The Cayman Islands boasts some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the world. From swimming alongside stingrays to snorkeling the coral reefs, the water is so clear that visibility is never an issue.

Learning to snorkel is much like learning to ride a bicycle: once you learn how to go, you’ll never want to stop. With so many different snorkeling spots to explore and enjoy, you could visit Cayman every year and never get bored. From kids to adults, couples or families, snorkeling is a great way to spend a morning or an afternoon offshore and an economic (and less daunting) alternative to scuba diving. We’ve compiled a list of some of Grand Cayman’s secret and not-so-secret snorkeling gems, so take a read below and start planning your snorkeling holiday today!

Seven Mile Beach and Cemetery Reef, West Bay

The coral reef along Seven Mile Beach is one of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in the Cayman Islands. Only a short distance offshore, it is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals who love to take to the water.

Southern stingrays, green sea turtles, schools of jacks and groupers, snappers and other marine life all inhabit the coral along Seven Mile Beach and there is lots to see for even the most experienced snorkelers. Cemetery Beach along West Bay is a favored snorkeling spot with frequent sightings of nurse sharks, tarpon, and even octopuses. This one is on everyone’s bucket list.

Stingray City, North Sound

Known sometimes as the Stingray Sandbar, Stingray City is definitely a snorkeling site you don’t want to miss if you ever find yourself in Grand Cayman. Being one of the few places on Earth where you can literally kiss stingrays, Stingray City is the go-to place for many stepping out of their hotels or off the cruise ships. The sandbar’s depths vary between 3ft and 6ft, making it very comfortable for those who are a little nervous about the sea. It is a good place for both first time and experienced snorkelers and while the stingrays may seem like large grey dustbin lids from the deep, they are actually very friendly and photogenic.

Eden Rock, George Town

While Eden Rock has already received a mention for the scuba diving at neighbor Devil’s Grotto in George Town, it is also a well-known and a very popular destination for snorkelers and worthy of a second mention. Located only a short walk from the cruise ship port in George Town, it is easily accessible and snorkeling equipment can be rented from Eden Rock Dive Center for a minimal price. With shallow waters and an abundance of marine life, Eden Rock is a great snorkeling site.

Smith Cove (Smith Barcadere), South Sound

Smith Cove is located in South Sound, only a 10-minute drive from the George Town waterfront. This little cove has lots to offer for snorkelers. With amazing reef formations full of marine life to the turtles and rays that often hang about just offshore, Smith Cove suits all ages. Its gradual slopes allow time for first-time snorkelers to slowly adjust to depths and makes entering and entering the water a breeze. The water is generally very calm, but it is advisable that swimmers stay within their comfort zone and don’t venture out too far.

Something to be aware of for all snorkelers is that even the most experienced swimmers can get into difficulties in the water. Just as divers always go with a buddy, all snorkelers should do the same. There is no shame in being safe. Snorkeling is a fun activity and there is no reason that it should be anything but that. If you find yourself struggling, take a break, alert your snorkel buddy and head back to shore.