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Antigua, Caribbean

Stingray City – Antigua

Holding the stingrays at Stingray City, Antigua

We arrived in style – James Bond style.  Our boat was greeted by our friendly guides who escorted us into the stingray reserve.  Many in our group were nervous about stepping into the water full of rays.  Fears that were definitely unfounded as we learned that the Southern Rays are actually known as the puppy dogs of the sea!  They are super friendly and silky soft.  At the reserve, they rub up against your legs and crowd around you looking for food.  We were all able to hold and feed the rays as we posed for pictures.  The anticipation for holding one of the rays was immense – while I knew there was nothing to worry about – it was still a little unnerving to have so many of the rays bumping into me as I joined the others gathered round the fish pail.

Catching a ride to Stingray City, Antigua

Stingrays do not aggressively attack people – stings are more likely to happen when accidentally stepped on.  Shuffling through the water will warm the stingrays of your presence and they will naturally swim away.  The guides were excellent at putting all of our concerns to rest, explaining how to hold the stingray and helping to feed them.  They were excellent and patient as our group peppered them with questions.  One of the other great things about Stingray City is that they have a photographer to take your pictures which you can buy, but they also let you take as many photos as you like yourself.

Up close and personal with a stingray

Arriving at Stingray City’s land base after our swim and snorkel, we were greeted with rum and fruit punch.  We had a chance to look at the monkeys and exotic birds at the mini zoo.  For me, the highlight remains swimming with the stingrays.  I am not alone the belief that Stingray City is worth the trip – they won Trip Advisors “Certificate of Excellence” in May 2011.

Stingray City, Antigua

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

83 thoughts on “Stingray City – Antigua

  1. Sounds like a wonderful trip, nice to see one of my favourite ocean animals getting some good press!

    Posted by Jessica @ Shhh Mommy's Blogging | September 16, 2011, 4:08 pm
  2. Be careful with those stingrays. Thanks for sharing your experience. Connie

    http://7thandvine.wordpress.com/

    Posted by conniewalden | September 16, 2011, 4:11 pm
    • Was only nervous for a moment! The guides were great at explaining to us about how the stingrays hide and rest in the sand. If you shuffle your feet, you will alert them to your presence. It was really cool to see them glide along the water. The reserve is such a great protection area for them too – they were very used to people. Looking forward to going again if I can.

      Posted by Anita Mac | September 16, 2011, 4:17 pm
  3. All I could say is that I envy you soooo much right now! I love Stingrays and I love going to the zoo and being able to pet them in the aquarium part of the zoo. Lucky you.

    Congrats on being freshly pressed

    Posted by Mariajose | September 16, 2011, 4:20 pm
  4. I’ve done this before, too!! Such a great experience!!

    Posted by justalittlebrit | September 16, 2011, 4:46 pm
  5. Wow — after the whole Steve Irwin incident, I’d be far less brave than you…I’m WAY impressed!
    :)

    Posted by Mikalee Byerman | September 16, 2011, 4:56 pm
  6. Really cool! I don’t think I could hold one, but that’s pretty awesome :)

    Posted by Lakia Gordon | September 16, 2011, 5:21 pm
  7. Ohh!! My mother-in-law had a stringray brush up against her while they were relaxing in Magen’s Bay on St. Thomas… ahhh! That sounds like you experienced and absolute adventure. :) Wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

    Posted by ladyladylike | September 16, 2011, 7:13 pm
  8. gorgeous animals and good post sounds like an awesome time

    Posted by northerntees | September 16, 2011, 9:06 pm
  9. wow..you rock. you hold it :D

    Posted by timawa1904 | September 16, 2011, 11:47 pm
  10. Hi Anita,
    Looks like you had lots of fun in Antigua.
    You should come here to Barbados and swim with the turtles!! :-)

    Posted by Kai Lillia | September 16, 2011, 11:47 pm
  11. Very interesting. Must plan to go…

    Posted by Darlene | September 17, 2011, 12:15 am
  12. Interesting blog!

