The Big Three Must-do Adventures on the Big Island of Hawaii
|Hiking on Lava|
|Lava Pictures for Sale|
|After sunset fireworks|
|Close encounters on the lava boat tour|
|Observatories and the Milky Way on Mauna Kea|
|Sunset from Mauna Kea|
|Travelers 'in the know'|
3. Manta Ray Night Dive in Kona: There is a reason that this is the number 1 night dive in the world. Part of the reason is that this is the only place where you can scuba dive at night and almost guarantee extremely close manta ray encounters. The other part is that scuba diving with manta rays is just so cool. These harmless cartilaginous rays dance in an underwater ballet through the lights collecting plankton in their huge mouths. Take a look at the video below to get a taste of what this phenomenon looks like.
Snorkelers float on top of the water with lights pointing down, while scuba divers sit around the 'campfire' on the bottom with lights pointing up. Plankton is attracted to the lights which in turn attracts hungry manta rays which despite their large size feed on the tiny plankton. It is not uncommon to see 5 or 6 different manta rays during one dive, although some intense nights can have over 30 manta rays seen. It is an experience of a lifetime and definitely earns its place as one of the 'Big 3' adventures on the Big Island.
There are lots of good operators to go out on the manta ray night dive with like Jacks Diving Lockers, Big Island Divers, and Kona Honu Divers, but my favorite is Kona Diving Co. Their professionalism is second to none as is their knowledge of the mantas.