Are You A Daredevil? Head To Stingray City: A Hotspot In The Cayman Islands

Who wouldn’t want to touch a stingray if they had the chance?

cayman islands stingray city
PHOTO AMANDA PURCELL

Some water parks including SeaWorld have exhibits where visitors can touch and feed stingrays floating within a small pool.  Although these are popular attractions, by no means do they compare to viewing and touching these creatures in their natural habitat.  Stingray City in Grand Cayman of the Cayman Islands offers an adventure for tourists unlike anything else.

Consisting of sandbars where a large number of southern stingrays gather, Stingray City contains turquoise water, perfect for groups to stand in because the water is shallow while individuals can also snorkel.  The water is wonderfully clear and visitors can see reefs near the sandbar as well.  Nothing, however, compares to standing in a perfect blue sea while a stingray grazes against your leg or glides over the sandy ocean floor.

stingray city cayman islands
PHOTO AMANDA PURCELL

Stingrays are often perceived as mysterious or sometimes dangerous sea creatures, but southern stingrays are not particularly harmful.  They are diamond shaped and their spines will not kill a human.  In fact, since the amount of human interaction with the stingrays in Stingray city is quite high, many of them have become quite tame.  Tours such as glass bottom boats, catamarans, and other snorkeling excursions have food that attract the stingrays to their boats.  Although anyone can swim around the sandbar and gaze down at a gliding stingray below.  If you reach out a hand or swim just below the surface water you can easily touch these creatures.

stingray city cayman islands
PHOTO AMANDA PURCELL

Stingray City, during high season, is crowded so there are usually many people snorkeling or standing in the sandbar.  Often times, people will stay near their boat, but if you swim a little farther away you can still find the location enjoyable and less busy.  In some groups, guides will lead people to feed the stingrays, pet the stingrays, and even give them a photo opportunity to kiss the stingrays.

Although it’s a tourist attraction, Stingray City is also a genuinely fun time.  Throw away any fear you may be harboring about the rays and swim with these creatures for an unforgettable experience.

cayman islands stingray city
PHOTO AMANDA PURCELL

Amanda Purcell

Amanda has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her secret travel tip: visit places during off season. She loves walking around cities that she's never been to before, especially if she can't speak the local language.

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