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Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands is my first and original Caribbean Islands map, which I began to draw in 1999, but it wasn’t finished until January 3, 2007! Fortunately, in the mean while I produced my first Cayman Islands product about three years before the completion of this map. That first item was Franko’s Cayman Islands Reef Mini-Map and Reef Creatures Identification Guide. It is a 6”x9” map of Grand Cayman, Caymna Brac and Little Cayman, showing the names and locations of over 100 of the most notable scuba diving and snorkeling spots in the Cayman Islands as well as 100 or so species of the most common Caribbean coral reef creatures found in Cayman Islands waters. Over the years I had been working on the Cayman Islands map, but the task proved to be extremely daunting. I took a rather rudimentary version of my Franko Maps and turned it into a mini-map/reef creatures ID instead. After something like 12,000 or 15,000 of these had sold, and I am slightly know in the Cayman Islands dive shop community, at last the whole, detailed map is finished. Life, technology and the whole world has changed since I started in 1999, and there is not an adequate answer for how the evolution of my life and this map delayed it’s finishing, but at last it is finished! In the mean time, I have fallen in love with the Cayman Islands. I’m still finding more and more out about them even as the first edition of Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands is finished, and I already want to do the next edition even before the first edition arrives. This is because subsequent editions always require a personal visit for more of what I call “research.” I MUST return to the Cayman Islands to dive, hike, explore, visit Caymanian folks, enjoy Caymanian cuisine, and do Caymanian things in order to update and upgrade the map for the next edition. Although I think I know Grand Cayman fairly well - having toured every mile of it’s roads, having dove it’s magnificent walls, coral gardens and, of course, Stingray City, as well as having flown a small aircraft all around the island while hanging out the window with a camera – I still need more Cayman Islands time to do the job. In August 2006 I went to Grand Cayman with my daughter to finish the “research” for the first edition of Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands. People often ask if I need a “research assistant” to do my job. Well, actually I do recruit a lot of help – usually local help – but in this case my college student daughter became my helper. In fact, she took scuba lessons at Divetech on the north end of Grand Cayman’s west end at the Cobalt Coast Resort. Finally I have a dive buddy in my own family! And what a beautiful spot to learn to dive! We found out that Grand Cayman lives up to it’s name, “GRAND” Cayman. Before you ask, Yes, of course we dove at Stingray City. You simply have to do the world’s best 12 ft. deep dive. Stingray City also has a resident old green moray eel, who practically cuddled with us. I guess he was like a puppy thinking if he acts cute enough we’ll feed him. We stroked his extraordinary smooth skin, but we kept our fingers well a way from the toothy end! He was virtually blind with cataracts, and we didn’t think it was wise to give him a choice between fingers and squid. Of course I had read and heard about Stingray City before. The internet and books give you tons of information. In addition getting information from books, the internet, dive show brochures, and dive magazines, I relied on local folks for information for much of what I know about Grand Cayman, and nearly all of what I know about Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. Fortunately, local folks love to talk about their paradise, so the information on this Cayman Islands map was not that difficult to obtain. There is no substitute for local knowledge when it comes to good guidance on a Franko Map. From Gearge Town to Hell, and from Seven Mile Beach to East End to Rum Point, thank-you to anyone and everyone who talked to me, made corrections on my map or fed me! Notable helpers were at Ocean Frontiers, Red Sail Sports, Divers Down, Divetech, Cobalt Cost Resort, Eden Rock Dive Center, Sunset House, Don Foster’s, Ivan at Hell, Sport’s Supply, Reef Check (in California), The Department of Tourism, and THE Cayman expert himself, Mr. Jim Dailey, who also serves as a great distributor for Franko’s Map products in The Cayman Islands. Jim has resided in the Cayman Islands since 1959, and has seen every bit of the modern development and evolution of these wonderful Islands as they have become a jewel in the British West Indies. Further thanks go to Grand Cayman’s own resident artist/scientist, Dr. Guy Harvey, who’s underwater art is like no other, and inspires me so-o-o much. Similar thanks to Grand Cayman’s Cathy Church, who’s underwater photography is right up there with Guy Harvey’s work in inspiring me. Also, Mr. Jean-Michel Cousteau who, at New Orleans dive conference a few years ago, took a look at my first prototype of this map and encouraged me by introducing me to a lot of Cayman Islands folks who led me on with fabulous information. Although I’ve put together a huge research project in the form of a Franko Map, I always could use more time in the Cayman Islands. I will definitely be “required” to return again. The sooner the better! Most folks understand that every map is actually a continuous work in progress. It is never finished. The map maker finally just has to quit and call it “done.” That is the case with this years-long project of making a dive and guide map of the Cayman Islands. For example, I could put more details into George Town, if I had another few years. I could put a few more details about the dive sites, if I had a few more years there too. I have an idea that this project has taken so much time that it will be years before it actually pays me, but can I call this “work”? I love it! The hard part is that it is tough for yours truly, the map maker (“cartographer”, if you wish), to get enough time in any give place. However, I have found that the Cayman Islands are a wonderful, favorite, world class destination, with lots to see and do, plus some of the world’s best scuba diving and snorkeling, and more than that, the people are the greatest. I love the Cayman Islands. I’m very proud to represent the Cayman Islands on a Franko Map.
Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands Side 1 The front side of my map shows Grand Cayman as a separate map, and the Sister Islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, together as another map. Each island is mapped in a unique style that shows the beauty of the island and the surrounding Caribbean Sea. Every detail of the coast can be clearly seen, along with a unique depiction of the bathymetry (underwater topography), so the viewer can visualize how the waters just beyond each island’s shore plunges into the deep. This view helps the viewer to see how unusual the Cayman Islands really are, as they rise up from the deep to just above the surface. Map coloring shows you where it is green and covered by thick Cayman forest, or where it is a swampy mangrove, or where it is a city. All of the main roads, as well as a few trails are shown as well, so this is the perfect navigation map as you cruise around in your left-hand-drive rental car. This way of depicting islands on a map is new and unique (as are all Franko Maps), and the colors are truly beautiful, just as they are in real life. This map will inspire you to visit and return to the Cayman Islands because it shows you how absolutely beautiful they are. However, Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands is not just a pretty picture, but it is full of useful information as we. To start, there are descriptions of and dive flags locating Grand Cayman’s most notable dive spots, although the West End of Grand Cayman are detailed on side 2 of the map. There are over 150 dive sites shown just on Grand Cayman, and then well over 50 more on each of the Sister Islands. Since the number one activity of visitors to the Cayman Islands is diving and snorkeling, and since the underwater is so note worthy and magnificent, this subject is destined to dominate the map. Many of the dive sites also include a few lines of accurate descriptions to represent what might be seen on the dive site. Of course dive spots, like everything in nature, is rather dynamic, so on any dive you will definitely see things that I did not mention. Like other Franko Maps related to islands or coast areas, I also had to depict the 100 or so species of the local coral reef creatures that you will most likely see on any given dive or snorkeling excursion. This is a way to add even more color what is probably the most colorful map ever made to begin with. To describe the Cayman Islands dive scene, I have description summarizing each island – one for Grand Cayman, one for Little Cayman, and one for Cayman Brac. These descriptions are accurate generalizations. Of course the map is not a book, so space for words is very limited, so I had to abridge what I would like to have said. Here is what I wrote on the map itself to describe the dive scenes for each of the three islands:
GRAND CAYMAN DIVING The reefs and walls of Grand Canyon are absolutely amazing. An underwater photographer could spend a lifetime on over 250 named dive sites all around the island. Many of the dive sites feature drop-offs, stunning walls and canyons. Access is easy as well, with numerous shore accessible dives, especailly along Seven Mile Beach, but just as many that require boating in with one of the island's expert dive operators. With all of the walls and towering formations loaded with colourful sponges, intricate corals and a myriad of reef fishes, invertebrates, and pelagic species, it is interesting that Grand Cayman's most famous dive is Stingray City. This incredible dive takes place in no more than 12 feet of water in the top end of North Sound. For tons of cruiseship passengers, novice snorkelers, and families, Sandbar also features a fleet of southern stingrays, and is so shallow that visitors can stand on the sand and interact with the friendly stingrays. The reefs and walls all around Grand Cayman are excellent dive spots. Trinity Caves on the west side, Princess Penny's Pinnacle on the north side, or Scuba Bowl on the east side are favorites, but who is to say what is the best? The splendor of Grand Cayman diving is that any one of 250+ sites can be the best on a given dive. Night diving is excellent too. A favorite night dive is at the Divetech Reef right next to the Cayman Turtle Farm.
