Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on September 25, 2022
If you are looking for a shallow, well-sheltered snorkeling spot in Little Cayman, Preston Bay is probably one of the best options available on the island. Its free shore access, as well as the short distance between the beach and the reef areas, makes it a great snorkeling location. In the shallows, you will spot a diversity of tropical fish, spiny lobsters, as well as occasional nurse sharks and eagle rays.
This spot is located on the southwestern shore of Little Cayman, known as Preston Bay. The shore can be freely accessed off the airport road (Guy Banks Road), via the footpath to the Preston Bay Iguana Nesting Sanctuary. Walk through the sanctuary area to reach a small opening at the back of the beach.
This spot is also the Pirates Point Resort‘s house reef.
You can enter the water anywhere from the beach. Access to the water is easy, off a shallow sloping sandy beach.
The area supports many coral heads, interspersed amongst healthy seagrass beds. These coral heads form a coherent but very shallow reef at about 150m from shore.
The main reef area is composed of Porites and finger coral but new growths of staghorn coral were noted along with healthy elkhorn coral.
Patches of the stinging ridged fire coral were also present over the very shallow reef areas.
The isolated coral heads with overhangs are ideal areas to find sleeping nurse sharks, as well as large populations of spiny lobster. Spotted eagle rays are occasionally spotted in the area, sometimes in less than 6ft/2m of water.
There are no places to get food or drink at the snorkeling location but about a kilometer down the road towards the airport there is a lovely cool café, called the Seahorse Boutique and Coffee Shop.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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