef snorkeling, you may encounter turtles, stingrays, tarpon and reef sharks.
South of Georgetown on Grand Cayman Island, the snorkelling at Smiths Cove is known for it parrotfish, angelfish, peacock flounder and surgeonfish. he main reef formations are from 150 feet to 300 feet offshore and is marked by a buoy. The water depths range from 6 feet to 40 feet. This very narrow cove harbors a small beach that tends to be extremely popular with cruiseship tourists. Also known as Smiths Barcadere, this scenic cove is flanked by iron shore which adds to the water clarity. But, that clarity requires extremely calm surf with no wind - otherwise the water is very murky.