    Posted by rakhikankane | September 17, 2011, 1:33 am
  13. amazing fishing and beutiful..
    visit on http://anar373ct.wordpress.com/
    thx before brother..

    Posted by ANAR373CT | September 17, 2011, 1:49 am
  14. it is really perfect!

    Posted by helpseller | September 17, 2011, 2:17 am
  15. I have always wanted to swim with stingrays… just don’t know where. Now I do… Antigua, here I come. Thanks for the tip Anita!

    Posted by Funner Montag | September 17, 2011, 2:36 am
  16. I always see stingrays at the market and have always wanted to have a “swim” with them.

    Posted by Judith | September 17, 2011, 2:50 am
  17. beautiful!! i could still remember when i got the chance to touch them at Underwater World of Sentosa in Singapore!!! c:

    http://travellersdiningdepot.wordpress.com/

    Posted by Travelling Writer | September 17, 2011, 9:41 am
  18. Great post! I’ve been pretty terrified of stingrays, until reading your article! Looks like you had an amazing time, I hope one day I will be lucky enough to travel there!

    Posted by caateryna | September 17, 2011, 12:29 pm
  19. Stingray City was one of the best memories I’ll ever have, which is amazing because the weather was cold and rainy. We were freezing and grumpy when we got out there, and the water was choppier than normal. My wife and two oldest kids and I got in with no problem, but my little girl, then 10, was shorter than the rest of us and had a panic attack.

    I got to hold her and calm her down enough to enjoy the experience. Funny, she thought she’d ruined it for us, but for just a little while, I got to be my baby’s Daddy again. It’s nice to be needed. :)

    The rays were cool, too.

    Posted by swanstuff | September 17, 2011, 7:54 pm
  20. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Brought back memories. I lived in Antigua for much of my childhood, and still have quite a bit of family there, including my dad. Beautiful place! Even got married there on the beach, sans the stingrays.

    Posted by SomerEmpress | September 17, 2011, 9:08 pm
  21. I’ve never swum with stingrays, but I’ve touched them and petted them (at MOTE Marine Aquarium in FL). They are so soft and very personable (or at least the small ones I met and socialized with were).

    Posted by Sophia Morgan (griffinspen) | September 17, 2011, 9:14 pm
  22. We took the Stingray City excursion in Antigua while on a cruise some years ago. That experience is still one of my all-time favorite vacation memories. Thanks for bringing back that memory with your post!

    Posted by Mark S. | September 17, 2011, 11:02 pm
  23. I think it’s a good trip that I wanna be there.

    Posted by exterhardd | September 17, 2011, 11:14 pm
  24. Swimming with the stingrays and dolphins is somthing that everyone should experince if they have the chance, they are smart gracefull and loveing, if more people would conect with our aquit frends and see and feel the love that can be shared between land and sea…. I truly belive would make the awarness of how important it is to keep our waters, land , and air cleaner. …Plus you will always leave with a smile on your face and cheer in your hart. : )

    Posted by David Belote | September 18, 2011, 12:08 am
  25. its a great experience to have…

    Posted by BettyYaw | September 18, 2011, 1:48 am
  26. its a great experience to have

    Posted by BettyYaw | September 18, 2011, 1:49 am
  27. Wow what an amazing post! How did you avoid it’s dangerous aspects?
    Love the photos!
    (:

    Posted by thebigbookofdating | September 18, 2011, 2:53 am
  28. Lots of fun…strange creatures, aren’t they?

    Posted by natbeau123 | September 18, 2011, 3:15 am
  29. I used to be the kid that would cry because I couldn’t reach the stingrays at the exhibit at Seaworld. I went back as an adult and had the best time! Looks like fun…Congrats on freshly pressed!

    Posted by Shai | September 18, 2011, 3:35 am
  30. دليل القاهرة

    Dalil Cairo

    http://dalil.mycairo.net/

    راااائع فعلا

    Posted by Dalil Cairo | September 18, 2011, 7:10 am
  31. I love stingrays! They’re adorable.

