Manta Rays at Night

Overview & Activity Comparison


Widely recognized as one of the top underwater adventures in the world, swimming with majestic manta rays in the night waters off of Kona is a thrilling and beautiful experience. Attracted to the abundance of plankton in the area, these large creatures (some up to 15 feet wide) gracefully glide in and out of darkness, turning cartwheels as they feed, creating what has been called “the manta ray ballet.” These are harmless creatures, lacking the stingers of its stingray cousins or sharp teeth.
Guidebook Reviews

Big Island Revealed Guidebook:

Night Diving with Manta Rays: Top 11 Adventures. It may stay with you for the rest of your life. The best money you will ever spend underwater.

Lonely Planet Guidebook:

Top 20 Activities in Hawaii

Heart-wrenchingly beautiful and utterly fascinating. You need not be an expert in the water to enjoy this unforgettable adventure. For many, this is the capstone experience to their time in Hawaii.

Moon Guidebook:

One of the most exhilarating things you can do on the Big Island is night diving with the manta rays.

Activity Comparison

The most popular manta sites are Garden Eel Cove close to the airport in North Kona or Manta Ray Village near the Sheraton in Keauhou Bay, South Kona. Both sites have over a 90% success rate, and both of our tours include manta guarantees. The below table outlines the key differences between our two activities. Please visit the individual pages for all the details and to book.

UPDATE: We are no longer offering a cruise at the North Site (Activity 2) indefinitely.

Activity 1
Snorkel, South Kona
Activity 2
Dive / Snorkel, North Kona
Departure Location Keauhou Harbor in South Kona
(50-65 min from Waikoloa)
Honokohau Marina in North Kona
(30-45 min from Waikoloa)
Trip Duration 2 hours 3.5 hours
Time in Water 45 min 50-60 min
Extended Afternoon Option No Yes, 5 hour option includes afternoon snorkel/dive
Boat Ride to Site 5 minutes 30 minutes
Snorkeling Experience Required No Yes
Boat 45' sailing trimaran 46' dive boat
Max Passengers
~50% less during COVID-19
36 (usually less), snorkelers only 24 (usually less), mix of snorkelers & divers
Snorkeler to Guide Ratio 10 to 1 6 to 1
Minimum Age 4 years old 8 years old (10 for divers)
Price Snorkelers: $117 for age 13+
$105 for age 4-12
Ride Along (age 4+): $50
Snorkelers/Ride-Alongs (age 8+): $159
Certified Divers:
$169 (1 dive), $199 (2 dives)
More Details More Details