The infamous Stingray City is a must do for anyone visiting the Cayman Islands and there’s no better way of experiencing
this once-in-a-lifetime adventure than on your own private boat charter and at your own pace!
What Is Stingray City?
Stingray City is one of Grand Cayman’s most popular attractions. It is located on a
shallow sand bar in the North Sound and can only be accessed by taking a charter boat. The water here is only 3ft – 4ft deep, allowing non-swimmers and kids to easily stand whilst interacting with and feeding these beautiful and friendly stingrays. Stingray City is home to approximately 90 wild Southern Stingrays that roam freely in the North Sound and visit this site on a daily basis.
This incredible experience allows adventurers to get up close and personal with some of the most majestic animals in the world. Our crew will help you get those memorable photos as you swim with, feed and even kiss the stingrays!
Where Is Stingray City?
Stingray City Sand Bar is located about 2 miles West of Rum Point on the North side of Cayman. It sits just inside the coral reef, which makes for a great second stop on your boat charter. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Stingray City Sand Bar from the West side of Cayman or if you decide to take one of the faster private charter boats, it’ll take roughly 20 minutes to get there.
About Southern Stingrays
The ‘Southern Stingray’ can weigh up to 180 lbs and have a wingspan that can reach 5 ½ ft wide. The males are much smaller than females and reach a maximum wingspan of 2 ½ ft. Their wings are soft and silky to the touch. With a little imagination, they feel like a giant breathing wet Portobello mushroom with two eyes on top!
These beautiful creatures are found throughout the warm tropical waters of the Western Atlantic from New Jersey to Brazil. Southern stingrays are nocturnal predators, who disturb the sandy bottom using their mouth to expose hidden prey such as small fishes, worms and crustaceans.
They have a venom barb that lays on top of their tail which they use to defend themselves. This venom is very mild and is not dangerous to humans.
How to Experience Stingray City?
Stingray City can be done two ways, in a mixed group tour or by private boat charter. We only provide private charters as it allows us to really customize your experience. There’s nothing more irritating than having a time constriction when experiencing something as unique as Stingray City.
Although Stingray City is an amazing experience on its own, there are a lot of other great activities and locations to experience which you just can’t have the flexibility to explore in a mixed group. It may cost a little more to go on your own private charter boat, but the difference in the experience you’ll have makes it well worth it.
Your Interaction with the Stingrays
When you reach Stingray City your crew will teach you everything about the rays and how to properly interact with them. The rays love to be petted, cuddled and especially fed! We’ll find the friendliest ray in the area and give you the opportunity to hold one of these amazing rays yourself.
Once everyone is comfortable with the rays, that’s when we bring the food out. The second they get a whiff of the food we have, they’ll come swarming our way for a bite! It can be a little intimidating at first, but you’ll get accustomed to them quickly and realize they’re just like cats rubbing up against you affectionately. Within 10 minutes, you’ll fall in love with these amazing animals and won’t ever want to leave the water!
There’s another Stingray City!?
There is in fact a second site where the rays like to hang out. This other site is called ‘Stingray City Deep’ and it lies in about 12 feet of water. This site is ideal for divers, who can sit on the bottom as they feed the stingrays. It is considered to be one of the best dive sites in the world under 20ft. This is a great alternative for those who have already experienced Stingray City Sand Bar and want to experience the stingrays in a different way and without any of the crowds.
Are the Stingrays Dangerous at Stingray City?
A common question we get from guests is just how dangerous are the rays? We feel that stingrays have a bit of a bad rep around the world. Having the word ‘sting’ in your name doesn’t exactly make you sound cute and cuddly!
In the wild, stingrays only use their venom barb when they are threatened, usually by sharks. They only get one barb which breaks off easily when used, so therefore they only use it in life or death situations. The likelihood of them stinging you whilst hanging out with friendly humans feeding them lunch is highly unlikely. It’s not to say that you cannot be stung however, particularly if you accidently hit the barb yourself. The important thing is to listen to your guides and follow their safety instructions.