A trip to Stingray City in Grand Cayman is highly recommended for any water loving visitor coming to the Cayman Islands and you'll find the experience is much more than just the stingrays.
Ways to Get to Stingray City
Stingray City is a shallow sandbar located in the North Sound, a barrier reef protected bay in Grand Cayman. If you want to interact with the stingrays, you'll need to get there by water with either a group boat trip, private boat or yacht charter or guided waverunner tour.
What to Expect
The experience will vary depending on the trip type, but expect a 15-30 minute ride out from the dock to get to Stingray City. Once there, you'll enter the shallow sandbar that ranges from 2-4 feet deep and have the opportunity to interact (hold, feed, kiss, take photos) with the friendly Southern Stingrays.
Boat tours to Stingray City are usually classified or described by the amount of itinerary stops. The Stingray City Sandbar is the main stop and then additional stops can include snorkeling sites such as the Barrier Reef or Coral Gardens, a visit to Starfish Point and lunch stops at either Kaibo or Rum Point.
While a 3+ stop tour is highly recommended and the best way to see all of the North Sound sites, keep in mind the overall trip duration can exceed 5 hours and cost $75 and up.
How to Pick a Stingray City Tour
It's fair to say that no one tour is the best as everyone has different criteria for selecting a tour such as budget, trip duration limit, departure point, and size of group.
- If you're looking for a shorter and more economical tour, look for a 2 stop trip for less than $45 per person. Captain Marvin's and Tours Cayman are both great!
- Red Sail Sports offers excellent trips aboard their spacious catamarans, but expect to pay a bit more
- Go with a private charter if you don't mind spending the extra money. The ability to make your own itinerary is quite special!
- Choose a tour that includes a stop at Starfish Point if time and budget allows
- Consider an early-bird/sunrise tour with Six Senses Cayman Adventures or White Sand Water Sports to avoid the crowds
- The Cayman Islands Yacht Club, Morgans Harbour, Barcadere Marina, Kaibo, and Rum Point all have great restaurants on-site so look for tours from these departure points if you want to grab a drink or bite to eat after
How Much Does it Cost?
There are numerous vendors that offer a wide variety of trips to Stingray City and pricing can vary significantly depending on whether the trip is a group tour or private charter, how many stops the tour consists of and whether lunch is included, and the quality of the boat and staff. You can find a range of pricing below:
Group Tours: US$40-$100 per person
Private Charters: US$225-$500 per hour for the boat and staff
Waverunner Tours: $125-$175 per rider