The Cayman Islands has one of the top Caribbean attractions, with eighty percent of visitors flocking to a shallow sandbar in the middle of the ocean known as Stingray City.
Created over forty years ago when fishermen dropped over discarded bait after a long day at sea, stingrays started frequenting the waist deep sandbar seeking out conch and small fish. Over a period of time more and more stingrays became attracted to the location, and with adventurous local snorkelers, it was not long before the trend of snorkeling with stingrays became a way of life.
Today Stingray City has over sixty vessel operating tours to the sandbar various time of the day, yet not all are outfitted with wranglers who understand behavior of stingrays calling the sandbar home. Locals who grew up on the water and spent time at Stingray City from a young age has shown best knowledge in handling
stingrays of all sizes. A good handler knows the right stingray to use for demonstration, including those without barb. Some stingrays will even take part in the kissing ritual, moving the upper tip of their head during a friend encounter.
Capturing a stingray underwater and surfacing with the beast under control takes skill and confidence. Wranglers who spend five to seven days a week with these gentle giants of the ocean has a favorite stingray to work with. Most visitors will see a guide by-pass multiple stingrays and lock in on one particular
ray, only to dive in and resurface with his friendly partner. These Stingrays welcome such an encounter, as they know the reward consist of tasty squid for a few pictures and back rub.