Manta ray night snorkel kona – The Experience of a Lifetime

»  Swim with Manta Rays in Kona, Hawaii

»  Environmentally sensitive

»  Highly educational

A Life-Changing Adventure

Swimming and snorkelling with manta rays is not an everyday event for you; you want an amazing underwater adventure you can thoroughly enjoy.

However, with 50+ operators offering the manta ray activity on the Big Island of Hawaii, chances are you’ll get packed with a boatload of tourists. You don’t want to end up in the water with dozens of other snorkellers and divers, lost in the chaos – and disturbing the manta rays on top of that.

What Makes Our Manta Ray Snorkle Experience Unique?


At Manta Ray Advocates, the mantas always come first. We adhere to strict guidelines to make sure the manta rays don’t get disturbed by our presence. We approach the mantas from the beach, an eco-friendly alternative to sightseeing boats.

Safety First

The manta ray night snorkel in Kona should be completely safe, for the mantas as well as for you. With 50+ years of combined field experience, we know how important it is to brief you on safety before we start – and we only work with top-notch equipment.

Private Setting

Instead of traveling on a boat to one of the busy viewing areas, we enter the ocean from a georgous white sandy beach and swim to where the manta rays are feeding. Read more about the location here! We work with small groups (up to 6 people), so we can give every guest the personal attention they deserve and make the experience highly educational for everyone.

Book a Manta Ray Night Snorkel in Kona, Hawaii

Interested in joining us for a moonlight swim with manta rays?

  1. See our availability – and choose a day and time that fit your travel schedule
  2. As soon as you’ve booked and paid, we’ll send you an email confirmation

We can’t wait to meet you… so you can meet the mantas on the Kona Coast!

One of the most amazing experiences a human can have. And one flicked its wing and hit me on the hand – it was unexpected and so exciting. Made me feel blessed to be so fortunate. A wonderful antidote to negativity bias!

- Cory Parker

As Featured In…

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the manta ray snorkel scheduled at night?

This is the time of the day when manta rays come to feed. Lights at the viewpoint attract zooplankton, and the manta rays associate those lights with food. Read more about this here.

Where can we read more about the Manta Ray snorkel Kona Coast location?

We’ve been using our location at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for several years now – we love that we get to use a private beach for a unique and relaxing experience. No boat involved. Read more about the location here.

Do I need a guide? Can’t I do this on my own?

There are 3 reasons why you need a guide:

  1. Our experienced guides keep you safe and away from currents, jellyfish, sharp lava rock and coral, sea urchins, rogue waves, and other potential dangers.
  2. Swimming in the ocean at night requires planning and proper equipment; we work with top-notch material plus safety lights and swim vests.
  3. We will also show you how to passively interact with the manta rays, so they aren’t frightened or injured by your presence – and so we don’t interrupt them while they eat.

Do I need a wetsuit? Is the water colder at night?

No, the water temperature does not change between day and night. It is generally around 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit (21-25 degrees Celsius).

Do I have to be in "good shape" to do this? Are there any age limits?

We have designed the tour to be relaxing and not too taxing. We do require you to have basic swim and snorkel skills. Our moonlight swims are open to anyone over 12 years old. We even get guests that are over 80 years old

Can the manta rays hurt me?

No, manta rays are notorious pacifists. In case you’re wondering – Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray, a much different creature. In 25 years of scuba diving along the Kona coast, we have only seen stingrays twice – and never at our location. Stingrays stay in much deeper water, and are very shy creatures.

Do I need to worry about sharks?

No, we have never seen sharks during the activity.

Can we touch or even ride the manta rays?

No, touching removes a protective coating from their skin and this is harmful to the manta rays. Trying to ride or touch them can harm or kill them. More about this here.

Do we need to remain on a "floaty device"?

The “floaty devices” are surfboards with lights installed and used on the boats as they usually have larger groups and as a whole, there are a lot more people at the viewing sites at Keauhou and the Airport (read more here).

We do not use any devices that you would hold onto. We float on the surface freely but still in an organized matter. You want to avoid swimming after/with the mantas as it is more of a “looking at mantas feeding while staying still” activity.

We observe only and always stay in passive interaction.

Are we going snorkelling or scuba diving?

Snorkelling only. If you’d rather scuba dive: see Hawaii Ocean Watch Greenlist.

What can I do to prepare for swimming with manta rays?

Take it easy on the day of the activity by relaxing on the beach. Practice snorkeling in the ocean or in the hotel pool so you’re confident the gear is comfortable and fits right. Eat something so you are not hungry during the activity. Have a Plan B just in case we have to cancel due to ocean conditions.

What happens if the manta ray experience gets cancelled?

Sometimes, ocean conditions force us to cancel our moonlight swim, especially during the winter months from mid-December to end of March. We keep you updated by text and email so you’ll know as soon as we know.

Does it get rescheduled? – YES, if possible, we do our best to make things happen for guests.

Is there a chance we won’t see manta rays at all?

The chances to see at least one manta ray is over 80%! We are fortunate that we can determine with high accuracy if manta rays are in the bay, so our policy is: if manta rays are sighted, we go in and full charge. When no mantas are in the bay, we don’t get wet and there will be no charge.  If you’d like to try anyways and get wet, then we do charge the full amount regardless if there are no manta rays. Rest assured we are fully transparent and want you to have the best time of your life.