LITTLE CAYMAN DIVING The smaller of the Sister Islands, Little Cayman's only industry is it's world-class diving. This is owed to the natural wonder of Bloody Bay Wall and Jackson Bight Wall. The dives on Little Cayman are spectacular, dramatic, fabulous and exotic. At the intersection of Bloody Bay Wall and Jackson Bight Wall is a favorite dive known as Mixing Bowl, with a fish-filled sloping sandy flat leading to the drop-off. Shore diving at Cumber's Caves west of Jackson Bay begins in just 18 feet of water and leads to the awesome wall. Other favorites include Marilyn's Cut, Joy's Joy, and Nancy's Cup of Tea. Little Cayman has dozens of incredible dives, as highlighted below. Snorkelers find Point 'O Sand to be a great family picnic spot as well.
CAYMAN BRAC DIVING Cayman Brac's north and south shores are equally renowned for world-class diving. Caribbean trade winds, however, make the north side the most inviting. Sand chutes lead to the spectacular wall drop-off at just 50 feet depth. The varied sponges and corals are colourful and full of reef creatures. The southern wall has beautiful spur-and-groove channels leading to the sheer drop-off. Cayman Brac also boasts one of the most popular and famous wreck dives in the Caribbean - the Soviet warship, MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts, which was scuttled in 1996 in 50 to 80 feet of water. Another favorite dive is Strawberry Sponge Wall, which is full of its namestake sponges on the drop-off. The Lost City of Atlantis is a new underwater sculpture adjacent to Radar Reef at Stake Bay. Radar Reef is often regarded as the best shore dive, with it's excellent macro critters in the shallows. Next to East Chute Reef is the Cayman Mariner, which is a special night dive where you will illuminate the big eyes of squirrelfish. The list of great dives around Cayman Brac is extensive and all are superb.
Having reviewed the individual islands general dive scene, it is time to get to the specifics for Grand Cayman (followed by Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, and then West End Grand Cayman, which is actually side 2 of Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands. Here are the Dive Sites Things to See and Do from Side 1 of Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands: ( While I’m quoting my own map, I decided to write out EVERYTHING that the map tells you. You will still have to get a map, but all of these words may help, if you have the stamina to read on):
GRAND CAYMAN FACTS:
22 mi. (35 km.) long x 4-8 mi. (6-12 km.) wide
Area: 122 sq. miles (197 sq. km.)
Located 490 miles (800 km.) SW of Miami.
Population: 40,000+ and growing fast
Topography is almost flat
George Town is the capital of the Cayman Islands
Cayman Trench - Just to the south the water is a 4 mi. (6km) deep.
HAMMERHEAD HILL 60’-100’ (18-100m) Boat dive to a rise that is known for big fish and hammerheads.
B'S WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Crystal clear waters belie the fact that divers get deep quickly here. Fabulous colourful corals and sponges abound here.
DREAM WEAVER REEF 55'-75' (17-23m) Boat dive to spur and groove reef with shallow coral pinnacles and buttresses with swim-throughs everywhere. colourful corals and sponges.
CHINESE WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Mini wall and fissure between two coral masses, with a wide variety and abundance of reef creatures, including a female nurse shark, turtles, sea rods, stony corals, colourful sponges and all kinds of Caribbean reef fishes.
ROBERT'S WALL 50'-100' (15-30m) Spur and groove terrain leads to drop-off. Large cuts in this wall have deep swim-throughs with barrel sponges, giant anemones, black
coral, whitespotted eagle rays, turtles, lobsters and sharks.
GAIL'S MOUNTAIN 50'-100'+ (15-30m+) Sea mount with a ravine and fissures making a superb coral garden with colourful sponges, blue chromis schools and purple creole wrasse.
HAUNTED HOUSE 70’-100’ (21-30m) Boat dive to join white-spotted eagle rays and
hawksbill turtles amongst oversized black corals.
GRAND CANYON 50'-100'+ (15-30m+) Also known as "B'S WALL", this is a wide canyon between sheer walls, adorned with colourful sponges and soft coral. There are pelagic species plus tiger and Nassau groupers.
PINNACLE REEF 30’-40’ (9-12m) Boat dive to coral pinnacles that rise to within 30’ (9m) of surface. Northwest of mooring there is a nice swim-through.
NO NAME WALL 50’-90’ (15-27m) A line of ravines runs seaward toward the wall north of Rum Point Channel. The wall there has no name.
WHITE STROKE CANYON 60'-100'+ (18-30m+) Huge craggy canyon covered with corals, sponges and invertebrates. Canyon crags are home to green moray eels, lobsters, octopi, and many invertebrates. Graceful French angelfish pairs swim about, and turtles rest. Caution: Choppy and surgy.
QUEEN'S THRONE 17’-50’ (5-15m) Boat dive is also good for snorkeling at mini wall with coral pinnacles and a large green moray.
ANDES WALL 60’-100’ (18-30m)
ANDES REEF 20’-33’ (6-11m)
PENNY'S ARCH 30’-60’ (9-18m) Delicate archway is at the edge of a plateau drop-off.
RUM POINT CLUB to 15' (3m) Shore or dock entry at resort above sandy bottom with coral formations.
BABYLON REEF & WALL 30'-100' (9-30m) Popular boat dive, but this site is also accessible to hearty swimmers. Wall drops off at 40' (12m) depth, with a 70' (21m) wide pinnacle beyond rising from 100' (30m) depth to peak at 40' (12m). Loaded with barrel sponges, rope sponges, gorgonian fans, pink-tipped anemones and corals. Pelagics such as jacks, and green sea turtles are common.
DEILA'S DELIGHT 50’-65’ (15-20m)
JULIE'S WALL 60'-100' (18-30m)
MERMAIDS REEF & WALL 30'-100' (9-30M)
BLACK ROCK CANYON 50’-100’ (15-30m)
McCURLYS WALLS 50’-100’ (15-30m)
NORTHERN LIGHTS 50’-90’ (15-27m)
SKINNY PALM TREE 30'-60' (9-18m)
ANCHOR POND 30'-60' (9-18m)
OLD 12 60' -100' (18-30m)
GENEVA KATHLEEN To 7' (2m) Snorkel from shore on 2-masted wooden-hulled schooner that was 200' (61m) long, but it was raked over the reef during a 1929 hurricane.
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS 66’-100’ (20-30m)
BARREL SPONGE WALL 60’-100’ (18-30m)
TURTLE PASS 60’-100’ (18-30m) Swim-through that enters at 60’ (18m) and exits at
100’ (30m). Passageway requires good diving skills. Amongst the corals and gorgonians are hawksbill turtles, green sea turtles, and loggerhead sea turtles, which nest on nearby beaches.
CHUB HOLE 25’-50’ (8-15m) Boat dive to depression in reef with numerous Caribbean Chub. They bite!
CINDERELLA'S CASTLE 25’-60’ (8-18m)
MORRITT’S TORTUGA CLUB To 20' (6m)
SNAPPER HOLE 33’-60’ (11-18m) Tunnel maze in corals, full of silversides and the big tarpon. There is an old (1872) anchor of the wreck Methusalem.
OLD WRECK HEAD (SHARK ALLEY) 30'-60' (9-18m)
PARROTFISH CAVERNS 60'-100' (18-30m)
THE MAZE 60'-100' (18-30m)
RIVER OF SANDS 55’-100’ (17-30m)
TUNNEL OF LOVE 55’-100’ (17-30m)
TARPON TERRACE 33’-60’ (11-18m)
KANGAROO GORGE 60’-120’+ (18-36m+)
DUMBO'S LOOKOUT 60’-100’ (18-30m)
CATACOMBS 30'-60' (9-18m)
LOST VALLEY 30'-60' (9-18m)
LODGE ANCHOR 30'-60' (9-18m)
TARPON TAP ROOM 33’-60’ (11-18m)
KELLY'S CAVERNS 30’-50’ (9-15m)
HALFMOON BAY to 15' (3m) Shore entry to small bay with a limestone bottom with holes and ledges. Numerous colourful invertebrates, including crabs and shrimp, plus morays.
