Scuba Diving Cayman’s Tunnels
Known for beautiful beaches, stunning weather and amazing seascapes, the Cayman Islands have something to offer even the most discerning visitor. While some are content with soaking up the rays along beautiful Seven Mile Beach, others are seeking out something a little more thrilling. Just beneath the surface of Cayman’s coast lye some of the most amazing reef formations in the Caribbean. Years of tidal ebb and flow create overhangs, cracks and ledges in the reef known to most as “swim throughs”. These tunnels can be found all throughout the three Cayman Islands and are the favorite of new and returning divers alike.
Just minuets from Seven Mile Beach lyes a site full of twists and turns. Narrow canyon ways and overhangs lead divers down a massive hole in the reef know as Big Tunnels. Discovered by divers in the early 1980’s, Big Tunnels is a site not to be missed. This mammoth swim through is decorated in rope sponges and black coral. Be sure to stay at the top of this swim through to avoid breaking your profile. Check for current prior to making this dive as water can move quickly through the area.
Made famous by the movie The Firm, this dive site could be the most requested of all sites on Grand Cayman. Near north west point and not far from Cemetery Beach is a long, wide tunnel named for it’s three main tunnels. A large sand flat and low lying coral finger mark the main entrance of Trinity Caves. This elaborate tunnel points directly toward the deep wall. A large crack in the top of this swim through reveals a white sandy bottom, covered in dancing rays of light. Parallel tunnels are smaller, often inhabited by schooling snappers and spotted lobsters. On the deep side of Trinity Caves lies a detached pinnacle covered in gorgonians and sponges. Be careful swimming through here as the delicate corals are easily damaged by fin kicks.
Just south of the Capitol George Town, Eden Rock and Devils Grotto are popular shore dives among locals and tourists alike. This “grotto” system is created by years of tidal flow into the shallow bay of George Town harbor. This shallow reef is home to some of the most picturesque tunnels found anywhere in the Caribbean. During the summer months, millions of dwarf herring known as silversides fill these tunnels making for one of the most amazing experiences imaginable. Plan your dive for a maximum of 50 feet allowing for ample exploration time.
East of Sand Cay lyes one of Grand Cayman’s lesser known tunnel sites, Ron’s Wall. This site boasts one of the most spectacular swim throughs on the island. Swim directly east of the boat mooring 100 feet to locate the entrance of this tunnel. Dropping down to 65 feet, this large tunnel guides you gently out onto the wall. Take time to check out the different hiding places here. This habitat is a favorite hiding ground for spiny lobsters and channel clinging crabs. Watch your depth as you exit this tunnel as the water here feels deceptively shallow.
East end is home to many great dive sites. The Maze is no exception. Large crevasses in the wall weave in and out forming a labyrinth of overhanging ledges and narrow alleyways. These narrow, deep cracks form passageways that divers navigate while watching for the usual suspects hiding in the darker areas. Located on the south east corner, the Maze is not necessarily diveable 365 days per year. Check with your dive operator prior to planning this dive.