Family Activities:

Stingray City


The stingrays feel like velvet as they brush up against your legs like playful puppies. Scores of them crowd, their wings flapping in the turquoise sea like giant butterflies in slow motion. Guides caution visitors to shuffle as they walk so as to avoid tepping on the rays’ barbed tails. Other than that, these Southern Atlantic Stingrays are less aggressive than their Australian cousins. Nevertheless, be careful and follow instructions. You’ll learn how to prop bits of chopped squid in your fists like flowers. Rays with four-foot wingspans will glide over to you, sucking up the morsels like vacuums.

If you’re not a family of divers, visit the Stingray City sandbar, a long, raised ridge in the ocean that enables you to stand in three to five feet of water. Even the small children in your group will smile as they pet the stingrays. Those who want to go below the surface to observe the rays wriggling along the sandy bottom should visit Stingray City, average depth 12-feet.

Book your outing on days when cruise ships are not in port. If you don’t, you are likely to see more cruise passengers than stingrays, and your outing will be disappointing. Feeding the stingrays is definitely not “p.c.,” but, on uncrowded outings, the experience is fun, as long as you follow the guide’s instructions. Remember, the stingrays, while acclimated to humans, are wild.

Both North Sound destinations came about by chance. In the calm waters behind the reef, fishermen used to clean their catch, tossing the guts into the sea. The stingrays caught on.