ONE of THE MOST POPULAR BIG ISLAND SNORKELING TOURS!
Join Kona’s top-rated and most reviewed snorkel company, Kona Snorkel Trips, for the manta ray snorkel experience of a lifetime! They are our sister company and focus on snorkel tours in Kona, Hawaii. Byron (owner of KHD) and Virginia (GM of KHD) are owners of this exceptional snorkel company. This tour is suitable for the whole family. The manta ray snorkel is one of Kona’s top attractions as there is nothing else quite like it in the world! Float on the surface while these massive rays fly by only inches below!
The Big Island is home to over 200 identified & named manta rays, distinguishable by their beautiful black and white marks. The mantas come year-round, but their numbers on any given day can vary depending upon how much plankton is in the water. These gentle giants will swim just beneath the surface. They can grow up to 1200lbs and 16 feet wide. Don’t be worried because they are harmless. Manta rays have no teeth and do not have stingers on their tails. To feed they channel large volumes of water into their mouth and feed on the tiny plankton floating inside.
The whole manta ray viewing experience will last around 45 minutes in the water. The tour departs from Honokohau Harbor and the mantas are found at one of 2 sites. We will select the best site based on how the mantas were the night before. You will be accompanied by a professional snorkel guide that is trained to deliver the best experience. Because we have a nimble board maneuvered by our expert guides we can find the best place to view the mantas at the site. The board has exceptionally bright lights mounted in it and you will hold it while observing the mantas below looping and swimming directly below!
Mantas are wild animals and sometimes they take a break from feeding at the site. In the event we don’t see any manta rays as a courtesy we offer a free manta guarantee. You may come back another night in hopes of seeing them. This is offered on a standby basis meaning if there is space available on the charter.
WHO SHOULD GO ON THE MANTA RAY SWIM
The Manta Ray Swim is open to anyone with a spirit of adventure. Adults and children (ages 5+) are welcome, and no experience is necessary, but basic swimming skills are required. (Children must be at least five years of age and demonstrate strong swimming ability.) Your helpful guide will provide all of the necessary equipment and keep you safe and happy on your adventure. A manta ray swim can be the crown jewel of your Kona, Hawaii vacation, a great bucket list conquest, and a safe and fun outing for the whole family.
Anyone who is looking for a completely unique bucket-list experience and enjoys being in the water will love swimming with manta rays.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO ON THE MANTA RAY SWIM
If you’re looking for things to do in Kona at night the manta ray snorkel is easily the top attraction. Every night hundreds of people get in the water with these majestic creatures. One of the most amazing parts about viewing manta rays in their natural habitat is just how large they can be compared to us. The largest rays are many times larger than even the biggest person. Combine the manta ray’s size with their grace and it makes for one impressive show!
Kona can be relatively sleepy at night with many restaurants closing early and a lack of general nightlife options. That’s okay because there are still so many great things to see at night in the ocean! The manta ray snorkel is one of those few things you can do at night that is unlike anything else. Forget the bar, the action is in the ocean!
Manta rays are found in many parts of the tropics and even on the other Hawaiian Islands. But unlike in Kona, they can be difficult to spot. We are so fortunate in Kona to have a coast that drops off quickly and brings deep nutrient rich water to the shore. The water feeds plankton which the manta rays love. This means if you want to swim with manta rays this is your chance! The manta ray snorkel is so convenient and accessible it’s one of the few large animal encounters with a consistent chance to see large wild animals up close and personal. It’s also safe for the rays and safe for the participants! So don’t miss out on this opportunity to see one of the oceans largest rays.
Other animals you may see when going on a manta ray snorkel are monk seals, dolphins, and loads of fish! Floating on the surface makes it easy to view the show down below. The rays look like they are performing but really they are just eating all of the yummy plankton down below. The plankton are attracted to the lights we use to light up the ocean. There’s often so much light in the water it almost doesn’t feel like night anymore. It’s like an underwater club show. The only thing lacking is the dance music.
Who should stay on the boat
Some people may not be suitable for this activity. If you have young kids under 5, or children without strong swimming ability it’s best you stay on-board or better yet stay home. If you are pregnant or have back problems the ride can be bumpy so it’s best they stay onshore.
Swimming with Manta Rays Kona Nightlife
The manta ray swim is Kona’s #1 night time activity. Kona town is pretty sleepy at night, but the ocean is plenty active. Our manta rays love to come and visit us at night because our mantas love the plankton we attract for them. It’s a beautiful relationship where mantas eat and we get to watch a beautiful show unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.
There are over 200 different known manta rays on the Big Island. Each manta ray is identified by it’s distinct markings on it’s underside. Our guides can help to identify and tally how many rays were there on any given night. Sometimes it can be challenging to know just how many mantas you saw! Ocassionally we will discover a new manta ray. It’s a great joy to name your own manta ray! What would you name your manta ray? Typically new mantas won’t be spotted until they reach around 100lbs in size spending their younger years in the depths.
Kona is unique in the world for having this special experience. You may not get this opportunity ever again so join us on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.