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Cayman Islands Top Marine Life Encounters | Scuba Diving Blog

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

The Cayman Islands are one of the best dive destinations in the Caribbean. There are plenty of reasons why you should dive the Cayman Islands. Scuba divers can explore some neat wrecks, like USS Kittiwake on Grand Cayman shores. Around the islands, you can find some deep drop-offs where you cannot see the end and, of course, some beautiful coral. Today we are focusing on the marine life you can spot around the islands. So here are some of the top marine life encounters while diving the Cayman Islands.

  • Stingrays

The Cayman Islands stingrays have become quite famous for being so curious and friendly with divers and snorkelers. Local fishermen used to clean their catch that attracted a lot of stingrays to the area that is now called the Stingray City. Stingrays have stayed there ever since and never shy away from snorkelers or scuba divers. Thus, you can get some real close encounters with the local rays.

  • Lettuce Slug Nudibranch

Like the name states, the Lettuce Slug Nudibranch appearance resembles lettuce leaves and is often green in color. It looks like a nudibranch but is more closely related to sea slugs. It is a very pretty sea slug to photograph, so don't forget to take your macro photography gear with you.

  • Catshark

These bottom feeders are pretty poor swimmers, so they don't migrate much. They also like to hunt during the night and sleep during the day, and often in groups. That is why you might spot more than one catshark during your dives. Their name comes from their cat-like eyes and the two dorsal fins set far back.

  • Yellowhead Jawfish

You can often spot Yellowhead Jawfish on sandy bottoms building its burrows. Their unique colors, yellow head and dorsal fin, and bluish-gray body with dots, make them great photography subjects. If you are lucky, you might even capture them digging wholes which makes a fun photo.

  • Banded Coral Shrimp

Also known as the cleaner shrimp, it likes to wave its antennas to invite fish to come for cleaning. If you place your hand close to the shrimp, it might even want to get you cleaned up! You can often spot them at the openings of reefs and recognize them by their red or violet bodies with white stripes.

See also some of our favorite Cayman Island dive resorts, that are ready to show you some amazing diving.

Read also about some great underwater photography opportunities around Grand Cayman.

For some laid back and relaxed Caribbean diving, discover our guide to diving in Jamaica.

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