Night Manta Experience

Night Manta Experience Kona

Duration 1.15 Hours

Per Person $128

Minimum age: 7 Years old

Go Snorkeling with Manta Rays at Night!


Go home and tell your family and friends that you did something they’ll never believe- you participated in a feeding frenzy in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean in the darkness of night with creatures as large as 16ft across and weighing 1000lbs. The Travel Channel named this tour one of the 10 things you must do in your lifetime, and they would be correct. An amazing and unique experience that is may only be done at 3 places on the entire planet.

There is a reason everyone is talking about this tour…

Participate in a feeding frenzy in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, in the darkness of night, with creatures as large as 16 ft. across and weighing 1,000 lbs. The Travel Channel named this particular tour one of the 10 things you must do in your lifetime, and for good reason. Our Night Manta Experience is a unique and singular experience and this is the only place on the entire planet you can do it at night.

Sea Quest’s point of departure is just a few minutes boat ride from the Big Island’s most successful and consistent manta ray viewing location. Our outstanding Coast Guard certified Captains & crew assist as you simply float above these graceful and glorious gentle giants right outside the mouth of Keauhou Bay. Enjoy nature’s most spectacular nocturnal ballet, available 7 nights a week. An experience you won’t soon forget.

What Will I See While Snorkeling With Manta Rays in Kona?
Because we conduct our manta ray snorkel tours at night, there might be less reef activity than during the day and in different areas around the Kona Coast. But with creatures who have a 10-12 foot wingspan swimming and barrel rolling under you, there will be more than enough entertainment!

Manta Rays feed on the phytoplankton who are attracted to light. Our in-water guide will coach you on how to get comfortable holding onto our state of the art floatation device. This device beams light below the water’s surface in order to bring forth the plankton and therefore the manta rays with them.

Multiple mantas may dance around the rocks and reefs at the ocean’s floor– something that will also be illuminated by our light and the light of the world around Keauhou Bay.

Kona Manta Ray Night Snorkel Tour Features:

Snorkel with manta rays…at night!
Hot chocolate and cookies
Wetsuits and flotation devices provided
Snorkel gear (including Rx masks) included
Please Note: For the safety of our guests, staff and the manta rays, we require that all participating guests know how to swim without the assistance of a floatation device and have previous snorkeling experience. No exceptions to the rule. Mahalo!

Check-in and departure times are subject to change based on sunset times throughout the year. Please select your desired date for the available times.

Are Manta Rays Dangerous to Snorkel With?
The shortest and best answer is, no! Unlike their cousin, the Sting Ray, Manta Rays are gentle giants with no spear-tipped tails, or any threatening body part for that matter. The only thing that we emphasize to ensure the safety of our guests as well as our crew, is that you have prior swimming and snorkeling experience. While we won’t be doing a lot of active swimming once in the water– the basics of knowing how to breathe and maintain a calm while the mantas swim around us are important for their safety and ours.

If you have any hesitations about your ability to snorkel on our manta ray trip or even any hesitations around snorkeling at night in general; be sure to check out one of our other, daytime snorkel excursions. These are still a ton of fun and there’s a chance you will be able to see one of the Big Island rays during your time in the water, on these tours, as well!

What is Manta Ray Village, Hawaii?
All of our snorkel tours depart from “Manta Ray Village”. Given its name through the sheer amount of manta rays that live and inhabit Keauhou Bay, there is no question that this is the best place to embark on a night time snorkel tour!

Over the years, the population of the mantas who inhabit the bay’s waters have fluctuated with the popularity of the destinations around Keauhou. Once the Sheraton established their residence, the lights around the bay shone bright attracting increased phytoplankton, which in turn, attracted their predator, the Manta Rays.

When you book with us you are guaranteed the experience of a lifetime swimming with these seemingly prehistoric creatures in the warm waters of Manta Ray Village. While Keauhou Bay is a popular spot to embark on these types of night snorkel tours, we make sure to focus on our group of guests and give them an extremely intimate encounter with the marine creatures.

