The Cayman Islands are a lush paradise off the coast of Cuba. Though many may connect the Cayman Islands with its well-known reputation for private bank accounts, these gorgeous tropical islands are a destination hot spot for beach-loving vacationers around the globe.
Made up of three islands, the Caymans are a sanctuary for those looking to soak up the rays on the white sandy beaches or splash in the crystalline waters. The area is also a haven to diving fanatics, and home to an astounding array of spectacular diving locations, including the famed Bloody Bay Wall which is a favorite spot for wall diving. The islands are an ideal location for spying sea life of all kinds, including the stingray.
Stingrays are a huge draw to the islands. Many people flock to see the stingrays, enjoying the graceful beauty of these friendly creatures in their natural habitat. If you haven’t visited the stingrays, you haven’t had the full Cayman experience. Nowhere is this more obvious than Stingray City.
Located in the North Sound, Stingray City is a sandbar where visitors can stand in the shallow waters and have an up close and personal experience with a stingray. The water ranges from less than 3 feet deep (shallow enough for the whole family) to 15 feet deep, where it makes a perfect spot for a little snorkeling. The gorgeous blue waters are pristine and clear, giving an incredible view of the sandbars inhabitants, which includes a large group of stingrays.
Since the water is only at waist height, kids and adults alike can jump in and enjoy swimming and snorkeling among the stingrays, and even gently touch them. A stingray encounter may be the one activity on your vacation that every member of the family can take part in and enjoy.
Stingray City is considered the backbone of the Cayman economy, as many tours, boat charters, and other local businesses thrive on the influx of eager vacationers who can’t miss the opportunity to swim with the stingrays. This thriving estuary of marine life is a living aquarium that offers an experience like no other.
There are many ways for visitors to take part in the stingray experience, from glass bottom boats to snorkeling to scuba diving. There are also many companies that offer charter services that include a tour and instructors to guide you through the best ways to interact with and handle the stingrays, while staying safe and not harming the rays or their environment.
Excursions offered may vary widely. Tours may be done on a waverunner, catamaran, trimaran, sailboat, large motorboat, or double decked boats. These boats may accommodate private tours or groups up to 65 people, depending on the craft’s size. The length of tour can range from 3 hours to 6 hours, and can be scheduled for mornings or afternoons.
Amenities offered include water, juices, snorkeling gear, or lunch, which may vary with the cost or length of the cruise. Most cruises are B.Y.O.B. (bring your own booze), though some tours may offer drink mixers.
Not only can you see and experience the stingrays, but you can also learn a wealth of information about the Cayman Islands sea life. Crews may share information about the incredible tropical ecosystem in which the stingrays thrive. You’ll learn everything you ever wanted to know about the stingray.
There are also many combination tours available as well, where the charter crew may take you to a wide range of Cayman entertainment spots, including beach bars, Caribbean restaurants, wakeboarding, tubing, or starfish hunting. Many private charters can also tailor the experience to your group or family’s needs, taking a leisurely tour or packing in all the fun and adventure you could possibly imagine.
The best part about hiring a private charter to see Cayman’s stingray city is that all the work is done for you. You won’t need to prepare the boat or clean it up afterward. No one in your party will miss a moment of the excursion, because your professional crew will be at the helm while you soak up all the sights, without getting lost or forgetting about something special you wanted to see.
Most of the planning details will be taken care of as well�”all you need to do is indicate the type of trip you want and the things you’re most interested in seeing. With a vast array of options to add to your Stingray City trip, you can enjoy things like reef fishing, deep sea fishing, Starfish Point, snorkeling, riding wave runners, having a beach barbecue, swimming, scuba diving, and beach bar dining.
While there are many stunning and exciting attractions throughout the Cayman Islands to enjoy, a private charter to Stingray City is the adventure that should top every traveler’s list.