A boat trip to Stingray City and the Sandbar is a must-do excursion. It is Grand Cayman’s top attraction, offering visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe and interact with the sociable Southern stingrays in their natural habitat.

Various charter companies escort visitors to the sites in the North Sound where these friendly rays have been gathering for decades.

Stingray City is a shallow dive and snorkel site where you can swim beneath the surface to see stingrays and other sea creatures. The Sandbar is where the boats anchor, allowing passengers to climb down steps into the waist-high water to interact with the stingrays. The waters are clear and typically calm.

The practice dates back decades to when fishermen cleaned their catch in this part of the North Sound. The stingrays congregated for the scraps and now they continue the habit by flocking round for tidbits of squid brought by the boats.

The female stingrays weigh around 60 pounds and are larger than the males, which tend to be more timid. These curious yet docile creatures have a velvety underbelly and will sometimes rub against you in search of food. Captains know many of the stingrays by sight, giving them pet names.

Passengers are shown how to feed approved snacks (ballyhoo and squid) to the fish and the way in which to shuffle their feet on the seabed while moving among them.

The site is strictly regulated to protect the fish, and you’ll be given a detailed briefing before entering the water. The main rule when playing with the rays is to never lift them out of the water as they need to breathe.

Many of the excursions also visit nearby Starfish Point, a sandy beach on the tip of the island’s district of North Side. Here, the boats anchor close to the shore and allow passengers to wade in the water and look at (but not touch) the dozens of starfish on the sea floor.

> view listing and find Stingray City on a map

The Department of Environment outlines proper stingray handling, as well as Wildlife Interaction Zone (WIZ) rules on its website:.



  • Do the ‘Stingray Shuffle’ – To avoid stepping on a stingray while at the Sandbar, wade through the water by doing the ‘Stingray Shuffle’ – simply slide your feet along the sandy bottom.
  • Island residents often take Stingray City and Sandbar boat excursions at weekends and holidays. Visitors might enjoy these days for a great party atmosphere, with loud music and drinks. If you prefer a quieter time, opt for a weekday trip and, to really avoid the crowds, pick an early morning trip before the cruise ship passengers arrive.