Stingray City at Grand Cayman has its origins with local fisherman using the shallow water near George Town harbor to clean their catch, attracting rays and other fish for the free food. Since the 1980s, the Sand Bar has become a very popular tourist attraction with cruise ship passengers.
Cayman Islands - Been There

Is this the world's best dive spot?

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Cayman Islands - Been There Is this the world's best dive spot?

Stingray City, off Rum Point on Grand Cayman, is regularly voted the world’s best dive spot. Given the remarkable diving in the Cayman islands alone, including the spectacular wreck of the USS Kittiwake, it’s a claim I am keen to put to the test.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

We dive off the boat and gather as a group to sit on the sandy bottom at five meters, carrying extra weights and blowing masses of air out of our buoyancy vests to find equilibrium. After our OK signals, the divemaster produces fresh squid from a sealed bottle. Within moments, a large group of stingrays is swimming around and among us. We have been carefully briefed to make no sudden movements and have left off our snorkels to remove the risk of an accidental bump displacing our masks.

As barbed tails swish past my naked chest, I recall being told that they are one-off weapons and hence the rays are reluctant to use them. Guided by the divemaster, I feel their leathery skin on top and velvety undersides as they ripple gracefully past, unconcerned by my clumsy attempts to stroke them with one hand as my other protects my regulator.

As time passes and even more rays join us, I begin to feel part of their element. We have kicked up a cloud of sand, reducing visibility, so it is a shock when a bright green moray eel suddenly appears, its ghostly white eyes clouded by cataracts. Diving offers the real thrill of being in an environment as alien to us as another planet.

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