The first Stingray City tours were inadvertently conducted by Cayman fishermen during the early 1950s. Upon returning from a day of fishing, the fisherman would clean their catch in the calm shallow waters near the north sound, which would later become known as Stingray City.
Throwing their unused bait and catch cleanings overboard, Cayman's early fisherman unknowingly sponsored a free smorgasbord of delights to the stingrays below. There are several species of stingrays in the Cayman Islands but Stingray City and Sandbar are primarily populated with Cayman’s Southern Stingray. While Stingray City and Sandbar are two entirely separate sites, they are commonly referred to collectively. Stingray City is actually a 15-20 foot dive site on the western end of Cayman’s North Sound; Sandbar is a mere 3-6 feet deep and situated near the middle of the North Sound. Divers prefer Stingray City, which its somewhat greater depth, which affords easier and more diverse photo opportunities. Sandbar is more suited to snorkelers with its typically crystal clear shallow water.