Manta Ray Night Dive (Returning Soon) in Kona, HI

diving with manta rays in kona is a must-do, once-in-a-lifetime, check-it-off-your-bucket-list experience


The Kona Manta Ray Night Dive is one of the most popular activities in Hawaii. And Pacific Rim Divers has been taking people diving with manta rays for 25 years.

Manta rays feed on tiny marine organisms called plankton. Many years ago, divers discovered that light attracts plankton. When they held an underwater torch in place, plankton gathered in its beam. If divers could congregate large amounts of plankton, they could encourage manta rays to stay and feed in one area. And thus, a show was born.

At a site just off the airport, dive operators built an underwater “campfire” using large boulders. Why the airport? Because it is a good, reliable site for plankton accumulation (mantas show up about 90% of the time). A natural sand channel allows divers to sit or kneel on the bottom without impacting the environment. We don't want to kill coral while we're watching mantas!

Before sunset, dive guides put a crate of the brightest lights available (currently 33,000 lumens) to accumulate plankton. Once it's dark, divers gather and settle in the sand around the campfire; they hold up their dive lights. Snorkelers gather on the surface with bright lights shining down from rafts. And everyone watches the manta rays perform their night-time ballet, swooping and flying through the water column. If you're lucky, your light collects lots of plankton and a manta flies right over your head. If you're snorkeling, you might find yourself belly to belly with a 10-foot manta.

We're pretty confident you'll come out of the water and exclaim that it's the coolest thing you've ever seen.

Times: Varies based on sunset (1-tank or 2-tank available)

Where: Honokohau Marina near the mountain-side (mauka) boat ramp

What's included: tanks, weights, snacks, water and a professional, experienced dive guide

What to bring: any personal dive gear, certification card, camera, towel and sense of adventure. Some people find that they get chilled after being in the water at night, so we recommend you bring warmer dry clothes and even a hat.

​2-TANK MANTA RAY DIVE (Returning Soon) Tuesday nights or by request

On this adventure, you will do a crepuscular dive (that's right before sunset), followed by the manta ray night dive.

Every night at sunset, there is a “changing of the guard” as the day critters get ready for bed and the night creatures come out. You will experience this phenomenon during the crepuscular dive. Your guide will be sure to point out this behavior as you swim along the reef.

During the surface interval, you'll enjoy a legendary Kona sunset. Your guide will tell you stories of manta rays and diving at night. And once it's dark, you'll jump back in for your manta ray night dive.

This adventure is for certified divers only.  If you are not certified, you can join us as a snorkeler.

If you would like to try diving, you can sign up for our Discover Scuba Diving program on a daytime charter.


Join us on any of our day or night
charters as a snorkeler or rider.