We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Delmar, Maryland
Level Contributor
95 posts
5 reviews
Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Is it worth it to do the night snorkel or scuba diving to see the Manta Rays? Who do you recommend to go with or not go with? Cost? Any coupons available?

107 replies to this topic
Canada
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
30 reviews
21. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

We went out with Manta Ray Dives the other night.

Snorkellers pay $79, divers $99 and ridealongs are $59.

We found the staff to be great.

Unfortunately only one manta showed up (hard to schedule!) but please note that we were all offered another trip for free. We were advised (when we called) to book the trip at the beginning of our vacation so that we had time to rebook another outing if necessary.

Oklahoma City...
Level Contributor
5,645 posts
73 reviews
22. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Love to vacation, were you the only boat out on the night you went?

Canada
Level Contributor
2,017 posts
30 reviews
23. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

No, we were not the only boat. There were 4 or 5 others in the same bay.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
44 posts
31 reviews
24. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Is it possible to night snorkel where the lights are without booking with a boat? I would think it would need to be where there is beach entry and the lights aren't to far away.

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
7,943 posts
24 reviews
25. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

The hotel is on a cliff and you can't get into the water there. The closest would be at the Keauhou Bay but it would be a looong swim from there. However, you can go to the Crystal Blue Bar at the Sheraton and watch them from there.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
44 posts
31 reviews
26. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Thank you for the info. Cliff, long night swim, sharp lava = take a boat!

on a boat
Level Contributor
99 posts
27. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Lol good I didn't have to tell you why it was a bad idea :p

veraz
Level Contributor
55 posts
30 reviews
28. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Definitely planning on doing a night snorkel with Mantas. Looks like Sea Paradise gets consistent good reviews so we'll probably go with them. Do these tours book up often? Would you recommend booking in advance? We have a trip planned to Big Island in mid April.

atlanta
Level Contributor
186 posts
11 reviews
29. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

Well we went with hula kai because of the free return trip policy...good thing too. Both hula kai and sea paradise are at the same dock, which is at the Keahou bay boat ramp, which is 500-1000 yards from the lights in front of the sheraton...I doubt they spend $10 of gas on the whole trip for motoring. I swear with calm seas a good swimmer could get to the site in 10 minutes. If there were access at the sheraton you could jump in right there, but its too rocky and too many urchins on the rocks to try it. I suggest going to the sheraton and watching from shore one night before taking the boat.

We had reservations for the wed night after we arrived, but they canceled on us claiming not to have enough people booked, I think they had enough but wanted to shove everyone onto a full boat on Thurs. to save paying the crew twice....so we rebooked for Thurs. where we had a very full boat and choppy seas, just putting out to the site the boat was getting beat to death in 3-5' chop, then they put us in the water where visibility was 5-10' because of the stuff stirred up by the wave action. my wife and a few others got sick and returned to the boat, finally they called it a night and let us go back....they knew it was too rough to be pleasant, but the greedy dogs pushed us in the water anyway, hoping to get at least one sighting so they would get paid. The next couple of days were too rough weather wise to reschedule and they dont run on sunday...so we rescheduled for Mon our last night on the island....vowing if it was as rough as thurs. we wouldnt even get in the water...most of the people we were out with on Thurs didnt re-book (at least not on our trip) so they probably got screwed. They will let you reschedule but wont refund a dime, under any circumstances.

Thankfully it was calm enough, this time, to enjoy it. The ladder contraption that has lights on it and everyone hangs off of, had to be let out almost to the rocks in front of the sheraton before the scuba diver with the bright lights on his camera rig could lure some mantas to the ladder. It was fairly choppy that close to the rocks and it took 30 minutes for the diver to coax the two mantas away from the rocks to the ladder where we could ALL see them, instead of just the people on the end. The lights on the ladder are not as bright as the divers and they follow him!! they make more money off of snorkelers so they dont even take divers anymore. It was an impressive sight to have them doing barrel rolls feeding right below you, but in no way was it worth the money...its sortta like a luau, as a tourist you want to do it, but for the money, once is enough. This trip is an overpriced experience, they could have made a profit at one quarter the price, but that wouldnt be the hawaian way of sucking tourists dry, there is no aloha spirit left, just greed.

If i had to do it again I wouldnt book anything in advance, I would get there and look at the weather forecast and pick the best day for sea conditions and then find the cheapest company with an opening....we should have taken a refund on hula kai when they cancelled our initial booking and tried booking another boat...i bet the sea paradise went out that night from the same dock.

a footnote I was told the site near the airport had more rays including "big bertha" a 16'+ manta. where as the ones we saw were smaller and one was wounded with a cut "wing"

Newburyport...
Level Contributor
170 posts
64 reviews
30. Re: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?

I'm pretty sure we saw Big Bertha on our night snorkel with Jack's Diving Locker. There were several mantas the night we went. In talking with folks that have gone we must have gotten lucky because we saw more mantas that night than others have in awhile. We had perfectly calm water though, toward the end of summer.

Reply to: Manta Ray night snorkel or scuba diving. Worth it?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Kailua-Kona