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Best Snorkeling Spots for Manta Rays

manta ray swimming

Victoria Derrick for Hawaii Guide on the best snorkeling spots to see manta rays.  Join us for a wonderful experience snorkeling safely with these gentle giants.  This is truly an experience you’ll never forget.

The number one place to see manta rays while snorkeling is off the Kona Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, especially at night. Kona is famous for its manta ray dives for one main reason, and that is plankton.

Manta rays are attracted to plankton since it’s their primary source of food. In turn, plankton is attracted to light since that’s their main source of food. Wherever the light goes, manta rays go as well.

The coast of Kona is a popular feeding ground for manta rays, meaning you’ll get to see plenty of them as they gracefully flip and turn through the water. The manta rays get remarkably close to their spectators since they’re pretty harmless creatures. As long as you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

Snorkeling at Kona Bay at Night

The Kona snorkeling spots become even more spectacular once the sunsets. Since there is no natural light, snorkelers and guides often bring a flashlight or lantern with them. They then shine it at a spot on the sand close to them, drawing the manta ray towards them.

It’s like playing with an aquatic cat and its laser pointer. You get to bring the manta rays to you and connect with them on a much more personal level.

The top four snorkeling spots to see manta rays in Kona bay include:

  • Manta village in the south of Kona 
  • Manta learning center in the Sheraton Kona resort 
  • Manta heaven in the north of Kona 
  • Kohala coast resort

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