Witness an incredible underwater spectacle unique to the Big Island. Attracted by plankton which are attracted to lights placed in the water, large manta rays (6 to 20 ft wide) visit the same location virtually every night to feed. For 50-60 minutes, you will get a front row seat as these harmless elegant creatures loop, somersault, and cruise in the beams of light and funnel plankton into their giant mouths. Divers will settle to the ocean floor (about 35-40 ft down) and shine their dive lights up which bring the rays close. Snorkelers will observe the show from the surface, holding on to a snorkel board alongside a guide.
The spacious 46’ boat with giant stride entry into the water, hot water shower, and a restroom will keep you comfortable, along with attentive service from the guides and dive masters with only a 6:1 diver/snorkeler to guide ratio.
You can start this adventure in the afternoon with a daytime dive/snorkel (more geared towards divers but snorkeling also available). One of the best diving spots on the Big Island, Garden Eel Cove (close to the Kona airport) is not just home to many manta rays, but also hundreds of tiny garden eels and other marine life, as well as a dramatic drop-off. This spot has the potential to go to 60-70 feet deep, depending on the guide and the experience level of the guests in the group.
In between the afternoon and night dives/snorkels, there is a 1 hour break where light refreshments and sandwiches are enjoyed while the sun sets. If just joining for the night dive, you will enjoy snacks as well as the sunset. Full set of rental diving gear is $39/person.
Divers are required to bring their Open Water Certification card or email a copy in advance in order to dive. For the safety and enjoyment of everyone, for the 1-tank version (Option 2), divers should have at least 10 total dives under their belt and should have dove within the past 6 months, and for the 2-tank version (Option 1) have dove within the past 2 years (no min dive requirement). If you don't meet this requirement, you can do a morning dive first. If your last dive has been longer than 2 years ago but less than 4, you can do the 2-tank version with private guide ($150, pending availability).
Junior Open Water Divers who are ages 10-11 must dive with a private guide. Divers ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian diver or private guide. Anyone with a certification that has a depth restriction of 40 feet (13 meters) must also select private guide at checkout.
Snorkelers must be 8 years of age or older, able to swim, have prior snorkeling experience, and those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times or must hire a private guide.