Only a 70-minute nonstop flight out of Miami, Grand Cayman is no secret. It's an island surrounded by white-sand beaches, gin-clear waters, green-flash sunsets and water conditions that are almost always predictable no current and no waves. Underwater, the North wall is a magnet for yellowtail snapper, turtles, green moray eels and even the occasional hammerhead. And for many divers and locals alike, Big Tunnel, located off Seven Mile Beach, is a crowd pleaser. The coral cuts down the wall to a swim-through large enough to park a Mack truck in and then opens to the big blue at roughly 105 feet. The view is enough to make any diver want to exceed their limits. Fortunately, the shallower parts of the wall offer
enough to keep tempted divers occupied.
For those simply wanting to snorkel, Cemetery Reef (appropriately situated off an old graveyard) lies on the far north side of Seven Mile Beach its distance making it one of the more barren stretches of this popular tourist beach. Here the water feels like a human-size aquarium. A few kicks from shore, you'll find staghorn corals reaching to the surface, blue tang and yellowtail snapper dancing in a cloud of color and, of course, evercurious angelfish coming in for a look. With water temperature ranges in the high 70s to low 80s and conditions similar to those don't just visit Grand Cayman once, but again and again. Carry on the experience with visits to its sister islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, both just an island hop away from Grand Cayman.
DESTINATION PRIMERAverage Water Temp: 77-82°F
What to Wear: Dive skin or shorty to a 3 mm in summer, fullsuit in winter
Average Viz: 100-200 feet
When to Go: Year-round
Rent a car and drive around the island; from the water sports found on Seven Mile Beach to the East End's quietsolitude, you'll be sure to findsomething to fit your mood.
1. Pat's Wall
2. Big Tunnel
3. Snapper Hole
4. Tarpon Alley
5. Stingray City