Do you wanna pet a stingray? How about dozens of them surrounding you in their natural habitat just waiting for your attention? Even better maybe you wanna pucker up and give one a smooch for good luck? Captain Marvin Grand Cayman will show you the best location for all of these!
A visit to Stingray City is one of the not to be missed things to do while visiting Grand Cayman. It is not an actual city on land and is only accessible by boat. It is very easy to find a tour company that will do a couple hour trip out to the sandbar that is known as Stingray City. The sandbar is located about 2 miles from the shore in Grand Cayman’s North Sound and the water is only around 3 feet deep.
Captain Marvin Grand Cayman Taking Us Out to The North Sound
During the ride out I saw some of the bluest waters that I had ever seen in my life and it was incredible! During this part of the trip, the group is told the history of how Stingray City came to be…but I won’t spoil it for you. The water was pretty calm because you are in a gigantic area of water that is protected on all side by island and barrier reef. The boat ride was about 20 mins thru the most gorgeous water in the world. It really almost doesn’t look real! 😉
I choose the “3 stop trip” which took me to Coral Gardens, Barrier Reef, and Stingray City. Now I have to say that my trip almost didn’t make it out at all. I had the trip booked and due to rough seas it was not safe to go out. During the first part of my time in Grand Cayman a tropical depression passed thru causing some rough seas. The trip had to be rescheduled for the day before I was scheduled to leave the island. Safety is a big concern considering they are taking visitors out to a sandbar so far offshore.
First stop was Coral Gardens. My trip guides were so fun and had food available to attraction the smaller fish that were in the area. Coral Gardens was a pretty calm area with deeper water, a sandy bottom and lots of corals to see.
Next up was the Barrier Reef. This one was a little more intense but was absolutely beautiful! You can hear the waves from the ocean crashing on the outer edges of the reef that protects the island and the currents are stronger here. Not enough to sweep you away but it is more noticeable compared to Coral Gardens. The reef here is much more built up and colorful. We didn’t stay in this location for very long and moved on to Stingray City!
Pulling up to the sandbar there wasn’t really much to see…just shallow water. The captain revved the boat engine a bit and slowly you could see them! Dark spots in the water, ranging in size from a foot in diameter to upwards of 4 feet, were moving toward the boat. When I got in the water the first thing that happened was one of the Stingray brushed up against me, much like a house cat does when it wants your attention.
The boat crew gave me food for the stingrays and explained how to safely feed them. After feeding them, I was given the opportunity to kiss a stingray for good luck and a photo with my own camera to remember the occasion. The stingrays are lovely to see and just kind of fly through the water. The group spent a bit of time here to make sure everyone had their fill of stingrays.
***Make sure you listen carefully and follow the instructions! These are still wild animals even though they seem domesticated. ***