In general, not a whole lot of people have see of gotten to dive with a manta ray, which really is a shame. Once you see them up close and personal, you are mesmerized, and instantly fall in love with the experience.
being able to dive or swim with giant manta rays, is an experience that no one has ever forgotten, that has been lucky enough to have done so. Just watching these gentle giants dance and twirl in front of you, or glide by in groups, is enough to get that heart pumping!
Mantas where on my own critter bucket list of course, and I finally got to see them on one of my dive trips to Komodo. I instantly fell in love with them, and have gone out of my way to repeat the incredible experience in other locations.
So I put together this list of jsut some of the incredible destinations around the world, where you too can enjoy these magnificent creatures for your self.
Best Places in the World to See Manta Rays
1. Bali, Indonesia
Bali is a place where you can see mantas year round, not just seasonally, so is a great place to see them. They are seen (and studied) around Nusa Penida, so head there and tell your dive operator you are there for some manta action!
2. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Komodo was the first place I’ve ever seen a manta, and it was incredible. The dive guides sat us in the sand in front of a cleaning station, and soon we were surrounded by 7 mantas, dancing just feet from my camera. I’ll never forget that.
3. Tubbataha, Philippines
Tubbataha is a special place in the Philippines, as well as unique. Its a world class dive location, thats also a protected UNESCO underwater site, where you can see the big guys, like mantas and whale sharks. You wont want to miss this one!
4. Baa Atol, Maldives
During the right seasons, Baa Atol in Northern Maldives, will blow your mind. This is the place where you see those photos and videos on BBC, of HUGE school of manta rays congregating together. And you can swim with them too, if you’re not a diver!
Also Read: Guide to Scuba Diving Maldives
5. Tofo, Mozambique
Tofo is a great place in southern Africa to see the big dudes. On one trip alone I ran into whale sharks, humpback whales, dolphines, and giant manta rays in Tofo. So if you are in for a long and adventurous trip, this is the one to do!
6. Kona, Hawaii
Kona is another unique dive opportunity when it comes to manta rays. The Kona dive resort sets up giant underwater lights each night to attract plankton, and divers get to watch as mantas come in and dance in the lights. Its amazing to see!
Have you read out Guide to Scuba Diving Hawaii?
7. Cocos Island, Costa Rica
Cocos Island is another more remote dive destination, that takes a little bit more planning and money. You will need to take a liveaboard from Costa Rica, and will arrive to see some of the most pristine protected reefs in the world, as well as mantas!
Be sure to check out our Guide to Scuba Diving Costa Rica
There are more than just these 7 incredible scuba destinations in the world, where you can either swim or dive with manta rays, but these should get you started, as well as get you addicted.
The reason it is important for people to see Mantas up close, is because it brings awareness, caring and attention to the species, which can lead to increased protection. And these guys need all the protection they can get!
As Jaques Cousteau once said, one must love something before he will want to save it.
Also read: 62 Best Cenotes in Mexico