Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona (Top 10 Best Things to Do Big Island), Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com
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Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona

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Go on a manta ray night snorkel, the most popular thing to do in Kona, and have an experience only possible in a few places around the world. Look through the best manta ray snorkeling Kona tours to see which one is perfect for you, and then get ready to dive into the night ocean in Keauhou Bay to see manta rays in the wild. Manta rays come to the waters of Keahou Bay every evening, and as the underwater lights turn on, witness a whole new aquatic world with Big Island manta ray snorkeling!
Your Guide to Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona
Manta ray snorkeling is a must-do for every visit to Hawaii, and with local experts by your side, each experience is safe, fun, and memorable. The best manta ray night snorkels in Kona depart from Keahou Bay, a quick and easy drive from Kailua-Kona, and approximately an hour away from the Waikoloa resort area. There are a number of different options to choose from, and you will be sure to find one that works for you and your group. Whether you decide to depart early and watch the sunset before heading into the evening ocean, sail on a canoe to the manta ray feeding area, or book a private charter, book the top Kona manta ray night dives!

Learn about Hawaiian Manta Rays
The Hawaii manta rays in Kona are reef manta rays that are the Mobula alfredi species. These manta rays are some of the largest species of manta rays in the world, and can have a wingspan that spans up to 18 ft in length. While the manta rays you will see in Kona will normally be around 12 feet in length, they move with a grace and beauty that is absolutely mesmerizing.

Kona manta rays will eat plankton as their main source of food, and since microscopic plankton are found in abundance off of the Kona shores, the manta ray spend their entire lives in these waters. Some of the Big Island manta rays can live to be 50 years old, and University of Hawaii marine life biologists and other researchers have named each and every one of them!

The main areas where the Kona manta rays can be found are called Manta Village and Manta Heaven, both are located right off the coast of the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. This area is known for having an almost 100% chance of seeing manta rays, with an average of three to five seen on any given evening. It is no wonder that almost all Big Island manta ray snorkel tours depart from this area, and has become one of the most popular ocean adventures in all of Hawaii.

What to Expect & Know Before You Go
  • Since this tour happens at night, it can be rather chilly once you get out of the water and back on to the boat. You will want to bring a large towel and a hoodie or jacket to wear on the boat ride back to the pier.
  • Wear your swimsuit under your clothing since some boats do not have restrooms, and boat restrooms are often quite small and difficult to change in.
  • Guests who are prone to motion sickness should plan on taking a motion sickness preventative one hour prior to departure.
  • Stay calm and quiet while in the water. Manta rays will come to you since they are attracted to the lights placed in the water, so all you will need to do is wait as they come up and swim beneath you in search of plankton.
  • Do not touch the manta rays! They have a protective mucus coating on their skin, and touching the mantas could lead to infections or worse for the manta rays.
  • The manta ray swims are all open water ocean tours, and while you do not need to have any prior snorkeling experience, you should be comfortable swimming. Not to worry though, all guests will be provided with flotation devices.
  • If you would like to see some of the best Hawaiian sunset views, book a sunset tour with your manta snorkel. These tours depart right before sunset so you can watch the sky come alive in an array of colors before heading into the water.
  • Many of the best manta ray night snorkels in Kona book up days or weeks in advance. Book this activity early to make sure you get a spot on a manta ray snorkeling tour.

How to Get to a Manta Ray Night Snorkel
The majority of manta ray snorkel tours depart directly from Keauhou Bay or Honokohau Small Boat Harbor. Both of these locations are easily accessible by car, and it is approximately a 15 minute drive from Kailua-Kona or an hour drive from Waikoloa.

Parking is available at all check-in locations, and you will need to double check if the parking is paid or free.

Both rideshares and taxis are also available for guests that do not have access to a rental car or other vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does manta ray night snorkeling work?
A: Your guides will begin your manta experience with a thorough explanation of everything manta. Floating light boards are used to light up the ocean from the surface to the ocean floor. The lights attract the plankton, and the plankton attracts the mantas. You will float at the surface, holding onto the light board watching as the manta rays come swooping in beneath you. Very minimal snorkeling effort is required.

Q: Do I need to know how to swim to manta ray snorkel?
A: Yes, since this activity is out in open water, all participants should be know how to swim. Snorkeling equipment and flotation devices are provided, but you should still feel comfortable swimming in the water.

Q: Are you guaranteed to see manta rays on a manta ray snorkel?
A: There is a 90 to 95% chance of seeing manta rays on a manta ray snorkeling cruise, and depending on the tour, if you do not see manta rays, you will often get your money back or you can go back on the tour for free.

Q: Where can I see manta rays in Kona?
A: The Big Island manta rays are mostly found in Keauhou Bay at Manta Village and Manta Heaven.

Top-Rated Activities for Big Island

Latest reviews of Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona

Iruka Hawaii Manta Ray Sunset & Night Time Snorkel Experience

Good Company

2022/11/21 Couples Kara

Liked the smaller boat vibe! we saw a lot of manta rays

Big Island Manta Ray Night Snorkel on a Hawaiian Sailing Canoe

A MUST DO!!!!

2022/11/19 Families Desiree

I booked the Manta Ray Night Snorkel Canoe for my 12 year daughter & I. This totally exceeded my expectations! I still cannot believe how many mantas we saw & how close they were. Our crew took great care of us & had a g... more

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Iruka Hawaii Manta Ray Sunset & Night Time Snorkel Experience

Fantastic crew, amazing experience

2022/11/17 Families with Young Children Erin

In addition to a wonderful manta ray sighting experience, we were also treated to a spinner dolphin show on the way. The crew were friendly, knowledgeable and great with our 7-year old. We really appreciated the smaller ... more

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Iruka Hawaii Manta Ray Sunset & Night Time Snorkel Experience

Manta Ray Ballet

2022/11/05 Couples Pat

Seeing Mantra rays glide gracefully beneath you was a highlight of my trip to Hawaii. I highly recommend Iruka.

Manta Discovery Adventure - Keauhou Bay Night Manta Ray Snorkeling Cruise

Do it!! You won’t regret it

2022/10/27 Friends Lindsay

Very friendly staff and fun facts about manta rays throughout the snorkel trip. We got to see 4 different mantas throughout our trip and they come up so close to you it’s amazing. 10/10 would recommend.

Iruka Hawaii Manta Ray Sunset & Night Time Snorkel Experience

Magical!!

2022/10/27 Friends Lea

Hands down a memorable experience. I absolutely loved it and want to go back ASAP. I went in September and I still can't stop thinking about it. The parking was right in front of the loading area. The crew was welcoming ... more

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Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona (Top 10 Best Things to Do Big Island), Big Island tours & activities, fun things to do in Big Island | HawaiiActivities.com
Go on a manta ray night snorkel, the most popular thing to do in Kona, and have an experience only possible in a few places around the world. Look through the best manta ray snorkeling Kona tours to see which one is perfect for you, and then get ready to dive into the night ocean in Keauhou Bay to see manta rays in the wild. Manta rays come to the waters of Keahou Bay every evening, and as the underwater lights turn on, witness a whole new aquatic world with Big Island manta ray snorkeling!