IRONSHORE GARDENS 30'-50' (9-15m) Boat dive to shallow reef with golden elkhorn corals. Schoolmasters and pairs of foureye butterflyfish swim about the reef. Beyond the reef the bottom is riddled with caves and tunnels.
MAGGIE'S MAZE 40'-100'+ (12-30m+) Coral ravines and passageways lead to drop-off where pelagics frequent. Whitespotted eagle rays, blacktip reef sharks, Caribbean reef sharks and bull sharks have been seen. Covered with colourful sponges and corals.
THREE SISTERS 55'-100'+ (17-30m+) Some say that the three sisters, "Agnes", "Bertha", and "Claire", are three huge coral pinnacles sticking out of the main wall. Others say the sisters are three deep sand channels. Either way, it is a rich mass of sponges and corals.
PLAYING FIELD 30'-50' (9-15m) This is a patch reef full of sponges with French angelfish around them, plus butterflyfish, coronetfish, creole wrasse, French grunts and Bermuda chub.
McKENNY'S CANYON 60' - 100' (18 - 30m) Canyons, tunnels and swim-throughs decorated with huge, 4' (1.2m) tall lavender sea fans, plus yellow and brown tube sponges. Blacktip reef sharks cruise the reef.
PATS WALL 60’-100’+ (18-30m+) Mooring 3.0 SE: Named for local dive master, Pat’s Wall has narrow, deep channels, and a lush coral gargen with purple sea plumes, sea fans and sea whips, plus a few black corals. Great spot for excellent buoyancy control.
SCUBA BOWL 65'-100'+ (20-30m+) Outside the channel, this is a deep dive with brain corals, blue fan corals, gorgonians, and lavender finger sponges. There are blacktip and Caribbean reef sharks.
GROUPER GROTTO 20'-50' (6-15m) Beg. Boat dive for scuba or snorkelers to a tabletop coral reef with elkhorn corals, golden gorgonians, brain corals and sponges. Fish life includes Bermuda chub, and whitespotted eagle rays. However, groupers are almost non-existent at Grouper Grotto.
PEDRO'S PINNACLES 66'-100'+ (22-30m+) Grand Cayman's first resident pirate (Pedro) built a castle at Great Pedro Point. Two huge pinnacles rise out of the abyss
from his castle . Sea life includes pristine black corals, wide gorgonian fans, sponges, green sea turtles, eagle rays, and large pelagics from the open ocean.
PEDRO'S REEF 25'-45' (8-14m) Several small caverns in the reef support a wide variety of Caribbean reef fishes, corals, sponges, shrimp and spiny lobsters. Hawksbill turtles are also common.
SPOTTS REEF 33’-50’ (11-15m) Coral gardens with swim-throughs.
BATS CAVE REEF 33’-50’ (11-15m) This shore accessible, popular site has Grand
Cayman's most extensive system of caves and tunnels. Also good for snorkeling.
STINGRAY CITY To 12' (4m) The attraction for divers and snorkelers who
come here in endless tour boats is up-close encounters with the friendly stingrays. The
stingrays get yummy handouts from the dive masters. It is a spectacle not to be missed.
CORAL GARDENS 3' - 10' (1 - 3m) Boat Dive to excellent snorkeling on shallow
coral reef and sand. Interesting nudibranchs, tiny fish, grunts, yellowtails, sergeant majors and green sea turtles dominate the enjoyment.
SANDBAR 3' - 10' (1 - 3m) Tour boats take snorkelers to site where stingrays abound over white sand much like the famous STINGRAY CITY, but shallower.
Grand Cayman Snorkeling Sites:
BATS CAVE REEF
TURTLE FARM REEF
WRECK OF THE GAMMA
WRECK OF THE CALLIE
SEAVIEW REEF WEST
SUNSET REEF WEST
George Town Touring: The main town of the Cayman Islands reveals extraordinary architecture, the National Museum, the National Heroes Circle, the Clock Tower (built for King George V in 1937), and many wonderful shops catering to tourists.
Rum Point Ferry: This scenic ferry ride across North Sound departs from the Hyatt Regency dock.
Rum Point Visit: Visitors can drive to Rum Point for a visit to beautiful beaches, fine dining and lovely accommodations, and to catch diving tours to Sandbar or other dive sites.
Having finished the description of Side 1 of Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands for Grand Cayman only, I still have to give the notes about Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. The rest of the description of Grand Cayman is all about side 2 of the map, and it appears a few pages below. Meanwhile, let’s go west to east and therefore start with Little Cayman.
Little Cayman is one of the wonders of the world, when it comes to it’s underwater. Bloody Bay is the dream destination that all divers ought to have. If it wasn’t for kids, grandkids, and all of that, I would prefer to go take it easy for a Christmas vacation to Little Cayman Island. Perhaps I’d even offer to sing a Christmas tune at piano at the Pirate’s Point Inn. I’d enjoy some of Gladys’s fine cuisine at Pirate’s Point, I’d go bird watching at Tarpon Lake and La Belle Marsh, and then watch the sunset. Of course I’d dive at Mixing Bowl, and I’d snorkel at Owen Island. And I’d have to dive at Gay’s Reef on the south side just to see what sort of a reef Gay, the Pirate’s Point hostess and Christmas piano player, has lent her name to. Little Cayman Island would be such a different Christmas than Southern California offers, I’d just love to experience it. Maybe I’d stay for good! Little Cayman has a tiny population and it probably has just enough visitors. Maybe I need to get out and “research” Little Cayman some more!
LITTLE CAYMAN FACTS:
Size: 11 Miles (18 Km.) long x less than 1 Mile (1.6 km.) wide.
Population: under 100, with under 200 tourists per day.
Electricity is a relatively recent advent on Little Cayman.
Over 100 species of corals and 500 types of fish.
Has one of the largest rookeries of red-footed boobies in the world.
Bloody Bay Wall descends to 1200' deep just 1/4 mile offshore.
Uninhabited when discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1503.
NORTH LITTLE CAYMAN SIDE DIVE SITES (West to East):
SALT ROCKS 40’-50’ (12-15m)
JIGSAW PUZZLE 40’-50’ (12-15m)
SAND CASTLE 55’-100’ (12-30m) This excellent night dive is one of the newer sites in Little Cayman and it has an amazing amount of marine life.
FISHEYE FANTASY 40’-50’ (12-15m)
BUSH GARDENS 55’-100’ (17-30m)
PARADISE PLUNGE 48’-100’ (14-30m)
JOY'S JOY 20’-100’ (6-30m) Sand crevices lead divers to the edge of the wall where the sand spills into deep fissures. Cruising by are pelagics, including sailfish, eagle rays and sharks. Grouper cleaning stations here are also visited by sea turtles.
McCOY'S WALL 48’-100’ (14-30m)
COCONUT WALL (GROVE) 30’-100’ (9-30m) Bloody Bay’s west end wall begins at only 30' (9m). Crevices and cuts have tube sponges, lavender vase sponges, giant anemones, green sea turtles and cleaner shrimp. Snorkelers peer over wall into the abyss.
BARRACUDA BITE 48’-100’ (15-30m) Reef at westernmost Bloody Bay wall has big star corals, and all kinds of Caribbean reef creatures, including green morays.
LEA LEA'S LOOKOUT 33’-100’ (11-30m) Bloody Bay wall drops off at 45' (14m) depth at the end of a sandy canyon. Reef life includes big barrel sponges, pink-tipped anemones, and spotted morays.
GREAT WALL EAST & WEST 33-100’ (10-30m) Sheer drop-off plunges at a 90 degree angle starting at only 30' (9m) depth. Blacktips, eagle rays, and turtles cruise the wall. Sea fans and sponges make a colourful background.
