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Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 11
Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

My boyfriend and I are here on vacation right now and are looking for some good snorkeling spots that are easy access from a beach.

Earlier today we snorkeled at Stingray City which was very disappointing as we only saw one stingray, being cradled by a group of people nearby. It seemed to just be hundreds of people standing around a Sandbar waiting for stingrays to show up.

We were also at another reef spot close to Stingray City which seemed pretty much completely dead and we only saw one or two fish.

I keep hearing that Grand Cayman has the best snorkeling and diving; can someone recommend a really good snorkeling spot that has an abundance of colorful coral & fish and possibly bigger exotic animals such as turtles/sharks/rays?

Reading the reviews on Cemetery Beach, Smith Cove, Rum Pointe, they all seem lukewarm and crowded with hundreds of cruise ships tourists.

Annapolis, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
posts: 4,402
reviews: 16
1. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

http://snorkelblog.tumblr.com/

posts: 23
2. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

I'm sure others will have more ideas than I have. We went to Cemetery Beach twice while we were there in December. Both times we went later in the afternoon and didn't feel it was very crowded. My husband thought that we saw plenty of fish for snorkeling right off the beach, he did 9 dives so he saw lots of fish and commented that it was a good place to snorkel. We even saw an octopus both days.

We also went to Eden's Rock and it was nice. Went later in the day also, not too many crowds if you wait until most of the cruisers are going back to the ship.

Sorry you didn't see too many stingrays. We went and someone in our group fed them. There were tons then. Once there was no more food, the stingrays weren't so "friendly" but we still saw some.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 11
3. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Thanks for your replies, I'm thinking that the most lively coral will probably be seen far offshore in boat dives, rather than snorkeling, is this correct?

As for the stingrays, I'm praying we will be able to dive with them sometime next week.

Annapolis, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
posts: 4,402
reviews: 16
4. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Did you check the pictures of coral on the website? You don't need a boat, just the right tides and locations. Study the guide, it is all you need to find vibrant coral and sea life while snorkeling from shore.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 11
5. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Yes, thank you, I'm looking at it to see the tips for the different sites, I will probably try to visit several

Livonia, Michigan
posts: 14
reviews: 51
6. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Go to Smith's Cove, just south of downtown Georgetown. Just follow Church through town. Quiet, right off the road, with a couple picnic tables and trees for shade. Fresh water showers and bathrooms too.

The snorkeling is great, lots of coral around.....

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 10
reviews: 3
7. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

I was at many of these areas the last week of December. Here's my take:

Stingray sandbar- there on the 29th, which was a no-cruiseship day. A dozen or so boats (hotel crowd), tons of stingray.

Reef near Rum Point- we snorkeled at an area to the northwest of Rum Point, literally you could snorkel out there from their dock, and it was like our own personal aquarium. No one else there, we saw live lobster, an eagle ray that swam circles around us, an octopus, uncountable numbers of fish. Again, towards the reef from Rum Point.

Cemetery beach- my cousin and I launched a sea kayak from here. We went first to South Sound Cay, which was wiped out in Ivan, but is now newly built up in coral rock. The currents are tricky. We found one safe place to snorkel, on the side facing away from the main island. There were a couple of tents pitched, but no one in residence. Take some plastic bags to help carry away the plastic bottles that wash ashore. We planted a palm tree - Ivan took all of those, too. Then, kayaked over to the wreck of the Pallas, just across from Cemetery. Dropped anchor and snorkled. There was only one other person there. We saw tons of fish and an eel inside the wreck. Again, strong current.

Smith Cove - sometimes crowded, sometimes not. I love it there, though, much better than SMB. Not the best snorkeling, just small, private-feeling beach with facilities and a place to rinse off the salt water. The ice cream truck stops regularly.

My experience.....

Mount Tabor, New...
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
posts: 6,016
reviews: 18
8. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Just a hunch, but from the description above, it appears Kay S is referencing the area off the South Sound Cemetery and the tiny spit I know as Patrick's Island; not the popular snorkel area of Seven Mile Beach known as Cemetery Beach.

Edited: 3:04 pm, January 04, 2013
Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 10
reviews: 3
9. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

Testudo is correct re the cemetery name, thanks!!! But the name of the little island, I don't know....I'm just noting my cousin. There's a sign on the little island that calls it Coral Island....offended my cousin. Lol. Patrick's Island I equate to a residential area with a canal adjacent to the North Sound - we docked there. I wish I could correct that first post!

Edited: 3:14 pm, January 04, 2013
Mount Tabor, New...
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
posts: 6,016
reviews: 18
10. Re: Best snorkeling in Grand Cayman?

I am not sure of the island's proper name, I have just always referred to it as Patrick's Island.