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Why the Manta Ray Night Dive in Kona should be on your Bucket List

hawaii manta ray dive

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 night snorkel, but I would say that the Kona manta ray night dive is reason enough to get certified.

The Manta Ray Night Dive is the Safest Large Animal Encounter Experience in the World

manta ray dives hawaii night manta ray dives

It’s an honor to spend about an hour sharing the ocean with these gentle giants

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 manta ray night dive or manta ray night snorkel in Kona 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.

You are Guaranteed to Feel Small Swimming with Manta Rays

manta ray dives hawaii

This manta was ready for his closeup

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.

Watching the Manta Rays Swim is like a Beautiful Dance

manta ray night dive kona manta ray night snorkel hawaii

If you do the manta ray night dive or manta ray night snorkel experience, you’ll likely see some backflips

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!

The Water is Perfect for your first Night Dive

manta ray night dive kona

The warm clear waters of Hawaii are the perfect place for your first night dive

Since you will be diving with manta rays in Hawaii you can expect relatively warm, and crystal clear waters for you manta ray dive experience. If you’re doing the manta ray night 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.

You Will Learn about the Manta Ray Helping in its Conservation

manta ray night snorkel kona manta ray night dive kona

Manta rays are identified by the pattern of spots on their bellies!

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 mantas wings 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.

What Makes the Manta Ray Night Dive Experience Bucket List Worthy?hawaii manta ray dive

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 dove at some amazing places like Roatan, and in the Maldives, but this underwater experience doing a manta ray night dive in Kona 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.

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WIthout a question, the Manta Ray night dive Kona was the top experience on our trip to Hawaii. There are also manta ray snorkel experiences if you are not yet scuba certified. Whether you do the manta ray dive or manta ray night snorkel it needs to be on your bucket list.


  1. […] update blog post, so if you’re not in to that you can check out some of my recent posts like, swimming with manta rays in Hawaii, find out which resort I think is the best I’ve ever stayed at, or check out some of my recent […]

  2. […] far the most amazing experience I’ve ever had underwater was the night dive with Manta Rays in Kona. You are guaranteed to feel small next to these gentle giants, and if you do one thing while […]

  3. This looks incredible! I’ll have to try this out as soon as I get my PADI… and overcome my fear of the ocean at night! This is for sure going on my bucket list! Great post!

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