RINGERS 33'-100' (10-30m)
RANDY'S GAZEBO 33’-100’ (10-30m) There are two vertical chimneys through the face of the wall at 40'-75' (12-23m) deep. East of the chimneys there is a big coral formation with an archway called “Randy’s Gazebo.”
DONNA'S DELIGHT 33’-100’ (11-30m) This sloping drop-off has yellow tube sponges, red cup sponges, black corals and blue chromis.
MARYLIN'S CUT 35’-100’ (12-30m) Shallow mini-wall leads to the drop-off via “Marylin’s Cut”, a fissure, which leads divers from 50' (15m) down to a sand ledge at 75' (23m). “Ben” and “Freddy”, two big old Nassau groupers reside in the cave to the left. They want to be stroked on the chin or side. Also, sea horses!
THREE FATHOM WALL 18’-100’ (6-30m) One of Little Cayman’s most famous walls also has fabulous snorkeling at top of wall over a steep sandy slope leading to a spectacular wall which drops into the abyss from 18' (6m) deep. Friendly groupers.
MIXING BOWL 50'-100' (15-30m) One of Little Cayman's favorite dives. Sloping sandy flat leads divers to spectacular drop off. This is where Bloody Bay and Jackson Bight Walls converge.
BLACKTIP BLVD. 65'-100’ (20-30m) It is no coincidence that this site has the name of it’s famous resident sharks.
SARAH'S SET 33’-100’ (10-30m)
BUS STOP 33’-100’ (11-30m) The coral pinnacle lip of the wall rises 20' (6m) and then falls over the wall. A short-cut to the deeply fissured wall is a sand chute, into a tunnel, and out at the edge of the wall at 110' (33m). Garden eels in sand north of site.
CUMBER'S CAVES 33’-100’ (11-30m) Shallow mini-wall holds the mooring and scattered coral heads have four swim-through caves that enter at 50' (5m) and exit at 80' (24m). There are also shallow tunnels that beginners can explore. The wall is covered with tube sponges and corals, which host sleepy turtles.
JACKSON’S REEF & WALL 20’-100’ (6-30m) Good shallow reef for snorkeling. Scuba divers enjoy swim-throughs starting at 35' (17m).
JACKSON'S BIGHT 50’-100’ (15-30m)
EAGLE RAY ROUNDUP 23’-100’ (7-30m) Shallow sandy area has eagle rays as well as southern stingrays, plus the large corals.
THE MEADOWS 20’-50’ (6-15m)
CASCADES 55’-100’ (17-30m)
MIKE'S MOUNTAIN 20’-100’ (6-30m) Snorkeling is good and scuba is great as divers enjoy descending a tunnel through the wall, which exits at 85' (26m).
PAUL'S ANCHORS 40’-100’ (12-30m)
NANCY’S CUP OF TEA 20'-100' (6-30m) Shore accessible for snorkelers just west of Jackson’s Point, or a boat dive for divers. Named for a Little Cayman photographer, this is a pinnacle that is covered with colourful sponges, gorgonian fans and black coral.
THE BLUFF 60’-100’ (18-30m)
ROCK BOTTOM WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m)
SNAP SHOT 40-66’ (13-20m)
CRYSTAL PALACE WALL 60’-100 ‘ (18-30m)
BOOBY PASS 60-100’ (18-30m)
PENGUINS LEAP 60’-100’ (18-30m)
SAILFIN REEF 40’-66’ (12-20m)
BLACKTIP TUNNELS 50’-65’ (15-20m)
SOUTH LITTLE CAYMAN SIDE DIVE SITES (West to East):
PRESTON BAY To 30' (9m) Superb snorkeling from shore.
WEST POINT 60’-100’ (18-30m)
LIGHTHOUSE WALL 60’-100 ‘ (18-30m)
PATTY'S PLACE 66’-100’ (20-30m) The wall drops off at 60' (18m) on this side. Spur and groove fingers run seaward. Technical divers may visit a cut in the wall at 120' (36m) to take pictures.
RICHARD'S REEF 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boats out of Preston Bay visit this spur and groove shallow dive, where sandy corridors are surrounded by star corals and gorgonians. Divers find crabs and lobsters in the reef, and a few stingrays in the sand.
DYNAMITE DROP-OFF 66’-100’ (20-30m)
THE EDGE 66’-100’ (20-30m)
CHARLIE'S CHIMNEY 65-100’ (20-30m)
PIRATE'S POINT REEF 66’-100’ (20-30m)
GAY'S REEF 30’-60’ (9-18m) Named for Little Cayman’s favorite Christmas pianist, this is a spur and groove habitat with elkhorn corals in the shallows and staghorn corals a bit deeper. It is chock full of jacks, grunts, spotted trunkfish and goatfish.
BLACK HOLE 65-100’ (20-30m)
WINDSOCK REEF 33’-60’ (10-18m) Boat dive offshore from airport windsock to shallow spur and groove area with ledges, small arches and sandy areas with conch. Tarpon amongst star and brain corals.
GRUNDY'S GARDENS 66-100’ (20-30m)
HAROLD'S HOLE 66-100’ (20-30m)
DIVERS DELIGHT 66’-100’ (20-30m)
SOTO TRADER (WRECK) 40'-50' (12-15m) This is a 140' (42m) island freighter that burned and sank here. It is an excellent night dive as the nocturnal octopi, morays and lobsters come out.
ROCKHOUSE WALL 50’-100’ (15-30m)
LUCAS'S LEDGES 50’-100 ‘ (15-30m)
SPLITVILLE 50’-100’ (15-30m)
DISNEYLAND 66’-110’+ (20-33m) Divers agree that this site is the best diving on the south side of Little Cayman. Two tunnels through the wall exit at 110' (33m) depth. The site is full of reef fish, plus hawksbill turtles, blacktip reef sharks, and eagle rays.
CORAL CITY 50-100’ (15-30m)
Little Cayman Snorkeling Sites:
THREE FATHOM WALL
EAGLE RAY ROUNDUP
Tarpon Lake: Fishermen enjoy catch-and-relsease fishing for landlocked tarpon in this saltwater lake. The lake is surrounded by knee-deep mangrove waters full of fish, crabs and snails.
Booby Pond Nature Reserve: Thousands of red-footed boobies resting and nesting can be viewed from the National Trust Building. Look for the rare West Indian whistling duck.
Owen Island: Great family picnic spot and fun beginner snorkeling.
Cayman Brac is second to none, when it comes to it’s underwater. This place is impossible to overrate, because it is in the top few in the world of scuba diving. When you study your own copy of Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands, you will find yourself dreaming about Cayman Brac, and the map will cause you to go there! Walls on the north and walls on the south make Cayman Brac’s underwater just magnificent. Even Cayman Brac’s above water wall (“Brac” means bluff in Gaelic) is magnificent. Underwater you will be watching parrotfish, but above water you might be watching parrots, specifically at the Cayman Brac parrot reserve high on the bluff and Cayman Brac’s east end. Some folks come to Cayman Brac for great rock climbing, but most come for the great diving. Cayman Brac is friendly, fun and fabulous. Start planning your dive trip now! Here are the descriptions you will find on Franko’s Map of The Cayman Islands, side 1:
CAYMAN BRAC FACTS:
"Brac" is Gaelic for "Bluff".
Size: 12 Miles (19 Km.) Long x 1- 2 Miles (1.6 to 3.2 Km.) Wide.
Population: 1200; Daily tourist: 1200.
Caves were once used by pirates to hide their booty.
Uninhabited when discovered by Columbus in 1503.
NORTH CAYMAN BRAC SIDE DIVE SITES (West to East):
DOUBLE WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m)
AIRPORT WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Gradual sloping wall with sandy crevices has colourful tube sponges, gorgonians, sea whips, and on rare occasion, passing whale sharks.
AIRPORT REEF 32'-60' (10-18m)
Good night dive on coral garden reef and rock.
