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December 18, 2017
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Stingray City
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The Best Guide to Stingray City

13 Dec, 2017
  • The Best Guide to Stingray City-Stingray City-Cayman Islands
    Stingray City and Sandbar
  • The Best Guide to Stingray City-Stingray City-Cayman Islands
    Stingray City and Sandbar
  • The Best Guide to Stingray City-Stingray City-Cayman Islands
    Stingray City and Sandbar

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Who Read This

One of the most famous attractions in Grand Cayman, Stingray City is an absolute “must-do” for any visitor to Cayman and is often described as the experience of a lifetime. Stingray City is home to approximately 90 Southern Stingrays. These wild, gentle and graceful creatures roam free in the North Sound, a 35 square mile area of ocean protected by the reef. Even the most seasoned traveller will be enchanted by these beautiful animals.

 

History

In years gone by, local fishermen would anchor their boats in the calm shallow water inside the reef in the North Sound while they gutted their catch and threw scraps overboard. Over time, southern stingrays came to realise there were free meals daily in certain spots in the North Sound and so they returned day after day. Today dozens of stingrays continue to visit the two sites, although nowadays it is divemasters and boat captains who are feeding them squid. These incredibly friendly creatures will brush past you with their silky wings, eat from your hand and even allow you to lift them up.

 

Stingray City & The Sandbar

There are in fact two separate sites: Stingray City lies in 12 feet of water, so is ideal for snorkellers and divers; indeed, it is often billed as the best 12 foot dive in the world. Stingray City Sandbar is where the majority of visitors are taken. Here the water is just 2-4 feet deep, so even non-swimmers can safely stand in the shallow water, surrounded by stingrays. The sandbar is suitable for all ages and offers the best photo opportunities.

 

Stingrays

Southern Stingrays are large creatures, their wingspans can reach two metres across, however, males are noticeably smaller than females. Their wings are soft and silky and feel like velvet as they brush past you. Stingrays are incredibly gentle animals and their instinct is to flee from danger. Their poisonous sting in their tail is only used for defensive purposes, mainly against sharks, which are their only predators in the open water outside the reef.

 

Interacting with the Stingrays

When you reach Stingray City your crew will explain how to interact with the rays and put you at ease. The rays love to be petted and you will even get the chance to feed them their favourite dish: squid. After the rays get a whiff of the squid and swim towards you, it can feel intimidating, but as they vacuum it off your hand (remember to keep your thumbs tucked in) you’ll fall in love with this amazing experience and will not want to leave the water! You may even be tempted to give your favourite stingray a kiss – if you do, you will be rewarded with seven years of good luck!

 

Boat Trips

Tours are usually around three hours. You can choose from group charters, which are a cost effective option, or a private charter which is a great way to spend the day with family and friends. Trips are often combined with a snorkelling stop at Coral Gardens, Starfish Point and lunch at either Kaibo or Rum Point. Some operators offer lunch on-board, and during Conch season (November to April), the crew will dive for conch and serve this Cayman delicacy on-board.

 

See our Stingray City Tours & Activities page to compare options and find pricing.

 

Group Tour Operators

Ambassador Divers (Snorkel trips)

Captain Marvin's

Cayman Sea Elements

Fantasea Cayman

Frank's Watersports

Ocean Frontiers (Snorkel trips)

Tours Cayman

White Sand Water Sports

 

Private Charter Operators

Ambassador Divers (Snorkel trips)

Point Blue Sailing

Captain Marvin's

Charter Cayman

Cayman Luxury Charters

Cayman Sea Elements

Crazy Crab

Five Star Charters

Fantasea Cayman

 

Waverunner Tours

Action Watersports

Captain Marvin's

Fantasea Cayman

 

 

Diving Trip Operators

Ambassador Divers

Don Foster's

Wall to Wall Diving

 

Combo Tours

If combining a land and sea tour appeals to you call Tours Cayman as they offer a three stop tour of the Turtle Farm, Stingray City and snorkelling at the reef.
 

Helicopter Tour

For a completely different perspective, take a tour with Cayman Islands Helicopters (Tel: (345) 943 4354). As you fly above the North Sound you will see a fever of rays in the clear water.

 

Discounts

Visit our Stingray City promotions page for the best discounts on group trips, private charters and waverunner tours.

 

Safety Note

Please respect the animals and note that lifting the stingrays out of the water is seriously discouraged. Wearing fins is prohibited and when in the water you should practice the “Stingray Shuffle”, to avoid stepping on any sleeping rays.

 

Insider Tip

Stingray City Sandbar can get quite busy especially when there are a lot of cruise ships in port. If you are planning to visit during the week we recommend going after 3pm in order to miss the crowds, as passengers head back to their ships around 2pm. As cruise ships rarely come to Cayman on the weekends it is less busy. 

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