Manta Ray moonlight Swim
What You Need to Know Before Diving In
Congratulations, you’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!
This page contains all the information you need when joining our moonlight manta swim at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.
1. Where to meet
We meet at the Beach Activities Shack on the grounds of the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, 62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743.
The Beach Shack is located ON THE BEACH, just past the Hau Tree restaurant – not in or at the hotel.
We do NOT meet at Manta Point (that’s the part of the viewing area where people go to see mantas from above/from the shore); we enter the water from the beach and therefore meet at the beach shack.
- Enter the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel resort property. A security guard will ask you for your name and compare it with the list of reservations.
- Drive through the beautiful resort to the main lobby, and use valet parking.
- Ask the hotel staff for the Hau Tree Restaurant, then walk past the outdoor bar and tables to the far side. We are in the second, small building.
ARRIVAL TIME AT THE BEACH SHACK:
Please arrive about 5 minutes before the start time stated in the confirmation email. If you arrive earlier, we recommend you enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches on the island until we are ready to greet you. We may not be able to give you our full attention pre-activity as we are attending to other guests or setting up for the activity itself.
If you are not familiar with the property, it may take longer to navigate the resort, so give yourself plenty of time to valet park your car and get to the beach shack.
HOTEL CLOSURE TO THE PUBLIC:
At certain times of the year, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is closed to the public – which means non-guests cannot make reservations for the on-property restaurants. Please plan your dining for that evening at another venue.
2. The manta ray activity, step by step
We aim for the manta ray moonlight swim to be educational, safe, and environmentally sensitive.
That is why we keep groups small and go directly into the water from the beach. This is not a quick “meet, greet, and go” activity.
When you meet us at the beach shack at the meeting time, we start with a baseline review of the equipment (10-15 minutes). It is imperative that everyone knows how to troubleshoot the tools you use to make the swim a safe and enjoyable activity.
This safety briefing is followed by an introduction to the beautiful yet still mysterious manta rays (10-15 minutes). We talk about the gentle giants and explain the best way to passively interact so we don’t injure or frighten them.
In conclusion, we will give you time to ask questions about the manta rays and our procedures.
It is an approximately 100-yard walk on the beach before we enter the water. We do not go on a boat.
We stay in the water for approximately 30-40 minutes.
After the activity, we provide towels for everyone – as well as access to restrooms, a changing room, and a freshwater shower.
3. What you need to know about manta rays
Manta rays are gentle and calm creatures, and our #1 mission is to protect them and other marine life.
You can learn all about them in different articles on our website:
- General information about manta rays
- The anatomy of manta rays
- What’s so special about the manta rays of Kona
- Are manta rays dangerous?
- How do mantas reproduce?
- Why manta rays are facing extinction
(and what we can do about it)
We ask that you adhere to the guidelines for passively interacting with manta rays – click here to read through them. We will also walk you through these guidelines during the briefing before we go into the water.
4. What is provided VS what to bring
WHAT IS PROVIDED
Read all about the equipment you need to swim with manta rays in this article.
You can bring your own equipment; however, we are happy to provide you with the following gear (*mandatory use):
- Snorkel mask and snorkel (classic style)*
- De-fogging solution
- Flotation vests with safety lights*
The gear we provide is always sanitized between uses.
We do not offer prescription masks (Rx masks). If you need one, these are the two stores close to the Mauna Kea Beach Resort that rent them:
- Kohala Divers, 5 min drive from the resort
- Snorkel Bob in Mauna Lani, 15 mins drive
WHAT TO BRING
- Swim Shirt (optional)
- Water bottle (optional)
- Snorkel equipment (optional)
- Payment: Pay your balance at the beach shack with a credit card, cash, or Apple Pay.
If you are staying at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, please note we are unable to add the activity to your room charges, and payment needs to be made separately.
TIP: a clean-shaven face will make your mask seal much better!
Your valuables will be secure in the beach activities shack while we are in the water.
Please DO NOT BRING full-face snorkeling masks. Read more here about why we are not permitting full-face masks for our moonlight swims. Only the classic-style mask with a separate snorkel is allowed. The use of fins is a mandatory component of proper snorkeling.
5. Safety & Precautions
Precautions, as mandated, will be followed during the meet, greet, and briefing time.
If you have concerns about COVID-19 and using our gear, then we recommend that you bring your own mask and snorkel as this is a sure way to put your mind at ease.
Read more about the precautions we took and are taking concerning COVID-19: click here
6. Cancellations & Right of Refusal
We do not allow children below the age of 12, and any children under 14 years old need to be accompanied by an adult. Read more about why that is in this article.
While we do not have maximum age requirements, we ask that you are in sufficient physical health to walk 100 yards along the beach, have the flexibility to don fins in shallow water yourself, and prevail in swimming and snorkeling for the duration of the activity.
Each participant MUST be able to swim in water too deep to stand AND have basic OCEAN snorkel experience. If you are not an experienced snorkeler, we recommend you practice in your hotel’s swimming pool and in the ocean before joining us.
Entering the ocean or a deep pool without the proper skill required will put the responsibility for your life onto others. As professional guides, we appreciate this consideration.
To clarify the above:
- It is not safe to join if you cannot swim.
- It is not safe to participate if you have never snorkeled in the ocean.
We reserve the right to refuse participation to anyone unable to swim or snorkel, and no refunds will be issued in this case.
Depending on the phase of the moon, there can be a higher probability of encountering box jellyfish in the water. Read more about this here.
On those nights, we reach out to the guests beforehand to discuss the monthly phenomenon and ensure they bring adequate skin coverage.
Between mid-November to the end of March, winter swells will affect ocean conditions generating higher waves and lower visibility. We may need to walk through larger than normal surf to reach the manta viewing site.
Read more about the surf and swell (and how we make sure we can safely enter the ocean) in this article.
7. Get in touch with us
Feel free to contact us by calling 808-987-5580 or emailing email@example.com.
If you’re looking to book a swim with us (or you’ve booked already), our team is best reached from 9 AM – 3 PM Hawaiian Standard Time.
We are happy to help Monday to Saturday – Closed on Sundays, July 4th, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.