Rated by travel and dive magazines , the Kona Manta Dive spot, which is located on the big island of Hawaii, is one of the world’s best night dives. Many companies are offering boat trips where you are snorkeling around a lighted raft. They have in-water guides who help find mantas feeding at the surface with huge lights. They make the plankton visiblr for them and that´s why they follow the light. If you want to be as close as possible to the Mantas and you´re not on a budget, I would recommend you to do a guided tour ( price for snorkeling is 75-125$ per person).
If you want to enjoy the Manta Night Dive for free, this is the way to do it:
Park your car close to the Sheraton Hotel and walk to the shoreline. I dropped a pin from where you can enter the water safely (if the conditions are good). To be on the safe side you should check out this spot during the day time (then there´s a ladder as well) before you go in at night. As soon as you are in, turn your flashlight on and follow the shoreline up to the second pin. You will probably see the tour boats already. Now just wait until the first Mantas appear (95% chance to see them every night) and please follow these simple rules:
- Check the weather and water conditions (currents)
- Check if there is a way out as well before you go into the water
- Never go alone!
- Respect the people who booked one of the tours (don´t get too close to them, always keep at least 5-10m distance)
- Watch the boats and keep your flashlight on that they can see you in the water
- give mantas as much space and respect as possible. Never touch, chase, or harass the manta rays!
- Have fun!