Snorkeling & Watersports Activities
Grand Cayman offers many in-water activities and plenty of local water sports operators to help you enjoy them. The undersea world of Grand Cayman may be equaled but certainly not surpassed, and snorkeling is a good alternative to scuba if for some reason you are not able to dive. There are literally hundreds of sites where the water is shallow enough to snorkel in and where you can experience the amazing diversity of our marine environment. All Grand Cayman water sports operators offer snorkeling trips and will take you where the fish are plentiful. Snorkeling can also be done directly from the beach at many locations around the islands.
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Cayman Brac is blessed with spectacular coral reefs and walls with excellent visibility. Most of the sites are around the west end, with both shallow reef diving and snorkeling close to shore and deeper wall diving a bit further out. Snorkelers will enjoy the pristine reefs and abundant marine life, as well as the large coral heads which come close enough to the surface to allow views normally available only to divers. All it takes is a mask, snorkel and fins to uncover the finest snorkeling anywhere. Take a few days to explore the Buccaneer's Inn site and Helen's Reef, where the coral nearly reaches the ocean surface. Radar Reef offers a snorkel bonanza, affording reef access suitable for underwater novices. Bring along your reef ID card to help identify some of the fish and marine life flourishing here. This is also the location of the Oceanic Voyagers statue that was sunk in January 2003. It is a bronze sculpture of 2 dolphins and 4 stingrays.
The best snorkel spots in Little Cayman are scattered along Bloody Bay, where a shallow reef drops off dramatically into scuba diving territory. Snorkeling is also popular at Sandy Point (a wonderful, secluded beach on the eastern end also known as Point of Sand) and in the marine park that borders Blossom Village, at the southern tip of the island.
Other Fun Things to do in the Water
Sailing- Glide quietly along the water and enjoy the warm Cayman breezes as you steer your rented sailboat into the wind. Anchor in a shallow spot and snorkel or swim to cool off. Rather let someone else do the sailing? Then take a sailboat cruise to Stingray City or an evening dinner cruise into the sunset.
Parasailing- An experience that will not be forgotten. You'll rise to about 200 feet, towed aloft by a powerful speedboat, your parachute gently lifting you skyward. Marvel at the view of Seven Mile Beach and George Town harbour, and, as you glide through the air, the cruise ships below seem dwarfed. Enjoy the ride by yourself or with a companion.
Jet skiing- The noise may be an annoyance to some, but you'll enjoy the exhilaration of zipping along at over 30mph. A quick lesson in operating the watercraft and some safety tips, and you'll be on your way. Always be watchful for people in the water - respect the 'Divers Down' flags and swimmers in the area.
Windsurfing - We don't have the big waves of Hawaii but it's just as much fun. The beginner will get lessons in staying upright and steering the sailboard, then it's fun in the sun. The water will lap at your feet as you glide quietly along the gentle waves, pushed by the warm Cayman sea breezes. For the more experienced, the strong winds of the east coast of the island will offer a challenge.
Other water sports include kayaking, water skiing, knee boarding, paddle boarding and banana boat rides. Most of the glossy tourist magazines that you'll find once you arrive will have details about all of the above water sports.
In addition to water sports you'll find other above and below water activities including:
- Glass bottom boat rides
- Semi-submersible boat rides
- Submarine dives to 100 feet
- Sailboat dinner cruises
Don't forget that the sun down here in the Caribbean will burn you badly if you over expose yourself. If you're not used to the sun, wear a strong sunscreen according to best practices. Many a vacationer has spoiled their trip with too much sun, too quickly. In addition, please remember that the damage caused by over exposure to the sun lasts long after the tan has faded.