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Manta ray, Hawaii

Manta Ray Night Snorkel

Manta ray, Hawaii

This trip takes you out to sea at night to experience snorkelling with manta rays as they feed on plankton. Although these ghostly but elegant creatures can be seen during daylight hours, they feed most actively after dark when plankton rises toward the surface of the sea. Your guides use specially designed diving lights that are safe for manta rays and attract the plankton, which in turn attracts manta rays.

Manta rays can range from around 1 to 6 m (3.3 to 19.7 ft) wide and catch plankton as they glide through the water with their mouth gaping wide open. Their bodies contain a branchial filter which drains out the excess water without losing the plankton. Capable of swimming at up to 24 km (15 miles) per hour, they tend to move slowly at night as they try to feed on as much plankton as possible. This means you should have plenty of opportunity to observe them in detail.

Participants can choose to snorkel, or, for a supplement, dive with the rays. This can make for a thrilling yet perfectly safe experience as mantas, unlike stingrays, do not have stingers.

The tour is led by qualified guides and includes hot soup, bread rolls, snacks, hot drinks, all snorkelling gear, use of a wetsuit, and snorkelling instruction, if required. There’s also the option to buy alcoholic beverages from the boat's bar, and to purchase a video of your experience.

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who's been there
Carl, an Audley Travel specialist

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Other experiences in the island of Hawaiʻi

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

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Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.