Maldives Manta Ray Hot spots
Best Places to see Manta Rays in the Maldives
Diving or snorkeling with Manta Rays is one of the most breath-taking experiences a diver can have underwater. An incredible, nearly otherworldly adventure in the Maldives, seeing mantas is high on most people’s bucket list turning a regular dive into an unforgettable one.
One of the largest, graceful and gentle creatures in the ocean once you see Mantas up close and personal, you are mesmerized, and instantly fall in love to what is happening. The sea devils are not just fish; they are a symbol of majesty, elegance and freedom.
These majestic creatures, a member of the shark & ray family, can up to 7m in wingspan and can weigh up to 2 tonnes in weight! However, they feed on tiny zooplankton, funnelling it into their mouths using 2 large lobes at the front of their head. Despite their size, these beautiful creatures are incredibly graceful in the water, and even playful, swimming in and out of exhaled bubbles and barrel rolling mid-water to show off their elegance.
Manta Rays in the Maldives can generally be found at 'cleaning stations', where schools of cleaner wrasse hang out waiting for larger fish to swing by for a clean-up.
With great variety of dive sites in the Maldives to pick from, it’s an not an easy bet to be at the right place at the right time. If you want to see these majestic creatures, we can tell you best places in the Maldives where you have a good chance to encounter Manta Rays.
LiveAboard.com Special Deals in Maldives
- Carpe Diem - 09 Apr 2023 - from €1,999 - Best of Maldives 7 Nights - North Male-South Male-Vaavu-South Ari-North Male (Male - Male)
- Carpe Novo - 09 Apr 2023 - from €2,435.00 - North Male - Ari - Vaavu - South Male (Male - Male)
- Carpe Vita - 08 Apr 2023 - from €2,296.00 - North Male - Ari - Vaavu - South Male (Male - Male)
The highlight to the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the world-famous Hanifaru Bay is a vital feeding and breeding ground for manta rays and whale sharks in the Maldives; you have an excellent chance of seeing these incredible sea giants while snorkelling here.
While diving in the bay is banned, swimming with manta rays is a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime experience that snorkelers of all abilities should not miss out on. Watching from above as they glide, swoop, swerve and somersault just metres beneath you is one of life’s truly spectacular experiences.
Find the Best Hotels Closest to Hanifaru Bay
The reefscapes of Addu atoll is no doubt one of the most impressive in the Maldives. Blessed by the dive sites with the best hard corals, Addu Atoll is the best place for scuba diving with giant manta rays (with 12 months a year) and more pelagic species in Maldives. Read more
Lankan Manta Point
Easy to access and adapted to newbies, Lankan Manta Point is a dive site among the most well-known Manta rays cleaning station in the Maldives.
Located on the southeast outer reef of Lankanfinolhu Island in North Male atoll, this site is the large block of coral at a depth of 10 to 18-meters is where the rays come during the southwest monsoon and outgoing currents to get cleaned by wrasses. Even though Mantas are the main reason divers and liveaboards come to Lanka Manta Point, you can also encounter whitetip sharks, lobsters and humphead wrasses there.
Find the Best Hotel deals in North Male atoll
Located in Kukulhudhoo channel on the southwestern edge of Raa Atoll, the cleaning station is reef top starts at 10 m, the Manta point itself is on 15 m offering an incredible diving with this filter feeders 12 month a year. Featuring an outer reef with shallow plateau surrounded by a quite steep slope reef Sola Corner remains the manta-spotting hub, with sightings of up to 5 or 7 mantas at a time. In addition to the spectacular macropredators, you can spot white-tip sharks and nurse sharks in Sola Corner. Difficulty: From easy to medium dive experience.
Find the Best Hotels in Raa atoll
Iguraidhoo, Koen’s Dream
Featuring a large coral block at a depth of 5 meters that slopes down to a sandy bottom at 25 meters, Iguraidhoo is an uninhabited Island and a feeding station for manta rays. Located on the south-east reef of Raa atoll is also crowded with glass fish, emperors, oriental sweet lips, cleaning fish and white-edged soldier fish.
Koen’s Dream thila makes dreams come true for beginners and advanced divers alike. Huge manta rays don’t take any notice of the small white tip and grey reef sharks and might be passing by or circling the top reef. Large schools of small barracudas, big eye trevally’s and friendly long fin bat fish make the scenery complete.
