Stingray City, or Stingray Sandbar as it is also known, is one of the best snorkel sites in the entire Caribbean. Found in the North Sound off Grand Cayman Island, this impressive site is easily reached via a short boat ride. Once visitors arrive at Stingray City in Grand Cayman, they can snorkel in clear waters that are no deeper than three to five feet. Both snorkeling and diving are popular at the site, and the divers are required to leave their fins behind as to not disturb or harm the stingrays.
The stingrays that can be found at Stingray City are Atlantic Southern stingrays, and they are mostly brownish in color. Though these fascinating marine creatures are wild, they have become very accustomed to humans and are considered to be tame. Many divers and snorkelers disperse fish and squid pieces in the area waters to attract these fascinating creatures, and this has helped to form a relatively friendly bond between the species.
While the stingrays that can be found at Stingray City in Grand Cayman are relatively tame, it is important to remember that they are still wild animals. The sharp, serrated barbs on their tails are especially worth keeping in mind. Thankfully, these flat, diamond-shaped creatures have grown accustomed to humans, and the cause for concern is minimal. In fact, so accustomed to humans are the stingrays at Stingray City that it is possible to do more than just feed them. Visitors can also pet and handle the curious creatures, and posing for photos with one or more is a popular pursuit.
On any given day, dozens of boats visit Stingray City in Grand Cayman. Some of these boats are tour boats that can carry anywhere from one to 75 passengers. When the Caribbean cruise ships pull into port at George Town, the site is at its busiest. As such, anyone who is enjoying an extended Cayman Islands vacation is encouraged to enjoy their Stingray City snorkeling when the cruise ships are away.
Swimming with Atlantic Southern stingrays definitely tops the list of things to do at Stingray City, and on some days, around 50 rays can be found at the site. One of the best things about a Stingray City snorkeling tour is that it includes more than just swimming with stingrays. Also included on the itineraries of these tours are a barrier reef and some stunning coral gardens. While snorkeling around the reef, visitors can admire colorful coral formations and a variety of tropical fish species. At the coral gardens site, the stunning coral formations are known to attract underwater photographers in good number. The Caribbean island of Antigua is known for offering a similar snorkeling experience, though Stingray City is widely considered to be superior.
A visit to Stingray City completes any Cayman Islands vacation. Easily one of the top attractions in the Cayman Islands, this popular dive and snorkel site can be enjoyed by people of all ages. The boats that are used for the tours range in size and amenities, and they are typically equipped with bathrooms and shaded areas. Simple refreshments are also provided, and guests can often bring beverages or snacks of choice to store in a guest ice box.
While all of the appropriate snorkeling equipment is provided to guests on the Stingray City snorkeling tours, visitors can also bring their own gear.