Where do we meet for the moonlight manta ray snorkel?

We meet at the beach activities kiosk of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

What do I need to bring - and what do you provide?

Please bring swimsuit, swim shirt and you are welcome to use your own snorkeling gear.

We supply high quality mask, fins, snorkels, safety flotation vests, and towels.

There is a freshwater shower for your convenience, afterwards, as well as restrooms and changing rooms.

How long does the Manta Ray snorkel take?

 90 minutes of total engagement with 30-40 minutes of water time.

I’ve got more questions!

Call us at 808-987-5580 – or email

What We Offer

MANTA Night Snorkel

Ready to go snorkelling with manta rays? Reserve your moonlight swim with us today! Click the button below to see our availability – and book right away if it matches your travel plans.

Kona Coast Vacations

We offer three different holiday rentals on our property in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. We love sharing our passion for manta rays and interacting with guests – if that’s what you want! 

Mauna Kea Beach Resort

Looking for all inclusive accommodations? We start our moonlight swims on the private beach of the legendary Mauna Kea Beach Resort. This is for you if you want luxury & relaxation.

About Your Guides

James L. Wing

Underwater cameraman at heart, James founded “Dolphin Dreams Imaging” (and today’s Manta Ray Advocates) in 1991.  He was the first photographer for the manta ray dive at Manta Village (Keauhou) and established Manta Heaven (airport) in 1999.

When he retired from diving and filming in 2014, he pivoted from production and set up the manta ray moonlight swim program with the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

He’s a PADI master diving instructor, ocean educator, and loves sharing his in-depth knowledge about manta rays. His field-experience with the gentle giants along the Kona Coast is unmatched.

Martina Wing

Martina is a passionate manta ray advocate, ocean educator, and underwater camerawoman. She lives in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, with hubby James.

Martina’s all about raising awareness and spreading knowledge about the gentle giants of the sea, so we can better protect them from harm – and people will be able to experience manta rays (online and in real life) for generations to come.

Her love for the mysterious manta rays inspired her to teach other people about marine life and the uncountable wonders taking place in our oceans. Martina has been filming manta rays (and other underwater stories), as well as guiding people who come to swim with the gentle giants in Hawaii for over 20 years.

Kerstin Windberg

Kerstin got her diving certification in the Maldives in 1998. After finishing her divemaster in Thailand (2010), she followed through with the PADI Instructor (2011) and has worked around the beautiful reefs of the Red Sea (Egypt), Bali, Thailand, and the Florida Keys. In 2017 she moved to the Big Island of Hawaii.

Kerstin cherishes small critters and large marine life alike and loves introducing people to them. She’s passionate about making the mantas’ home safer and working towards a sustainable future for the ocean, that everyone can benefit from.

What They Are Saying

Olga Ribble

Martina, Thank you so much for the amazing Manta experience on my 60th birthday. I truly appreciate the video you made for us and will never forget you!

Sylvia & Mark (Georgia)

Wonderful support building self-confidence through education and guidance … the manta rays are truly one of the most beautiful and elegant creatures I have ever seen … it was like watching an underwater concert with the silent music being their graceful euphoric movements. Thank you!

Loretta Mclaughlin

WOW!  We have just looked at the footage of our manta adventure and are reliving the moments!  What an awesome memory for us to have!  Thank you!

Susan Kurnick

We were so pleasantly surprised and really DO think differently of mantas.  They are beautiful.  Your team was so informative and fun.  We have already recommended you to two different sets of people who are going to book.  Thank you for all you do for this graceful species.

Bill Sacia

Thanks Martina! We’re so glad we did this! Definitely the highlight of our vacation!!


Thanks so much for the tour, it’s amazing to be close to these gentle giants.

Cory Parker

One of the most amazing experiences a human can have. And one flicked its wing and hit me on the hand – it was unexpected and so exciting. Made me feel blessed to be so fortunate. A wonderful antidote to negativity bias!

Denise Gardner

Our group were so privileged to have the experience with you and the manta rays last September and the memories sustain us during this COVID crisis. Hope you and yours are staying healthy. Australia seems to be doing well so far with strict requirements but time will tell.

Carrie (Seattle)

Having fallen in love with the Manta Rays a few years ago, we continue to enjoy Martina’s updates and continuing education. She is as wonderful as the beautiful creatures that she works so hard to protect.

Caroline (Idaho)

The manta was so peaceful to watch. It was a pleasure to meet James! We also enjoy reading your interesting emails. We admire your advocacy for the mantas.

Karen (Hawaii)

Loved the book about Notch’s rescue! Unashamed tears rolled down my face. Of course I have seen your famous video and will certainly order more for the grandchildren!

Joseph (North Carolina)

Everyone I show my Manta Dive video to is in awe. We have opened staff meetings with it at our substance abuse and mental health program. It is very relaxing and tends to put everything in perspective.

Jill (Missouri)

What a magical evening! Thank you for your passion for these wonderful animals and for teaching us about them. It was an amazing experience.

Mallory (Illinois)

Their majesty was breathtaking and the sizes are incredible to be next to! I’ll never forget it. I am looking forward to continuing to learn more about the gentle giants by following Manta Ray Advocates.