During our amazing 8 day trip to Hawaii, we had plenty of incredible experiences. The islands are so beautiful that we found there just wasn’t enough time in each day to take in all of the beauty. We were inspired by Hawaii’s landscapes, but the most inspiring and amazing experience we had was our manta ray night dive in Kona our very first night in Hawaii. If you are not yet scuba certified, you are also able to do a manta ray snorkel, but I would say that the Kona manta ray dive is reason enough to get certified.
The manta rays you will encounter on the manta ray dive or manta ray snorkel experience can grow up to 16 ft (4.9m) across and weigh over 1600 lbs (726 kg)! Doing the Kona manta ray night dive or the Kona manta ray snorkel is the perfect place because there is a thriving population that you are almost guaranteed to see manta rays every night. The manta rays always come to the same bays because of the plankton population in that area, since plankton is all these gentle giants eat you’ll never be in any danger from them.
Like I mentioned above the manta rays you’ll swim with on your night dive in Kona are huge. When you dive with manta rays, they will come within inches of you each time they take a run at the plankton over the box of dive lights. I never thought I’d get Mallory to go manta ray diving at night, but she was so glad she came along once it was all said and done.
When you do the manta ray night dive in Kona, you will see that manta rays are underwater acrobats. They will do flips and spins over your dive lights to make sure they get as much plankton as possible! It is indeed an amazing sight to see!
Since you will be diving with manta rays in Hawaii you can expect relatively warm, and crystal clear waters for your manta ray diving experience. If you’re doing the manta ray snorkel experience, you will be lucky enough to see the bottom and thus the manta rays in the shallow Keauhou Bay in Kona. The night we went with Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii, the waters were quite choppy, but the water was still beautiful and clear with more than 50ft of visibility.
The manta rays have very few natural predators, but the biggest threat to their survival is humans. Their gill rakers are used in eastern medicine and recently with a more public focus on shark fin soup; the wings of the manta have been being used as a shark fin substitute. Plastic in our oceans is another huge threat to not only the manta rays but also all other oceanic life, so please make sure you’re doing your part to use less plastic and do whatever you can to prevent plastic from making its way into the oceans.
The night dive in Kona has been rated as the number 1 thing to do in Hawaii by TripAdvisor, the number 1 night dive in the world by Scuba magazine, and the travel channel named it one of the ten things you must do in your lifetime. Even if you are doing a road trip on the big island the manta ray dive should be a guaranteed stop. We have dived at some amazing places like Roatan, and in the Maldives, but this underwater experience doing the Kona manta ray night dive tops all scuba dives I have done up to this point, so I encourage you to visit the big island of Hawaii and experience the manta ray dive for yourself. Check availability for the snorkel experience here!