For their gigantic size, Manta Rays are one of the most harmless creatures that a diver can swim with. They can reach a remarkable 8 meters across and weigh almost 2 tons! Manta Rays are incredibly graceful swimmers and often very curious about their diving friends. This may be due to their brain-to-body ratio, which is the highest among rays and sharks. If you’re lucky, you may even see them breach--Manta Rays can jump up to 7 feet above the water. Every diver should experience swimming with these majestic creatures, and these 5 diving spots are a great place to start.
The night Manta Ray dive in Kona is possibly one of the most famous dives in the world. In the contrast of night time and your dive light, these rays look even more majestic. Your lights will attract plankton, which the Manta Rays will feed on. While they eat, the Mantas spin and turn, filtering the plankton through their mouth. A night dive is the only place that you can experience this graceful show.
Socorro Island, Mexico
Socorro Island is home to not only the traditional black and white Mantas, but all-black Manta Rays, which are extremely rare. In addition to the Manta Rays, divers have also seen humpback whales, sharks, dolphins, and other large marine life!
North Stradbroke Island, Australia
This island is home to Manta Bommie, which is part of the famous Manta Circuit. This area is a popular cleaning spot for Mantas, so it is not uncommon for divers to run into not just one, but a whole group of Manta Rays at once. Manta Bommie has been ranked as one of the Top 10 dive sites in Australia and consistently attracts incredible amounts of marine life.
Manta Rays are common here year-round, but especially during mating season (December-April). During these months you can see Mantas “dancing” as they court their mates. Lucky divers may even see the males form a chain as a sign of courtship for the females. Beyond the rays, divers may encounter turtles, sharks, and many kinds of fish.
Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Home to Manta Ray Island, it is no shock that this group of islands in Fiji is an excellent place to spot Mantas. These Mantas love to play in the water with the divers, twirling and somersaulting in the water in a majestic show.