Manta Ray Night Dive Adventure: Kona
One of Kona's most unique activities—the manta ray night dive—is unlike anything you will find on any other island. Watch an underwater ballet as these magnificent creatures float and feed so close you can see every mesmerizing movement.
Year after year, this activity is rated one of the top 100 dives in the world. A short but scenic sunset boat ride cruises off the Hawaiian coast to the home of the Kona Manta Rays where underwaterlights set the stage for these gentle creatures to perform their underwater ballet. It is an unforgettable experience as they loop, spin and gracefully twirl around you.
Before entering the water, staff members provide instruction about your encounter. And the rays will not bite or sting, so no worries if you are a little shy about interacting with marine life; they are really quite lovable! At a depth of 25 feet (8 m), the setting allows both snorkelers and certified scuba divers an opportunity to participate. This comfortable atmosphere even gets you close enough to see the intricate, velvety skin of the manta ray, whose wings can span up to 16 feet (5 m). Meet Vinny, Blaine, and many other rays on this nighttime dive of a lifetime.
- Narrated tour
- Wet suits, dive light, and snorkel gear
- Snacks and drinks
- Dive gear available for rental (BCD, regulator, wetsuit)
Approximately 3 hours
6 PM; from Honokau Harbor
9 PM; to Honokau Harbor
While this tour cannot guarantee Manta Rays will appear, the animals are estimated to appear roughly 90% of the time. On nights when Manta Rays do not show up, this activity becomes a night dive and snorkel activity. Non-divers are welcome on board.
A towel, jacket or cover-up, and underwater flash camera are recommended.
Honokohau Harbor, Kailua-Kona, HI
Meet on the North side of Honokohau Harbor Marina next to the boat ramp with swim suit, towel and waterproof camera!19.669818 -156.023427
Terms & Conditions
This Activity can be changed or cancelled without penalty at any time prior to 48 hours before the scheduled start of this Activity. Otherwise the product is 100% non-refundable and non-transferable.
All customers/participants are required to sign liability waivers before participating in this activity.
Within 20 minutes of being in the water we were surrounded by five manta rays...
Reviewer name: Jake Vancil
Region: Big Island
Created on: 2011-09-09
I am fortunate to have been able to experience the evening manta dive in the beginning of August. I had some friends that were visiting from the mainland who's bucket list included swimming with the manta rays at night. I went ahead and set the excursion up with because I have recieved so much positive feedback from our guests.
The evening started with us heading out to Honokohau Harbor, checking in, boarding the vessel, and meeting the friendly crew. Their boat was very spacious with plenty of seating. After a 25-minute ride up the Kona Coast we arrived at Keahole Bay. The first order of business was going over the game plan for the night’s dive. We were briefed about the manta rays, their behaviors and habits, and how they are totally harmless with no stingers, teeth, or barbs. We were then provided with all gear: snorkel mask (prescription lenses were in stock!), fins, wet suit, and dive light. They split us into two groups of 6-8 and assigned us to a colored ring. The idea is to hold onto the ring with one hand, lay flat on the water and focus your flashlight beams together to create one big ball of light! The reason for this is to create a large plankton bloom right underneath us to attract the mantas. I had learned that this is the draw for them: food!!
Within 20 minutes of being in the water we were surrounded by five manta rays. These creatures were enormous! I would estimate their sizes to be anywhere from 6 to 14 feet across. My friends and I were giddy and awe struck at the same time. It was amazing to view these majestic animals; it is almost outer worldly because it is night time, there is virtually no sound, and these creatures are doing what I like to describe as a graceful dance underwater. They would come in and glide right beneath us, and do summersaults as they fed. One even got as close as 5 inches from my belly!!
The guides later told us that there are over 125 mantas that live along the Kona coast, each with distinct markings on their bellies (like fingerprints) that make them distinguishable from each other. They even name them! I am from Kona and have swam with mantas before, but never at night and never with this many! I can’t believe I waited so long to finally experience this excursion! I will definitely be doing this again! I can now confidently recommend this activity as one of my Top Five must do’s on the Big Island!