Tour Summary: Snorkel adventure + sunset sail on a 45-foot luxury trimaran to see the majestic manta rays at the world-famous "Manta Village" location in Keauhou (south Kona).
- Snorkeling with Manta Rays at night in Kona Hawaii is a truly magical experience
- Called "one of the top ten things to do in your lifetime" by the Travel Channel
- Manta Guarantee: re-book for free if you do not see a Manta Ray on your tour
- Sea Paradise is a Green Listed Activity Provider andverified by the Manta Ray Advocates of Hawaii.
- GoPro upgrade available
Important: Bring your own towel, cover up, light jacket or sweater for after you're out of the water. **Manta Ray Guarantee** Sea Paradise can not guarantee the sighting of Manta Rays. If a manta ray isn’t seen the night of your trip you can return free on any regularly scheduled Manta Ray experience during the next 7 days. Space available and advanced reservation required for return trip, note that this is *not* a money back guarantee.
Tour Provider: Sea Paradise
Activity: Manta Rays
Tour start time: Depending on the time of sunset between 5 pm and 6:30 pm
Duration: 2 hours
Departure from: Keauhou harbor
Pick-up available? No
Included: All snorkel gear and wetsuit provided. Light snacks and sodas / tea / hot cocoa on the sail back
Cancellations: Cancellations require 24 hour advance notice on regular bookings and 72 hour advance notice on private charters. You must call (800) 322-5662 or 808-322-2500 to cancel your tour. No refunds will be issued if you do not call to cancel in the required time prior to your scheduled check-in time.
You can read more about this activity in our Manta Rays guide.
This sunset tour from the Keauhou Bay harbor takes place on the Hokulani, a 45-foot luxury trimaran. Keauhou Bay is the original location for Manta Ray tours and is for Hawaii to location with the highest amount of Manta Ray sightings.
Manta rays are gentle giants of the sea, with many residing along the Kona Coast. Harmless to humans, they are drawn to the spotlights that light up the night to eat plankton. These mesmerizing creatures sometimes gracefully glide within inches of awe-struck snorkelers. Swimming with manta rays is often the highlight of visitors’ trips to Hawaii.
Tour location: Manta Village
Tours organized south of Kona in Keauhou, at a Manta Ray location called “Manta Village“. Manta Village is the location with the highest success rate in manta ray sightings. In 2013, for example, a staggering 96% of all manta ray tours reported seeing manta rays, with an average of 4 manta rays/night!
Typical Trip Itinerary
Enjoy a breathtaking, Hawaiian sunset aboard the spacious trimaran, the Hokulani. As the sun sets, the boat coasts a small distance to the snorkel location where preparations for the snorkeling tour start. The snorkeling location is only 5-10 minutes from the harbor which is a plus for those getting seasick easily. Longer sailing experiences on the Hokulani are available on the Sea Paradise snorkeling trips to Kealakekua Bay.
The total trip time of ~2 hours includes the check-in procedure. Expect to be out on the water for 1 to 1.5 hours, and in the water for ~45 minutes.
In the water:
Once you reach Manta Ray Village you will be given a knowledgeable and professional briefing on the manta rays. The people snorkeling will be guided onto the “manta floatation device” (see the video below) where guests of all ages and skill levels can hold onto a float that rests above the majestic manta rays as they feed on the microscopic plankton that rises from the bottom of the ocean at night and is attracted to the light source attached to our float.
You will spend about 45 minutes in the water. Afterwards you get some light snacks or a warm cup of hot cocoa. Ride along guests (no snorkeling, big discounts available), can watch the majestic manta rays from the comfort of the trimaran.
You need to sign an e-waiver to participate in this activity. You can sign this waiver during the booking process, and directions to the boat will be given in the waiver confirmation. If you cannot sign an e-wavier, check-In at the Sea Paradise store (call the store for seasonal check-in times) located at 78-6831 Alii Drive Suite #144 Kailua Kona, Hi 96740 located in the Keauhou Shopping Center (Look for the 3 tall flag poles. Just north of the Tropic’s Bar). You will then be issued your boarding passes and given driving directions to meet the boat for departure at Keauhou Bay.
Be sure to wear your swim attire as you will be fitted for your wet suit once you arrive at the bay.
Short Video of the Manta Ray Snorkel with Sea Paradise:
In the following video you can see footage of the Manta ray snorkel tour by Sea Paradise. At several times in the video (i.e. at 1:17) you can see the “manta flotation device” used during this tour which stays on the surface the entire time. All you need to do is hold onto the float and look down through your mask – no swimming is needed!
Sea Paradise is an original manta ray tour expert in Hawaii, helping its guests get up close and personal with these majestic creatures since 1985.
They are a valued member of the Hawaii Ecotourism Association and dedicate a lot of resources to environmental conservation and community service projects. For example, they donate and volunteer for the Surfrider Foundation and the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.
The Manta Green List
The Manta Ray Night Dive/Snorkel is a very popular activity for understandable reasons. This popularity has driven a large and unchecked growth in providers that offer these tours. Finding a balance between what is good (sustainable) for the Manta Ray population and earning an income unfortunately has put a lot of pressure on the Manta Rays, and all self-regulation efforts tried by the industry since have failed. Because of this, Hawaii Ocean Watch (HOW) created the Manta Ray Green List to protect the Manta Rays in Hawaii.
The Manta Ray Green List aims to reward safe and sustainable programs of passive interaction between people and marine life so that the creatures can be enjoyed, but not harmed, by humans. Sea Paradise is one of only four (!) preferred activity providers on this green list. This means they hold themselves to the high ecological standards set by the HOW, and commit themselves:
- to keep people and marine life safe
- to conduct sustainable operations and
- to create marine-life friendly encounters.
We are affiliate partners with Sea Paradise meaning that we receive a percentage for each successful booking made through our website. This happens without any additional charge to you! (read more on the use of those links on our website here).
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