Swimming with Stingrays
A short boat ride away from Grand Cayman Island is a sandbar known as Stingray City. Years ago, fishermen cleaned their daily catch here and threw the remains in the ocean, attracting local stingrays. Eventually, the stingrays made it their daily routine to show up for the feedings. Now, instead of fishermen, delighted tourists flock to the sandbar to pet the hungry stingrays. If you want the full experience, bring some freshly thawed out octopus bits and be prepared to get a stingray hickey.
1. How do I get there?
Book a daily charter from one of the many dive shops and guides in Georgetown. Same-day bookings are available but just to be safe I'd recommend booking ahead. The boat ride takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You can book a private charter or join in with a group.
2. Can stingrays hurt you?
The stingrays at the Sandbar are very accustomed to humans but some of the male one's can get a little feisty in their fight for food. You might need to knock some away from yourself, specially if they think you're holding food. Sometimes, but rarely, an opportunistic stingray could latch on and give you a good hickey, this is not life-threatening.
3. Can you snorkel or scuba dive here?
You can snorkel just to see the stingrays more clearly underwater but there is not much else to see on the sandy floor.
There is a dive spot about 5m deep, a little way away from the Sandbar. You will need to ask your dive shop to take you there instead of the Sandbar.
4. When is the best time to go?
The Sandbar is open year-round but September and October tend to be more quiet months for tourism.
5. How much does it cost?
Different tour guides offer different packages. The average price, which includes a stop to snorkel, is about $90 USD.
A trip to the Sandbar without snorkeling, is about $45 USD.
Some recommended guides: