In this article, we discuss snorkeling at the Wreck of the Gamma in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. This is a snorkel spot that most people don’t know about.
What is the Wreck of the Gamma?
The Wreck of the Gamma is a shipwreck in Grand Cayman.
The vessel is about 100 feet in length, and sunk only 20 feet from shore in 1981 during a storm.
The ship’s cargo was rice, which swelled during the storm from the water, which then split the hull, causing the boat to sink.
The wreck has been there ever since, and has since turned into a great snorkel spot.
Where is it located?
The Wreck of the Gamma is located at the very southern end of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman.
It is about a 20 minute walk from the cruise ship port in George Town to the Wreck of the Gamma.
The wreck is located only 20 feet from the beach at the “Poinsettia” condo complex. There is a public beach access path that you can use to enter the beach. This pathway runs along the side of the“Poinsettia” condo complex.
The shipwreck is directly off the beach behind the“Poinsettia” condo complex.
Below is a Google Map showing the exact location of Poinsettia condos. The Wreck of the Gamma is located 20-feet offshore from the beach behind Poinsettia condos:
Is the snorkeling good here?
Yes, the snorkeling is good at the Wreck of the Gamma.
There is a lot of coral and fish, but the most interesting part is the shipwreck itself. You can snorkel inside the shipwreck and see fish living amongst the different areas of the vessel.
You need to exercise caution because the shipwreck has many sharp metal areas that can cause injury if you get too close. It is best to stay five feet away from the wreck at all times so that you don’t hurt yourself.
The visibility in the water is very good as well, allowing you to see 5o to 100 feet in front of you. There are usually no waves here, meaning that the water remains calm, keeping the visibility crystal clear.
Below is a video showing the snorkeling at the Wreck of the Gamma:
Can you snorkel from shore?
Yes, you can snorkel from shore.
One of the best parts of snorkeling here is that the wreck is only 20 feet from shore. Once you enter the water, it only takes one minute of swimming to reach the wreck.
Entering the water can be a little difficult because the shore is made of “iron-shore“, which is a spiky rock. You need to walk carefully into the water, and then slowly swim out to the deeper area.
You need to also be careful that you don’t step on a Sea Urchin as you are entering the water. Sea Urchins live in shallow water around iron-shore, so you need to look where you step.
Can beginners snorkel here?
This isn’t the best area to snorkel if you are a complete beginner because entering the water is relatively difficult due to the iron-shore and sea urchin risk.
Complete beginners are better off snorkeling in areas that have ladders to enter & exit the water, such as at Eden Rock or snorkeling from beaches that don’t have iron-shore limiting access, such as at Smith Cove.
You can check out our article where we review the top 25 snorkel spots in Grand Cayman if you are looking for more beginner friendly snorkel sites.
How deep is the water?
The water around the shipwreck is only about nine feet deep.
It is too deep to stand, but is still relatively shallow. Since the water here is shallow, half of the shipwreck remains above the water, with only the bottom half being submerged.
Is there an entrance fee?
There is no entrance fee to access Seven Mile Beach or to snorkel at the Wreck of the Gamma.
All beaches in the Cayman Islands have free access. The land behind the beach is still private, so you need to use a designated public entrance point when walking from the street to the beach.
The Wreck of the Gamma is located behind the “Poinsettia” condo complex. You cannot park or walk through this condo complex because it is private property.
Is there free parking?
You can park on the vacant lot opposite the “Poinsettia” condo complex for free.
You can then cross the street and walk to the beach through the public access path. The shipwreck is located directly off the beach.
Do NOT park in the Poinsettia complex parking lot since this is private parking reserved for residents only.
The Wreck of the Gamma is the most accessible shipwreck in Grand Cayman.
This is a must do snorkel spot for tourists staying on Seven Mile Beach.
If you are looking for other snorkel spots, then you can check out our article where we review the top 25 snorkel spots in Grand Cayman.