Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays

Do you want to go to one of the best places to dive with manta rays?  

Diving with manta rays is one of the most satisfying experiences that can a scuba diver have. Well, who wouldn’t want to hang out with Manta rays?  

We are blessed to have many places in the world where we can encounter them. Suppose you are one of the people who want to dive with them. You’re on the right post.   

Here are the 10 of the best spots to encounter these most-exotic marine creatures.  

10 Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays  

Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays

Raja Ampat- Indonesia  

Raja Ampat is one of the hottest diving spots in Indonesia to see manta rays.  

The site offers beautiful landscapes and abundant marine life such as whale sharks, pristine coral reefs, and manta rays.  

The named Raja Ampat comes from ‘’four kings’’ since it consists of four islets, the Batanta, Waigeo, Misool, and Salawati.   

Although manta rays might be visible in the area, the highest chances to spot them are in the central region.  

Additionally, the spot called “Manta Ridge’’ will give you a chance to spot lots of manta rays.  

 Other places to go where you can see manta rays are Manta Sandy, Komodo, and Sangalaki. 

When to visit:  

October to April is dry weather or sunny season.   

December to March offers the best viewing of manta rays.  

Possible for all year round.  

Water Temperature:   

The water temperature is in a constant range of about 29C/84F.  

Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays

Kona, Hawaii   

Kona Hawaii is one of the most popular dive sites to see manta rays.  

It offers a variety of climates, magnificent waterfalls, beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and abundant marine life.  

As it often describes the breathtaking experience of seeing those wondrous sea creatures, night diving in Kona can be the easiest way to see manta rays.  

Diving in night divers is instructed to lie or kneel on the big circle around the light crate and direct their own light beams straight up.    

When to visit:   

September and January are the less crowded month.  

November to March are the best viewing month for whale sharks and manta rays.  

Possible for all year round.  

Water Temperature:  

When the water is a little colder, it ranges down to 75 degrees, and the surface is a bit rough in the winter months.  

When the water is calmer and warmer in summer, it ranges from about 78-81 degrees.   

The Visibility is depending on runoff and rainfall though it is usually between 75-100′.  

Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays

Baa Atoll, Maldives  

Hanifaru Bay is the best-known site to head to, as it offers a group of small islands where you can mostly encounter mesmerizing sea creatures like manta rays.  

In some of the Atoll’s Bays, hundreds of whale sharks and manta rays gather together during the plankton feeding season.  

The huge coral that block in the middle of the passage team with invertebrates and small fish makes it up to their ‘’cleaning station’’ for manta rays who regularly visit the area.  

When to visit:  

June to November is the favorable time to go for encountering exceptional abundant marine life.  

May to July is the best time to see dozens of Manta Rays and a superabundance of plankton delineation.  

Possible all year round as it is known as UNESCO-designated Biosphere Reserve.  

Water Temperature:  

The temperatures are mostly stable highs range around 30 °C (86 °F), and lows range around 25 °C (77 °F) most of the year.  

Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays

Koh Bon, Thailand  

Koh Bon is one of the best places in Thailand to scuba diving with manta rays. It is the feeding and cleaning station of Manta Rays, hence why they go to the island.  

Generally, manta rays touch distance with divers; they’re not that shy and might blow many bubbles for approaching divers.  

The chances to see manta rays in the Koh Bon is 50/50 since twenty percent of manta rays are residents of the island.   

When to visit:  

Between November and April is the best time for spotting manta rays as they come on a regular basis.  

Although in the past, the best months to spot manta rays is late January to late April  

Water Temperature:  

The water temperature is usually around 27/28°C at depth and 30°C at the surface, though occasionally it can drop down to 25°C due to thermoclines.  

South Plaza Island, Galapagos Islands  

South Plaza Island is known for having remarkable biodiversity and an incredible view of the surroundings.  

Although it is one of the smallest Galapagos Islands that is open for travelers, in terms of plant and animal life, it is considered to be one of the bounteous islands that offers plenty to see on a day trip.   

South Plaza Islands divers are always delightful to see manta rays. They can frequently see Manta rays on the island while looking down from the cliffs lining or particularly from Rábida Island’s shorelines.  

When to visit:  

December to June is the best month for spotting manta rays for calmer, warmer seas and great underwater visibility. This Guide on scuba diving in Galapagos will help you before traveling there. 

Water Temperature:  

The water temperature changes throughout of year, but the movement isn’t too rough.  

Ningaloo Reef- Western Australia  

Another best place to dive with a manta ray is the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. It is the fringing and largest accessible coral reef; it is located to the north of capital Perth on the west coast, about 1,2000 kilometers.    

According to the research in 2011, the Unesco World Heritage Site declared the Ningaloo reef as the home of hundreds of underwater fish species, including majestic whale sharks and manta rays.   

The place is definitely one of the best places to encounter the largest creatures in the world.   

When to visit:  

Although trips might only run from June to November, mantas are here all year round.  

Water Temperature:  

The sea’s water temperature is excellent all year round, which ranges 22 ° C during the winter months and ranges between 26 ° C in the summer months.   

Cocos Island- Costa Rica   

Cocos Island is also known as the ‘’Islands of the Shark’’, and it is one of the best places to dive in the world.   

The Island offers a variety of exotic avian, tropical animals, and marine life, which makes it more attractive for travelers.  

