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The Magic of Swimming With Manta Rays in Hawaii

swimming with manta rays Hawaii

By far and away, one of the most mystical experiences that the Hawaiian islands have to offer is swimming with manta rays. This close encounter is something that is sure to live in your memory for years to come. Gain the chance to come face to face with these giant gentle creatures, watch as they dance underwater, and learn more about the process that makes this entire adventure possible.

Swimming with manta rays in Hawaii is a truly magical experience that captivates the hearts of adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Keep reading as we dive into some aspects that contribute to the enchantment of this extraordinary encounter.

Hawaii’s (un)Natural Luminescence is on Display

If you are wondering how Hawaiian tour companies facilitate these close encounters with the manta rays– the answer is light. When we say light, we are referring to the artificial light created by the surrounding hotels and resorts that edge against bays like Keauhou,  as well as the light created by the in-water flotation devices provided by the captain and guides. 

A manta ray’s favorite snack is phytoplankton. These microscopic organisms are attracted to light– hence why when the Kona Sheraton adjacent to “Manta Village” returned and the lights were turned back on, the hoards of phytoplankton (and subsequently manta rays) that had left, came back! On your tour, you will be hanging onto an in water flotation device that emits a certain light which attracts the plankton to the surface of the water where you will be floating, that encourages the manta rays to barrel roll to the surface for your viewing pleasure! As a bonus the light you will be emitting into the water illuminates it so that you may see everything going on below through an ordinary mask and snorkel.

Watch Manta Rays in Hawaii Dance

As alluded to in the last paragraph, you will get to see the manta rays “dance” under the spotlight illuminated by the flotation device manned by your in-water guide. This dance is actually how the manta rays feed on the tiny phytoplankton. There is nothing to fear when you are at the surface, manta rays do not have stingers or teeth like oceanic predators. Barrel rolls are likely to be the most popular thing you observe– it is truly a delight!

Why Swimming With Manta Rays in Hawaii is the Experience of a Lifetime.

Overall, there is so much to look forward to in regards to swimming with manta rays in Hawaii. From seeing their unique and beautiful feeding dance, to the magically illuminated water, to the feeling of coming face to face with some of the largest and gentlest creatures native to the tropics.

We hope that this article has captured the enchanting and captivating nature of swimming with manta rays in Hawaii for you, highlighting the unique experiences and magical encounters that await adventurous snorkelers.