WEST CHUTE: 66’-100’ (20-30m)
EAST CHUTE: 66’-100’ (20-30m)
MIDDLE CHUTE: 30’-50’ (9-15m) "The Chutes" are sandy chutes that spill over the drop-off amongst high coral spurs with barrel and tube sponges. East Chute features one of the most popular dives in the area because it includes the wreck of the Capt. Keith Tibbetts.
CAPT KEITH TIBBETTS WRECK 40’ – 110’ (12-33m) 330' (100m) Soviet-era frigate #356 was scuttled in 1996 and rests on sand by Buccanner Inn Resort. It is the only diveable Soviet warship in the Western Hemisphere, with a maximum depth of 110' (33m) at the bow and a main deck at 40' (12m). The ship is upright, but has shifted to bury her props, while the bow sits high. Marine life is slowly encrusting the entire ship. From the bow divers can peer over the drop-off into Davy Jones’ locker.
KISSIMEE WRECK 25’-50’ (8-15m) This 55' (17m) tug rests on her port side in 50 feet of water. It was deliberately sunk in 1982, and now provides a corroding, fully encrusted wreck for divers.
STRAWBERRY SPONGE WALL 75’-100’ (23-30m) Brilliant strawberry sponges and colourful nudibranchs.
BUCCANEER 25’-66’ (8-20m) Entry by boat or via ironshore at Old Buccaneer Inn for snorkeling or scuba diving on coral garden, which is particularly good for night diving.
GARDEN EEL WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Sand flats have garden eels poking out of their tiny holes, plus southern stingrays.
CHARLIE'S REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) Named after a friendly 6-foot green moray, this site is also known for Spanish grunts. Among sand chutes and coral gardens are golden-tail morays, sailfin blennies, damselfishes, wrasses, and tiny gobies. Snorkelers enjoy the dive as well.
CEMETERY WALL 45’-100’ (13-30m) Spectacular wall with sand chutes, basket sponges, brain corals, star corals, and red finger sponges.
PATCH REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) Big star corals in mounds and sheets. Shrimp and wrasse provide a cleaning station for fish and turtles.
PIPER'S WALL 30’-50’ (9-15m) Large canyons lined with sea fans, black coral and strawberry sponges. Bring a torch.
GRUNT VALLEY 30’-50’ (9-15m) Boat dive or shore access for snorkelers and beginner divers. Named for Caesar grunts.
SCHOOLHOUSE WALL 70’-100’ (21-30m) Steep sand chutes, large barrel sponges and lots of fishes.
SNAPPER REEF To 35’ (11m) Shore accessible or a boat dive for snorkeling or scuba diving. Shallow spot is home to schooling yellowtail, snappers and grunts. Also great for macro photographers with plenty of cleaning stations, big hermit crabs and colourful nudibranchs.
DUPPYS 33’-100’ (10-30m)
RADAR REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) This stairstep entry adjacent to Government Center at Stake Bay has a blue cable to lead divers to the reef. Sharp-eyed divers will spot flying gurnards on the sand. Good night dive.
GREENHOUSE REEF To 50’ (15m) Located just offshore of a greenhouse, this shallow spur and groove reef is good for snorkeling or beginner scuba diving. Nurse sharks sleep under the coral spur overhangs.
GREENHOUSE WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m)
JAN'S REEF To 50’ (15m) Rich and fishy shallow dive with good snorkeling, but it has been damaged by hurricanes.
PILLAR CORAL REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) Popular second dive on a trio of coral pillars just off Coral Isle Club. Small caves have sponges, corals and Caribbean reef fishes. Snorkelers find it accessible from shore.
INSIDE OUT 50’-100’ (15-30m) This site has two different dives. The first is on the big coral head where the boat moors. It drops to about 80' (24m) to a sand basin. The wall there features swim-throughs that lead to a second dive on the big drop-off. Either way, the reef life is fantastic.
EDEN WALL 40’-100’ (12-30m)
HEDDY'S REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) Boat dive with beach access as well. Good for snorkeling.
PUBLIC BEACH 35'-100'+ (11-30m+) Right off Cayman Brac’s Public Beach, coordinates unknown. Slopes to wall at 60' (18m) depth, where the coral pinnacles have swim-throughs. Advanced free divers like this spot.
WALBURT PLAYGROUND 30’-50’ (9-15m)
BAT CAVE 48’-100’ (14-30m) Shore dive.
CIO'S CRAIG (WILDERNESS WALL) 40’-100’ (12-30m) This is one of Cayman Brac’s most dramatic walls, with 50' (15m) tall coral pinnacles that top out at 80' (24m) depth. It has horse-eye jacks, green sea turtles, stingrays and all kinds of reef fishes.
NORBERT'S REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m)
PRINCE FREDERICK WRECK To 50’ (15m) Shore accessible wreck dive, or snorkel.
FOSTER'S WALL 48’-100’ (17-30m)
SON OF ROCK MONSTER 66’-100’ (20-30m)
ROCK MONSTER CHIMNEY 66’-100’ (20-30m) The name might sound scary, but it comes from the looks of the caves in the 140' bluff (“brac”) on shore. This drop-off here is straight down with coral chimneys leading divers down the wall.
KEN'S MOUNTAIN 66’-100’ (20-30m)
BLUFF WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m)
SOUTH CAYMAN BRAC SIDE DIVE SITES (West to East):
FISHERIES To 50’ (15m) Shore-accessible snorkeling and beginner scuba.
TARPON REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) Shallow spur and groove site where tarpon hunt for juvenile fishes, otherwise known as silversides. Tiny redlip blennies and spotted scorpionfish are also common.
SGT. MAJOR REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m)
SHARK HOLE 66’-100’ (20-30m)
ANCHOR WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Beyond the reef top at 80' (24m), a fluke anchor of a Spanish galleon sits wedged into the reef. At the anchor a tunnel leads to a vertical wall that drops thousands of feet into the abyss. The wall hosts a super rich collection of black coral.
TIARA TUNNELS (ORANGE CANYON) 66’-100’ (20-30m)
BUTTERFLY REEF 30’-45’ (9-13m)
CRAB VALLEY 66’-100’ (20-30m)
ANGEL REEF 80’-100’ (24-30m)
SEAFEATHER WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) This steep and deep site has caves and tunnels in the wall with colourful sponges, gorgonians, and basket sponges.
ELKHORN FOREST 30’-45’ (9-13m) Golden-brown elkhorn coral stands are perfect for snorkelers, who love to look down into the reef to find morays, scorpionfish, stingrays, eagle rays, tiger groupers, spotfin butterflyfish, sergeant majors and burrowing
Cayman Brac Snorkeling Sites:
CAPT. TIBBETTS WRECK
PILLAR CORAL REEF
Cayman Brac Parrot Reserve: Brac's Parrots are colourful and endangered. Bring binoculars for a zoom-in look.
Cayman Brac Museum: Island history is on display in this wonderful museum in Stake Bay.
Cayman Islands Coral Reef Creatures Of course, having described Grand Cayman (a huge task it was!), and then Little Cayman, and then Cayman Brac, I haven’t yet properly mentioned one of the favorite reasons for going to the Cayman Islands in the first place! That is the tropical Caribbean reef creatures that so abundantly inhabit the walls, coral gardens, sand chutes, nooks, crannies and wrecks in and around the waters of these islands. Since this is a “Franko Map” and it therefore does not adhere to any cartography conventions except the ones I invented myself, I have artistic license to even put fish on my map of the Cayman Islands. I could talk all day about Bloody Bay Wall, Seven Mile Beach, East Ends and West Ends, North Walls and South Walls, and so forth, but I must show the creatures that we all love. Ever since Jacques Cousteau introduced us to the Caribbean reefs in his first TV documentary show in 1961, I have been in love with the ocean and it’s beautiful and diverse reef creatures. On the face of this Cayman Islands map I depict over 100 different species, including the most notable of the Cayman species, the Southern Stingray, plus the Flying Gurnard. Although this is artwork, with a huge boost from my friends at Trident Diving Equipment (who wholesale my maps) for providing artwork from which to work, I have done much computer graphics trickery to try to get it to look better. Finally, with this Cayman Islands map I am starting to like it! When I study this map, the islands and there descriptions are great, but what really makes me want to return are the fish images! I am the original “Aquanut”, and I have to admit I love reef creatures! Some of my artwork is from my own photos as well. I am not a good underwater photographer, but I sure would like to return to the Cayman Islands for the practice in crystal clear Caymanian waters! Let’s go already! I have three regulators, two bcd’s, four masks, seven sets of fins (including three sets of my favorite – force fins by my friend Bob Evans, four wetsuits, and lots of desire. So what am I doing in Corona sitting at a computer? Oh yes, I’m working of more Franko Maps to inspire the world to love it as well! The fishes include the obvious, a Southern Stingray, plus the Flying Gurnard, and a whole host of others including parrotfishes, butterflyfishes, wrasse, filefishes, angelfishes, groupers, jacks, snappers, hogfishes, moray eels, rays, sharks, hamlets, and triggerfishes, plus invertebrates like the spiny lobster, cushion seastar, long-spined sea urchin, and hermit crab, as well as corals and sponges. Of course there are many more species that flourish in the lush Cayman Islands coral reef communities, but this group is representative of the lot.
