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Holiday Planner: Manta Rays

Diving with manta rays is at the top of many divers’ wishlists, their sheer size and elegance ensuring their place as one of the most sought after animals in the marine world.

{img_alt} Here, we reveal some of the finest locations in the world for that ultimate encounter:

Key          D  Dive Experience          S  Snorkel Experience          R  Resort          L  Liveaboard

Pico, Azores 

Be engulfed by schools of manta and mobula rays as these curious and sociable creatures appear to fly around Princess Alice Bank, a pinnacle rising from the deep in the middle of the Atlantic.

Jul - Oct     D     R

Tofo, Mozambique

Dive with both reef and giant oceanic manta rays in the warm waters of southern Mozambique, one of the few places worldwide where both species co-exist.

Year-round     D     R

Kalimantan, Indonesia

Intrepid divers should head to east Kalimantan for one of Indonesia’s finest manta adventures. Surrounded by cleaning stations, the island of Sangalaki is home to up to 100 resident mantas.

Apr - Oct     D S     R

Lady Elliot Island, Australia

The diversity, quantity and size of the marine life here is truly remarkable. Lady Elliot Island has been named by PADI as one of the top locations to go diving with manta rays in the world.

Year-round     D S     R

Baa Atoll, Maldives

A trip to the Maldives at any time of year brings the chance of manta ray sightings, with the Baa Atoll especially renowned for aggregations in season.

Jul - Oct     D S     R   L

Manta Factfile

  • Manta rays can be found in tropical waters around the world.
  • There are two species of manta ray, Manta birostris, the giant oceanic manta and Manta alfredi, the smaller reef manta.
  • Oceanic mantas have a wing span up to 7 metres and weigh up to 2 tonnes.
  • Although smaller, the reef mantas grow to around 3.5 metres and reach weights of up to 1.4 tonnes.
  • Manta rays feed on tiny animals such as copepods, mysid shrimps and arrow worms.
  • Manta rays are part of the Mobulidae family, which also includes mobula or devil rays.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

During Dec - May the warmer water and better visibility offers an increase in sightings of all types of rays. Best visited by liveaboard, the dive sites of Cabo Marshall and Darwin Island are where manta rays are most seen.

Dec - May     D     L

Yap, Micronesia

Home to a resident population of over 100 mantas, Yap should be on the bucket list of any manta lover. Seen year-round on the cleaning stations in the lagoon, expect close encounters - perfect for photographers.

Dec - Apr     D     R

Kadavu, Fiji

One of Fiji’s least developed islands, Kadavu is the jumping off point for trips to the Great Astrolabe Reef, a mecca for majestic mantas seen feeding here throughout the year.

Year-round     D S     R

Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s wild Pacific coast is a playground for giant oceanic mantas. The nutrient rich waters provide abundant food for these nomadic ocean wanderers.

Dec - Mar     D     R

Browse our complete collection of carefully crafted manta ray trips or contact the Dive team today to book your manta encounter.