This spot has been added by


2 spots added - 17 photos shared

Other contributors You can help us keep this page up-to-date by uploading your pictures to the photo gallery, or by sending us your comments via the contact form

Last updated on

The North Sound, a large bay on Grand Cayman, is the snorkeling hotspot in the Cayman Islands. Its protected clear blue waters, popular with boat tours, feature some of the island’s best snorkeling. Among the most popular locations in the North Sound is the Coral Garden, a shallow area with a high density of corals and a spectacular variety of tropical fish.

Queen triggerfish at the Coral Garden, Grand Cayman
The Queen triggerfish is one of the most beautiful fish found at the Coral Garden.

How to get to the Coral Garden snorkeling spot?

The Coral Garden, also known as The Aquarium, is a popular snorkeling location in Grand Cayman’s North Sound. You will find on the island a large choice of boat tours combining visits to 2 or 3 of the area’s most visited locations, which are Stingray City (a sandbank 0.6 miles West of Coral Garden, where you can swim with dozens of stingrays), Barrier Reef, Coral Garden and Starfish Point (near Water Cay).

Be sure when you book about which locations are included in the tour. Tours prices start from $45 for a duration of 3 hours and depart from the cruise ship terminal or the island’s main resorts

Coral Garden Grand Cayman snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling the Coral Garden

Water entrance will be from the boat ladders.

The Coral Garden snorkeling exploration tips

The Coral Garden is located in Grand Cayman’s North Sound, in a shallow and sheltered area of the inner reef. The average depth at the location is around 10 feet/3 meters, allowing snorkelers to easily observe the sea life from the surface.

Sea fans and gorgonians in the Coral Garden
The seabed at the Coral Garden.

The Coral Garden features sandy beds with scattered coral areas. In some places, this mixed environment gives way to dense fields of gorgonian including Venus sea fan, bent sea rod, and different types of sea plumes. Most of the corals are pretty healthy and on sunny days, the ocean scape is wonderful.

Squirrelfish and grunts
Lots of reef fish (in this picture, longspine squirrelfish and French grunt) shelter next to the reef areas.

As the Coral Garden is very popular and visited by dozens of snorkeling boats every day, the fishes are used to humans and easy to approach. Among the most common fish at this location are the blue-headed wrasse, the sergeant major, the very inquisitive Queen triggerfish, as well as several species of grunt and snapper.

Lucky snorkelers may also encounter in the shallow a sleeping nurse shark or a visiting stingray.

Caribbean sergeant major in the Cayman Islands
A Caribbean sergeant major at the Coral Garden.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Day tours may include lunch. Check when you inquire.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a boat
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsCost of a snorkeling tour (from $45 pp.)

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.