FRANKO’S MAP OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS SIDE TWO – THE WEST END OF GRAND CAYMAN DETAIL Again this map is colorful, just like the side 1, but in this case the color and the details are zoomed in much closer, so they are even more spectacular. You can see right down to the sand and the ironshore, and each pond, road, building and tree. Well, it is not quite that zoomed-in, but it is extremely impressive to see the West End of Grand Cayman this way. You can’t quite see the turtles, but you can see the Cayman Turtle Farm. You can’t quite see the boats, but the marinas and harbors are sure visible. Look closely at Seven Mile Beach and see if you can see a bikini! Well, not quite, but you can see where every resort is. Numerous captions detail the West End of Grand Cayman, which is the area that probably 90% of all Cayman Islands visitors see. This includes, of course, George Town, the capital of The Cayman Islands, and the main city with the most residents. It also details the fabulous Seven Mile Beach area, with every resort and hotel shown as if you are a mile above the Seven Mile Beach looking down on it. You can also see details like where shopping areas are, as well as a few favorite restaurants. A bit of enlightenment is provided in the form of aerial photos taken by yours truly. Photos will never convey just how spectacular and beautiful the island and it’s shallow waters are as viewed from the air. One of my favorite pieces of information on the island was actually NOT drawn by yours truly, which is very rare for a Franko Map. On the north end of the West End of Grand Cayman I show a drawing of the Cayman Wall from the surface, right at the Cobalt Coast Resort, down, down, down to about 800 feet deep. The viewer can see just how dramatic and steep the Cayman Cay really is. You can see that if a diver was to continue descending on a dive, there is virtually no bottom. You could go straight to Davy Jones’ locker! I will start my map quotes with the caption by this picture, and then go counterclockwise around the map hitting on all the points of the map:
THE CAYMAN WALL This picture shows the typical wall and reef structure all around Grand Cayman. Shown is a cross section from the shore to over 800' depth, just a short distance from shore at the Cobalt Coast Resort on the north end of West Grand Cayman. The shore slopes gradually over the reef zone to where it reaches beautiful coral pinnacles just in front of the awesome, near-vertical drop-off into the deep. Shown moored above the wall is a Divetech dive boat. Divetech provided this fabulous
depiction of Grand Cayman's Wall.
DEEP SEA FISHING Cayman Islands waters boast world class fishing suitable for the
novice fisherman to professionals who come for international fishing tournaments. There are numerous fishing boat operators who take visitors on excursions to fish for
blue marlin, barracuda, wahoo, yellow fin tuna, blackfin tuna, rainbow runners, tarpon,
skipjack tuna, sailfish, white marlin, dorado, and more.
CAYMAN TURTLE FARM The sea turtle is deeply rooted in Cayman history, as it once represented a way of livelihood. Nowhere else can visitors see an endangered species so successfully bred and raised for conservation. Turtles raised here are also used for restaurant food in order to prevent poaching in the wild. Boatswain's Beach Cayman Turtle Farm is a must-see when visiting Grand Cayman.
HAVE A HELL OF A GOOD TIME! An extremely weathered outcropping of ironshore (petrified coral) gives the visitor a glimpse of the proverbial "Hell". To prove you've been to Hell, send a postcard with a "Hell" postmark from the post office next door to the Hell visitor center. The visitor center store is called "The Devil's Hangout Gift Shop." When you are in the store, make sure to tell Ivan the proprietor that he has a Hell of a nice place.
SEVEN MILE BEACH The most famous, longest, and most popular beach in the Cayman Islands is situated in front of a row of hotels, condos, restaurants, shops and bars. Not only is this one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it is also a fabulous place to people watch, swim, snorkel, take a long stroll, or watch the sunset.
SIR TURTLE This is the unofficial national logo of the Cayman Islands. A variation showing Sir Turtle with a flying scarf is used as the symbol of Cayman Airways.
CONCH Pronounced "konk", this has been a Cayman Island favorite dish for centuries.
The Queen Conch is a large snail that is cooked into a delicious stew. Restaurants
also offer conch fritters and cracked conch. If you are visiting the Cayman Islands
you should try it!
GRAND CAYMAN GOLFING The Links at Safe Haven is an 18-hole championship golf course with beautiful scenery, plus an aqua driving range, and chipping and bunker practice areas. The Britannia Golf Resort was designed by Jack Nicklaus, and is absolutely immaculate. It is Grand Cayman's most established course. Grand Cayman's newest golf course is at the Ritz Carlton. The brand new fairways and greens of this championship course are destined to become yet another famous Grand Cayman golf course, making the island a golfer's paradise.
GEORGE TOWN SUBMARINE TRIPS Atlantis Submarines and Nautilus, the Undersea Tour, offer unforgetably stunning undersea tours disembarking from George Town. This is fascinating even for avid scuba divers and snorkelers.
GEORGE TOWN Touring the main town of the Cayman Islands reveals extraordinary
architecture, the National Museum, the National Heroes Circle,the Clock Tower (built for King George V in 1937), and many wonderful shops catering to tourists. This aerial photo shows the downtown cruiseship terminal where over one million passengers per year get dropped off to begin their shopping and exploration of Grand Cayman.
PHOTO AT STINGRAY CITY:
A dive master presents an offering of calamari to a friendly southern stingray. The diver is immediately surrounded by others looking for a handout, including a familiar, almost-blind green moray eel who has been coming out of his hideout for meals here for over a decade.
View of north end of Seven Mile Beach with its fine, soft sand, and its crystal waters, looking across Jackson's Pond to North Sound and Stingray City in the background.
GHOST MOUNTAIN 60’-120’ (18-36m) 100’ (30m) off the steeply sloping wall a singular pinnacle (Ghost Mountain) rises up out of the deep to only 60’ depth. It is covered with gorgonians and colourful sponges. The wall has black corals, bright finger corals.
BEAR'S PAW 30’-45’ (9-14m) Boat dive to reef at 45’ (14m), but the drop-off can be accessed from here.
BLUE PINNACLES 60’-100’ (18-30m) Boat dive to mini wall reef with a pair of huge coral buttresses leading to the drop-off. Crest of drop-off has lots of fish and beautiful sea fans.
HOLE IN THE WALL 60’-100’ (18-30m) Boat dive to a vertical wall which begins at 65 ‘ (20m), with a too-deep-to swim-through giant, sponge-encrusted arch in its face. Fabulous scenery with myriads of small fishes.
MAIN STREET 60’-100’ (18-30m) Boat dive to near vertical wall where eagle rays and turtles frequent.
TARPON ALLEY WEST & EAST 60’-100’ (18-30m) Boat dive to spectacular coral formations where the big attraction is a resident school of tarpon. The “alley" is a cut in the reef near the drop-off.
PRINCESS PENNY'S PINNACLE 46’-60’ (14-18m) A monolithic pinnacle named for record freediver Penny Ventura rises up outside the wall with a vertical drop into the abyss. The pinnacle is covered by gorgonians and sea rods, sheet coral, star corals, brain corals and little cup corals, plus tube sponges and other colourful sponges. The crest is a goby cleaning station for passing big fishes and hawksbill turtles. White-spotted eagle rays fly over the abyss.
