Feeding Stingrays: Stingray Beach in Caye Caulker, Belize

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Have you ever wanted to experience feeding a stingray on a tropical beach in Caye Caulker, Belize? Well, it’s a unique experience that can be enjoyed on this small, quiet island and I want to tell you how.

Stingrays are a type of fish that are recognisable by their flat and pancake-like body shapes. They do not have any bones, instead, they have cartilage throughout and are close relatives to the shark. They can be found in warm waters around the world and they are regularly spotted in the shallow reefs.

Since Belize is located in Central America and sits next to the warm Caribbean Sea, stingrays can be found along much of the coast. This area is home to the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System which is 185 miles long (298 km) and is home to thousands of marine species. Caye Caulker and the neighbouring Ambergris Caye islands are hotspots for travellers who want to partake in water sports and reef exploration.

Now, even those who visit Caye Caulker and choose to stay close to shore can enjoy feeding stingrays while basking in the hot sun. It’s a memorable experience with some unexpected creatures and has become a prime tourist activity for curious travellers.

Don’t forget to get travel insurance to cover you if something bad happens. One company I have personal experience with is Safety Wing. Not everyone needs the same coverage, so make sure you get a personalised quote that suits you and your trip plans.

Stingrays and a large bird on Caye Caulker island during feeding time
A group of stingrays and a bird

Location of the stingray feeding in Caye Caulker

Location: Iguana Reef Inn, Chapoose Street, Caye Caulker, Belize

Since Caye Caulker is an island, you will need to take a short flight and/or water taxi to get there.

To get to Caye Caulker you can either fly or take a water taxi from other destinations within Belize. If you choose to fly, there are only 2 airlines to choose from: Tropic Air or Maya Island Air.

There are daily flights to the island and you can check the available flights by Maya Island Air to Caye Caulker here. If Tropic Air is your preferred airline, you can check their website here instead. If you are travelling to the island from international destinations, you’ll need to fly into Belize City (the capital) first. The city has 2 airports for you to choose from offering flights with the above airlines.

Another way to reach the island from within Belize is to arrive by water taxi and you can do so from two destinations. Check out this link to check times and book boat tickets from:

  • Belize City (45 minutes each way)
  • San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) (30 minutes each way)

If you happen to be in either destination already, you can also purchase your boat tickets closer to the date of departure. However, please be aware that the water taxis can fill up quickly so if you leave it too late, you might miss out on the departure time and date you want. Always try to book in advance to stand the best chance of travelling when you’d like.

Finding your way around

Once you’re in Belize, (which is a relatively small country) I’d highly recommend getting a SIM card to help find your way around. Unfortunately, Belize doesn’t have the most stable internet or WIFI connections compared to other places. During my visits there I was regularly waiting for my devices to reconnect after dropping off of local WIFI connections.

I’m a fan of Airalo eSIMs because they can be conveniently ordered directly onto your device ready to use as soon as you land.

Signs at the stringrays beach in Caye Caulker
Signs near the feeding spot

When Can You See Stingrays in Caye Caulker?

The great news about this tropical destination is that stingrays spend time in the area all year round. Although these stingrays are wild animals, they have become familiar with the daily feeding schedule completed by the local residents. This means that a little bit before sunset each day, the stingrays will already be swimming in the shallow water waiting for tasty fish treats.

And you lucky travellers can make the most of their habit and can help feed them too.

For the best chance of seeing them, head down to the stingray beach before 4 pm on any day.

What’s great about visiting “Stingray Beach” at this time is this is also known as one of the best spots to watch the sunset on the island.

Stingrays came close to me during feeding time while I stood in the shallow water on Caye Caulker island - Belize
Stingrays came close to me while I was standing in the water

What to expect?

This is one of the most popular attractions on the small islands of Caye Caulker, so there will likely already be a group of people ready to start feeding the stingrays when you arrive.

This beach is rather small and sits on the coast in front of the Iguana Reef Inn (which is a 3* accommodation) and The Dive House (which is a holiday apartment rental complex).

Just before 4 pm a small group of visitors usually gather ready to watch the feeding frenzy that happens daily. A few local residents (mostly staff from the surrounding accommodation) come outside with a few small buckets of fish ready to feed the stingrays.

