HOW TO FIND THE BEST KONA DIVING COMPANY FOR MANTA RAY ENCOUNTERS
Manta Ray encounters on the Big Island are undoubtedly the most popular tour that is offered to visitors and residents alike. While the tour requires some previous experience with snorkeling and skill in swimming– thousands still flock to get the chance to come face to gills with these gigantic gentle giants around Kona.
With so many tours cropping up, it can be overwhelming to determine which would best fit your skill level, comfortability, and that you can trust will give you a great experience. While we always recommend choosing local accredited tour companies with stellar reviews– we also want to break that down further to show you how you can find the best Kona diving company for manta ray encounters.
Select Diving Companies Committed to Preserving Manta Village and Big Island’s Habitats
There are many things to consider when booking your close encounter with manta rays on the Big Island; at the forefront of this decision is what the safest tour would be. For many that may mean the inclusion of flotation aids– other than the in-water illuminated float that you would grab onto. For others, the safety feature hinges on the experience of the captain or in-water guide. You should never have to compromise when booking your night time manta ray dive and the best companies will make sure that every safety feature of the tour is in pristine condition.
Beyond keeping the guests safe, the best manta ray dive tours work tirelessly to ensure that the wildlife is safe as well. You may have heard about reef safe sunscreen– since these tours are after sunset typically, you may not be wearing sunscreen on the areas outside of your wetsuit. However, if you are wearing sunscreen earlier in the day or at all when going into the ocean, be sure to check the ingredients. You can read more about that in our other articles. The last main measure of safety that you can take on is not to touch any of the marine plant or animal life you may view on any oceanic adventure. This is not only to keep the wildlife safe but yourself as well.
Choose a Kona Diving Company with Manta Ray Specialization
Just like any tour experience in Hawaii, or arguably in the world, you want the guides to be experts in their field. This not only will play into those questions of the safest tour, but the educational experience that you may have both in and out of the water. Your captain and crew should not only know about the basics of manta ray behavior but how to set the entire group up for success in the water.
Kona dive companies with manta ray experience will be outfitted with a special flotation device that illuminates the water, not only to cast light on the manta rays who will be skimming under where you are floating with your snorkel, but the light attracts the phytoplankton on which mantas feed. It is a symbiotic experience in the sense that it gives you the best and safest encounter while drawing in the manta ray’s favorite food at mealtimes.
Big Island Locally Owned and Operated: Supporting Local Businesses and Expertise
One of the best parts about booking a Kona dive tour with manta rays is that you are likely supporting some great local businesses in the area. An accredited, locally owned and operated manta ray dive is something that is unbeatable in quality and fun! Learn about why the manta rays cluster in areas like Manta Village in South Kona, why they feed on plankton, and how the entire process of a close encounter tour of this caliber works.
Truly an experience of a lifetime, especially when spent with the experts in the field.