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Stingray City is a shallow sandbar located in the North Sound, a large bay on Grand Cayman. Visited by dozens of tame and inquisitive stingrays, it is the top Cayman Islands attraction, and one of the most famous snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. On the sandbank, in 2 to 4ft of water, visitors are allowed to feed, touch and pet these huge and fascinating fish. Despite the site being crowded and controversial because of rays feeding, it offers a unique experience to those who wish to visit Stingray City.

Southern stingrays at Stingray City
Southern stingrays frequent this location in large numbers.

How to go snorkeling in Stingray City

Stingray City sandbank is the most popular snorkeling location in Grand Cayman. On Grand Cayman Island there are many choices for boat tours that combine visits to Stingray City.

Tours usually also visit one or two nearby snorkeling spots such as Barrier Reef and/or Coral Garden and/or Starfish Point. Make sure you know which locations you will be visiting before you book your tour. Tours prices start from $45 for a duration of 3 hours and depart from the cruise ship terminal or the island’s main resorts.

Stingray City snorkeling map, Grand Cayman
Stingray City, Grand Cayman snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Stingray City

The water entrance will be from a boat anchored near the sandbar. Before entering the water, your guide will quickly brief you about how to safely interact with the stingrays.

Stingray City snorkeling exploration

As soon as you’re in the water, stingrays will come to greet you. They are used to being fed and tend to be inquisitive. Most of them are large specimens, spanning over 6 feet. Tours generally allow visitors to spend 30 to 45 minutes on the sandbar, so you have plenty of time to watch, touch, and feed the stingrays.

Aerial view of Stingray City, Grand Cayman
Aerial view of Stingray City, visited by many boats every day.

The origin of Stingray City was not as a tourist attraction, but rather as an area that fishermen, once they reached the calm waters of the North Sound after a day at sea, would clean their catch on the shallow sandbar, attracting the stingrays.

Nowadays, stingrays are frequently fed by visitors, mainly with squid. This practice has received criticism that focuses on its ecological and behavioral impacts.

Southern stingrays at Stingray City
A southern stingray in Stingray City.

Two species of stingrays that the sandbank: the Southern stingray as well as the less common roughtail stingray. Don’t forget that the rays have a sting that can cause sometimes severe pain and injuries, but incidents are rarely reported. Even so, be cautious, handle the stingrays with care and make to sure to never step on them.

Snorkelers and stingrays at Stingray City
Snorkelers at Stingray City sandbank.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Day tours may include lunch. Check when you inquire.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth3ft/1m
  • Water entranceEasy, from boat ladders
  • LifeguardYes
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price (from $45pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.