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16 Top Places to Dive with Manta Rays



These is nothing quite as magical as spending time in the water with manta rays. These graceful creatures can be found at top dive destinations around the world and charm many divers every year. Read on for our top 16 liveaboard diving destinations where you can encounter these magnificent ocean giants.

Baa Atoll, Maldives

Baa Atoll is the place to go in the Maldives to swim with hundreds of feeding mantas. One of the Northern Atolls, Baa Atoll is famous for encounters with groups of mantas as they feed on seasonal plankton blooms in Hanifaru Bay.

The mantas funnel plankton within this small, enclosed bay in huge groups; swirling and barrel rolling as they feed. You can watch from your boat or go snorkelling with them.

When to go for mantas: May to November

Liveaboard: The Blue Voyager offers unique Manta Trust expeditions, during which you can swim with mantas and participate in research and conservation activities.

Rasdhoo Atoll, Maldives

Tiny Rasdhoo Atoll has just 4 islands and 3 sandbanks but there is plenty of marine life to find there. Manta Block is one of the best dive sites for spotting manta rays at their cleaning stations. You can also find mantas at Madifaru; a horseshoe-shaped reef teeming with diverse marine life.

Remember to leave time to go in search of hammerhead sharks at Hammerhead Point whilst you’re in the area.

When to go for mantas: November to April

Liveaboard: The Emperor Serenity offers Maldives safaris that include Rasdhoo Atoll and South Ari Atoll.

Southern Ari Atoll, Maldives

Ari Atoll is a classic Maldives dive destination made up of over 100 islands, with numerous submerged pinnacles busy with mantas. The most dependable dive sites for mantas are in southern Ari Atoll, with cleaning stations at Kudarah Thila and Rangali Madivaru.

When to go for mantas: January to April

Liveaboard: The Emperor Virgo offers Pelagic Magic safaris that focus on mantas and whale sharks in Ari Atoll.


Fiji might be best-known for its exceptionally colourful coral reefs but there are abundant mantas to find there. The Yasawa Islands have mantas, including at Naviti Island’s coral-covered walls. For numerous mantas, Barefoot Island just south of the Yasawas is a popular choice.

You can also snorkel or dive with mantas at Kadavu, Namena Marine Reserve and Tavenui.

When to go for mantas: June to October

Liveaboard: The Nai’i offers small-group Fiji diving safaris and is one of the few liveaboards that operates there.

Kona, Hawaii

Another much-loved manta destination, Hawaii offers dramatic diving amidst lava landscapes and unique manta night dives. You can go night diving or snorkelling with mantas at Kona and this dive is regularly offered as part of liveaboard diving safaris.

Take a good torch and your camera, then watch the mantas as they barrel-roll and feed in the light.

When to go for mantas: All year

Liveaboard: The Kona Aggressor II offers Hawaii dive safaris.

Socorro Islands, Mexico

If you want to go diving with huge oceanic mantas, you need to go diving at Mexico’s Socorro Islands. This remote destination can only be reached by liveaboard and offers the chance to dive with the world’s friendliest manta rays. These enormous mantas congregate at San Benedicto Island and use the cleaning stations found there.

Being tolerant of divers, they come close and offer fantastic photographic opportunities. Keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins whilst you dive at Socorro – they are known for mimicking the mantas and divers movements.

When to go for mantas: November to May

Liveaboard: The Valentina offers 10-day Socorro Islands safaris.

Komodo, Indonesia

Indonesia is a great destination for manta ray encounters and Komodo is top of our list. Manta Alley has up to 50 mantas at any one time. You can also find them at Makassar reef, Batu Balong and Golden Passage.

Wherever you go in search of mantas in Komodo you’ll be surrounded by an abundance of other marine life; from tiny critters through to Mola mola, sharks, eagle rays and dolphins.

When to go for mantas: December or February for peak manta numbers.

Liveaboard: The Mikumba II offers barefoot luxury Komodo cruises and is a great option for food-lovers.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

One of the best dive destinations in Indonesia (and the world), Raja Ampat doesn’t disappoint with its mantas. It is one of the only places in the world where you can see both reef and oceanic mantas.

Manta Ridge and Manta Sandy both host reef mantas, whilst Blue Magic is visited by oceanic manta rays. To see both species together, make sure you dive Magic Mountain.

 When to go for mantas: December to March for peak manta numbers.

Liveaboard: The Kurabesi caters for just 12 guests and offers intimate Raja Ampat safaris.

Bali, Indonesia

For the chance to see both mantas and Mola mola, go scuba diving at Nusa Penida, Bali. This laid-back destination has numerous mantas all year, at sites such as Manta Bay and Manta Point.

You can also find Mola mola at Crystal Bay in Nusa Penida. As one of the few places in the world you can find these strange-looking fish, it is unmissable.