Cancellation Policy

All changes to and/or cancellations of a reservation must be made 48 hours before the tour start time.

Contact us by phone to cancel or inquire about a cancellation. No-shows and cancelations within 48 hours to the tour will be charged the full price. Guests wanting to reschedule within 48 hours will incur a rebook fee of 75% of the regular tour price.

Customers will receive a full refund in the case of operator cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Manta Guarantee Policy:
On the rare occasion where zero manta rays are sighted on your tour, Sea Quest invites you to come back out once more on another night at no additional cost to you, or on a confirmed Captain Cook Exclusive afternoon snorkel tour at no additional charge. Based on availability. Non-transferable. No refunds given. Guarantee valid one time.

Trip Details/ Requirements
Snorkel With Manta Rays… At Night!
Hot Chocolate and Cookies
Wetsuits & Flotation Devices Provided
Snorkel Gear (Including Rx Masks) Included


Sea Quest Rafting & Snorkeling Adventures
78-7138 Kaleiopapa St, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Sea Quest Hawaii Parking Lot
78-7106 Kamehameha III Rd, Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Note that previous experience snorkeling will be helpful for this tour.

COVID-19 Statement

How many people will be on my tour?

Sea Quest Hawaii has always specialized in small groups on each of our tours. Now, to ensure physical distancing is possible, we have limited our tour group size to either half capacity or less for the protection of both our guests and staff. For example, our 33 passenger vessel has been limited to 14. Our 18 passenger vessel has been limited to 8, and so on. We recognize that without a sense of safety surrounding your excursion you will not be able to immerse yourself in the experience and that is what we aim to do- to create a safe and thoroughly enjoyable excursion in which you feel completely at ease to enjoy your surroundings, your guides, and all that the Kona Coast has to offer.


Is there a minimum number of participants on each tour?

During this unprecedented time of restricted travel, we are seeing lower numbers of travelers and excursion participants. As a rule, we require a minimum of 4 guests in order to confirm a tour. We will stay in touch with you regarding the status of your excursion should it not be confirmed. There are a few options available to you at that point and our team will happily assist you. Should you tour not confirm, you are entitled to a full refund.


What are the chances that the trip will be canceled due to poor weather or sea conditions?

This is very rare as the Kona Coast is blessed with the best weather, least rain, and calmest seas in the state. The occasional gloomy sky can quickly turn sunny as well. For this reason, should the need arise, Sea Quest reserves the right to determine whether or not the trip will be canceled at the scheduled time of departure. If the trip is canceled, you may reschedule for a later date (subject to availability) or receive a refund.



Where is the third snorkel spot on the Expedition South Kona tour?

In addition to Kealakekua Bay and Honaunau, we have selected several secluded snorkeling locations for the third spot on our Expedition South Kona tour. These snorkel sights are less protected than Kealakekua and Honaunau; therefore, your captain selects the third snorkel sight on the day of the tour based on the prevailing conditions. Regardless of the location the captain selects that day, you’ll know you will be in areas typically not snorkeled by any other tour companies and that you wouldn’t have visited any other way.


What happens if it is cloudy or rainy on the day of our tour?

Along with ample sunshine, the islands are also blessed with abundant daily rainfall, which nourishes the lushness and creates the erosive force that continues to shape all the fascinating geology. Most of the island’s waterfalls are sustained only by rainfall, and misty showers often delight passengers with rainbows along the tour. Usually, our typical high cumulus clouds and precipitation do not diminish the quality of your tour, but instead give it dimension and add other exciting facets to your experience. However, if the pilot determines that prevailing visibility, cloud cover, or wind speeds do not allow for a good air tour, or if it is not safe to fly, we will of course cancel the flight. Because weather conditions can change dramatically day to day and hour by hour, we often cannot make a determination about your flight prior to your check‐in time.


What about bathrooms?

There are no bathrooms on board for our trips; however, we like to say we have the world’s largest restroom available. With that in mind, we suggest you plan ahead and use the facilities near our check-in location before you depart. Once onboard, your first opportunity to get into the water will be approximately 30-40 minutes into the trip.



