Found in tropical and subtropical waters, Manta Rays are classified as a vulnerablespecies by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. While overfishing remains one of the biggest threats to the species, Manta Rays are further protected by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals but its sluggish reproductive rate has reduced its populations considerably. Therefore, a sighting of these majestic aquatic creatures is truly an experience to cherish.

According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructions (known worldwide as PADI) there are a few destinations in the world where Manta Ray sightings are greatly numbered and are the best Manta dive destinations. PADI recommends Lady Elliot Island in the Great Barrier Reef, Kona in Hawaii, Cabo Marshall in Galapagos, Yap in Micronesia and of course, the Maldives. In these dive destinations, divers armed with a flashlight dive into the ocean in search of a these creatures and often, as the flashlight attracts plankton and Manta Rays devour plankton, divers tend to get lucky.

While tourists hoping to dive with the Mantas in Lady Elliot’s Island will have to ensure that they visit during the fall and winter seasons, in the Maldives, sightings of these creatures are in abundance during the monsoon season. If you are hoping to stay in Maldives resorts between the months of May and November, ensure that you ask the management to arrange a diving excursion to see the Manta Rays. For more once in a lifetime experiences, ensure that you stay at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, a resort located on the Baa Atoll. This resort not only offers their guests award winning spa facilities, but also gives them the option of underwater dining: an experience that is surely worth having!


Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.