When to go for mantas: August to September to see both mantas and Mola mola.

Liveaboard: The Tiare offers cruises that include Nusa Penida.

Koh Bon, Thailand

Koh Bon and the Similan Islands are the jewels in the crown of Thailand’s Andaman diving scene. They are also great dive destinations for mantas.

Koh Bon has numerous mantas, reef sharks and good macro life. Meanwhile, the Similan Islands showcases some of Thailand’s best marine life – including manta rays at Boulder City and whale sharks.

When to go for mantas: Late February for manta rays and whale sharks at the Similan Islands.

Liveaboard: The Junk offers Andaman dive safaris to Koh Bon, the Similan Islands and the nearby Surin Islands.

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

You can see mantas throughout the Great Barrier Reef and they are known to cruise along the continental shelf at the Far Northern reefs.

Lady Elliot Island is also a well-known manta hotspot with hundreds of mantas. This special island is an easy addition to your Australian dive adventure.

When to go for mantas: May and June for peak manta numbers.

Liveaboard: The Spoilsport offers Far North Coral Sea Exploratory safaris.

Ningaloo Reef, Australia

Head to Australia’s northwestern coast and you can go diving off the Ningaloo Coast, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage area. There are plenty of whale sharks to be found at Ningaloo Reef, Australia’s largest fringing coral reef. Few people also realise Ningaloo Reef is busy with mantas, especially at Coral Bay.

When to go for mantas: May to October

Liveaboard: The Shore Thing catamaran offers small-group dive and snorkelling safaris at Ningaloo Reef.

Cabo Marshall, Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands feature at the top of many divers wish lists. Go Galapagos diving and you can see huge schools of hammerhead sharks, plus whale sharks, silky sharks, Galapagos sharks and more.

Did we mention the mantas? You can find plenty of giant mantas at the Galapagos Islands. Hotspots include the famed Wolf and Darwin Islands, Cousins Rock and Cabo Marshall. Cabo Marshall is visited by numerous mantas searching for food and cleaning stations. You can also spot mobula and cow-nose rays there.

When to go for mantas: December to May

Liveaboard: The Nortada liveaboard is ideal for exploring the Galapagos Islands without crowds of divers; catering to 12 guests maximum.

Palau, Micronesia

Palau is less well-known than other places for manta rays but it is one of the most reliable places for manta sightings. Palau’s German Channel has extremely swift currents but the dive site is at the southwest mouth and is one of the best dive sites for experiencing manta rays.

There are manta ray cleaning stations to enjoy and other marine life includes schools of blacktip reef sharks, grey reef sharks, barracuda and numerous tropical fish.

When to go for mantas: October to May

Liveaboard: The Solitude One offers budget-conscious Palau dive safaris.

Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia

Rangiroa and Fakarava atolls are paradise; both above and below the water. These idyllic atolls attract an array of pelagics, including ‘walls of grey reef sharks’, humpback whales, dolphins and mantas.

Don’t miss them if you’re looking for a far-flung destination and peaceful diving.

When to go for mantas: August to October for mantas and humpbacks.

Liveaboard: The French Polynesia Master offers safaris to both Rangiroa and Fakarava.

Donsol, Philippines

Have you heard of Donsol yet? This Philippine dive area is known for its abundant whale sharks and lush volcanic landscapes. Manta Bowl is washed by plankton-rich waters that also attract manta rays to this aptly-named dive site. If you’re lucky, you might even see thresher or hammerhead sharks whilst diving there.

When to go for mantas: November to June for whale sharks and mantas.

Liveaboard: The luxurious Philippine Siren offers Malapascua and Donsol safaris. Just remember to book early as this is one of the most popular liveaboards out there.

This article was written by divers and writers at is the easiest place online to book liveaboard diving holidays around the world. Their team has completed well over 20,000 dives and can help you plan your best scuba diving holiday.


WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on (which you can read here), we reported that the Philippines have been recognised as the World’s Leading Dive Destination at the 27th World Travel Awards. In the article it states how many islands make up the Philippines… how many are there?

Is there:

  • A) 7,209
  • B) 7,532
  • C) 7,641

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Beuchat Air Light Bag December 2020

  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Beuchat and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to When prizes are supplied by third parties, is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 13/01/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Gear News

Quick Scuba Tips #1: How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving (Watch Video)



How To Prep A New Mask for Scuba Diving. Can’t I just take my new mask diving straight out of the box? Well, actually, no. It needs a little work to make it dive ready.

In this, the first in our new scuba diving quick hints and tips series, I’m going to show you how to prepare a new mask for scuba diving with three quick techniques, all aimed at stopping your scuba mask from fogging.

Yes, this link is an affiliate link. Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you.

Dive safe, dive often!


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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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