Boredom is never an option here, as there's no shortage of Cayman Islands things to do. And a literal stone's throw from the five-star luxuries on the beachfront, the azure waters of the western Caribbean Sea beckon. The world-class diving facilities have attracted visitors to the Cayman Islands since 1957, when scuba pioneer, Bob Soto, opened the first Grand Cayman dive shop. Here are five reasons why exploring beneath the waves is better off the Cayman Islands than anywhere else on earth.
The Cayman Islands is known for many things, among them for being mainly flat and low-lying. The highest point (The Bluff, Cayman Brac) is a mere 50m (164ft) above sea level. But did you know that the entire Cayman Islands is actually the top of an undersea mountain range, the Cayman Ridge, that is Himalayan in scale? If it were entirely on land, the Cayman Ridge and the Cayman Trough below would be over 7,600m (25,000ft) high and jostling for position among the Top 20 highest mountains in the world.
With average visibility at 30m (100ft) or more, the Cayman Islands has the most transparent water you'll ever experience. Being almost flat, made of porous limestone and lacking rivers or intensive agriculture, the Cayman Islands marine environment is almost unique in not having any runoff of silt or fertilizer into the ocean, leaving the surrounding waters pristine and clear. It's also a long way from other landmasses, further protecting it from pollutants.
Water temperature ranges between 26-28°C (78-82°F) all year round. This guarantees that snorkelling and scuba diving are hugely popular and very comfortable activities in the Cayman Islands with tourists and locals alike. Whether diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman or Cayman Brac, the water is always brilliantly clear and balmy warm.
With around 1,000 species of fish in the Caribbean Sea, there is no shortage of marine life to watch while Cayman Islands diving. Species to look out for include flying fish, parrotfish, yellowtails, stingrays, moray eels, tarpon, the Atlantic Goliath grouper, and many types of small reef fish familiar to marine aquarium fans. There are bull sharks, tiger sharks, silky sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks - three native species of turtle, crustaceans, invertebrates, nudibranchs, anemones, massive sponges and star corals and 90 species of mammals, including sperm whales, humpback whales, and dolphins. That's a LOT of underwater life to enjoy!
Can't swim? Can't scuba? Can't snorkel? No problem! The whole family can join in, even grandma and the little ones (provided they are 36 inches tall or above), when you explore the depths in a submarine on a Cayman underwater tour, an unforgettable experience that ranks as one of the top tourist activities in the Cayman Islands. Here at Cayman Island Submarines, we take pride in offering a complete range of underwater tours in our beautiful 48-passenger Atlantis submarine, with tours offered both day and night. Definitely try a submarine day dive in the Cayman Islands for a safe and comfortable close-up view of the world up to 30m (100ft) beneath the waves. Then, for contrast, try a night dive in the Cayman Islands, where you'll be amazed as the nocturnal creatures, generally hidden during the day, come out to feed.