Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands comprises three islands located approximately 200 miles south of Cuba: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. The beautiful coral reefs and pristine waters have made this island group a favorite destination in the Caribbean. For snorkelers, the Caymans are, before everything else, home of the most popular and visited snorkeling spots of the region: the world-famous Stingray City, where hundreds of visitors come every day to swim and interact with southern stingrays. But along their coastline, these three islands has much more to offer : wrecks sitting in shallow waters, colorful reefs lying right off white-sand beaches, and even underwater caves immersed in the Caribbean sea.

Choose a spot on the map below to see the detailed description:
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Grand Cayman is, by far, the largest and the most visited of the three Cayman Islands, and a port-of-call included in a large majority of Caribbean cruises. The west coast of Grand Cayman features the Seven Mile Beach (the most famous beach of the archipelago) and some of the best snorkeling spots of the Island. The Wreck of the Cali, Cemetery Reef (at the north end of Seven Mile Beach) and Coconut Harbor (just north of George Town) are among the best options. But for the original Cayman Islands attraction, book a snorkeling tour to Stingray City, a sandbar found in the North Sound (a large salt water lagoon) of the island. Here, southern stingrays are found in abundance and visitors are allowed to pet them, in less than 4 feet of water.

snorkeling cayman islands
Stingray City, cushion sea star at Starfish Point, and southern stingrays at Stingray City

The other two islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, often called the Sister Islands, are other delightful islands. Head to Buccaneer's Beach and the Wreck of the Captain Keith Tibbetts (in Cayman Brac) or to South Hole Sound Lagoon and Point of Sand (on Little Cayman) for the best snorkeling experiences.

When to go to the Cayman Islands?

There are two main seasons in the Cayman Islands. The dry season, from December to April, is the warmest and sunniest season (with an average of 81°F/27°C, July and August being the warmest months). In the rainy season, from late May to late November, the weather is wetter and more changeable (intermittent tropical rains and sunny spells), and the air is cooler (an average of 72°F/22°C). Snorkelers should avoid to visit the islands in August and September, when tropical storms can churn the waters. Nevertheless, the islands location in the western part of the Caribbean shields them from being hit too hard by hurricanes.

Where to spot them?

Southern stingray

Unmissable at Stingray City and the Coral Garden

Atlantic blue tang

On all spots located in coral areas

Sergeant major

On all spots

Cushion sea star

You can't miss them at Starfish Point

Spotted trunkfish

On all spots

Foureye butterflyfish

On all spots located in coral areas

Banded butterflyfish

On all spots located in coral areas

Queen conch

On all spots, on sandy seabeds