TESTUDO'S SNORKEL GUIDE Cayman Off the Beaten Path
TESTUDO'S SNORKEL GUIDE TABLE OF CONTENTS:
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Testudo

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LITTLE CAYMAN SNORKELING MAP

Here is the basis for a snorkeling guide to Little Cayman which I hope to one day have the time to publish.  I have included pictures and commentary as meta data in most of the POI icons.  Hopefully it will be enough to help you find your way exploring the incredible snorkeling off Little Cayman.

Can you tell me about more recent conditions at Barefoot Beach. I saw some stuff about trash that washed ashore. Is this common or is it a "once in a while" kind of thing. Thanks... Bob Dennard AKA Kokomo Man
Anonymous

Haven’t been to Barefoot in awhile, so can’t say what the deposited trash on the beach situation is like.  The amount or lack of trash depends on what has washed up from Hispaniola and if a cleaning crew has recently visited (not a common occurrence in the less visited areas like barefoot).  While the beach can be hit or miss from a trash accumulation perspective, the good news is that it rarely affects the snorkeling.

Cheers,

Testudo

Are the starfish located in the waters of Grand Cayman poisonous to humans?
Anonymous

The common species of starfish found around Cayman is the Oreaster reticulatus, commonly known as the red cushion sea star or the West Indian sea star.  It is not regarded as being poisonous to humans; though I wish it were, so folks would not handle them and take them out of the water.  It is more likely the case of humans being poisonous to the Sea Stars.

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I've just discovered your site, Testudo. Thanks very much for sharing your insights! My family will be visiting the island on a cruise ship for one day only, and would love to find a snorkel place accessible from the cruise terminal in Georgetown. Somewhere we can just get in from the shore, without having to pay those high excursion rates! Some of us will need equipment rental as well. A bonus would be a beach location or area where we could relax afterward as well. Any suggestions?
Anonymous

Eden Rock, right in the port area is the best snorkeling from shore in the Seven Mile Beach area.  No beach, but easy to get to, free unless you need to rent gear, near downtown so lots of eating and drinking options within walking distance.

Governor’s Beach is a short taxi or minibus ride from port.  Great beach and near the Westin for refreshments.  A small patch reef is just offshore that while coral is pretty beat up, still has a great amount of marine life.

Cemetery Beach is a bit further up West Bay Road and provides another fantastic beach with a bit better snorkeling than Governors, but further from shore to see any live coral.  Not much in the way of amenities, but there are a few beach bars a 10-15 minute walk down the beach, back towards port.

Heading to Ritz on GC on Sat. 071914 for a week. Have a 6yr old. any place close to the resort for a beach entrance reef to take him for his first snorkel tour?
Anonymous

A walk down to the Marriott might be your best best.  There are artificial reef balls placed just off shore that should be great for an intro to snorkeling for a youngster.  Plenty of fish, calm and shallow water close to shore.

Hi Testudo, First off thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience with us all. Choosing both Grand Cayman and Sea Lodges as our vacation spot was mostly due to the information gathered here. My question is: Where is a good ( and safe) place to snorkel with a receding or at low tide? Thanks again!!
Anonymous

My sincere pleasure.  Tides, including the season tides (Spring and Neap), usually do not present much difference in the way of ability to snorkel a location or not.  The only spot I recommend absolutely visiting at a high-tide is North Side Wonderland, else you risk hitting corals.  Barefoot Beach and Queen’s Monument are also better at High Tide for similar, but less pronounced reasons.    

Tides can play a factor when swimming to and from the North Side Barrier Reef in terms of swimming with or against on the way out and/or in.  So if not a strong swimmer, keep that in mind.

Viva Snorkel!

Testudo

Hi ya Turtleman! I am coming to visit your island in the beginning of October Snorkeling is my passion I stay in Roatan and visited Glovers Atoll I have two choices of location I will have a car Coral Sands near Seven Mile Beach or Morritts Grand Resort near Rum Point. I will travel the island. 2 wk stay. Any suggestions for which might be a location nearest best snorkeling spotssss. Thanks Wonder Woman
Anonymous

Both lodgings will have relatively the same level of snorkeling right off the shore, with the edge to Morritt’s having access to the reef.  Morritt’s will have the nicer beach, but will be a bit more isolated/less developed (if you liked Roatan, it would be like staying on a cross between West Bay and Sandy Bay) and Coral Sands will be located pretty much in the start of the downtown George Town area and all the goings on there (plenty of dinning options walk-able or close by and the option to use the public bus system to get around).

Morritt’s will be closer to the snorkel sites in the blog (IMO the best on Grand Cayman), while Coral Sands will be closer to the guide book snorkel sites like Eden Rock, Smith Cove, Cemetery beach, the Wreck of the Cali, etc…).  Based on your travel history mentioned, I’d suggest Morritt’s.  You would need to rent a car if staying at Morritt’s and to visit the sites mentioned in the blog if staying at either.

Viva Snorkel!

Testudo