Diving Cayman Islands – Image courtesy of Lawson Wood
Diving Little Cayman
While Grand Cayman is famous as the king of all Caribbean dive sites, peak tourist arrivals from December to April – when you’re likely to kick another diver with your flipper – can steal all the fun. However, just 140km away lies the unspoiled and secluded Little Cayman and the world famous dive site of Bloody Bay Wall.
Bloody Bay Wall starts in 5m of water before plunging straight down to 1800m and features sheer vertical walls, excellent visibility and incredible marine life.
The unusual characteristics of the reef’s architecture provide exceptional underwater visibility and its submerged cliff walls are splattered with corals and sponges and the reef teems with colourful reef fish. While this site doesn’t have large pelagic species, the reef is home to lots of crustaceans, immense barrel sponges and plenty of turtles and colourful reef life.
Coral type – Many types of healthy hard and soft coral, lush coral gardens, giant sponges, trees of black coral, elaborate sea fans, vivid yellow and red tube sponges.
Marine life – Tiny shrimp, brittle stars, Christmas tree worms, lobsters, sea cucumbers, moray eels, horse-eye jacks, triggerfish and small tropical fish. Hawksbill turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, barracudas, groupers and sharks.
Reef type – Wall dives, caves, swim-throughs, tunnels, major drop-offs and shallow reefs.
Type of dives – Walls, wrecks and night diving.
Water temperature – 28˚C
Visibility 30m and up.
Suit – In summer a skin or a short 1.5 mm suit; on deeper dives a three-quarter 1.5mm to 3mm wetsuit.
Water entry Shore, day boat and live-aboard vessels.
Dive centres – There are 42 dive centres operating in Grand Cayman, five in Little Cayman, three in Cayman Brac and two live-aboard dive boats – the Cayman Aggressor III and Little Cayman Diver II. All offer complete dive facilities including Nitrox and Re-breather courses and equipment rental.
Dive courses – A full range of diving courses is available, from beginner to advance level and including all PADI courses and Nitrox certification.
Equipment – Quality dive equipment is available for rent.
Did you know? – Bloody Bay at Little Cayman Island is named for a famous pirate battle. Live-aboards offer diving expeditions through all three Cayman Islands a good way to make sure you cover all the best dive spots in the Caymans.
Top dive attractions of Little Cayman
Jackson’s Bay – Famous for its exciting swim-throughs that lead you from an inner sand belt through to the patch reef and into the Big Blue. Fantastic landscapes with hundreds of crevices and tunnels. The bay swarms with sting and eagle rays and turtles.
MS Keith Tibbets – A 380-foot Russian Frigate scuttled by Jean-Michel Cousteau in 1995 (off nearby Cayman Brac). This wreck dive provides a thrilling opportunity to penetrate a large, but accessible war ship. The wreck has attracted abundant marine flora and fauna over the years and is a great experience for divers of all qualifications.
Stingray City – One of Grand Cayman’s most famous dive sites. Here, more than 30 Southern Atlantic stingrays swim freely with snorkellers and divers in 3m of water. The site can be reached only by boat.
Other activities Take a stroll around the island and spot iguanas and the bird life at Booby Pond, where a colony of several thousand red-footed boobies nest. Rent a game boat and head out for some deep-water trolling for blue marlin or cast for bonefish in the shallow waters of a lagoon. Later, enjoy a beer on the beach or champagne and cocktails in one of the bars along Seven Mile Beach. After dinner, party away the night at one of the many nightclubs.
Best time to dive Little Cayman
Good year round, but best between May and November. Tropical, with warm rainy summers (June to August) and cooler, dry winters. Average temperatures 25˚C to 30˚C.