Swim with Stingrays in Grand Caymen

Annette White Swimming with Stingrays Swimming with Stingrays in Grand CaymenSwimming with Stingrays has gotten a bad rap ever since the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, was killed by being pierced in the chest by the tail of this amazing creature.

It’s a one-in-a-million fluke, but it does happen and that was enough to scare the bejesus out of me. But, apparently, not enough.

I booked the “Stingray Sandbar, Hell & Turtle Farm Experience” excursion through the Carnival cruise line for just under a hundred bucks each. Yes…I probably could have saved 20 bucks hooking up with an outside tour company, but this was way easier and I don’t mind being herded like cattle in order to have an amazing experience.
can of coconutsAnnette White drinking coconut juiceWe arrived at the Grand Cayman port and were led to a waiting area…waiting for the swimming with stingray adventure to begin.

I was happy to see “the Coconut Man” selling fresh nuts to the cows in the stable and I partook.

It wasn’t long before our tour guide, or as we now fondly call her “the tour guide tyrant”, led us to the bus. She teased the herd with stops at the town of Hell and the Turtle Farm before landing at the dock for Stingray City. A 20 minute ferry ride, took us to our destination sandbar. For those of you concerned about motion sickness, I did not see one passenger vomit (thank God!) and even Peter, who gets crazy car sick, only felt slightly queasy…once.

We docked in the middle of shallow ocean and I was stunned by the crystal clear blue waters unlike any I have ever seen.

Don’t…I repeat…DON’T pee in the agua, everyone would be sure to detect the yellow tinge.

About twenty of us entered the water to swim with stingrays and formed a circle as if we where going to play ring around the rosie. For a second I was afraid that there would be no stingray to swim with, like the missing monkeys at Gumbalimba Park in Honduras due to cashew season. But, this was not the case. And then I was just afraid.

The ray swarmed us as if they were killer bees and we were dipped in honey.

The guide chose one to be the guinea pig and proceeded to let each member of the group hold, pet and kiss the ‘victim’ while we were photographed. After, the second guide, gave the brave folks some squid to feed this unique fish. Plenty of folks opted out of serving lunch, but I frighteningly fed my new friend his meal. He, or she, sucked it up like a vacuum almost taking my finger with it. We spent another half hour snorkeling, swimming with stingrays and admiring the unbelievable beauty of what we were seeing.

The ferry ride back to port was a giddy, enthusiastic conversation of the swimming with stingrays adventure we just had. Little did we know it wasn’t over. The guides had somehow collected several Conch on our excursion and were cleaning them in front of us. After they were scrubbed and extracted from the shell, the adventurous were able to eat the freshest seafood they will probably ever taste. I stuck my hand out like I was begging for my last meal. Are you kidding? First, I am in this breathtaking body of water and then I am eating Conch directly from the shell? An absolutely amazing experience.

Have you ever been swimming with stingrays?




2017-03-11T23:40:31+00:00 April 13th, 2011|Categories: Caribbean, Cayman Islands, TOP PICKS, TRAVEL|Tags: , , , |

53 Comments

  1. 101 Things Before You Die April 13, 2011 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I didn't like Grand Cayman b/c I felt that it was too Americanized and way too expensive.  BUT it's a common stop on a lot of cruise itineraries and I've often said that if I stopped in Grand Cayman again, I'd definitely swim with the giant sting rays.  Sounds great!

    • Annette Renee White April 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm - Reply

      I am usually a one-trick pony, meaning that I like to do something for the first time and then it bores me. But, swimming with the stingrays is definitely something I would do again!

  2. CeCe April 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    That's awesome!  I am adding that one on my list.  The water is gorgeous…I wish our water was that pretty in California!

    • Annette Renee White April 13, 2011 at 10:01 pm - Reply

      We are lucky to have beaches nearby in Northern Cal., but they are not warm, crystal blue or have stingrays!

  3. Miranda April 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    What a great experience. I love that second picture that Ray looks huge! When we were in hong kong they would stick straws in coconuts and you could walk around all day drinking them. I was in love with it. Great experience and post!

  4. […] I was drying myself off after swimming with stingrays in the Grand Cayman, our guides started another spectacular show, this time from inside of the […]

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  8. Jennifer Rough May 24, 2011 at 10:49 am - Reply

    We swam with stingrays in the Bahamas and were utterly enchanted with them.  The best shore excursion we ever participated in!  I will never turn down the opportunity to swim with them again.

  9. Marsha June 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Okay, I already had swimming with stingrays on my list, but now I have to add KISS a stingray!

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  14. Anita Mac September 6, 2011 at 4:19 am - Reply

    I swam with the stingrays in Antigua – loved it.  They were so soft and silky!  It was great fun to feed them – one of the girls even fed them from her mouth!  The people in Antigua were super cool and nice too!  Have yet to make it to Grand Cayman.  Would love to go back and swim with the rays again!

    • Annette Renee White September 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm - Reply

      I was surprised by the vacuum-like suction when I fed them, so I can’t imagine feeding them with my mouth! But, I’ll give it a shot next time 😉

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  32. Allison The Ultimate Life List July 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    I just got to touch one in St Louis on my birthday! Swimming with them is also on my list!!! SO is drinking a cocktail out of a piece of fruit! But the stingrays feel so cool, don’t they?! I haven’t even figured out how i’m going to describe it yet, it was like they were ‘gooey’ and the sharks were ‘dry’- sounds like a great trip!

    • Annette White July 5, 2013 at 6:33 am - Reply

      Swimming with the stingrays was one of my most memorable experiences! I understand exactly what you are saying they feel like!

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  40. Kerry June 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    I have pet one, but now swimming with them is on my list. I was so saddened by what happened to Steve Irwin, but he loved animals and it was a rare tragedy. I would say they feel like raw chicken, slimy and smooth. Thanks for your description of your experience. I wish I could see pictures, but words are just as good.

  41. Eating Raw Conch in Grand Cayman February 21, 2015 at 2:03 pm - Reply

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  45. cristina August 18, 2017 at 11:18 am - Reply

    Swimming with stingrays might be fun for people but it is real bad for the stingrays. I just wrote an article about how swimming with stingray attraction are detrimental for the rays, in case anyone is interested.
    https://www.travel4wildlife.com/swimming-with-stingrays/

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