Grand Cayman Island in the Western Caribbean sports some of the most unique attractions including Stingray City, truly an experience for the adventurer at heart!
On a trip to Grand Cayman for our one-year anniversary, my husband and I embarked on a tour boat with several other tourists, determined to see one of the island’s hot spots, Stingray City.
On our pleasant half-an-hour boat ride on calm blue waters, we made small talk with our fellow tourists and listened to many interesting stories from our tour guide. We quickly learned that Stingray City came to be because of the local fisherman that used to throw their scraps of squid into the water over a decade ago. The rays became conditioned to look for food in this general area and now congregate there hoping visitors will feed them.
Upon arrival, our tour guide instructed us to take off our snorkel fins as they can bruise the stingrays and to keep our feet on the bottom of the ocean floor to prevent stepping on their stinger and getting stung.
As we hopped off the boat in the shallow water, roughly three feet deep, we could see gray shadows moving about. One look underwater with our goggles confirmed that we were swimming among the stingrays! We stood in amazement as we watched them gracefully swim by flapping their sides like a bird flaps its wings.
As far as you could see, there were stingrays in all directions and although we do not know the exact number that were in the water that day, our tour guide told us that there are usually at least thirty to forty rays in the area at any given time.
The sizes for these beautiful sea creatures varied as well with the males being smaller than the females. Some were the size of a sea turtle while others were up to six feet long!
Our tour guide made a friend with who he affectionately named, “Darth Vader” Apparently, this black friendly creature was the oldest at Stingray City, at thirty years old. Our tour guide attracted her attention with squid and some of our fellow tourists had a chance to feed her. She was very tame and allowed us to hold her and pass her around for the entire half an hour that we were there! Apparently to keep her happy, the secret is to rub her belly and it really did work!
We spent the rest of our time there taking underwater pictures and experiencing the spongy feeling of the ray’s bodies as they slithered past our legs, over our feet and through our arms in search of squid. I even felt one rub past my neck, but I quickly learned that it was just “Darth Vader” being brushed past me by our tour guide who was having a little fun with me! TriFactor provides adult swimming to the person with reducing mental stress. the adults can enjoy the lessons with fun and enjoyment. Proper guide will be provided to the beginners in the classes.
Like all good things, our time at Stingray City did eventually have to come to end and we were beckoned back to the boat for our return to land. We left this playground of rays with experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. We can now say, “Been there, done that!”