Spot

Stingray City

written in collaboration with KloHey (1 spots)


The excursion to Stingray City is the most popular in Antigua. Here you can swim and interact with southern stingrays. They are used to human presence, and will let you stroke them and will come into your arms in their quest for food. Stingray City is a commercial spot and purists will no doubt steer clear of it, but this is still a great chance to encounter southern stingrays.
How to get there?

Stingray City is a privately owned site. The only way to visit it is to join a tour organised by the company of the same name, which manages the site (website here). If you go on your own, it will cost about $50 per person for a round trip by boat and one hour on site with the stingrays. In this case, you will have to get there under your own steam from the small Mercers Creek Bay quay, where the boats set off to reach the snorkeling spot.
This excursion is also sold to the hundreds of cruise passengers arriving each day in Antigua. The price can double (about $100 per person) but includes a round-trip transfer to the quay.

Water entrance

You enter the water from wooden platforms set up next to the water. Follow your guide's instructions.

Aerial view

Exploration

Stingray City is made up of a sandy lagoon where the water level is constant (5ft/1-1.5m), and is sheltered by a coral reef.

The trip is well organised: as soon as you are in the water, the stingrays will come to greet you. They are used to being fed, and are particularly tactile and insistent. Most of them are a large specimens (spanning over 3 feet). You can choose either to explore the area (marked out by buoys) alone or, with the help of a guide, to go and feed the stingrays and pose for the traditional souvenir photo. While you are sure to see stingrays, if you move away from the crowds, you may also come across shoals of jacks, boxfish or small barracudas.

Of course, the stingrays are completely free here, but their natural wild character has been changed by feeding, so that Stingray City sometimes seems more like an open-air aquarium than a natural environment. You may also find the hyper-efficient organisation somewhat frustrating, even though the atmosphere is very pleasant atmosphere. If you like wide-open spaces, wildlife and snorkeling in complete freedom, then you should go elsewhere.

Don't forget that the rays have a fearsome sting that can cause sometimes fatal injuries. Incidents (ray stings) are sometimes reported at this spot. Be alert, handle the stingrays with care and make sure you never step on a ray.



Restaurants & accommodation

Stingray City is located on a reef, so there are no restaurants or accommodation on site. The excursions generally include drinks.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    5ft (1.5m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from wooden platforms
  • Potential Dangers
    Stingrays
  • Lifeguard
    Yes
  • Visitor numbers
    High
  • Access costs
    From $50
  • Restaurants nearby
    No
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

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Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Stingray City

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Southern stingray
Dasyatis americana Abundant
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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