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Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Latitude: 19° 23.081' N
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Stingray City is located in the shallow waters of the northwest corner of Grand Cayman's North Sound. It is just inside a natural channel that passes through the barrier reef and consists of a string of sand bars that crosses the North Sound from Morgan Harbor to Rum Point.
How? By boat
Distance Short boat time (< 10min)
Easy to find? Easy to find
Average depth 1 m / 3.3 ft
max depth 2 m / 6.6 ft
Visibility Good ( 10 - 30 m)
Dive site quality Great
Experience All divers
Bio interest Interesting
- Marine biology
- Snorkeling / Free diving
- Boat trafic
Stingray City, Grand Cayman is one of the most popular off-shore excursions in the Caribbean, as well as one of the world's truly unique tourist attractions. The name Stingray City is a misnomer because there are no buildings, streets, or automobiles; however, there are an abundance of stingrays to be found and tourists can feed, swim, and interact with the animals. The southern stingrays can grow to large sizes (100cm or more in span) and are accustomed to being handled and fed.
Local legend has it that the stingrays began gathering in the area decades ago when fisherman would return from an excursion and navigate behind a reef into the sound and clean the fish in the calm water of the shallows and sand bar area. The fish guts were simply thrown overboard and the stingrays eventually congregated to feast on the discarded guts. Soon the stingrays began to associate the sound of a boat engine with a free meal. As this practice turned into a tradition, local divers realized that the stingrays could be fed by hand. In 1987, Skin Diver Magazine sent a reporter to do an article on this anomaly which fascinated the world.
There are three ways to experience the rays, and each involves a short boat ride to the sandbar area at the North Sound.
* The most popular is a snorkeling trip, which has been called the best snorkeling experience in the world. This trip normally occurs in the heart of the sandbar where the water is only 3 to 5 feet deep.
* The second way to experience Stingray City is as a SCUBA diver. Dive groups consist of ten to twenty divers, wearing no fins as they may hurt the congregating stingrays. The divers are over-weighted, which keeps them on the bottom and the dive master swims from diver to diver dispersing diced squid and fish pieces. Stingrays quickly surround the divers.
* The third way to experience Stingray City is via glass bottom boat, which is an alternative if the weather is too windy for snorkeling.
By Anonymous , 27-02-2009
Swimming with the stingrays - Great experience. Not really diving but more like wading in the waist deep water. Anyone can do it. Non exerting but fun with the friendly rays.
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