Traveling to the beautiful island paradise of Hawaii is a wonderful experience that will remain with you for a lifetime. There are tons of sights to view and activities to do, from soaking in the warmth of the sun while laying on its beautiful white sand beaches to enjoying its azure waters through water activities like swimming and snorkeling.
But while the beauty of the island sparkles during the daytime, your Hawaii experience can be even more magical at night with activities such as a nighttime manta ray snorkel in Kona, Hawaii.
The Manta Ray Night Snorkel Experience
The manta ray night snorkel experience is a truly magical experience that should be part of any tourist’s bucket list. The activity was first discovered when people noticed light emitted by the Kona Sheraton Hotel would attract the majestic creatures each night to feed on plankton.
Since then, the area has become a hotbed of tourist activity thanks to the squadrons of manta rays that abound in its waters. Kona now welcomes thousands of tourists each year looking to go on a manta ray snorkel Kona adventure.
What Makes The Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona Special?
There are indeed other places in the world where you can snorkel and experience swimming with manta rays, such as the Galapagos Islands in the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
But what makes this experience in Kona so enchanting is that you get to witness nature at its best as you watch the manta rays feed on plankton in their natural habitats, playfully dancing under lights. The light is there to attract more plankton to the area, which attracts more mantas – and the mantas are happy to oblige.
While in the waters, you can see mantas up close and personal as they actively engage with you, swimming with beauty, poise, and grace, and floating around with effortless precision. And as you do that, your guides at Dolphin Discoveries will happily share some fascinating stories and provide you with helpful information that can make the experience even more enjoyable.
What to Expect From the Kona Night Manta Ray Snorkel Experience
Your manta ray night snorkel experience begins with a short boat ride from the beautiful Keauhou Bay boat launch ramp to nearby manta ray hotspots. But before hopping on the boat, you will be given a quick introduction and some instructions as your guides hand over the gear you need to snorkel with the mantas.
Once you’re ready to depart, your guides will take you to areas where manta rays frequent to search for the majestic creatures. While this is happening, guides will supply you with more information about the mantas and how you can interact with them as you snorkel.
When you arrive at the site, you are provided with snorkel gear After a quick ride to Manta Ray Village, you’ll enter water with one of our in-water guides who will have you hold on to our manta boards. These boards have bright lights mounted on them to give you a clear view of the water while attracting plankton and the mantas to the area around you.
Sadly, because manta rays are wild animals, there will be times when they won’t appear despite our best efforts to search for them. When that happens, we will be glad to offer a free re-try session to make sure you get the most memorable Kona night manta ray snorkel experience.
Fun Facts About the Manta Rays in Kona
Get to know these magnificent creatures by reading these fun facts below:
- Kona manta rays are part of the Mobula alfredi species. They are one of the largest species of manta rays and frequent shallow waters and reefs to feed on plankton with their giant vacuum-like mouths.
- The Kona manta rays are giants in every sense of the word. They can grow to have wingspans of up to 18 ft and weigh up to 3,000 lbs.
- Kona manta rays do not migrate as the seasons change, which means they can be spotted all year around the big island of Hawaii.
- Kona manta rays can live up to 50 years. They reproduce slowly, having only one pup every two to three years.
- According to the Manta Pacific Research Foundation, over 300 manta rays reside near Kona’s waters and have unique names, with their distinct spots and scars as identifiers.
- Manta rays are considered extraordinary animals and are revered in Hawaiian culture. This is why they are mentioned in the Hawaiian creation chant known as the Kumulipo.
The Best Time of Year to Go On A Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona
Hawaii is known as a surfing haven because of its high waves, especially near the island of Oahu. Fortunately, waves those high aren’t encountered on the Big Island of Hawaii. However, swells of about 3 to 6 feet and rough winds are still reasonably common at different times of the year, making snorkeling, diving, or swimming unsafe.
If you’re ever planning to go on a manta ray snorkel Kona adventure, you should know that the best times to visit would be from late spring until early fall. At these times, ocean conditions are the most favorable.
Create Beautiful Memories with Dolphin Discoveries
Dolphin Discoveries is dedicated to helping you form beautiful memories by taking you on a snorkeling experience with majestic manta rays under the blanket of the starry Hawaiian sky.
Join us on this wonderful adventure by booking your trip with us. Get in touch with us today!