Week of September 28-October 5, 1995
Rock climbing in Thailand
Why the Caymans still rule the world of scuba
Q: I have recently discovered the fascinating world of scuba but am rather disappointed with the variety and quality of "local" stuff. I am looking for some quality scuba vacation spots. Of course, the less expensive the better, but quality counts most importantly.
Joyce Ann Morgeson
A: To get the most for your dollar, we recommend setting your sights on the Cayman Islands. Expert scuba divers may now consider Grand Cayman overcrowded, but its multithousand-foot vertical walls and fish-crowded reefs still offer some of the best diving in the Caribbean. The island is famous for wall sites like Big Tunnels and sand shoals like Stingray City. Sunset Divers, 809-949-7111, will take you on a two-tank dive here to feed resident stingrays for $60. One of the bigger outfitters is Bob Soto's Diving.
Better yet, check out the waters off Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, about 89 miles to the northeast of Grand Cayman. Off the northwest side of the ten-square-mile Little Cayman, dive in 150-foot-plus visibility waters in Bloody Bay. A wall of brain coral starts at 15 to 30 feet, and you can descend down the side, or check out stingrays, pufferfish, and turtles in more shallow waters at the wall top in Coconut Grove. Stay at the Pirate's Point Resort, 809-948-1010, where lodging in a bungalow next to an isolated beach, meals, and two daily dives cost $180 to $200 per person, per night.
For more information on great dive trips, check out our Winter Travel Guide.