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Manta Ray Night Dives

The ultimate night dive. We offer different manta charters to accommodate snorkelers & divers of all skill levels.

Manta FAQsManta Guarantee

Snorkel With Manta Rays

Sunset Manta Snorkel

Hawaii Manta Snorkel

Not yet SCUBA certified? No worries. See Kona's famous manta rays from the surface on our Manta Night Snorkel Charter.

$115

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Late Night Manta Snorkel

Hawaii Manta Snorkel

Not yet SCUBA certified? No worries. See Kona's famous manta rays from the surface on our Manta Night Snorkel Charter.

$115

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SCUBA Dive With Mantas

1 Tank Manta Night Dive

The World's Best Night Dive

Our world-famous Kona Manta Ray Night Dive is a bucket-list item for any diver. Swim with these gentle giants and you'll agree - there isn't a better night dive on the planet.

$139

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2 Tank Twilight & Manta Dive

Hawaii Manta Ray Night Dive

Pair our twilight reef dive with the manta ray night dive for an excellent evening two tank.

$169

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Manta Dive + Blackwater Dive

Two Tank Night Charter

Looking for Kona nightlife? This is your charter. Start by swimming with the mantas, then head offshore for epic blackwater action.

$299

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Manta Guarantee

Manta Rays (and all other marine life) are wild animals, and no guarantees can be made for their presence. If no Mantas are seen on a Manta Ray charter, Big Island Divers will offer EITHER a 50% discount to guests for a guaranteed seat on another manta charter, OR a 100% discount on standby availability seats for another one-tank manta charter. Standby availability is not guaranteed and is determined by management the day of the charter.

About Manta Rays

Female manta ray feeding over the 'campfire'- a milk crate full of dive lights. If you look carefully you'll see a plankton snowstorm right above the dive lights.

Manta rays are large cartilaginous fish, part of the same family as sharks and other rays (elasmobranchii, subclass of chondrichthyes or cartilaginous fish). There are two primary species, Manta birostris and Manta alfredi, both of which are found in temperate subtropical and tropical waters. M. alfredi is the species making regular appearances on our Manta Ray Night Dive. Their name comes from the Portuguese and Spanish word for “mantle”, a blanket-shaped trap used traditionally to catch these fish. They are also known as ‘devilfish’ or ‘devil rays’ because of their horn-shaped cephalic fins- a colorful name from imaginative sailors with fear of the unknown.

Though they are closely related to sharks and stingrays, manta rays are completely harmless. They don’t have stingers, barbs, or teeth- they are truly gentle giants. As filter feeders, mantas consume a massive amount of zooplankton in the form of shrimp, krill, and planktonic crabs (around 10-15% of their body weight each week). Can you imagine having to survive by eating a diet of sprinkles? Mantas forage for zooplankton along the sunny surface during daytime. We often see feeding rays somersault through especially plankton-rich water.

You can see the gill rakers inside this open manta's mouth.

Kona is home to a population of around 250 rays, identifiable by unique spot patterns on their bellies. Manta rays have a long lifespan, and are quite intelligent species that learn over time and have distinct personalities. Part of the success of Kona’s famous night dive can be attributed to the unique relationship we’ve made with these animals over the last 40-50 years. Bright dive lights attract plankton in the water at night, and the swarming plankton makes an excellent free meal for these hungry rays. They’ll come close -very close- and somersault over and over while feeding inches away from snorkelers and divers. On good nights we’ll see 5+ rays, and sometimes it gets truly insane with 20-30 feeding mantas at the same dive site! The manta ray night dive has earned a reputation as the best night dive in the world- it’s truly phenomenal.

In Hawaii, manta rays are protected species, and it is illegal to hunt or fish for them. They are an aumakua, a Hawaiian family god, often a deified ancestor that has left earth and returned from the heavens in a different form. Hawaiian lore says manta rays had the important task of catching the setting sun in their large mouths and swimming it to the other side of the island for sunrise. While they are threatened in other parts of the world from overfishing and ocean pollution, they are revered here in Hawaii. The Manta Ray Advocates and the Manta Pacific Research Foundation are local nonprofits dedicated to the protection of these animals.

What's the dive like?

Our manta ray night dive is one of the top rated dives in the world- a bucket list item for any SCUBA diver! There is so much ambient light in the water it's almost like diving during the day.

We arrive at the manta site just before sunset, and spend time briefing about the animals and the dive while enjoying sunset. Our divemasters place a crate of dive lights on the sandy bottom that we refer to as the “campfire”. Divers drop to the bottom and sit around the “fire” and wait for plankton & mantas. Snorkelers have a very similar experience about 30’ above hanging on a floating raft with bright lights. The rays somersault above divers & below snorkelers until the last boats head back to harbor & the lights go out.

It is very important that divers stay on the bottom and snorkers stay as flat as possible on the surface, leaving the water column to the mantas. We can’t touch the animals! They have a protective mucus coating their bodies and human touch interferes with this protective layer, causing lesions and sick mantas. The manta dive works so well because we’ve learned to interact with these animals in a responsible, safe way.

