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  4. Manta rays in the Maldives: where you can see stingrays

Manta rays, or sea devils, are amazing marine animals that cause a real stir among tourists in the Maldives. They were first described by the German zoologist Johann Walbaum in 1792. Manta rays are the only vertebrates on our planet that have three pairs of full limbs.

Depositphotos
Depositphotos

What is interesting to know about manta rays

  • They can reach a length of 4.5 meters and a weight of 1-3 tons.
  • They feed on zooplankton and act as filter feeders of the seas and oceans.
  • The huge head fins of the mantas form a kind of tusks around the mouth. During feeding, unusual fins channel water with plankton into the mouth.
  • In search of food, sea devils constantly migrate, covering distances of thousands of kilometers.
  • Mantas gather in flocks of several dozen individuals for feeding, cleaning from parasites and reproduction.
  • During the day, mantas swim in shallow water, and at night they go deep.
  • Like whales, sea devils can jump over water.
  • Mantas is absolutely safe for humans, if you do not provoke the animal into self-defense.

Sebastian Pena Lambarri
Sebastian Pena Lambarri

The season to meet the mantas in the Maldives

The optimal time for observing sea devils is from May to November. During this period, zooplankton blooms in the tropical waters of the Maldives archipelago and attracts stingrays with the opportunity to refresh themselves.

Where to see stingrays in the Maldives

Observing the underwater world of the Indian Ocean in the Maldives is the main entertainment. The popularity of snorkeling and diving in the Maldives remains unchanged for its rich underwater biodiversity and warm climate. You can meet stingrays both during diving excursions and during snorkeling at the house reef.

If you set out to see stingrays while on holiday in the Maldives, you will certainly see them. Usually, resort guides know about the places where sea devils gather and organize boat trips in the right direction.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

Hanifaru Bay Baa atoll

One of the most attractive places in the Maldives, where encounters with mantas are not uncommon, but commonplace is Hanifaru Bay on Baa Atoll. Its territory is part of the Maldives Marine Reserve, a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site. During the plankton bloom season, about 200 manta rays gather in the bay for feeding. This is one of the most impressive snorkeling spots. Diving is prohibited in the reserve, but there are many dive sites near Hanifaru.

Milaidhoo Island Maldives
Milaidhoo Island Maldives

Mantas of Addu atoll

Near the southernmost Maldivian atoll, Addu manta rays can be found throughout the year. This region of the archipelago is home to the largest manta rays on the planet. The range of the fins of an adult animal reaches 5 meters.

Manta rays in Ari atoll

Another place in the Maldives where there is a high probability of encountering manta rays is the Ari Atoll. The most optimal period for watching stingrays is from February to March.

Angaga Island Resort & Spa
Angaga Island Resort & Spa

Hotels for swimming with Manta Rays

Check out the best Maldives hotels offering manta ray swimming in the Maldives. Browse and book your nautical adventure on wiotto.com:

Dusit Thani Maldives
Dusit Thani Maldives

Hot places

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Raffles Maldives Meradhoo Maldives 5-STAR $38393 $31161 7 Nights - 2 Adult
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JA Manafaru Maldives 5-STAR Deluxe $15531 $12525 7 Nights - 2 Adult
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