JOSH'S CANYON 60’-100’ (18-30m)
VALLEY OF THE RAYS 60’-100’ (18-30m)
CHANNEL'S END REEF 40'-60' (12-18m)
LIGHTHOUSE WALL 40'-80' (12-24m)
BLUE PETER REEF 30’ (9m)
BLACK FOREST (NORTH) 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to mini wall reef with canyons of black corals. Huge buttresses of star corals rise like pinnacles.
EAGLE RAY PASS 75’-100’ (23-30m) Boat to deep pass where eagle rays fly slowly by,
or search the sand for snacks.
STINGRAY CITY To 12' (4m) Regarded by all divers as the world’s best 12’ (4m)
dive, this wonderful dive takes place on a sandy seafloor in Grand Cayman's North Sound. Here, divers interact with Grand Cayman’s extraordinary fleet of southern stingrays, plus accompanying yellowtail snappers, gray snappers, sergeant majors,
and a few lovely green moray eel specimens. The attraction for all of the thousands of divers and snorkelers who come here in endless tour boats is up-close-and-personal encounters with the friendly stingrays. The attraction for the stingrays is the yummy squid handouts that the dive masters bring. It is a spectacle not to be missed. Note: Divers and snorkelers should leave the feeding to the dive professionals who guide the tours. Also, keep your fingers out of harms way from the poor-sighted green morays. This is a spectacle not to be missed!
LEMON WALL 55-100’+ (17-30m+) Boat dive to superb wall. Sand channels spill over
the rim of the North wall. The further the descent, the more rich and diverse the marine life, including blue sea fans, green finger sponges, yellow tunicates, lobsters and green sea turtles.
LEMON REEF 40’-66’ (12-20m) Good second spot on a two-dive boat trip. Coral
gardens are rich in corals and fish and its shallow, light area make for great photos.
LESLIE'S CURL 55-100’+ (17-30m+) The “curl” here is an overhang of the reef, which is the home of black coral and many colourful corals and sponges, anemones and all types of fish and morays. The “curl” also features a swim-through.
TIN CITY To 50’ (12m) Easy, beginner scuba or snorkeling.
JAPANESE GARDEN EAST & WEST 30’-55’ (9-17m) Boat dive to reef full of elkhorn and staghorn corals resembling a bonsai garden. The rocky ironshore is eroded into numerous caves, tunnels and overhangs that make a great fish nursery full of silver-
sides. Huge tarpon feed on the juvenile fish.
DANGEROUS DAN'S DROP-OFF (3D) 66’-100’ (20-30m) Not as dangerous as the name implies. Breathtaking drop-off is great background for photos of colourful fishes. Seldom visited by divers.
BARRACUDA RON'S PASS 30’-55’ (10-17m)
NED'S TUNNELS 40’-60’ (12-118m) Coral pinnacles and buttresses full of tunnels and swim-throughs.
PIRATE'S COVE 25’-55’ (8-17m) Boat dive to shallow coral garden reef full of colourful sponges, corals, and invertebrates.
OLLEN'S OFFICE 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to nice, colourful sponge and coral reef. The area is a bit surgy.
PHANTOM'S LEDGE 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to south shore spur and groove reef system with crystal clear waters.
GARY'S WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to spur and groove reef that descends to drop-off wall.
EYE OF THE NEEDLE 74’-100’ (22-30m) Also known as HOLE IN THE WALL, this is a boat dive to a valley, which descends to a steep wall. The valley is loaded with Caribbean reef creatures and is beautifully photogenic.
CHRISTINA'S REEF AND WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to spur and groove reef formation with lots of tunnels and swim-throughs in huge coral mounds. Lots of invertebrates including hermit crabs large enough to use conch shells.
BULLWINKLE EAST & WEST 25’-50’ (7-15m) Boat dive to shallow caves which create a nice fish nursery.
LAURA'S REEF 30’-65’ (9-20m) Boat dive to spur and groove reef with coral overhangs for large groupers and nurse sharks. Eagle rays are seen once in a while.
RED BAY CAVES 25’-50’ (8-15m) Shallow caves and swim-throughs in coral reef.
KENT'S CAVES WEST 30’-60’ (9-18m) Shallow spur and groove reef with cavernous swim-through tunnels, and loaded with all kinds of fish and invertebrates, plus turtles.
CROSSROADS 66’-100’ (20-30m) Mini wall reef with lots of colourful sponges and corals.
RON'S WALL 60’-100’ (18-30m) Vertical mini-wall reef with soft corals. There are a few of the bigger rainbow parrotfish at this site, which chomp on the corals and promptly excrete new Caribbean sand. Divers may be followed by a few curious Barracuda.
PALLAS PINNACLES EAST, WEST & CENTRAL 80’-100’ (4-30m) Mini wall with huge star coral pinnacles, with a lot of barrel sponges and black corals mixed in. Current can be strong here.
PALLAS WRECK REEF EAST & WEST 20’-50’ (6-15m) The Norwegian steel hulled frigate Pallas hit the reef here and sank in 1903. This wreck is now a corroded part of the reef, filled with reef creatures. Strong currents are common. Boat or shore entry. Good for snorkeling.
DEDE'S GARDEN 25’-55’ (8-17m)
GARY'S REEF 25’-55’ (6-17m) Shallow reef is a good second dive for your dive boat.
BIG TABLE ROCK 60'-100'+ (18-30m+) Adv. This wall with cuts and crevices and sand alleys leading to the drop-off was the original "Tarpon Alley". There are also curious barracuda, and blacktip reef sharks.
BLACKIE'S HOLE 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to mini wall reef with black coral in deeper area and diverse fishes throughout.
EAGLE RAY ROCK 50’-100’ (15-30m)
SMITH’S COVE To 15' (5m) Picnic Beach entry for snorkelers. White sandy bottom with coral heads and juvenile fishes.
FRANK'S REEF 60’-100’ (18-30m) Deep reef with a superb name. Features abundant marine life.
ARMCHAIR REEF 60’-100’ (18-30m)
WALDOE'S REEF 33’-50’ (11-15m) Shore dive which is also good for snorkeling.
SUNSET REEF 3'-50' (1-15m) Resort and dive shop property entry where snorkelers and scuba divers see Sunset Reef's famous 9' (3m) bronze statue of AMPHITRITE (Am-fi-TRY-tee), Siren of the Reef.
SUNSET REEF EAST To 20' (6m) Boat dive commonly used for beginner scuba divers or snorkelers. Shallow reef has big coral heads protruding 20' (6m) high.
DON FOSTER'S CASUARINA POINT 3’-50’ (1-15m) Shore accessible snorkeling and beginner scuba. Shallow coral gardens off resort and dive shop.
L.C.M. DAVID NICHOLSON WRECK 60’-100’ (18-30m) A 60' (18m) WWII landing craft wreck sits fully encrusted 600' (182m) offshore.
DEVILS GROTTO NORTH & SOUTH 10’-40’ (3-12m) Shore accessible scuba or snorkeling at southern edge of the West Wall. Hurricanes have hammered the corals, but the caves and tunnels are still good places to snorkel and see silversides and the tarpon that eat them.
EDEN ROCK NORTH & SOUTH 3’-50’ (1-15m) Shore access to dive or snorkel amongst this rocky reef extention of EDEN ROCK which has big coral heads, chimneys, and swim-through gullies that lead out to the drop-off. Hurricanes and swim fins have taken their toll on the coral life. Tarpon and a huge barracuda hangout while sergeant majors look for handouts.
WRECK OF THE BALBOA 10-40' (3-12m) This 375' (99m) freighter was sunk in a 1932 hurricane just 600' (183m) off George Town's pier. Harbormaster permission is required. Good night dive. Octopi and red shrimp and a few orange ball anemones reside here.
WRECK OF THE CALLIE To 20’ (6m) Shore access for snorkelers. 4-masted schooner sunk in 1944 has remnants strewn about. Its boilers, hull plates, etc. are encrusted with sponges and corals. Tarpon patrol the wreckage.
