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