With very alive hard corals on the top, Felivaru Corner works its way down to a plateau at 22 meters of depth attracting the manta rays with the current flowing from west to east moves the plankton in higher concentrations along this point when mantas feeding on the surface
Find the Best Hotels in Raa atoll
Located in Lhaviyani atoll Fushivaru Thila is a protected marine park, and is well known for its manta rays. In the right season these gentle giants, with wingspans of up to 5 metres, come here to be cleaned.
Even without the mantas the dive site is true spectacular – you can see huge schools of blue stripe snappers, humpback snappers, oriental sweet lips and collared butterfly fish. Giant trevally and barracuda also patrol these waters, ready to hunt and feast on the smaller fish.
Find the Best Hotels in Lhaviyani atoll
Madivaru (Manta Point)
Also known as Hukuru Elhi Faru, Madivaru (Manta Point) is a recent addition to the protected marine areas of the island nation, and from January until April the site is famous for it’s manta cleaner stations.
The mantas come up from the deeper parts of the ocean where they feed and use the shallower waters of Hukuru Elhi Faru to free themselves of unwanted parasites. During the dive these majestic creatures with a wing span of 3-4 metres hover just dance your head. Located in South Ari atoll the cleaner stations are also used by giant napoleon wrasse.
Find the Best Hotels in Ari atoll
Dhonakulhi Channel is part of the house reef at Hideaway Beach resort and at right time of year it is often full of mantas, gracefully gliding through the water with their mouths open wide to scoop up and filter their plankton feast.
When Manta season is in full swing in the Maldives the channels surrounding the island bring in the nutrient-rich waters that the mantas love to feed in, and the higher concentration of nutrients at this time of year means more mantas! The site is accessible for divers and snorkelers so everyone gets to experience manta mania.
An easy shallow dive for everyone Veligandu Manta point is located in Rasdhoo atoll. There are four thilas between a big thila and the corner of the out reef. Big Napoleon wrasse, stingrays and honeycomb moray eels have found their homes on these Thilas but the main reason why to dive this site are the majestic manta rays. On top of the smaller Thilas are cleaning stations which help the mantas to get rid of their parasites. Such visits most frequently occur when the tide is high.
Vagaaru Garden is close to the local island of Thuraakunu (Haa Alif Atoll), one exceptional manta point, from the beginning of December until the end of May! Ideal for all divers, this full of life reef is quiet shallow and it slopes gently down among luxuriant large table corals and stony corals of enormous beauty!
During this season, when the current flow out from the atoll, the outside reef is full of plenty of huge and friendly mantas all around at three different cleaning stations, from 10 to 14 meters of depth. With the correct current mantas are cleaning on the cleaning station on top of the thila. A haven for macro life and with strong currents large amounts of reef fishes inhabit the reef and give away a whirling show.
Emmadi Giri (Manta point) is in front of the local island Guraidhoo, there are Mantas from May until October.
Divers often refer Dhigu Thila as Manta Point. From June till October flocks of Mantas are visiting a cleaning station located in the midline of Gulhee Dhekunu Kandu in South Male atoll. Gliding with unbelievable elegant movements they are approaching from the drop-off of the channel and stop exactly in front of your eyes. Playing with the current they open their wings to be cleaned by all the little cleaning-fish around the coral block.
With a vibrant display of soft coral on the reef marine life on the thila is prolific with large schools of basslet and snapper and aggregations of bannerfish and sweetlips.
Find the Best Hotels in South Male atoll
Moofushi Manta point
An easy dive site suitable for all levels Moofushi Manta Point says it all, this is where you dive with manta rays. The mantas visit this dive site during north-east monsoon, usually to be maintained in the cleaning station that is located here.
You'lll find it on the eastern corner of a large plateau, where a large block is located at a depth of 16 meters. This is where the manta rays stop to let the 'cleaners' do their job. However Moofushi Manta Point has more to offer than just sea devils. Located in Ari atoll the site also attracts many white and gray reefsharks and napoleon fish.
MAA FARU CORNER
45 minutes away from both Thudufushi and Athuruga, south of Moofushi Island it is currently the best dive site to see the mantas in Ari atoll. It is a clean station located in a the outer edge of the pass. In addition to mantas you can often see gray reef sharks, jack fishes and more sea creatures.