Here, divers can spot abundant marine life such as manta rays, guitar sharks, whitetip reef, blacktip, silky, silvertip, and Galapagos.  

When to visit:  

June to November is an excellent month for sightseeing numerous hammerhead sharks, manta rays, and plenty of other pelagic species.  

Water Temperature:  

The water temperature range depending on the time of year. Generally, between November and May ranging the average of 78-82°F (25-28°C) and from June through December ranging average of 76-80°F (24-27°C).   

Temperatures can change from site to site and thermoclines.  

Fiji   

Fiji is called the South Pacific exemplary paradise; the place is popular for exciting marine life, colorful coral reefs, and outstanding beaches, which makes the place more worth visiting.   

When visiting Fiji, the high on your to-do list is an underwater adventure as it is known as the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World.’    

Diving in Fiji will give you the chance to spot a variety of fish life, including frogfish, angelfish, anemone fish, hawkish, anthias, ghost pipefish, and moray eels, as well as countless other photogenic species.  

When to visit:  

Between the month of May and October are the best month since manta rays visit the site.  

Although there is no trip during early April and late November, you can spot manta rays occasionally.  

Water Temperature:  

The water temperatures on around the 20th of February can peak in the range 16 to 20°C (61 to 68°F) and on about the 2nd of August are at their minimum range of 13 to 14°C (55 to 57°F).  

Manta Point, Nusa Penida, Bali  

Manta Point is known as the favorite cleaning station of manta rays, a spot where the marine creatures gather swimming near the reef and get a regular hygiene check by parasites.  

As manta rays frequently come in huge groups, they swim very close to the surface, making them visible to see by divers and snorkelers.  

The Manta Point can be reached by taking a local fishing boat from Nusa Lembongan island or Nusa Penida, or you can arrange a trip on the Bali mainland diving operators.  

When to visit:  

Between the month of July and August where you can have a chance to spot manta rays and even mola-mola fish if you are lucky. If you are a newbie in scuba diving you may consider reading this article  “Scuba diving in Bali for beginners” before traveling there. 

Water Temperature:  

The water temperature ranges from site to site and is generally set between 24°C and 28°C, which is 75F and 82F, and an eventual drop to 22°C.  

Unfortunately, in Manta Point, the visibility isn’t really that great, but you can clearly see mantas from afar on brighter days.   

Most of the time, the visibility is only around 10-15 meters.  

Ishigaki Island, Japan  

Ishigaki Island is the most hidden gem island of Okinawa, with cobalt blue water, white sand beaches, and kind-hearted people.  

Ishigaki will offer plenty of nice beaches, great snorkeling, and diving in the surrounding coral reefs.  

Additionally, Ishigaki Island is the place to be of diver’s manta madness.  

The spot called ‘’Manta Scramble’’ is where the mantas gather together to be clean and feed off the plankton.  

When to visit:  

January until September, which has a warm and pleasant temperature.  

June to October is the best time to spot manta rays.   

Water Temperature:  

During June, July, and August, the sea temperature is extremely warm which can reach the range up to 30°C (85°F)  

20 Facts about Manta Rays  

  1. The word ‘’Manta’’ is Portuguese and Spanish for a mantle.   
  2. The Manta ray is also known as ‘’devilish’’ because of its “evil” appearance.   
  3. Manta Ray mama can have one or two pups every 2 to 3 years.  
  4. Manta rays are smart, and they have huge brains.  
  5. Manta rays don’t have the placenta to deliver oxygen or an umbilical cord.  
  6. Manta rays are sexually mature, around 8 – 10 years old.  
  7. Manta rays can live up to 50 years.  
  8. The female mantas pregnancy period is 13 months.  
  9. Female mantas only have one vagina, but male mantas have two penises.  
  10.  Mantas have around 300 tiny teeth, but all of them are useless as they are filter feeders. 
  11.  Mantas can dive more than 3,280 feet or 1,000 meters underwater but can only typically feed 33 feet or 10 meters deep.  
  12.  The average weight of Mantas is 1,600 kg.  
  13.  Mantas can swim around 9 miles per hour.  
  14. Mantas can jump around two meters out of the water.  
  15. Mantas courtship and reproduction start in the cleaning station.  
  16.  Mantas should need to maintain swimming, or else they will sink. 
  17.  Mantas are not dangerous; they are harmless.  
  18. Mantas have a few natural predators.  
  19. Mantas defend themselves by swimming quickly and by their large sizes. 
  20.  Mantas belong to the ‘’genus’’ manta, which is the biggest member of the ray family.  
Best Place to Dive with Manta Rays

Conclusion:   

Exploring while diving underwater with manta rays is every divers dream; definitely, it is always on their bucket list.   

Well, in reality, it’s anyone’s dream to experience having interactions with manta rays, whether you are a diver or not.  

The manta ray is one of the most breathtaking marine sea creatures; its gentleness, graceful dance, and enormous flat shape can capture attention by many divers.  

Probably, many divers will really love to see these majestic sea creatures because of those adorable characteristics that it has.  

Having a unique interaction with manta rays is a profound experience that any divers can have; although diving might be easy for them, finding the best location is not easy.  

Therefore, I recommend that you pick at least one or two dive spots listed above, and hopefully, it will help you pick the best place to dive with manta rays.   

So, have you been experience diving with manta rays or still missing out on the chances to dive with them on the best spots? Let me know in the comment section below.