They tend to share these buckets and the fish contents so anyone who would like to participate in the stingray feeding, can. People can spend some time in the water paddling in the shallows but must be aware of the dangers associated with stingrays.

Remember – do not get too close to their tails or their barbs. They’re called STINGrays for a reason.

Visitors to this beach should give each other and the stingrays plenty of space.

When feeding the stingrays you will need to keep your hand low to the ground so they can take the fish from you. If you didn’t know already, their mouths are located on the underside of their bodies. Luckily you don’t need to worry about them biting you, but they will likely swim on top of each other to get the fish food from you.

You’ll see the images above where they came up close and glided over my feet (they are friendly and have no fear of being so close to people!).

Warning signs on the beach in Belize
A warning sign standing in the water

Rules to Follow at Caye Caulker Stingray Beach

Because this experience includes wild animals in their natural habitat, there are some strict rules to follow to protect both the stingrays and yourself.

  • Do not step on the stingrays. Slowly drag your feet along the sand instead of stepping.
  • Do not chase the stingrays.
  • Do not splash while the stingrays are nearby.
  • If not actively feeding them, give them a lot of space and observe from a distance.
  • Do not trap the stingrays. Always allow them space to swim away if they need to.
  • Be cautious of their spinal blade (the sharp barb next to their tail). They are venomous.
standing in the shallow sea
Me standing in the water near a group of stingrays

What else to do on Caye Caulker Stingray Beach?

You might believe that spending time feeding stingrays is the only fun thing to do on this Caye Caulker beach.

But you’d be wrong!

Look for local wildlife

There are also a few other animal species you might be lucky enough to see while here. Various birds and sealife that call this place home. You can find seahorses can be seen just off of the pier (found here on Maps). Plus if you have a snorkel with you, you can swim a little bit away from the shore and you’ll have the chance to see even more.

Make sure to think about all of your actions in order to keep these animals protected at all times.

Enjoy the sunset

Many people who come to Caye Caulker start their evening by feeding the stingrays and end their day by watching the sunset. This western-facing beach is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down every night. You’d be silly to miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the colourful sky, and you can even sit on the ocean swings to enjoy the view.

Sunset in Belize
Sunset after the stingray feeding session

Places to stay

Although you can pay by card at some places on Caye Caulker, it’s highly advised to have cash with you. To avoid high fees all the time I personally use Wise both as a bank account and easy transfer option. They have low fees and a convenient debit card for low-cost withdrawals compared to standard UK banks.

The closest accommodation to the stingrays is the Iguana Reef Hotel. As mentioned above, this is a 3* mid-range hotel with just a few rooms available for guests. The hotel is situated right on the beach so you can roll out of bed, take a few steps and get straight into the crystal-clear water with your swimsuit on.

If you’d like to stay at a hotel but the Iguana Reef Hotel is unavailable for your dates, you can check out Booking.com as they have the largest collection of accommodations online and make the process of planning for a trip straightforward.

Always try to book your accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment.

If you’re a budget traveller looking for a lower-cost accommodation, or perhaps you’re on a solo adventure looking to meet other travellers, then I’d recommend staying at Bella’s Backpackers which is within walking distance too.

The great news is that no matter which accommodation you book yourself to stay in, you’re always only a short walk away from “Stingray Beach” and the feeding experience on Caye Caulker due to the island being on the smaller side. You can get around quickly and easily without much effort!

Have you been to the stingray beach in Caye Caulker yet?

Need help planning your trip?

Check out how to plan a trip abroad & see my travel resources for more.

WayAway – Great for booking flights. They even have a cashback feature for those who fly frequently.
Skyscanner – A comprehensive comparison website showing where to purchase flights.
HostelWorld – The biggest selection of hostels & sociable accommodations.
Booking.com – The largest collection of accommodations worldwide.

Safety Wing – A travel insurance brand for long-term travellers and nomads.

Airalo – An eSIM card company that lets you stay connected during your trip.
Wise – Perfect for transferring foreign currencies.
iVisa – For applying for tourist and visitor visas.

Viator – Great for finding tours and activities worldwide.
Get Your Guide – Another company for finding activities.
Klook – Have some of the best activity deals in Asia.

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