Swimming and snorkeling with wild stingrays in the Exumas is a snorkel adventure that is not to be missed. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed lots of opportunities to snorkel in your nearby lakes and even in your pool. But once you have mastered the art of using a snorkel, it’s time to test your limits.
Go ahead. Jump in the water with a stingray. Well after you’ve explored Exuma’s wildlife, relaxed on the beach with iguanas, swam with nurse sharks and the pigs, why not? You can also feed the Stingrays and chill out at Chat ‘n Chill. You can get here by ferry and enjoy the fresh cool breeze, play beach volleyball, or just simply chillout. Definitely worth a full day or half day trip!
Snorkeling with Wildlife
There are a number of opportunities for you to do this in the Exumas. Understanding what it takes to snorkel with these wild animals is key to making it a success.
Where to Interact with the Stingrays
One of the most popular types of snorkel adventures is that of swimming with Exuma’s stingrays. If you dare, you can slip into the water with them on a specially designed tour. Some snorkeling adventures are capable of allowing you to swim with these animals, but remember that snorkeling with them is always going to carry some risk. The experience, though, is amazing and well worth it to many people.
To enjoy this fun family activity, you must take a short boat ride to beautiful Stocking Island. As soon as you arrive on Stocking Island, head on over to Chat ‘n Chill. Chat N’ Chill has a beach bar, restaurant, shop, and is home to their famous pig roasts on Sunday evenings.
This section of the island features an amazing beach and lots of room for you and your family to spend the day. Get in a few games of beach volleyball if you have the energy. The stingrays are very friendly and you will get many close-up interactions with them. You can pet them, take photos with them, swim alongside them, and also feed them. This is a delightful family experience that individuals of all ages can truly enjoy.
However, the stingrays consider these shallow waters their home. Therefore, please be respectful when you visit them. Here are several tips to fully enjoy this spectacular experience:
Welcome to Their World
When you do decide to swim with stingrays or other animals for that matter, you’ll want to remember one thing. Because they are in the wild, you are now on their terms. Whatever you do, will reflect in their behavior. And, although stingrays are very friendly characters normally, they will attack if they feel like they are being violated or are in harm’s way. Or, they may just simply take off and not be seen again.
Therefore, you will want to follow your guide’s suggestions the whole time you are snorkeling. You want the stingrays not to see you as a threat, but as another person that wants to play with them. The good news is that many will absolutely love having you join them in the water. Some will swim right next to you. Others are a bit shyer and will stay back some. Remember, they get to make the calls when it comes to snorkeling with them.
If you do wish to snorkel with stingrays or other animals, find a professional company that does this specifically for a living. They will have the most experience with the animals and they can often help you to make the right moves at the right time so that you are safe and enjoying your trip. Unfortunately, though, there’s no way to predict what a wild animal will do.
They Love Eating Conch
Stingrays are known as a carnivorous animal in the wild as they eat small animals like shrimp, worms, squid, and small fish. The best food to use in drawing them in is the Conch. You can feed them some that you catch yourself or from the conch items off the menu. If you run out of supply, you can also feed them with other foods that can be bought from Chat ‘n Chill.
Don’t Touch Their Stinger
The stingrays are usually friendly and calm and they are used to people interacting with them. They do not mind your company but you should ensure that you avoid their stinger. The stingray’s stinger is their tail and they don’t like being pulled by it. You can easily get stung or cut just doing that. If you want to touch them, you can touch their body and fins but their tail is very venomous.
Don’t Step On Them
The stingrays do hide under the sand but you may find them very difficult to spot occasionally. You should enter the water cautiously so that you do not step on them. The best way to avoid harming them is by shuffling.
Keep Your Hands Away From Their Mouths
Although the stingrays are very friendly, it is also good to note that they are still wild creatures. Their mouth can be found on the underside of their body which is perfect for eating foods on the ocean floor. Although this is not usually dangerous, their jaws are quite strong and capable of crushing mollusks’ shells.
How to Feed Stingrays
There are two ways that you can feed them. The first method is by dropping the food into the water while you watch as they swim by to get it. If you want to use this method, try as much as possible not to drop the feed close to your toes so that they will not mistake your foot for some conch. The second method is by putting the food in your hand and then keep your hand flat while you raise the palm. The stingrays can then easily glide over your hand while sucking up the food.
A Finale Note
Stingrays are quite friendly and will not go out of their way to be aggressive toward people. As these stingrays have been around people so frequently, they have grown used to their presence and are quite a joy to be around. Be respectful of them and they, in turn, will provide you and your family with an incredible experience.
Still Seeking Adventure? Then Go Swimming With The Pigs!
Undoubtedly, the best way to experience the pigs is to see them in person. Pig Island is accessible only by boat, and most vessels take 10 to 20 people at a time.
This course (eBook included) was created so that you could enjoy the most beautiful country on earth and get the most out of your trip there. The course includes all the information you’ll need for your trip.
Exploring the Exumas is made even more delightful by the warm, welcoming Exumians you meet along the way. From them you’ll get the sense that here is a place you are welcome to return to, again and again. So, get out here!