Coral Gardens Snorkel Review (Grand Cayman 2021)


In this article, we review Coral Gardens in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. This is a popular snorkel spot that many companies include with their Stingray City tours.


Where is Coral Gardens located?

Coral Gardens is a popular snorkel spot located in North Sound in Grand Cayman.

Grand Cayman is the main island in the Cayman Islands. North Sound is a small area of sea that is protected by a barrier reef in Grand Cayman. North Sound is only about 5 miles in diameter.

map showing the location of coral gardens in Grand Cayman

Stingray City is also located in North Sound, and Coral Gardens is about one mile west of Stingray City. Many tour companies that offer Stingray City tours go to Coral Gardens as a snorkel stop during their tours.


Is the snorkeling good at Coral Gardens?

Yes, the snorkeling at Coral Gardens is good.

picture of two people snorkeling surrounded by fish

However, there are other areas that are better for snorkeling. For example, there is a snorkel spot called the “Aquarium“, which has a higher density of coral and fish compared to Coral Gardens.

The “Aquarium” is also located in North Sound, but most companies don’t go there because it isn’t as close to Stingray City as Coral Gardens. George’s Watersports is one company that goes to the “Aquarium” during their 5-stop stingray eco tour.


Can you snorkel from shore?

No, you cannot snorkel at Coral Gardens from shore.

Coral Gardens is located about 1 or 2 miles offshore, meaning that it is not possible to swim there.

Even if you were able to somehow swim there, there is a lot of boat traffic in the area, so it wouldn’t be safe to swim from shore.

picture of people snorkeling

The only way to snorkel at Coral Gardens is to take a boat there. The most common way to do this is to do a Stingray City tour, because most Stingray City tours also include a snorkel stop, usually at Coral Gardens.

You can check out our article where we review the top 15 Stingray City tours in the Cayman Islands.


Can beginners snorkel here?

Yes, beginners can snorkel at Coral Gardens.

Even though it can sometimes be relatively rough, if you use a life jacket, then it is still safe.

Below is a video showing Coral Gardens:

Most tour boats have a floating ring attached to a 100 yard rope that they tie to their boat, so that when you are snorkeling, you can hold onto the rope so that you don’t drift away. This is great for beginners who aren’t strong swimmers.

George’s Watersports is a tour company that always uses a floating life ring and rope when snorkeling, ensuring maximum safety for their guests.


How deep is the water?

The water is about 15 feet deep at Coral Gardens.

It is too deep to stand. However, if you use a life jacket, then it is safe. You don’t need to use a life jacket, but if you aren’t an experienced snorkeler, then it is recommended that you use a life jacket.

picture of someone snorkeling and holding a stingray


Is there an entrance fee?

There is no entry fee at Coral Gardens because it is in the middle of the sea.

However, you need to pay a tour company to go on their boat to then snorkel at Coral Gardens.

picture of 7 people snorkeling

You can read our article where we discuss the top 15 Stingray City tours in Grand Cayman. Most of these Stingray City tours include a snorkel stop to Coral Gardens or an alternative spot. There aren’t any tours that only go to Coral Gardens.


Can you drive to Coral Gardens?

No, you cannot drive to Coral Gardens because it is located in the middle of the sea.

If you are doing a tour, then you can drive to the tour departure location, and park your car there for free, and then take a boat to Coral Gardens.

George’s Watersports is a tour company in Grand Cayman that has tours departing from the Cayman Islands Yacht Club. There is lots of free parking here, as well as restrooms and a small shop.

picture of dozens of boats at the cayman islands yacht club


Final thoughts

Coral Gardens is a good snorkel spot.

However, it is not the best. The best snorkel spot is called the Aquarium, which is located about 2-miles east of Coral Gardens.

If you are looking for other snorkel spots, then check out our article where we review the top 25 snorkel spots in the Cayman Islands.