Trips for Divers
Oakland, CA 94602
510-638-3448 / 800-345-7159
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Liveaboards and Resorts
'Cayman Aggressor IV'
Grand Cayman's reefs offer a variety of marine life encounters. The fish and critters are unafraid of divers, knowing we pose no threat. They don't flee when approached. Instead, silvery Tarpon hover motionless in mid-water, surrounded by glittery Silversides, and French Angelfish that fin in close to check you out. Huge Barrel Sponges and swirling schools of fish are common off Grand Cayman. These reefs are unspoiled. orgonians and hard corals thrive in the clear, warm waters. Most dive sites are just minutes offshore. Grand Cayman’s famous Stingray City where divers and snorkelers can interact with wild stingrays is a “must see”.
Cobalt Coast Resort ☺◊◊
Comfort Suites ◊
Compass Point Dive Resort ◊◊
Cayman Brac is the middle sister of the three Cayman Islands. It is a coral island surrounded by reef with a population of about 1200 residents. It has changed very little since it was discovered in 1503 by Christopher Columbus. Despite its history of pirate adventure and hidden treasure, it remains a peaceful quiet hideaway not only for divers and snorkelers, but also for sports fishermen, bird watchers, rock climbers, and those who just want to relax.
Around Cayman Brac there are activities which will complete your Cayman Islands vacation. Take a day to scout out the 12-mile long isle. Hike around the caves that dot the bluff wall near Spot Bay. See if you can screw up your courage to visit the real Bat Cave. Bird watching is colorful on Cayman Brac. Try and spot the source of that intriguing squawking you hear – the stealth Brac Parrot.
Cayman Brac, with its many wreck dives, offers different delights than Little Cayman. In 1996 a 330 foot Russian warship with four deck guns, renamed the MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts, was sunk off the west end of the island. As well, there are three other wrecks in the area, the 65-foot Cayman Mariner, the 60-foot tugboat Kissimee and the Prince Frederick which ran aground in 1897. Other sites around Cayman Brac include an ancient anchor embedded in a wall, many shallow coral reefs and an underwater city of Atlantis.
Brac Caribbean Condos
Brac Reef Beach Resort ◊◊
Little Cayman is the smallest and least developed of the three Cayman Islands, located 87 miles northeast of Grand Cayman, five miles west of Cayman Brac, 480 miles from Miami and 90 miles south of Havana. The island itself - just 10 miles long and 1 mile wide - is blessed with 22 miles of spectacular coastline and, just offshore, incredible coral reefs teeming with over 150 kinds of coral and more than 500 species of fish.
Bloody Bay Wall, one of the most pristine underwater sites in the world, is part of a unique ocean reef system surrounding Little Cayman. Rated as the best diving in the Caribbean by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet and underwater cinematographer Stan Waterman, Bloody Bay Wall's natural beauty has been protected for future generations with its designation as a Marine Park. Bloody Bay Wall on Little Cayman is a favorite spot that divers return to again and again.
Little Cayman Beach Resort ◊◊
Paradise Villas ◊
Legends: ☺kids friendly (kids program or kids rates available); ✩ wheelchair accessible; ◊ internet access (◊◊ free)
The island country consists of Grand Cayman, which is the largest and most populous of the trio. The Sister Islands of Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which lie approximately 89 miles east-northeast of Grand Cayman and are separated from each other by a channel about seven miles wide.
The Cayman Islands lie 480 miles south of Miami, nestled in the turquoise waters of the western Caribbean. The three gentle islands are located just 149 miles south of their closest Caribbean neighbor Cuba, and 167 miles northwest of Jamaica. Remote, yet not removed, it's no wonder Cayman has been meeting the demands of vacationers for over 400 years.
These three islands just south of Cuba offer some of the most spectacular walls and clear water in the Caribbean.
The total land mass of the three islands is 100 square miles. Grand Cayman occupies 76 square miles; Cayman Brac, 14 square miles and Little Cayman, 10 square miles. Grand Cayman is approximately 22 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point, reaching a maximum elevation of 79.77 feet in North Side.
Cayman Brac is 14 miles long and 2 miles wide and has the most dramatic topography of the trio. Its majestic Bluff rises west to east along the length of the island to 151.75 above Spot Bay. Many mysterious caves are carved throughout this awe-inspiring natural attraction.
Little Cayman, only 10 miles long and a mile wide, is flat, reaching a maximum elevation of 55.75 ft. Its famous Bloody Bay wall Marine Park has been called one of the world's best dive sites. Inland, the 203 - acre Booby Pond Nature Reserve is a RAMSAR site and nesting ground for the Caribbean's largest population of Red Footed Boobies.
The three islands are limestone outcroppings, the tops of a submarine mountain range called the Cayman Ridge, which extends west southwest for the Sierra Maestra range off the southeast part of Cuba to the Misteriosa Bank near Belize. The islands lack rivers or streams because of the porous nature of the limestone rock. It is this lack of runoff which gives the surrounding Caribbean Sea exceptional visibility, often well over 120 ft.
Between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica lies the deepest part of the Caribbean, the Cayman Trough, which is over four miles deep. South of Cayman is the Bartlett Deep where depths of over 18,000 ft. have been recorded. All three islands are surrounded by healthy coral reefs which lie at the top of dramatic walls and drop-offs close to shore, creating ideal conditions for diving and sportfishing.
