Explore Garden Eel Cove or in front of the iconic Keahou hotel to observe manta rays in their natural habitat. Your experienced Lifeguard Certified guide will take you into the water where you surround a custom-built snorkel board with high-powered lights. Book this one-of-a-kind Big Island experience today!
The Big Island’s Most Popular Activity
The manta ray night snorkel is the #1 experience on the Big Island of Hawaii. There is nothing else like it in the world. We may have the world’s largest volcano, beautiful waterfalls, and perfect stargazing but no where else in the world has the epic marine life encounter that is the Big Island’s manta ray snorkel.
Manta rays are large gentle animals that will feed on tiny plankton from the reef at night. Using their cephalic fins like hands they will scoop up as much water containing plankton as they like to fill their bellies for the night. Below is our web gallery of images of these amazing creatures in action. Join us for one of these tours to change your life.
Treat yourself to a private snorkel tour of our incredible reef sites, whale watching, ash scatterings, proposals, or visiting Kona’s beautiful remote beaches. These trips are completely customizable to your preferences!
Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona Hawaii
Imagine hopping aboard a boat in a beautiful marina on a tropical island. Turtles lazily swimming on calm ocean water. You’re greeted by a friendly crewmember and outfitted with your snorkel gear. As you board the boat with the rest of the group the captain assists you over the side. The boat motors out through the mouth of the harbor and towards the setting sun. As you zip along the coast waves crashing on the rocky shore you notice a pod of dolphins, jumping in the water. It’s time for them to go hunting for dinner. The clouds begin to light up as the sun hits the horizon. The boat stops and you watch for a green flash. Will it happen tonight? As you head towards the Mantaray site, the skies begin to darken. The water begins to light up as the other boats coalesce together. The friendly crewmember helps. You get your snorkel gear in order and you slide into the water. The crewmember asks that you hold onto a large floating board with two bright lights mounted inside. The crewmember, wearing long fins, pulls you and the other guests towards the bright lights. You look down into the blackness, fish dancing below the lights. A large shape emerges but you can’t quite tell what it is. As it comes closer you begin to notice it’s massive. It’s wings flap and it moves through the water with grace. As it approaches the board it bends upside down and skimmes the surface of the ocean. It’s barely inches from the bottom of the board! As the massive manta comes near, the snorkel guide asks that you keep your feet on the surface of the water. Soon your face is greeted by a massive white belly with spots and gills flying inches below your face. Welcome to the Manta Ray night snorkel, Kona’s most popular activity.
The mantas of Kona number over 250. Research groups, keep a catalog of all of the mantas. We have named all of them and know them by the spots on their bellies. Just ask your guy, who’s probably memorize them all by now. There’s Lefty, she has a broken thin tip on her left wing. There’s big Bertha, who is easily one of the biggest mantas around. And there are even some new little rays who have yet to be named. Each night hundreds of snorkelers put on wet suits, masks, and snorkels and slip in the water to witness one of the most amazing encounters and all of Hawaii. The manta ray night snorkel Kona is one of those things that you’ll never forget. The great thing about it is that almost anybody can participate. If you can swim and snorkel odds are you’ll have a great time in this strange yet wonderful activity.
Each Manta, Ray can weigh as much as 1200 pounds! They can have as large as a 12 foot wingspan. Their massive size is doubly impressive because of how thin they are and how much area they cover kind of like a swimming doormat. mantas can leave out of the water and swim quickly to avoid predators. They have no teeth only a series of small gill plates that they use to capture the plankton that they scoop through their mouth with massive volumes of seawater. The fins on their face help guide that water into their mouth and make feeding more effective. They do have a long tail, but it does not have a stinger on it like other rays have. This is because Masa rays don’t need a stinger for defense because they don’t lie on the bottom of the ocean. Also, they can swim faster than other rays and most predators.
Origins of the Manta Ray Night Snorkel
The big island manta ray snorkel was started by accident. The Sheraton hotel located on a point near the ocean began shining, a bright light into the water. Onlookers began noticing large rays flapping about near the surface. When Divers put on there, Gear hopped in the water and swam over they realize that large manta rays were using the light to feed. The bright lights from the restaurant near the water attracted plankton from the reef. The manta rays love this tiny microscopic zooplankton is their primary food source! This makes it an ideal spot for them to feed because it is consistently there every night. Well, the manta rays don’t always show, it’s still consistently a great experience.
Manta Ray Snorkel Tours
So why don’t you join us on our next Manta Ray night snorkel Kona Snorkel Trips most popular activity. Or you can book a combo package and take part in the manta snorkel, as well as the captain cook snorkel. Kona Snorkel Trips is Hawaii’s top rated most reviewed snorkel company. We have over 5005 star reviews and there’s a reason for that. We love what we do, and we are always trying to deliver the best experience possible. If you’re not happy we’re not happy. We also offer, private Kona boat charters, whale watching, and many other activities. So if you’re looking for adventure, check out the rest of our site and find out what you’ve been missing.