Isn’t she beautiful?
One of the reasons I got Dive certified is for an opportunity to swim with these magnificent creatures. I’m sure any diver lucky enough to have a close encounter with a Manta Ray would agree, there is nothing in the world that compares. Unfortunately, these giants can be hard to come by. Hopefully someday I will have my chance to meet one. Here are the top 5 places to dive with Manta Rays.
Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef
Rumor has it, Manta flourish here during the fall and winter months. Researchers and Locals from the University of Queensland took notes on the daily life of a Manta Ray and all the results lead to Lady Elliot Island. It may be small, but it is in the heart of the world’s largest reef system. Could you blame the Manta? An entire private island to themselves!
Manta visit the Maldives Islands from May to November. They frequent the islands to feed and visit cleaning stations. The coral and calm lagoons make for a perfect habitat for the underwater life. With over 1,000 islands in the area, you can expect to see lots of Manta of varying sizes.
Manta call Hawaii home year-round. One of the most recommended experiences is a Manta night dive. As you descend with your flashlight, the plankton will gather. Manta feed on the plankton, giving you an unforgettable experience with the gentle giants.
Cabo Marshall, Galapagos
Cabo Marshall, just off the northeastern shore of Isabela Island, seeing Manta is almost guaranteed. The black coral is known for its underwater residents – hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, pufferfish, and parrotfish. The Manta is one of the creatures that reside in this corner of the Galapagos. Unfortunately, Cabo Marshall is not accessible by land. Boat travel arrangements will need to be made if you want to see for yourself.
Yap is a cluster of islands in Micronesia, one of which many divers dream of. Quaint location, ancient tradition, crystal clear water, and rich marine life – what is not to dream of? The drop-offs make it a premier area to see Manta in their natural habitat on a daily basis. Trade winds between November to May bring more Manta into channels like Mi’il and Goofnuw.
I personally only have 10 dives under my belt. I have a long way to go before I even deserve a date with the charming Manta Rays. One day though, I will have my turn. In the mean time, I will all my dive friends safe and amazing adventures. Everyone else – I highly encourage you to take the class! Ask Scuba Diver – it’s a life without regret!