With their flat bodies and their gills shaped like wings, rays are the “birds” of the sea. Dozens of species populate the world’s seas. The biggest of them, the manta ray, is completely harmless and can have a span of up to 9 meters. Snorkelers can observe these majestic fish in many different places in the world, and sometimes very close up. Check out our top 9 snorkeling spots to swim with rays.

VELIDHU Maldives #1

The question you can ask yourself before a snorkeling session in Velidhu is not whether you will see any rays, but rather which ones you’ll see. A spotted eagle ray? A bluespotted ribbontail ray? Or – the dream of many – a majestic manta ray? All three, perhaps.

SHARK RAY ALLEY Belize #2

Shark Ray Alley is well named: a non-stop procession of southern stingrays and nurse sharks awaits you at the most popular spot in Belize. You can also find stingrays and eagle rays at Hol Chan Cut. If you’re staying in Caye Caulker, you might like to know that this small island also has its very own Shark Ray Alley, which is less busy.

PETITE TERRE Guadeloupe #3

Petite Terre is a real jewel bathed by the Caribbean Sea, not far from Guadeloupe. In the channel separating the isles, you will have no trouble seeing spotted eagle rays and southern stingrays.

AKUMAL BAY Mexico #4

Akumal is famous for its turtles, but it would be a mistake to forget that you can easily come across three species of rays there too: the spotted eagle ray, the yellowspotted ribbontail ray and the southern stingray, which you can’t miss in the seagrass beds. You can observe rays on many others spots of Riviera Maya, particularly at Puerto Morelos.

FELICITE ISLAND Seychelles #5

The small port of the Félicité Island, in the Seychelles, is an appreciated refuge by the spotted eagle rays, which are always there, by 12 to 20 feet deep. Waters which surround la Digue and its dependences are amongst the best of Indian Ocean to observe spotted eagle rays. If you are in la Digue and if you cannot make the excursion for the island Félicité, go to Anse Sévère.

SHARKS SANDBANK Tahiti and the Society Islands #6

When you arrive by kayak in Sharks Sandbank, you first see the fins of the blacktip reef sharks breaking through the surface of the water. But underwater, you can spot many stingrays too! Stingrays are also numerous and friendly in Motus Fareone & Tiahura, located only a few hundred meters from Sharks Sandbank.

STINGRAY CITY Cayman Islands #7

The snorkeling tour to Stingray City is the most popular in the Cayman Islands. Here you can swim and interact with southern stingrays, which will come into your arms in their quest for food. It is a quite “commercial” spot, but this is still a great chance to encounter southern stingrays.

RAWA ISLAND Malaysia #8

Pulau Rawa is part of a string of small islets and reefs lying 5 kilometers northwest of the Perhentian Islands. Around this idyllic island bathed by crystal-clear waters, you have good chances to observe a blue spotted stingray, one of the most beautiful -and colorful- rays living in tropical seas.

CONCHA DE PERLA Galápagos Islands #9

Sure, Galápagos sea lions and penguins are the most admired creatures of Concha de Perla, a shallow lagoon located on the south coast of Isabela Island. Nevertheless, it is also one of the best spots in the Galápagos Island to sight stingrays.