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Swimming with Stingrays in Antigua

While in the West Indies for my Bachelorette Party (also known as the BEST BACHELORETTE PARTY EVER!), the ladies planned a special surprise for me. We would be swimming…

…with stingrays!

They booked an excursion with Stingray City. We were driven there from our resort, where we then boarded the boat and headed out into the open water.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We stopped at what seemed to be the middle of nowhere.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

As it turns out, we were at a sandbar that was covered in rocks.

Although, when the rocks started moving, we realized they weren’t rocks at all but massive, wild stingrays!

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Lauren was the first of our group into the water.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

She was so brave!

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Not that I can give her a hard time for freaking out. I may or may not have screamed the first time one swam by me.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ann seemed to be the only one not at all worried.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

It’s amazing to me how big they are, and how close they swim to you.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

The guides had no trouble at all grabbing one to show us the stinger.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

They also allowed us to feel both the tail and the body.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Then it was time for us to hold the stingrays ourselves!

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Then from there, the guide placed the stingrays on our backs for a “stingray massage.”

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Some of us loved it.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And others…

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

As much as I’m enjoying Lauren’s funny pictures, she did take some cute ones too!

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Those are just less fun to show than the hilarious ones!

Just when we had become somewhat comfortable around the stingrays, we were given the opportunity to feed them. They would swim up over our hands, quickly grabbing the food from us while hopefully not taking any fingers with them.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

All while splashing around wildly.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Ann was cool, calm and collected.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

While the rest of us? Not so much!

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And Lauren was… Lauren.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

We were also given snorkels so we could watch the stingrays swim underwater.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

And I made this awesome video (yes, the newest iPhone is actually waterproof, just in case you were afraid to test it out yourself)!

Afterwards, when we had gotten all of our pictures, the guides answered our questions about the stingrays. We were impressed with their knowledge, and the reverence with which they treat these creatures. The guides were very respectful of the animals, which made the experience feel that much more natural.

Then it was time to board the boat and head back.

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

Where we were given the opportunity to decide just how attractive we were!

Swimming with Stingrays - My Bachelorette Party in the West Indies - Antigua travel tips - Wanderlust in the City

I loved loved LOVED swimming with stingrays! It wasn’t something I ever thought I’d do (or even realized I could do), so it felt like such a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We got great pictures, we had lots of laughs (mostly at each other’s facial expressions!), and learned a lot about stingrays. And the best part is we returned safe and sound!

Thank you, ladies, for the wonderful surprise! It’s one I’ll never forget!

~A

For all of my wedding-related posts, click here.

For all of my Antigua travel posts, click here.

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