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manta ray night dive at the Sheraton Kona

The Big Island, Hawai’i is home to a wide array of different sea creatures. From spinner dolphins and sea turtles, to the seasonal humpback whales venturing to the tropics, Kona is one of the best places in the world to view marine life.


Arguably, one of the most exciting snorkel tours you can embark on, while in Kona, is a manta ray night dive. What you may not know is, one of the most popular spots for these manta rays to congregate is right outside a very popular Big Island hotel.


The Sheraton Kona’s Manta Village


Otherwise known as Kaukalaelae Point, Manta Village is one of three popular spots to embark on a night snorkel tour. Before the Sheraton established their location in Keauhou, this popular destination was home to the Kona Surf Hotel. Manta ray snorkel tours first gained popularity as these creatures were spotted and named in the bay. While this was a popular spot for tourists, the manta rays preferred it as the artificial light created by the hotel, attracted their favorite food: phytoplankton.


When the Kona Beach Hotel closed, the manta ray population who frequented the bay, dwindled; due to the lack of light attracting the plankton. When the Sheraton opened their location at Kaukalaelae Point, advocates teamed up with the developers to ensure that the location would be favorable to the manta rays. Over the years, the plankton returned with the light and so did the rays.


Now, Kona’s Manta Village is home to a plethora of rays who frequent the area, as well as snorkel tours who specialize in giving people the trip of a lifetime– coming face to face with these incredible creatures in a safe and ecologically responsible way.


Kona’s Manta Ray Night Snorkel is Right Outside Your Hotel


One of the most enticing reasons to stay at the Keauhou Sheraton is its proximity to Manta Village. Just a short ride or walk away you can hop on a boat and embark on the Big Island’s most exciting aquatic tour!


However, if you are staying in a different hotel or in a different area of Kona the trip to Manta Village is quick and easy! This is arguably the best bay to book your manta ray tour on island due to ease of access and the large populations of mantas.

At Dolphin Discoveries, we choose to go to Manta Village for all of our nighttime snorkels. It has proven time and time again to be the most exciting destination for these tours; you are guaranteed to see rays barrel rolling and swimming right under where you are floating throughout the hour in the water!


How to Book a Tour to See the Manta Rays in Kona


While finding the docks that the manta ray tour will depart from is quite easy, securing your spot aboard the boat can be difficult. The night time snorkel is the most popular tour that we offer, which means that it gets booked up fast! That, mixed with the fact that we craft our excursions to ensure small groups will get the most out of the experience, means that you should make sure to book as soon as possible. Luckily, it’s now easier than ever! Just check out our quick booking feature to snag your spot aboard our boat and sign on for the trip of a lifetime!