So stingrays haven’t had the best PR in recent years. But nice and easy does it: these creatures are very friendly and will only stab you with the barbed stinger in their tail in self-defense, when they feel threatened or trapped. Fair enough. Just don’t make any threatening moves.
Stingray City in Antigua is definitely not about grabbing the nearest available pectoral disc and scooting through the water with your fingers crossed. Professional handlers give clear instructions for a risk-free experience so relax and enjoy handling, feeding, swimming and interacting with the rays.
Things kick off at the land base at Seatons, one of Antigua’s most picturesque coastal villages. After meeting some monkeys and parrots, you’ll be whisked to the nearby marine city – Bond-style, in a speedboat. No martinis at your destination but plenty of these alien-looking sea-creatures, with eyes on their dorsal side and mouth and nostrils on their underbelly. But for all their weirdness, they’re graceful creatures that undulate like a wave.
Stingrays inhabit warm, shallow waters – good news for humans eager to get up close and personal. You can stand in the water or swim with them. The Southern Ray found in this region is said to be ‘the puppy dog of the sea’ – friendly and gentle.
After feeding time, and a spot of snorkeling on the reefs, it’s back to base for a well-deserved drink, a look at the photos taken of you and your new best friend, and a shower under a coconut tree. A really exhilarating experience, and great fun for the whole family.
P.O Box W816,
St. John’s, Antigua
- The good news: the rays at Stingray City in Antigua aren’t enclosed.
- Photos of your experience can be bought at the venue.