The Kamanu Catamaran Manta Ray Night Snorkling was AWESOME!!! I think it is the only Manta boat that is a cat. They serve complementary water, cocoa, beer, wine, sodas, and snacks (pretzles/fruit, nothing that would be considered "dinner", however). Max of 22 people, out for sunset, departs the big harbor by the airport (not the small one in town) about 4:30, returns from the north-of-the-airport manta spot (not the Kona hotel spot) about 9PM.
Manta Rays are in the shark family -- BUT -- they have no teeth nor do they have a stinger like the Sting Rays so they cannot hurt you. We were at Sting Ray city years ago and this is WAAAY better!
I think it was better laying atop the water watching these 12 ft wide critters coming within inches of you, to feed on the plankton. Some companies do SCUBA. We do both snorkling and SCUBA and I think the snorkling would be my preference for viewing the Mantas -- at least it was awesome the night we were there. About 10 people in snorkle gear gather around a surf-board sized floating device that has lights that shine down into the water, attracting the plankton, attracting the mantas. We are told to stay holding on to the board, floating flat on the water (no dangling feet!) so that the rays can circle right below us. We saw 6 of the rays at one time! It's clever -- each boat has its customers use a different color light attached to our snorkle mask -- so we were the yellow group, some other boat might have been green lights, another blue, etc.
Be advised -- if you are prone to getting seasick, take your dramamine. The boat ride was fine but the water was choppy enough that nigth that at least one person became ill.
This is the best thing I think we have done on the Big Island! It was soooo beautiful and graceful.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.