FISH POT REEF 26’-46’ (8-14m) Common check-out dive spot for a beginner’s first open water scuba experience, accessible only by boat. Also known as MESA or RHAPSODY. This is a flat-topped coral formation with a huge variety of invertebrates and a dense fish population. Spiny lobsters are seen by night divers. Excellent snorkeling as well.
SOTO'S NORTH To 50’ (15m) This shore dive is particularly good as a first checkout dive. Also good for snorkeling.
PAGEANT BEACH REEF 31’-56’ (10-17m) Shore entry or boat dive that is also good for snorkeling. Spur and groove terrain has overhangs and tunnels, and a coral garden loaded with fish and invertebrates.
WRECK OF THE GAMMA to 10' (3m) Beg. Shore access to old freighter with hull exposed. Wreck shelters many fish including silversides and the big groupers that eat them.
ROYAL PALMS LEDGE 40’-56’ (12-17m) Great coral garden loaded with fish for the delight of underwater photographers. Good shallow second dive, or even better as a night dive, where plenty of nocturnals come out into the horseshoe shaped reef. Night divers see squid.
LONE STAR REEF 50’-60’ (15-18m)
EASY STREET 50’-100’ (15-30m)
IN BETWEEN 50’-100’ (15-30m)
BIG TUNNELS 80’-120’ (24-36m) Convoluted arroyos, tunnels and crevices with colourful sponges and corals, including black coral. Bring a torch.
DRAGON'S HOLE 66’-100’ (20-30m)
LITTLE TUNNELS 30’-65’ (9-20m) Shore accessible spot that can be enjoyed as a snorkel adventure.
CEMETERY BEACH REEF to 10' (3m) Sandy beach entry to patch reef in clear turquoise water leads to elkhorn corals and a vast variety of tropical reef fishes.
TRINITY CAVES 45’-100’ (14-30m) Grand Cayman’s oldest and one of it’s most dived sites. Three narrow canyons slope seaward. The east canyon has an archway and pinnacle at edge of the drop-off. Black corals, basket sponges, barrel sponges and gorgonian whips are in the caves.
BIG DIPPER 50’-100’ (15-30m)
ROUND ROCK WEST & EAST 60’-100’ (18-30m) Boat dive to walls covered with corals and sponges, including an elephant ear-size elephant ear sponge. Sea plumes and black coral stick out from the steep wall.
NEPTUNE'S WALL 66’-100’ (20-30m) Near-vertical wall dive full of big barrel sponges, rope sponges, and gorgonians toward the top, and black corals deeper. Spiny lobsters and slipper lobsters inhabit nooks and crannies.
WALL STREET 66’-100’ (20-30m) Boat dive to one of the Caribbean’s clearest water sites. The wall has absolutely pristine conditions in which divers might feel they are the first ones ever there.
SLAUGHTERHOUSE WALL 40’-50’ (12-15m) Great shallow mini wall good for all kinds of interesting and colourful invertebrates.
SAND CHUTE 35’-100’ (12-30m) The sand chute resembles a black diamond ski slope, until you notice the garden eels peaking out of the snow. At the deepest part of the dive there is a coral tunnel that ascends and lets you out at just 35’ deep.
DOC POULSON (WRECK) To 50‘ (15m) Popular night dive on intact, scuttled 70' (21m) cable-layer (1981). Silversides and big groupers that eat them live in the wreck.
MITCH MILLER'S REEF 50’-60’ (15-18m) Boat dive to reef named for the big band leader from the 1950’s and 1960’s TV fame. Big star coral heads are convoluted and have swim-throughs.
MARTY'S WALL 50’-100’ (15-30m) Mooring 20.0 W Boat dive to mini wall reef full of colourful sponges, rich in corals and noted for variety of invertebrates.
KNIFE 66’-100’ (20-30m) Mooring 21.0 W Boat dive to steep slope (almost a wall), to find green moray eels, octopi and big parrotfish.
LOST TREASURE REEF 30’-50’ (9-15m) Good shore dive that can be enjoyed almost just as well by snorkelers.
SPANISH ANCHOR 40’-50’ (12’-15m) Old 8' long (2.5m) Spanish anchor is encrusted with bright yellow tube sponges. Divers rub a bare spot for luck. Nassau groupers, angelfish, butterflyfish, and nurse sharks.
ANGELFISH REEF 33’-50’ (11-15m) Boat dive with snorkeling on photogenic reef amongst queen angelfish, and French angelfish, colourful sea fans and sea plumes and numerous fish.
GREAT HOUSE WALL 20’-100’ (18-30m) Boat dive to wall that is also good for snorkelers who can see the coral buttresses.
AQUARIUM NORTH (KILLER PUFFER) 33’-43’ (11-14m) Reef for scuba or snorkeling at Grand Cayman's open sea aquarium, which hosts numerous fishes swimming amongst antler coral, blue gorgonians and sea whips.
AQUARIUM SOUTH 33’-43’ (11-13m) Boat dive that is also good for snorkeling tours. All kinds of surgeonfish, wrasse, parrotfishes, angelfishes, and butterflyfishes. Photographers love the fish variety on the backdrop of colourful corals and sponges.
PETER'S (GOVERNOR'S) REEF 30’-43’ (9-13m) Great snorkeling and easy scuba diving inshore from the Oro Verde wreck.
EAGLE'S NEST 50’-83’ (15-25m) Wall drop-off at the Seven Mile Beach midpoint, with whitespotted eagle rays and sea turtles cruising by or resting. colourful sponges intertwined with staghorn corals.
JAX DAX (THREE TREES) 30’-43’ (9-13m) Boat dive to photogenic coral reef with staghorn, brain, star, and gorgonian corals.
ORO VERDE WRECK 40’-56’ (12-17m) 200' (60m) former drug smuggler’s boat, scuttled in 1980, and now encrusted with sponges and corals. Barracuda hang out, along with “Wanda” a big Nassau grouper.
HOLIDAY INN DROP-OFF 60’-120’+ (18-35m+) Boat dive to wall that drops straight down into the abyss. Diving here is like flying.
PARADISE REEF 40’-50’ (12-15m) Coral garden reef with a large, toothy and tame dog snapper called “Fang”, who likes to visit with divers.
HAMMERHEAD HOLE 66’-100’ (20-30m)
CARIBBEAN CLUB SAND CHUTE 55’-100’ (17-30m) Boat dive to gradual, sandy incline with southern stingrays and eagle rays.
SENTINEL ROCK 60’-100’ (18-30m)
BONNIE'S ARCH 40’-70’ (12-21m) Named for photographer Bonnie Charles, this is the Arc de Triomphe of the Cayman Islands, because of its majestic entrance leading divers into a Paris-like metropolis, full of marine life, including colourful corals, big sponges,
gorgonians and pelagics.
ORANGE CANYON 60’-100’ (18-30m) Named for the orange elephant ear sponges that dominate the reef. There are also gorgonians and big barrel sponges. This is a good spot to see big pelagic species of fish, plus Caribbean reef sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and frogfish.
DIVETECH REEF (TURTLE REEF) 30’-60’ (9-18m) Shore accessible scuba diving or snorkeling just off Grand Cayman’s famous turtle farm. Divers will see turtles in their natural habitat. This is a favorite night dive for octopus and other nocturnals.
HEPP'S PIPELINE 33’-66’ (10-20m) Shore accessible scuba diving and snorkeling. White sandy shore slopes down to the edge of a steep wall. Good dive for beginners.
HEPP'S WALL 60’-100’ (18-30m)
SCHOOLHOUSE REEF 20’-50’ (6-15m) Shallow dive accessible from shore for scuba or snorkeling above nice coral gardens. Divetech has a pier at the Cobalt Coast resort for easy access.
SPANISH BAY REEF 70-90’ (21-27m) Shore entry for easy scuba or snorkeling amongst nice coral heads.
SPONGE POINT (GROUPER POINT) 33’-100’ (11-30m)
FAVORITE GRAND CAYMAN WEST END SNORKELING:
Cemetery Beach Reef
Wreck of the Gamma
Wreck of the Cali
Don Foster's Casuarina Point
Seaview & Sunset Reef
Sunset Reef, West