Stingray City is an awesome experience for those who enjoy the water and are fascinated by wildlife. The city is actually a sandbar in the Caribbean Sea not far from Grand Cayman so you can only get here by boat (or a really long swim!). There are several tour companies that offer tours and snorkel equipment out to Stingray City. Captain Marvin’s is the original, however, and offers a couple different tour options depending on how much time and money you want to spend.
Stingrays will generally avoid humans by nature but the stingrays in this area grew accustomed to humans because the fishermen used to stop at the sandbar to clean their catch of the day before heading home. The stingrays were able to scoop up the scraps and learned to associate the boats and humans with food. When you take the tour, you will have the option to feed the stingrays squid (their favorite), but make sure you don’t get the squid too close to you! If the stingrays smell it on your leg, for example, they will think it is more food as they use their sense of smell and not their eyesight. Don’t be too alarmed though, stingrays eat via suction, not teeth, so you’ll end up with a giant hickey but otherwise be ok!
The tour guides will provide a mask, snorkel, and life vest. You aren’t allowed to wear anything on your feet because the stingrays are surprisingly delicate and they want to make sure you don’t step on one accidentally. For the most part you’ll be able to stand on the sandbar so swimming will be minimal. The stingrays feel like silky velvet and can be quite playful. The younger, smaller rays are more leery and keep more to the outskirts while the older, larger rays soak up all the food and attention.
Transportation is often included in the cost of the tour. Check with the company you choose for more details.