What is your cancellation policy?

Since we do not overbook our vessels and we specialize in small groups, Sea Quest enforces a 48 -our cancellation policy. As long as you cancel your reservation at least 48 hours prior to your tour, you will receive a full refund. If you need to reschedule, we ask that you do so 48 hours prior to your tour as well to avoid a penalty. This gives us an opportunity to rebook your seats.



Can I bring my own snorkel gear?

If you have equipment that you are comfortable with, feel free to bring it if you like! The snorkel gear we keep onboard is excellent- silicone masks, dry snorkels with purge valves, etc. For your protection, we sanitize the equipment after each use. There is no discount for providing your own equipment.


What if I have never snorkeled before?

If you have never snorkeled before we will you show me how


I'm not a strong swimmer and my wife doesn't swim at all. Is this something we can do?

Definitely! All you do to snorkel is float on the surface and look down at the beauty below. You might be surprised at how buoyant you are in salt water. It’s quite different than a lake or a pool. We also have plenty of flotation devices such as snorkel vests and foam pool noodles for extra floatation to put you at ease so that you can enjoy the view. Standing on the ladder is a great place to start. Once you feel comfortable, you can paddle off. However, this does not apply to either the Night Manta Experience or the Dolphin Encounter. Both of these tours require that you be a strong swimmer with snorkeling experience. Feel free to call us to elaborate.



I'm a vegetarian. What do your snacks include?

The snacks we serve on our tours vary by trip, but none include meat. The EXPEDITION SOUTH KONA tours serve a deli lunch which includes a sandwich that does include meat. With advance notice, we can easily order a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free lunch. We also offer juices and water for your refreshment. For your safety, Sea Quest is a non-alcoholic adventure.



What about shade?

The MANTA RAIV and LILIKOI both offer shade and are typically used on our EXPEDITION SOUTH KONA snorkel tours, but on occasion may also be used on our other snorkel tours. Our other rafts do not have a canopy which increases the number of caves we can explore along the coast. We suggest our guests bring along and apply beforehand a waterproof and environmentally friendly sunscreen, or wearing a rash guard or paddle shirt. We have both available for purchase. For some guests, a hat might be a good idea too. Just make sure it won’t blow off and end up in the ocean. If you take the proper precautions, you can easily avoid overexposure. Kona weather typically is cloudy in the afternoon, so those who are very concerned will often choose our three-hour CAPTAIN COOK EXPRESS.


Can I bring a regular camera?

Yes. This is not white water rafting. Some people even bring video cameras! That said, Sea Quest rents GoPro cameras at our check-in location. You may reserve one ahead of time when you make your reservation on our website!


Veronica M wrote a review
May 8, 2021


Attended the sunset manta ray dive. Worth the trip! The captain and crew takes you out to the bay top watch the sun go down. After the sun goes down they promptly took us to the spots for viewing. Good explanations and we saw 6 or 7 different rays while there (told on average 2-3 show up normally). My only suggestion to those prone to motion sickness - take plenty of meds prior to the trip and even an extra before getting into the water. You're out in the open water floating while holding on to the rafts (every tour company does it like this) and looking down. You are going to get sick. Come on an empty stomach and take the meds! I didn't take enough and had eaten 3 hours before getting on the boat. The crew were very kind and reassuring that at least two per trip generally get sick. Try not top be like me, lol. Even though at the end I was not feeling very well, I will still 100% recommend this tour! Everything about it was AMAZING!

Miss-K-CO-1983 wrote a review May 1, 2021

Snorkeling with gentle giants

What a cool experience; snorkeling with these gentle creatures was incredible. Their size was initially a little intimidating, but I was immediately captivated by their fluid and graceful movements. The folks at Sea Quest did a nice job and had a lot of knowledge to share about the mantas. They were also patient when I felt seasick, don't skip the Dramine before this tour! Also, be thoughtful when selecting a time to book; mantas can be less plentiful around the full moon.