Manta Ray Night Dive (Kona)
My husband and I just got back from Kona, and we went on the best manta ray night dive ever. Kona, hands down, is one of the most unique and interesting places on all of Hawaii, and the fun activities in this area are endless. However, if I only had a few hours in Kona, and could pick just one thing to do, it would DEFINITELY be the manta ray night dive. Hands down. No questions asked. I’ve never experienced anything like the manta ray night dive in Kona, and it was so cool, I squealed with delight. Multiple times.
Actually, backing up a bit, now that I think about it, it’s not technically a dive. It’s more of a snorkel, but because of the way the manta rays eat and swim, it makes much more sense to go on a manta ray snorkel than on a manta ray dive in Kona.
Basically, this is how it works. You sail out on a cute sailboat. Time out to say that the “sailing” part of the activity is a complete over-sell. Don’t count on a long sailing trip. It’s only like 10 minutes away from the harbor, and then they turn around and…BAM…you’re there. But, they give you free chips, so I guess you can call it even if you’re really hungry.
So, yeah, the sailing part of it is actually kind of ridiculous, but swimming with manta rays makes up for it, and you soon forget that you were promised a Hawaiian sailing experience.
Once you get to the destination (a harbor by the Sheraton), they put out a raft for everyone to hold on to and lead you all into the water. All you have to do is float with your face in the water and then the fun begins. The guides will then shine a light which tricks the plankton into thinking it’s daylight, and the plankton rise to the surface. That’s when the manta rays come to feast…not on you…just on the plankton.
The manta rays will swim right underneath you, do this fancy back-flip, open their gills to eat the plankton, and swim RIGHT. NEXT. TO. YOUR. FACE. It’s amazing. They are very graceful and zero percent afraid of you, so you can get really up close and personal without having to worry about…I dunno…being that close to a 12 foot ocean creature.
Do the manta ray night dive in Kona right before you fly home
This manta ray diving activity is only offered at night. We decided to make it the last activity we did before we hopped on a red eye to go home. I was super worried about feeling all nasty on the plane ride, but since you go on a boat, you don’t get sandy. If you’re not afraid of salt water, then squeezing in the manta ray dive in Kona before you fly home is a great way to go.
Click here to learn about how to see the manta rays for free near the Sheraton.