Older islanders remember they were already in the lagoon of Maupiti when they were young. Althougt they live in Maupiti lagoon all year round, Manta rays are particularly observable from March to October.
Seeing a manta ray is always a magical experience. We observe them every morning near a coral reef where they are being dewormed by small cleaning wrasses. Manta rays often travel in groups and are naturally curious. This exceptional dive allows us to watch them for a long time, and interact with them if they allow us.
The Manta rays skin is very fragile and is covered with a mucus which serves to protect them. Every contact deteriorates their skin. By touching a Manta ray, we increase the risk of infection and put their health at risk. Do not forget that there are wild animals, it is important to contemplate with respect without interfering. It is therefore forbidden to touch them.
This observatory dive takes place inside the lagoon at a depth of 10m. You can access to this dive with at least a ScubaDiver certification. The current and the visibility of the site are variable. Divers (5 maximum), are grouped together on a sandy bottom just a few meters from the massive coral background on which Manta rays come to be cleaned. Curious, they regularly fly very near the dive team.
In the same dive, you will also have the opportunity to see lagoon fishes, pearl oysters, shrimp bulldozers and with a little luck, some beautiful nudibranchs.
Both are great! Manta rays can be seen in scuba diving and/or snorkelling. If you do snorkelling, you will see their beautifull black skin. With a tank, we mostly observe their white with black mark belly that is unique for each Manta ray. This is usefull for identification and follow a program like Manta Trust and ORP. With patience, rays generaly swim close to the divers. The feeling is awesome when they passe just up to you.
Since 2018, we only take divers on board, but for a snorkeling tour, you can see directly with your pension (most of them offer the excursion) and you can also call Sammy Tours.
Pensions put you close to the rays in a shallow area. All Maupiti pensions know the Manta very well and will make sure that you can observe them. It is to you diver and snorkeller to approach them slowly, never try to touch them, nor to get in their way. If you are calm on the surface, there is a good chance that one of these curious animals will approach you. If you swim too fast and to close to the animal, it will leave the place ...