Manta Rays - Majestic Giants in Komodo

Indonesia     Destinations
One of the mantas I got to hang out with near our boat.
One of the mantas I got to hang out with near our boat.
One to cross off the bucket list - swimming with giant manta rays. This was an unexpected surprise as part of my tour to see the Komodo Dragons.
If you've ever wanted to swim with giant manta rays, Manta Point in Indonesia is a great place to do it. It's typically accessed as part o a tour booked in Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores (see Booking a Komodo National Park Tour - What You Need to Know).

Manta Point is really just an area in the water. The water was a bit cool, the current wasn't too bad, and it was calm. There's not much else factual to say about it so I'll just talk about my trip there.

When we were heading to Manta Point as part of our Komodo National Park tour, for some reason I was thinking we were going to see stingrays. I didn't realize what we were about to experience!
On our way to Manta Point. Everyone was quite excited, I didn't even understand what we were going to see!
On our way to Manta Point. Everyone was quite excited, I didn't even understand what we were going to see!
Our tour boat stopped and everyone geared up with their snorkels and flippers. One of the boat crew stood on the edge of the deck and watched the water. Suddenly he motioned - get in the water! It was a scramble for at least a few people to get overboard and start swimming like crazy. I was one of them.

Already exhausted from the morning hike and swimming in rough currents, I was not sure if I could keep up. But it was such a frenzy and I was driven by the excitement of it all so I swam as hard as I could. The funny thing was, I had no idea what we were swimming after.

Slowly the large shadow came into view up ahead of us low in the water. O...M...G it was HUGE! A single large manta gracefully gliding through the water while we clamored clumsily to keep up. One guy in our group dove down to get closer with his GoPro and seeing him get near the manta made me realize just how big this thing was.
The large shadow just coming into view.
The large shadow just coming into view.

I started realizing how far we were getting from the boat and I was pretty tired. I made the decision to bail out and swim back. Of course I later realized that they had prepped us that a dinghy would go out and fetch anyone who swam far after the mantas. But that group turned out to be gone a long long time so I think they ended up swimming much further than I would have survived anyway.

They did later say that they had 6 mantas swimming around them and they were about 5 meters wide!

I made it back to the boat, saw a rather large black tip shark and decided to climb back up the ladder. Right then I saw 2 manta rays right below me! They hung out around the boat and I was able to float above them for a long time. Incredible! I could stare at them for hours. They stayed pretty low in the water and the water is not very clear due the plankton that the mantas feed on but you could still easily see all the way to the bottom which was 30+ feet deep.
One of the mantas I got to hang out with near our boat.
One of the mantas I got to hang out with near our boat.
Some of the first group came back on the dinghy, and the rest of the people we just picked up as we passed them in the big boat as we headed out.

Yet another unexpected "wow" moment on this fantastic tour!

More Details About the Tour

Booking a Komodo National Park Tour - What You Need to Know
Manta Rays - Majestic Giants in Komodo
Padar - THE Komodo View Point
Visiting Komodo Dragons in Indonesia
Pink Beach, and Pinker Beaches
What to Bring on Your Komodo Nat'l Park Tour

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