The Cayman Islands - Diving Paradise
Between travels apart, my boyfriend and I decided to take a trip together and take advantage of our new diving certification! With impossibly clear blue water, abundant sea life, and more than 300 diving sites, the Cayman Islands was a no-brainer.
We arrived on the big island of Grand Cayman and immediately welcomed by a local playing Calypso. We took a taxi and headed to the Marriott Hotel where we were staying. It was very impressive as it as was a pleasant surprise to find out the lobby was completely remodeled with a modern mid century look. We left our luggage in our room and headed to the beach. The beach in front of the hotel was very nice and has a natural and artificial coral for you to enjoy while snorkeling.
We had early lunch at the restaurant in front of the beach as it was too far to go anywhere without a taxi. But as I devoured my chicken truffle sandwich, I couldn’t but to awe at the beautiful sight. Powdery white sands, clear blue sky and clean turquoise water made my delicious lunch that much better. Although the beach was very narrow, the water and weather were more than enough to compensate the lack of sand. We finished our lunch and went for the lounge chair on the beach. We spend the entire day lounging as we let the hotel's staff spoil us with drinks and food all while relaxing under the safe shade of the big umbrellas.We had a mission for this trip: to be as lazy as possible. We gazed at the sunset until it was completely dark and only the fire from the fire lamps and the moon illuminated the beach. We were taking our mission very seriously.
The next day we woke up early and had a full breakfast to prepare us for the diving adventures awaiting us. The Cayman Islands have more than 300 diving sights. Technically, you could go to a different site every day for a year and not repeat once. Although there are plenty of diving companies in the Cayman Islands, we went with Epic Dives. They were very professional and talking to the owner a bit, we learned some tips about diving in the Cayman Islands and other companies. They were highly recommended to us by someone at the hotel which ironically, was working with another diving company.
The idea of diving was scary for me. Unknown sea life, sharks, deep vast ocean, all sound like part of a phobia list. Also, getting certified during a tropical storm didn’t help either. Low visibility, strong current… I’m not trying to scare you off I promise! but on our last dive to get certified, all that was fear turned into excitement and what I feared I ended up loving. I love descending into the vast ocean like descending from the sky, the unknown sea life turned into a discovering experience, and for sharks? well, not all sharks are big white sharks ready to devour you like a little appetizer.
DIVING IN CAYMAN ISLANDS
Our first dive in the Cayman Islands, we went to a cave which was approximately 97 feet deep. The water was very warm, almost no current, and the clarity was excellent. The site was beautiful. As we swam through the opened cave, the light would come from above, illuminating the cave. The corals were so colorful it felt surreal and the vast ocean was mind-blowing. The sea life was no disappointment either. There were so many types of fish some of them as colorful as skittles. We even spotted a shark! Our second dive was much shallower about 30 feet deep but equally impressive. Diving in the Cayman Islands was without a doubt an amazing experience.
On our third day, we went to Stingray city which was lots of fun. The stingrays were very friendly and you can hold them, pet them, and if you are brave enough, kiss them. They will brace you while searching for squid, which we were handed to feed them. They will suck it out of your hand like little vacuums. If you are not careful they will leave you a hickey. After the Stingray city, we headed to another area for snorkeling and third location where a group of fish wraps around you like a hurricane of fish.
The Cayman Islands are more expensive than the other Caribbean islands but go during low season and you will find amazing deals and less than a quarter of the tourists! If you ask me, go in September and look for packages that include flight ticket and accommodation.