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Surrounded by South Hole Sound gin clear turquoise waters, Owen Island is a pristine, deserted islet just off the southwest coast of Little Cayman. Easily accessed by kayak from Southern Cross Club, it is one of the prime snorkeling spots around the island. In its very shallow waters, you will easily spot stingrays, reef fish and queen conch.
The Southern Cross Club is a seaside resort and diving club on Little Cayman’s south coast. The area off the beach at Southern Cross Club (area 1 on the map below) is very shallow and populated by dense growths of seagrass.
It is possible to swim (with a dive flag) from the shore to a more interesting area around Owen Island, which is about 300m from shore (area 2 on the map). However, it is recommended that you use one of the hotel’s kayaks. The main lagoon reef is located a further 100m further off Owen Island.
For snorkeling off the beach, water entrance is from the Southern Cross Club shore.
If you reach Owen Island, the kayak can be beached on the western side of the island and it is then possible to wade into the shallow waters from the beach. The area of beach furthest west is the easiest area to enter.
The initial area near the island is very shallow but popular with feeding rays. You can then swim around a rock headland towards the inner edge of the main lagoon reef. The reef is very shallow here and doesn’t appear to be safe to cross, with a heavy swell most of the time.
Much of the shallow water inside the main lagoon reef is covered in seagrass with very large numbers of queen conch present. Many fish species populate the inner edge of the main reef.
Heading back toward the island it is possible to find extensive, and quite unusual, coralline algal reef structures, which support diverse fish populations. This is all very shallow water!
Southern Cross Club has a good restaurant and bar for a post-snorkeling repose, with showers and a pool to cool down in.
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.
Shallow lagoon with reef fish and occasional sharks and rays
Free shore access
Shallow flat with coral heads, reef fish and barracudas
Shallow sandbank with stingrays
Shallow lagoon with lots of corals and fish
Vibrant coral reef with sharks, rays and colorful fish
Reef slope with coral, sea fan and colorful fish
Free shore access