The Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) is the undisputed arbiter of great dive shops and dive centers around the world. PADI certification is a must for any worthwhile dive instructor or facility. But only a few are singled out as PADI Gold Palm Resorts, PADI Five-Star Resorts, and/or National Geographic Dive Resorts. Dive programs receiving this recognition truly are the best of the best, and the Cayman Islands have a number of resorts and programs that have been thus honored by PADI. Check out the list below to see some of the top diving resorts and destinations in the Cayman Islands.
Led by Ashley McKnight and based in George Town, the Cayman Diving College is well known as a teaching facility for professional dive instructors, but also runs three-hour Discovery Scuba Diving programs. The affiliated Diver Down boat-diving program runs daily two-tank dive programs with a maximum of eight divers per boat to dive sites all around Grand Cayman. For travelers, there are also several amateur diving expeditions, including diving to the Kittwake Shipwreck, and snorkeling to "Stingray City" on the North Sound.
Located at the Compass Point Dive Resort on the east end of Grand Cayman, Ocean Frontiers offers small-group dives to more secluded dive destinations plus instruction in air-conditioned classrooms and the deepest training pool in Grand Cayman. Also runs snorkeling and fishing excursions. For more advanced divers, check out Ocean Frontiers's night diving excursions, which allows divers to see nocturnal reef life and explore the ocean depths with provided UV Lights and technology.
This Grand Cayman based dive operator offers stay-and-dive packages with the Cobalt Coast Resort & Suites as well as both technical and recreational instruction. Divetech runs a special kids-only learning program and charters daily boat dives to the north walls and reefs of Grand Cayman plus weekly Stingray City dives. Special programs include underwater treasure hunts, handicapped scuba instruction, and beach picnic/snorkeling excursions. Divetech offers both boat trips and shore diving for all levels of divers.
Located just a short walk from George Town, the Sunset House Hotel is home to Sunset Divers, and both resort and dive center are favorites of divers. The reef offshore of the resort holds two diveable wrecks, and offshore diving is available day and night. My Bar, on the resort grounds, is known as a diver's hangout.
Red Sail Sports offers expert instruction and dive trips through a variety of hotel and beach dive centers, including at the Hyatt Regency, Westin Casuarina Resort, Marriott Beach Resort, Courtyard by Marriott, Morritt's Tortuga Divers, Sea Grape, and Rum Point. Red Sail runs dive trips on four luxury catamarans to the north, west and south sides of Grand Cayman. Red Sails Sports offers dive and scuba programs for both adults and children, and can charter a dive trip to almost any of the Cayman Islands's 160 dive spots. (Different charters available upon request. Contact Red Sail Sports directly for more information).
Reef Divers at Little Cayman
The island of Little Cayman is renowned for its wall diving and healthy marine environment, and the Reef Divers program at the Little Cayman Beach Resort takes full advantage with scuba and snorkel boat trips, valet service for diver's gear and instruction from beginners to Dive Master certification. Reef Divers features scheduled dives throughout the week in Morning, Afternoon, and Night sessions.