One of the premier dives in the world is the famous Kona Manta Ray Night Dive. It is an awesome experience. Each year thousands of divers and snorkelers from all over the world come to Kona to dive with the manta rays.
The Kona Coast is one of the best places in the world to get close to and observe manta rays. The best way to interact with these majestic creatures is to dive with them! Their huge 12-foot wingspans and agile movements are truly memorizing. With no teeth, they are quite harmless. Manta rays feast on tiny plankton as they swoop down through the water.
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Each diver carries an underwater light and shines it up towards the surface. These bright lights attract hordes of plankton which in turn attracts the manta rays, and tons of fish as well. The manta rays swim, turn, and even somersault towards the lights where the plankton is plentiful.
A strict set of guidelines should be followed when diving and snorkeling with the manta rays – in order to give the manta rays enough room to maneuver, divers are instructed to stay down at the bottom, snorkelers are to stay at the top; and no one is to touch or harm the manta rays. Do not ride, chase, or harass the mantas.
Divers that frequent this event can identify the individual mantas by the unique spots on their underside. More than 60 individual mantas have been photographed, identified, cataloged, and even named.
As you sit among the other divers on the ocean’s sandy bottom, the bright underwater lights shining into the darkness attract clouds of plankton. In perfect harmony and with impressive agility, the mantas glide through the water above, around, and even in between divers. You cannot miss this world-class dive! Snorkelers will enjoy this experience as well. Snorkeling from above, as you shine your light down below you will see the giant mantas silhouetted below.
When scheduling your manta ray dive, remember to make reservations with a dive operator well in advance. This is such a popular dive that often, especially in season, the dive operators get fully booked up. Also, this dive is not offered every single night. So if you only have a one or two day window for this dive, make sure you make your reservations early!
There are many Kona Coast dive companies that will take you on the night manta dive. We recommend Kona Honu Divers, who will provide you with an exceptional experience and a friendly, professional staff.
For more information about the Manta Rays, visit MantaPacific.org – a research foundation whose mission is to study manta rays in their natural habitat, conduct scientific research, provide education programs for the public about manta rays and the marine environment, and to establish and promote global manta ray conservation.