Ali’I Adventures has the best selection of any other Kona surf shop on island for adventure travel and activities. Most people that come to the Big Island look for activities in or around the water. While there are many adventure activities around the island, Kona is known for it’s adventures in the water.
How would you like to snorkel with the largest ray in the water. A must do activity in Kona is the manta night dive or snorkel. Kona surf shop at Ali’i Adventures books tours for both of these amazing activities. Whether you dive or snorkel, this is a once in a life time opportunity to view manta rays in their natural environment. These Kona coastal manta rays range in size from 600-1,200 lbs with a possible wing span of 15 feet across. The manta’s come in a night to feed off plankton which the divers/ snorkelers provide through the floatation they are using. When diving, the operators put out a create with large LED lights shining upward. These lights attract plankton which is the food choice for a hungry manta. Although a manta needs to feed practically all of the time, most of the quantity of plankton is provided at night. Plankton is attracted to light. It’s much like bugs attracted to light on land. The plankton gathers around the light source and multiplies the longer the light is shining. The Kona coastal manta ray then goes in to scoop up all the plankton it can scoop at a time. If the lights are shining down from a snorkel board, the manta does what’s called a barrel roll. They swoop in and roll to gather as much plankton as possible and roll again and again to continue to feed. Kona surf shop at Ali’I Adventures sells tours from various reputable operators. If you want have a dive experience with the mantas, Kona surf school recommends Kona Honu Divers. This activity requires for you to have at least an open water certification. You will be diving at night, sometimes in current. I would recommend you have at least 20 dives and that you have good buoyancy. This particular activity is more of a manta experience than a dive. As prior stated, the operator places a create with lights shining up. Once the plankton is attracted to the light, the operator then places the divers in the water and leads them to the create with the light. The divers are placed around the create which is referred to as a “camp fire”. The diver is directed to kneel down with a personal dive light which is being held by the diver in an upwards position. This is another attempt to drawl as much plankton to the area as possible. The divers stay stationary, kneeling on the bottom in about 35 feet of water. It helps to go down a bit heavy to ensure you’ll stay as stationary as possible. The dive lasts about 50-60 minutes. If the manta action goes well, you’ll have a very up close and personal encounter with the largest ray in the seas. Sometimes they come in right away, sometimes they make you wait and sometimes they don’t come in at all. A fish this big can do whatever it wants. The whole experience is amazing whether you see mantas or not. It’s still a night adventure you won’t soon forget.
Kona surf shop at Ali’i Adventures books snorkel tours for the non divers out there. These are safely guided snorkel interactions with these large and majestic animals. Everyone is attached to a snorkel board which is guided by a trained guide. The guide pulls the board into position. The lights are now installed on the snorkel boards and are pointing down as to attract the plankton so that it’s directly under the board. Everyone is holding onto the board in what’s called a superman or plank position so that the body is completely flat. If the manta feels safe to approach the board to feed off the below gathered plankton, the snorkelers get a treat. Seeing a large manta ray feeding literally inches away from the board. The best operator that Kona surf shop books with is Kona Snorkel Trips. Locally owned and operated, they are a top notch operation putting customer experience and safety as the priority. With a perfect safety record and more 5 star customer reviews that almost all other operators on island, Kona Snorkel Trips is a recommended favorite with Kona surf shop and Ali’i Adventures.
No matter how you choose to experience this adventure, please be thoughtful about your level of comfort in the water at night with large pelagic animals. I would recommend that you have at least basic swimming skills and that you are comfortable in the water. If you are nervous in the water or you can’t swim, this is not the adventure for you. Please don’t put yourself or others at risk. There are other adventure activities on land that will be better suited for you. Most of the snorkel boats are smaller ribbed inflatables so you must be able to get on and off the boat using small ladders or back rolling off the side. Again, this takes a bit of agility. Please be sure the boat you choose to go out on is the best fit for you as well. There are larger boats that cater to older people or people who just want to view from a dry deck rather than in the water. Kona surf shop at Ali’i Adventures will always find the right fit for you and your comrades.
We look forward to setting up you next amazing adventure whether it’s diving or swimming with large manta rays, diving off the coastal waters of Kona, snorkeling some of the most amazing reef systems in the world or hiking up one of Kona’s 5 active volcanos. Kona surf shop at Ali’i Adventures will always have the adventure that’s best fit you.