With a strong commitment to conservation, environmental protection, an ideal climate and a variety of local flora and fauna - it’s no wonder that the Cayman Islands is an extraordinary location for bird watchers and the birds they love to watch. While the Cayman Islands is home to a wide variety of bird species; dozens of others make Cayman their home away from home, providing bird watchers a glimpse of up to 200 different species in peak season.
Grand Cayman has seven protected bird sanctuaries, including the QE II Botanic Park, Colliers Pond, Salina Reserve and the Majestic Reserve. Cayman Brac is home to a 180-acre parrot reserve where you can glimpse the rare, endangered Brac Parrot, while Little Cayman's Booby Pond Reserve protects the habitat of the brown and red-footed boobies, hosting the largest colony of red-footed boobies in the Western Hemisphere.
Among species sighted in Grand Cayman are the Tricoloured Herons, Common Moorhen, Green Herons, Black-necked Stilts, American Coots, Blue-winged Teal, Cattle Egrets and rare West Indian Whistling Ducks.
The Sister Islands are home to five seabird colonies: red-footed booby, brown booby, magnificent frigatebird, white-tailed tropicbird and least tern. Over 70 species of non-breeding wetland migrants have been observed in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman including - egrets, ducks, plovers, sandpipers, even flamingos and spoonbills make an occasional visit. Those who give their offspring Cayman birthrights include the pied-billed grebe, West Indian whistling-duck, tricolored and green herons, yellow-crowned night-heron, willet, and black-necked stilt. Summer breeding visitors are the least tern, white-tailed tropicbird, gray kingbird, black-whiskered vireo and Antillean nighthawk. Island landbirds include Caribbean elaenia, loggerhead kingbird, bananaquit, thick-billed vireo, vitelline warbler, zenaida dove and red-legged thrush.
The year divides into two seasons, the summer or "rainy" season, generally from mid-May through October, moving into the winter or "dry" season, from November to April.March and April are our driest months and May and October are traditionally the highest rainfall months.
This of course, does not mean that it rains constantly during either of those months, but reflects the trend within our region. Being in a tropical zone, it is not unusual to have brief afternoon showers during the summer, and, at certain times, brief morning sprinkles too. Similar to most West Indian Islands, rainfall tends to be higher in the western sections.
The average temperature in the winter is 75 degrees Fahrenheit and 85 degrees in the summer. Winter or summer, the temperature generally stays within the range of 70 - 90 degrees. The months with the least humidity and lowest temperatures are December through April, February occasionally recording night-time temperatures in the mid 60's, and March probably being the most "temperate" month of the year. We should also point out that most properties offer air-conditioned rooms, and the seasonal trade winds in our region help to make our islands even more enjoyable.
All those entering the Cayman Islands who require a passport should ensure that the passport is valid for six months after date of return.
Upon arrival please keep the immigration card given to you! Visitors should keep it with their travel documents and present it when departing.
Departure Tax: There is a CI $20.00 or US$25.00 departure tax for the Cayman Islands that is included in the price of your airline ticket.
How to get there
The main passenger airport in the Cayman Islands, 'Owen Roberts International Airport', is located on the largest of the Cayman Islands, Grand Cayman. Our sister island of Cayman Brac also has its own airport, 'Gerrard Smith Airport'. These two airports serve as the Cayman Islands main ports of entry for visitors. Little Cayman is served by daily inter-island flights.
Cayman Airways has more non-stop flights between Grand Cayman and the US than any other airline; with a daily service from Miami, and regular services from Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Houston and New York. Cayman Airways also provides connecting regional service to Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica and Havana, Cuba, plus a weekly non-stop flight from Miami to Cayman Brac.
American Airlines provides, non-stop daily flights from Miami to Grand Cayman.
Continental Airlines operates a Boeing 737-700 aircraft equipped with 12 first class and 112 economy class seats. Continental's New York area flight departs from Newark International Airport on Saturday.
Delta Airlines operates a 148-seat Boeing 738-800 from Atlanta to Grand Cayman daily with an additional flight on Saturdays. The Atlanta-Grand Cayman service continues to operate year-round.
Island Air has two executive planes for charter that can hold eight passengers each. The airline flies to 12 destinations within the Caribbean and Central America. Popular destinations include Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.
Electricity is the same in the Caymans as it is in the United States & Canada (110 volts, 60 cycles); it's reliable throughout the islands.
The Cayman Islands has its own currency, first issued in 1972, whose basic unit is the dollar, issued in notes with denominations of CI$100, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 and coins valued at 25 cents, 10, 5 and 1 cent. The CI dollar has a fixed exchange rate with the US dollar of CI$1.00 equals US$1.25. Or, the US dollar equals CI $.80.
There is no need for visitors to exchange their US dollars into local currency. The US dollar is accepted throughout the islands at a rate of CI 80 cents. However, this can be confusing to visitors: for example, a US$20 note becomes CI$16. Banks do NOT give a better rate of exchange! Major credit cards (with the exception of the Discover Card) and travellers checks are widely accepted.
Malaria risk is very low in Cayman Islands.
Visit CDC for more information.