    I didn’t realize that there was a reserve in Antingua, though, so now this is a must-see destination to add to my list. :)

    Posted by Megan | September 18, 2011, 9:07 am
  32. OMG You know one of those things killed our Steve Irwin don’t you?

    Posted by gaycarboys | September 18, 2011, 12:10 pm
  33. So jealous! This sounds like an amazing experience.

    Posted by Current Instincts | September 18, 2011, 3:21 pm
  34. I have swam with dolphins but don’t know if I would have the courage to swim with stingrays. Great photos.

    Posted by newsy1 | September 18, 2011, 3:43 pm
  35. Wow, that’s amazing! Stingrays have been a favorite of mine since childhood. I used to spend hours petting them at Sea World and local zoos. They are so beautiful and alien and I’m lucky enough to be from Florida– we get to see stingrays a lot here! That’s why it’s so amusing when people are afraid of them!

    Posted by Chelsea McDonald | September 18, 2011, 6:40 pm
  36. A most memorable experience I’m sure. Thanks for this very informative post….. I want to swim with the stingrays now!

    Posted by Gail | September 18, 2011, 9:24 pm
  37. Stingrays are pretty cool. I’ve only seen them in zoos and aquariums, but never out in the wild. Pretty neat to see and experience. :)

    http://lifeslittletreasures.wordpress.com/

    http://thebluemorpho.wordpress.com/

    http://zazzle.com/thebluemorpho

    Posted by TheBlueMorpho | September 18, 2011, 11:21 pm
  38. I love the pictures and I think that it sounds like checking out the stingrays was an awesome experience, I’d love to do it myself. Looks like you had yourself a wonderful time, it’s so neat watching stingrays swim in the water and they move so majestically too.

    Posted by sarahnsh | September 19, 2011, 12:00 am
  39. hey nice pics …
    it seems to b a awsome trip ….

    Posted by narinder | September 19, 2011, 12:52 am
  40. This looks like a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing!
    Awesome. :)

    Posted by Zoe | September 19, 2011, 5:24 am
  41. Nice snorkling experience, just make me remember when visit gili trawangan island..

    Posted by luxury rental bali | September 19, 2011, 6:22 am
  42. Love seeing your pictures of your expedition! We will be going on our own adventures next summer while studying abroad and seeing this makes us more excited!

    We just started a new blog and would love for you to help us out and follow us as well, our blog website is adventuresofbrittania.wordpress.com! Thanks, we hope you enjoy!

    Posted by adventuresofbrittania | September 19, 2011, 12:11 pm
  43. looks like you had a great time!! :)

    -grace

    Posted by GraceLynneFleming | September 19, 2011, 12:36 pm
  44. Kudos for the great piece of writing. I am glad I have taken the time to read this.

    Posted by Entrevistas Laborales | September 21, 2011, 6:38 am
  45. We had a similar, wonderful encounter with rays in Bora Bora. They were really gentle.

    Posted by Jeff | September 22, 2011, 3:51 pm
  46. Sounds like a wonderful destination and exciting thing to experience. I once slept in a sleeping bag beneath the shark tank at the Minnesota Zoo. That’s about as exciting as it gets for this old elementary teacher.

    Posted by flyinggma | October 5, 2011, 8:38 am
  47. Wow it looks amazing! You have a beautiful blog Anita!

    Posted by erikahesselroth | October 10, 2011, 9:05 am
  48. Awesome experience!

    Posted by PC PHOTO | October 10, 2011, 7:14 pm
  49. I would have loved to be so close to a stingray :D

    Posted by wolke205 | January 31, 2012, 2:15 pm
  50. The kids would love doing that!

    Posted by Smith | June 15, 2012, 8:40 am
  51. We just got back from an amazing Cruise and our stop to Antigua was amazing!!!! Nothing gets your heart pumping like swimming around with giant Stingrays ~ http://bit.ly/14NnNaE Stingray City Baby!

    Posted by Sandra Bouchard Dugas | April 4, 2013, 6:56 pm

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