Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) / Kawika Singson

Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) / Kawika Singson

5 Manta Ray Dives in Kona

Megan Potter

Do you ever wonder what it would be like get up close and personal with some underwater sea life? Hop into Hawaii's waters during the day or night to say hello to manta rays, the gentle giants of the sea. More than just your typical beach day, swimming with manta rays is a great way to explore the waters off Big Island's Kona Coast. We've rounded up a list of the top tour companies that'll give you the most exciting and memorable experience diving with manta rays on the Big Island!

Big Island Divers

Best Manta Ray Dives Kona Shaka GuideIsland of Hawaii Visitors Bureau (IHVB) / Kawika Singson

Price: Manta Night Dive: $99 for snorkelers; $139 for divers

Age Restriction: 10 years+ may go, but they offer private charters for families with young children

Location: 74-5467 Kaiwi St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Length of Dive: 45-60 minutes

Website: http://www.bigislanddivers.com

Not only will you get to see and swim with the mantas, but you'll learn interesting facts about the animal -- you'll leave with a newfound appreciation for manta rays. Worried about the weather? Don't sweat it, if conditions are not ideal, they will work to reschedule or find another solution.

If no mantas are seen, Big Island Divers offers 50% discount for a guaranteed seat on another charter or 100% discount for a standby seat. 

Sea Quest

Price: Night Manta Experience: $108 (online), $118 (in-person)

Age Restriction: 7+

Location: 78-7138 Kaleiopapa St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Length of Dive: 75 minutes


Sea Quest is a great option if you have young children -- their minimum age to participate is seven. The company provides wetsuits, snorkel gear, and floatation devices so you can comfortably swim alongside the manta rays. When you're done, they'll have a fresh cup of hot chocolate waiting for you; what more could you want after an evening swim in the Pacific Ocean? Their night manta experience has five stars on TripAdvisor, with commenters noting the companies' commitment to the animals and outstanding crew.

Customers receive a refund in case of operator cancellation from weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Best Manta Ray Dives Kona Shaka GuideManta Ray (Manta sp.) blocks out the sun | Photo by  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Related: Best Snorkel Spots on the Big Island

Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii

Price: $120 for certified divers; $110 for adult snorkelers ; $100 for child snorkelers (12 & Under); free for anyone under three; $85 for ride along

Age Restriction: Not recommended for age 6 & under. 17 & under accompanied by parent

Location: 74-380 Kealakehe Parkway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Length of Dive: 45 minutes


Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii is a great option for families or groups with people might not want to dive. Although snorkeling is not recommended for children under 6, they're still able to join. And, if anyone wants to watch from a distance, it costs $85 for the evening boat outing. For those looking to jump in, the price of the dive doesn't include the gear -- the full gear set is $25.

There is an 85% chance of seeing manta rays, otherwise Manta Ray Dives of Hawaii allows you to come again for free. 

My Kona Adventures

Price: Manta Ray Night Snorkel: $110

Age Restriction: None

Location: 78-7138 Kaleiopapa St., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Length of Dive: 60 minutes


Start your evening with a Kona sunset and stay for a snorkeling adventure with My Kona Adventures. The company specializes in small group tours with a maximum of six people per trip. Their guides are ocean lifeguard certified, making this tour a great option for beginner swimmers and snorkelers. They provide all the snorkeling equipment, floatation devices, and snacks so all you have to worry about is marveling at mantas.

If no mantas are seen, they will take you out for another excursion free of charge. 

Related: Must-See Scenic Spots on Big Island

Hang Loose Boat Tours

Best Manta Ray Dives Kona Shaka GuideHawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Price: $95 for adults; $85 for children (5-11 years); free for anyone under four; $65 for ride along

Age Restriction: None

Location: 74-380 Kealakehe Pkwy, Kailua Kona, Hawaii 96740

Length of Dive: 60 minutes


Hang Loose Boat Tours offers a sunset manta ray experience that combines the beauty of a Big Island sunset with an unforgettable adventure swimming with gentle marine life. Jump in and swim with the mantas just before the sun goes down for the evening. If the company's sunset experience is booked, they offer a night tour as well. All equipment is provides and Hang Loose Boat Tours even has the option for you to buy a disposable under water camera on board or rent a GoPro to capture your time at sea.

Hang Loose Boat Tours guarantees you'll see mantas or you can get another tour free of charge. 

Swimming with manta rays on the Big Island is not only a great adventure, but it's a perfect activity for the whole family. On these tours, you're not just sitting on a boat with the hopes of seeing something, you're diving into the water to get to know this gentle animal. It's the perfect compliment to Shaka Guide's Kona Big Kahuna Driving Tour. Spend your day exploring the island with Shaka Guide and the evening swimming with mantas! And, if you're looking for more information about manta ray dives on the Big Island, check out Love Big Island's complete guide to snorkeling with these majestic animals!

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RELATED: Big Island Waterfalls Guide

SHAKA GUIDE'S BIG ISLAND TOURS: Kona Big Kahuna Tour, Volcanoes National Park Tour, Kohala Coast Backcountry Tour, South Island Epic Coastal Journey, North Island Jungle Adventure Loop

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