MALDIVES RESORT Packages, Offers & Promotions
- Atmosphere resorts - 20% OFF, FULL ALL INCLUSIVE + transfers, minimum 4 nights
- Kandima: Up to 47% OFF discount applicable for stays from 24 December 2023 to 10 January 2024
- Amilla Escape: 30% OFF on water villa rates + HB meal
- Baros Maldives: 41% off - Special Offer with airport transfers, HB included
- Milaidhoo Island, Baa atoll - 41% OFF (B&B)
- OZEN COLLECTION - Save 25% on Luxury All Inclusive Plan
- Kuramathi SUPER SAVER: 45% OFF All Meals Included
- Crown & Champa Resorts Special offers: Up to 25% OFF for stays from now into 2023
- Outrigger Maafushivaru: - Honeymoon Getaway: HB + benefits
- Adaaran resorts: - SECRET DEAL OFFER – EXTRA 10%
- VIEW MORE MALDIVES RESORT PACKAGES
Best Hotels in Maldives
Best for Budget Trip
Best Resorts in Maldives
Recent Posts 10.03.2023
- Booking.com Launches Early 2023 Deals: 15% OFF
- Hard Rock Hotel Maldives launches 'Rock & Soul Month' – the Ultimate Wellness and Lifestyle experience
- Best of both worlds in Dubai with Anantara
- Experience Maldives by Art at Grand Park Kodhipparu
- A New Wellness Experience at Anantara Kihavah
- Crown & Champa Resorts: What's new? March 2023
- Raffles Maldives Meradhoo welcomes wellness practitioner Ranjith Saj
- Top hotel deals and offers to book for Eid Al-Fitr in the Maldives 2023
- From MasterChef delights to Easter celebration and other COCO news this month
- ELE|NA at OZEN RESERVE BOLIFUSHI wins World Luxury Spa Awards 2022
- The Nautilus Maldives launches the slumber ritual on World Sleep Day
- Where Kids Stay and Eat Free in the Maldives
- Deep Diving essentials
- COLOURS OF OBLU announces OBLU NATURE Helengeli renovation and rebranding
- LUX Tennis partners with Waldorf Astoria Maldives
- Avani+ Fares Maldives debuts on 1st April 2023 with Pre-Opening Special Offer
- Start Planning: Spring Break 2023 with COMO Hotels
- Constance Festival Culinaire 2023
- Savor the flavors of traditional Japanese cuisine at JW Marriott Maldives
- Latest News from Kandima, March 2023
- Top 5 Free-Spirited Experiences recommended by The Nautilus house masters
- Health events calendar at JOALI BEING for 2023
- Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort joins World’s Top 100 Elite Properties
- Huvafen Fushi Maldives resort to get revamped
- Explore the culinary wonders of Diamonds Athuruga Maldives
- These Countries Fly Direct to Malé (MLE)
- Maldives Most Booked Hotels
- 10 Maldives resorts to Add to Your 2023 Travel Bucket list
- Where to Spot an Indian Celebs in The Maldives
Beach or Water Villa?
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly revamped to cater to the needs of families visitingRead More
Best Maldives Resort Offers & Packages
Find out more about the most unparalleled Maldives hotel deals and special rates, when Book Direct your next beach holidayRead More
Maldives Hotel Reviews
Some of the best hotels and resorts in the Maldives are already included in this list, and the good part of them offers the best prices. We will constantly add new hotelsRead More
10 Exclusive Resorts in Maldives
The Maldives is paradise destination that should be on the bucket list of every discerning travelers. There's a special breed of hotels there that cater to the most tasteful of luxury travelers Read More
The Maldives’ Hottest Luxury Hotel Openings for 2022
hese are the hotel openings in the Maldives is most excited for in 2022 for planning your next luxurious getaway Read More
10 Most Affordable Water Villas
While it may never be cheap to visit thу Maldives, fortunately there are still some chic and relatively affordable overwater villas you can stay. Read more
Maldives Luxury Guide
Here's the best of Maldives for luxury travellers. We've compiled the finest recommendations of places to stay, ranging from the most celebrated five-star resorts to luxurious private islands Read More
Maldives Romantic Guide
The ultimate ‘flop and drop' and honeymoon destination, the Maldives is the playground for the most amazing and finest utilization of each second of this extremely valuable and hopeful time with each other in tota Read More
Maldives Budget Guide
Budget travellers choose Maldives as their destination of choice thanks to the variety of affordable stays Read More
Maldives Family Guide
Maldives - a name that became synonymous with honeymooners' paradise in the tourism world, has slowly Read More
Maldives Diving Guide
The life of these paradise islands below the Indian Ocean's level is the main draw attracting thousands of divers Read More