If you’re wanting to tick the “Big Five” off your diving list, you will need to find out where can you dive with rays. In diving terms, the big five are usually sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, manta rays. Check out our post on diving with sharks.
There are two different sorts of rays, the Sting Ray and the Manta Ray.
Manta Rays can grow up to 23ft in width and feed on plankton. They are popular with divers as they are harmless but colossal!
Where Can You Dive With Rays?
#1. Socorro Island, Mexico
Socorro Island is 375 miles off the coast of Baja California in the open Pacific Ocean. Here you can find more than 500 Oceanic Manta Rays from November to June. The best time to see them though is between May & June.
It’s possible to get a liveaboard which also includes Guadalupe where you will find dolphins too.
Of course, while you’re in Mexico, you can extend your vacation to include places like Los Cabos or Cancun. You’ll need to find out about passport requirements before you travel.
#2. Isla de la Plata, Ecuador
Another great place to see Giant Oceanic Manta Rays. More than 2000 arrive between June & October and some of them have a wing span of over 20 feet!
Isla de la Plata has been described as the poor man’s Galapagos and if you are into birdwatching, you will have a great time stopping off on the island too. The best place to book diving and tours is at Puerto Lopez, which is accessible via a 50 minute flight from Quito Airport.
The Maldives is another place where you can dive with manta rays. Here you can dive all year round, depending on the season will depend which side of the Ari Atoll you want to visit as the mantas migrate around this island.
The best time for great visibility is the dry season between December & March. During the wet season, diving is still good but the visibility will be reduced, due to storms.
The Maldives is further from home, but well worth a visit.
Also worth a mention, even though they are even further afield, are Raj Ampat, Indonesia, where you can dive with dolphins too. Western Australia which was mentioned in our dolphins post can also be recommended for manta rays.