Stingray City Sandbar
The Stingray City sandbar is home to Grand Cayman, 1 of 3 islands that make up the Cayman Islands. Stingray City is a natural sandbar located about 5.5 miles from shore. Tourists have been visiting the Stingray City sandbar since 1951, almost 70 years! It is here that wild, friendly Stingrays gather daily to eat and interact with visitors. Here you can stand in the waist high water of the sandbar while the stingray’s swim around you. The species of stingrays that congregate at this sandbar, located inside the North Sound, are Southern Atlantic stingrays.
At the Stingray City sandbar, the male stingrays will accept food, rub up against your leg as they swim by and very occasional allow themselves to be held. It is the female stingray that will happily seek out our crew and jump into their arms. These female stingrays are extremely friendly and love to get their belly rubbed while resting in your arms under the water. Kind of like big puppies of the sea, these female stingrays will allow you to gently hold them and even give kisses to show their playful personalities. If you have not had a chance to visit this one of a kind attraction, we highly recommend you do. You will not regret it and it will be an experience of a life time!
Information on Stingray City Stingrays
The type of stingray that live in Grand Cayman are called Southern Atlantic stingrays or Southern rays. There is very little known about the about the Southern Atlantic Stingray besides what is known from captive stingrays found at zoos and aquariums. With studies being done every 6 months at the Stingray City sandbar by the Guy Harvey research team, we are beginning to learn more about the scientific side of these rays. The majority of helpful observations come from tour operators whom spend countless hours, 365 days a year, with these docile stingrays. With our local staff growing up in Grand Cayman and spending so much time with these stingrays during charters, we are able to learn about them, see their different personalities and even tell them apart. You may get the pleasure of meeting a couple of our favorite ladies like Sophie, Chip or Frisbee during a charter to Stingray City.
The female Southern Atlantic stingray can grow to a disc diameter of up to 150cm, or almost 5ft, weighing up to 200lbs. Meanwhile, the much smaller, male stingray can reach sizes up to 67cm in diameter, or just a little over 2ft. Besides the major size difference, you can also tell the male stingrays apart from the females by their two reproductive organs, each located on either side of their tail. In captivity, these Southern stingrays live between 12 to 24 years. These same stingrays are said to live longer, about 40 years, in the wild and even longer, up to 60 years, at the Stingray City sandbar in Grand Cayman. We believe the extended lifespan is due to how happy and well feed the stingrays are that come visit this sandbar every day. This makes the Stingray City sandbar a very special place to visit and valuable research tool.