Underwater diving sites in Driftwood Village

Stingray City, Grand Cayman

8.9/10

Stingray City is a series of shallow sandbars found in the North Sound of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. It is a tourist attraction, where southern stingrays are found in abundance and visitors can pet and interact with the animals.

Location

Stingray City is in the shallow waters of the northwest corner of Grand Cayman's North Sound. It is just inside a natural channel that passes through the barrier reef and consists of a string of sandbars crossing the North Sound from Morgan Harbor to Rum Point.

History

It may be that stingrays began gathering in the area decades ago when fisherman returned from an excursion, navigated behind a reef into the sound, and cleaned their fish in the calm water of the shallows and sandbar area. The fish guts were thrown overboard and the stingrays eventually congregated to feast on the discarded guts. Soon the stingrays associated the sound of a boat engine with food. As this practice turned into a tradition, divers realized that the stingrays could be fed by hand.

Today, tour and excursion boats, along with private watercraft, gather at Stingray City in large numbers. Passengers disembark and enter the chest-high water to interact with the stingrays. The boats' proprietors bring along with them pails of chunked-up squid meat, which they dispense by hand to the animals, thus attracting dozens of the creatures to the feeding spot.

Getting there

Each method involves a short boat ride to the sandbar area at the North Sound.

  • A snorkeling trip, which normally occurs in the heart of the sandbar where the water is only 3 to 5 feet deep.
  • As a scuba diver. Dive groups consist of ten to twenty divers, wearing no fins as they may hurt the congregating stingrays. The divers are over-weighted, which keeps them on the bottom. The dive master swims between divers dispersing diced squid and fish pieces. Stingrays quickly surround them.
  • Using a glass bottom boat, an alternative if the weather is too windy for snorkeling.
  • Riding a jet ski, and then tying it to another jet ski that is anchored on the ocean floor.

References

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Shore Excursions Group
22 August 2012
Stingray City is believed to have begun when stingrays would gather in the sandbars of the North Sound to feed on leftovers that fishermen threw overboard as they anchored there to clean their fish!
Henson Tan
30 October 2010
The only currency accepted here is $quid so bring plenty.
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Location
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Address

4.1km from Water Cay Rd, Rum Point, Cayman Islands

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References

Stingray City on Foursquare

Stingray City, Grand Cayman on Facebook

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