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What to Expect from a Night Snorkel with Manta Rays in Kailua-Kona

For many, witnessing the majestic manta rays has become part of their must-do activities when planning a trip to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. However, night snorkeling may sound somewhat intimidating, especially for first-time snorkelers.

To put your mind at ease, we’ve created a quick guide that will help you prepare for a night filled with unforgettable underwater adventures. Kona manta ray night snorkel will give you a glimpse of these fantastic creatures in their natural habitat.

Is it safe to swim with Manta Rays?

Yes, swimming with manta rays is an entirely safe experience. They are docile, gentle giants who glide gracefully through the water. Compared to sting rays, manta rays don’t have a sharp barb or teeth, making them safe to swim, snorkel or dive with. A night snorkel with manta rays in Kona is one of the most popular underwater activities in the Kailua-Kona area.

Before booking a tour, suiting up, and slipping into the sea after dark, here are several things you can expect when night swimming with manta rays.

What to Expect Before the Tour

#1 Seats For Tours Are Limited

As one of the most popular activities in the area, there are plenty of people who want to swim with manta rays just as much as you do. Therefore, seats may be limited during peak season. If you’re on a strict schedule, it’s important to book your night snorkeling activity ahead of time.

#2 Appearance of Manta Rays Is Guaranteed

Please note that Manta Rays are wild creatures and sometimes take the night off.  If you don’t see Manta Rays during your adventure, we’ll take you back out free of charge on a space available basis.  So book early during your vacation to take advantage of this guarantee.

#3 Basic Swimming Skills Are Required

To ensure safety, you need to be at least a beginner-level swimmer and have had previous snorkeling experience to join the tour. You must be able to swim short distances and independently up a boat ladder.

#4 Not Recommended to Individuals with Special Health Conditions

Night snorkeling with manta rays is perfect but not recommended for travelers who have recently undergone surgery or who may have mobility or physical restrictions.

#5 Most Travel Operators Provide Snorkeling Gear

There’s no need to worry about purchasing any snorkeling gear before your tour. Most operators will provide you with all the safety equipment you need like lifejackets, wet suits, fins, and more.

#6 Water Temperature Are Between 76 ℉ to 81℉

There’s no need to worry about extremely cold water temperatures. Kona’s water temperatures remain warm even at night. Wetsuit tops are provided.

#7 Look But Don’t Touch

An important thing to keep in mind before manta ray night snorkel big island is to not come into physical contact with the manta rays. They have a protective coating on their bodies that can easily compromise their immune system if rubbed off.

What to Expect During the Tour

Short Boat Ride

Tours usually leave around sunset. Manta ray night snorkeling tours start around 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Once the sun is set, it’s time to suit up and dive in.

Swim Short Distance to Light Board

After diving in, you will need to swim towards a light board that attracts the manta rays. You have to hover on the surface with your legs flat out behind you (to avoid touching the manta rays).

Manta Rays Arrive

This is where the magic starts to happen. From the darkness, you will witness manta rays swimming around the light board, doing vertical flips in the waters. This is when they start feeding on zooplankton.

Enjoy and Take in Their Majestic Beauty

Don’t forget to observe the beautiful patterns that decorate the bodies of the manta rays. Each one is unique. In fact, the Manta Pacific Research Center keeps a database keeping a log of all the ones they’ve spotted.

You Can See Up To A Dozen Manta Rays

Interactions with the beautiful manta rays last about 45 minutes. According to past divers, you can see as many as a dozen.

Create Unforgettable Memories with Dolphin Discoveries

Dolphin Discoveries is dedicated to helping you create beautiful memories by taking you on amazing underwater adventures with the majestic manta rays!

Our trips fill up quickly, so book now to reserve a seat.

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