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Where to Dive With Manta Rays


Submitted by admin on 2010-10-27

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The manta ray is the largest of the ray species and can grow to widths in excess of 5 meters and weigh in at over a ton. This majestic creature gracefully glides when swimming, much like a bird does, using a means of propulsion for a period of time while then also using that momentum to glide through the water. They can reach speeds of 10km/h and are often seen with remora or sometimes wrasse accompanying it with the typical symbiotic relationship.

Manta rays are often a prized sight for scuba divers due to the other-worldly presence of such a large but yet gentle creature. In this article we will look at the best locations and dive sites to encounter these marvelous creatures of the sea.

Manta Rays in Yap

Yap, located in the Federated States of Micronesia is a small island which is known for its quality scuba diving potentials, and while the wrecks may be what one first thinks of when Yap is mentioned, Yap is also an excellent location to dive with manta rays. Your best chance of encountering manta rays in Yap would probably be the famous "Manta Ridge" dive site. The dive begins with a drift up the Miil Channel in waters of about 30 meters deep, with a gravel and stone bottom where you can sometimes spot numerous white-tip reef sharks. The dive then proceeds on to a place named the Manta Cleaning Station, where you are bound to encounter vast amounts of large manta rays as they congregate in the area.

The chance of encountering rays here is almost guaranteed and is often looked at as one of the best ray diving locations in the world.

Manta Rays in Hawaii

Hawaii: home to palm trees and white sandy beaches. Hawaii is a popular holiday destination for people all around the world, but walk down those white sandy beaches and into the warm ocean and you'll find an atmosphere equal, if not surpassing that on the land. The best place for spotting rays in Hawaii would be Kona.

Kona is well recognized as Hawaii's best manta ray diving location. The thing that makes Kona unique is the fact that much of the manta ray diving is done during night dives, and while one may originally think that the lack of light may hinder the spectacle of these creatures, it is actually truly quite an amazing sight to behold, as your torch casts a silhouette of a gentle giant passing above you. For many people one of the best parts of manta diving in Kona is the ability to perform these dives as a snorkel dive, allowing for beginners to also experience these marvelous creatures.

Manta Rays in The Maldives

The Maldives offers some excellent scuba diving, with plenty of small islands and a typical tropical island feeling.

But it also has some great potentials for manta rays. The dive site 'Manta Point' (no points for originality) offers an excellent opportunity for swimming with some manta rays.

Manta Point can be found on the North Western side of the Ari Atoll and was named for the large amounts of manta rays to be found here. Excellent visibility, beautiful corals, low currents and abundant marine and coral life makes this dive a dive for all to explore and enjoy. It hosts good photography potential too. Much of the diving in The Maldives is done from liveaboard vessels, allowing for the diver to experience much of what there is to offer among the small islands.

Manta Ray Diving in Komodo

Komodo, located in the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia is another prime scuba diving location, on many scuba divers bucket lists and also offers some extraordinary dive sites with the chance for manta rays included. One of the top dive sites in Komodo for diving with manta rays is Manta Reef.

Manta reef is a site known for its vast amounts of Manta Rays, but only during certain times of the year. The site consists of a long shoal reef. The dive can be done as a drift dive or static dive on one of the cleaning stations. Avoid touching and overcrowding the rays. Also feature thorny backed rays, numerous reef sharks, eagle rays and hump head parrot fish. National Park authorities are recommending that guest snorkel this site as it is less disturbing for the rays. It also makes for excellent underwater photography.

If you know of any special dive sites which offer extraordinary manta ray presence, please share your knowledge with other divers by commenting below.

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3 Comments CommentAdd a Comment

 goofball
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 2010-10-27
sorry but youve missed a key location. Tofo in Mozambique, which has the largest recorded colony of rays, plus the bonus of a Manta research station, who provide regular briefings to visiting divers.
 Mcat
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 2010-11-25
you may also see them off the nicoya peninsula in cost rica
 Jillybean
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 2011-03-23
I want to go to Tofo and see the mantas there.

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