This beautiful little island offers visitors a chance to have close encounters with wild and friendly stingrays. Taking a snorkeling day tour to this cay is one of our recommended activities for cruise ship guests.
5-star rating for Gibbs Cay by Visit Turks and Caicos Islands
Stingrays freely interact with humans at Gibbs Cay.
Although a popular attraction for Grand Turk, this small cay is located a short distance away from Grand Turk and is included within our Other Islands section of our site. For more attractions, activities and sports on Grand Turk, see Things to Do in Grand Turk.
Gibbs Cay, also known as Stingray City, is a small island located approximately 1 mile (1.5 km) off the eastern coast of Grand Turk. This is a truly beautiful 7-acre island, with an excellent beach on the western coast and scenic ironshore on the east. In the center is a hill with sea-oats.
The attraction of Gibbs Cay is the stingrays, which appear in vast numbers whenever a boat lands. Stingrays have been in the area naturally, but their presence is encouraged by the fish and squid fed to them by tour guides.
Origin of the Name
A local guide feeding a stingray at Gibbs Cay.
Gibbs Cay is quite possibly named after George Judson Gibbs who was a Grand Turk resident during the 1800s. He is also known for donating the historic Lucayan duho (a ceremonial seat), currently housed at the Turks and Caicos National Museum.
Several local companies offer tours, all catering to cruise guests (and also overnight visitors). Tours for cruise guests depart from near the cruise center, and other typically depart from Cockburn Town. Many include free pick-up.
Lunch is included in many of the tours (sometimes an extra fee), along with snorkel gear, soft drinks and water. It's cooked up right on the beach at Gibbs Cay while you're swimming and snorkeling with the stingrays.
Tours vary by company, but most also include a 30 minute (or so) snorkeling stop south of the island. Other tours also include conch diving.
Many people are initially wary at the thought of swimming with stingrays. However, the stingrays at Gibbs Cay today have grown up around people and are extremely friendly. You'll see tour guides picking them out of the water and feeding them (guests are encouraged to feed them too).
The Grand Turk Cruise Center opened in 2006, and we're only aware of one injury to a visitor (not fatal). The visitor was feeding a large group of stingrays, slipped fell and then stepped on a stingray's barb. The visitor was attended to by the ship's medic and was on crutches for a few days. This is the only injury that we know of involving stingrays at Gibbs Cay. Grand Turk has around a million cruise visitors a year.