The Kona Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii is one of the best places in the world to spot Manta Rays. Manta Rays are one of the biggest fish in the ocean as they can weigh more than 1500 pounds and can get up to around twenty feet wide. Unlike other forms of Rays, such as the stingray, the Manta Rays do not have stingers. They are actually quite friendly fish. The Manta Rays are best spotted at night. Large, specialized lights are placed on the bottom of the ocean floor. The light illuminates the plankton, which attracts the Manta Rays considering that is their main food source. The idea came about in the 1970's when a hotel placed giant lights facing the water so their guests could see the waves perfectly at night. These lights attracted the Manta Rays and the area became a hotspot for them to come feed.
There are two main areas that the Manta Rays frequent in on the Kona Coast: "Manta Village" and "Manta Heaven." Manta Village is located near the Sheraton Keahou Bay Resort and Spa on the West Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. This is the sight of the hotel responsible for the light idea. The Manta Rays can almost always be seen here, although it is in smaller numbers. Manta Heaven is located off-shore of the Kona International Airport on the West Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. This area typically has large numbers of Manta Rays, although it is not as frequent as Manta Village. There have been sightings of more than forty Manta Rays in the area at once. These two places are the best areas to view the Manta Rays in all of Hawaii.
Kona Sea Adventures, located on the Kona Coast, offers people the chance to swim with these incredible creatures. The trip lasts three hours and costs $600, with gear, snacks and drinks included. It is considered the number one snorkel in the world. People come from all over the world to have the chance to swim with these amazing animals. Kona Sea Adventures gives people the incredible chance to see these amazing creatures up close and personal. They have the chance to see the Manta Rays in their natural habitat. This activity is a must when visiting Hawaii. It is an experience that is truly like no other.