If this is your first night dive, awesome! The manta ray night dive is a super-easy night dive and perfect for your first. We'll make sure you're well taken care of and your divemaster will brief you on the boat regarding entry, dive profile, and exit.

The dive lasts between 45-60 minutes. Divers wear small white LED tank lights for safety. We typically give divers an additional few pounds of weight for this dive, but if you have trouble sticking to the bottom your divemaster can give you a rock to set in your lap. You'll be equipped with a high-lumen LED dive light, which we'll instruct to aim above your head to gather plankton- but be careful not to blind other divers or your divemaster!

2019's #1 Dive Operator in Hawaii

with a 5 star reputation

Manta Ray Night Dive

What a truly amazing experience!! Nearly an hour of down time with dozens of large mantas putting on an incredible show. Jenna, and Captain Kevin made it a pleasant and safe trip. This is a must do while staying on the Big Island.

RichGiff on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:32:39-10:00

RichGiff on TripAdvisor

What a truly amazing experience!! Nearly an hour of down time with dozens of large mantas putting on an incredible show. Jenna, and Captain Kevin made it a pleasant and safe trip. This is a must do while staying on the Big Island.

One of the Top 10 Dives in the World!

Believe It, it really is one of the most phenomenal dives we have ever done! Laying on our stomachs on the ocean floor around the "campfire" was unforgettable as the beautifully graceful Manta Rays soared directly above our heads, over and over. They performed ballet moves with each other, sometimes as many as 4 at a time feeding on the plankton.

Susan R on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:33:00-10:00

Susan R on TripAdvisor

Believe It, it really is one of the most phenomenal dives we have ever done! Laying on our stomachs on the ocean floor around the "campfire" was unforgettable as the beautifully graceful Manta Rays soared directly above our heads, over and over. They performed ballet moves with each other, sometimes as many as 4 at a time feeding on the plankton.

Excellent

We have been diving the BID on multiple dives over multiple trips and we keep coming back to them because of the high quality service that they provide. Definitely a step above the usual dive shops.

Dreamer6739 on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:37:50-10:00

Dreamer6739 on TripAdvisor

We have been diving the BID on multiple dives over multiple trips and we keep coming back to them because of the high quality service that they provide. Definitely a step above the usual dive shops.

Manta Night Dive Lives Up to the Hype

I recently went on the sunset reef dive & manta ray night dive. I was a little hesitant about my expectations because I heard so many great things and didn't want to be disappointed. Cannot say enough great things about the company, captain and DM - highly recommend and will dive with them again.

ulintza on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:38:42-10:00

ulintza on TripAdvisor

I recently went on the sunset reef dive & manta ray night dive. I was a little hesitant about my expectations because I heard so many great things and didn't want to be disappointed. Cannot say enough great things about the company, captain and DM - highly recommend and will dive with them again.

Excellent Staff

We had a great two tank dive with BID last week! Our dive master Amy was excellent all the way around and our captain Rob was not only a great captain but very knowledgeable about Hawaii and even served hot chocolate on the way back to the Marina.

bridgetsheahan on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:39:31-10:00

bridgetsheahan on TripAdvisor

We had a great two tank dive with BID last week! Our dive master Amy was excellent all the way around and our captain Rob was not only a great captain but very knowledgeable about Hawaii and even served hot chocolate on the way back to the Marina.

Incredible

It was so amazing that it made me feel like a kid again - this is coming from someone who has traveled a lot. I talked to other divers who described the Black Water Dive, and I wish I would have done that one instead of the twilight dive.

Steve9172

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:40:19-10:00

Steve9172

It was so amazing that it made me feel like a kid again - this is coming from someone who has traveled a lot. I talked to other divers who described the Black Water Dive, and I wish I would have done that one instead of the twilight dive.

Great Dive Experience

Great dive experience underwater and while on the boat. Experienced staff gave all of the direction and assistance needed but did not "over-guide" the trip as is often the case.

Compass0726 on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:40:52-10:00

Compass0726 on TripAdvisor

Great dive experience underwater and while on the boat. Experienced staff gave all of the direction and assistance needed but did not "over-guide" the trip as is often the case.

An Amazing Souvenir

I booked the night Manta Ray snorkeling tour. It was simply awesome. In addition of the amazing experience to observe the Manta rays in their natural environment, the crew was just perfect, always helpful and offers us a warm hospitality. I definitely recommend this tour.

tomlecube on TripAdvisor

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:41:47-10:00

tomlecube on TripAdvisor

I booked the night Manta Ray snorkeling tour. It was simply awesome. In addition of the amazing experience to observe the Manta rays in their natural environment, the crew was just perfect, always helpful and offers us a warm hospitality. I definitely recommend this tour.

Two Tank Dive

This is the dive shop to go with for great service and knowledgeable staff. I went out for a refresher dive since it had been 9 years since my last dive. Becca was great and by the end of the second dive I felt comfortable being back in the water.

BryonB690

Big Island Divers
5.0
2019-05-07T11:42:13-10:00

BryonB690

This is the dive shop to go with for great service and knowledgeable staff. I went out for a refresher dive since it had been 9 years since my last dive. Becca was great and by the end of the second dive I felt comfortable being back in the water.
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