Manta Point Nusa Penida: An outstanding experience swimming with Manta Rays

Manta Point Nusa Penida: An outstanding experience swimming with Manta Rays

Diving with the graceful giant Manta Rays at Manta Point Nusa Penida is well up there with one of the most epic wildlife experiences I’ve had, and it’s certainly something you need to be adding to your Bali itinerary.

Every wildlife buff has a hit list of creatures they want to see. Well, the same goes for scuba divers. Diving with Manta Rays had been on my ‘scuba bucket list’ since before I was a qualified diver. Until Manta Point in Nusa Penida, they had eluded me.

While I was in southern Bali it was pretty clear Manta Point was going to be top of my Bali to-do list. As the name suggests, this is a regular spot where Manta Rays congregate.

These gentle underwater giants are harmless to people. They’re also inquisitive, hovering over the bubbles your scuba gear makes. I’m guessing this is for the same reason we love sitting in a jacuzzi hot tub, the bubbles feel nice! 

Swimming with Mantas in Bali was one of my highlights from my trip to Bali. It was worth the years of waiting to get the opportunity to dive with them. I highly recommend adding this to your wild-life bucket list

So grab a brew because I can’t wait to tell you about how awesome it was to dive with Manta Rays at Manta Point Nusa Penida. 

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Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife
Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife
Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife

Scuba Diving with Manta Rays at Manta Point Nusa Penida - USEFUL INFO

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Getting to Manta Point

Manta Point is a small bay, located below towering cliffs just off Nusa Penida. It’s easily accessed by speed boat from Sanur on mainland Bali. The journey takes about 45 minutes.

You’ll also find frequent boats going from nearby islands Nusa Lembongan, which takes about 20 minutes.

Why Manta Point, Nusa Penida?

The Manta Rays come to Manta Point for two reasons, the main one that you’ll most likely see are the cleaning stations dotted around the rocks, in particular, a large rock in the centre of the dive site.

The cleaning station is where tiny fish congregate. They often choose reefs and rocks because it protects them from predators as well as the current of the sea. The Manta Rays come to these areas to allow the small fish to pick parasites off their skin, hence why it’s called a cleaning station.

Fun Fact: If you’re scuba diving and hover over a cleaning station, you’ll often find that little fish and shrimp start to clean you too! I’ve lost far too many scabs to these cleaning station critters!

Manta Point Nusa Penida is a great spot to view Manta Rays because (like us humans when we have a pampering session) they are relaxed, swimming slowly in large circles to allow the fish to clean them.

They also come here to feed. The Manta rays are channel feeders, which basically means they swim about with their mouths open taking in massive amounts of zooplankton.

If you’re really lucky, you might even see the Manta Rays performing their mating dance.

When can I see the Manta Rays at Nusa Penida?

Although you can’t ever 100% guarantee seeing any animal in the wild, the Manta Rays come to Manta Point all year round with March to June being the peak times.

Group sizes vary, on occasions, only a couple will be there but at other times, decent-sized groups of 15 or more circle the area.

Diving with Mantas in Nusa Penida
- WHAT TO EXPECT

For starters, you don’t have to be a qualified diver to see the Manta Rays at Manta Point. If you’re not qualified, you could book onto an introductory Scuba Dive at Manta Point from mainland Bali

Alternatively, if you don’t want to dive, then you can snorkel with Mantas from Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan

Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife
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As far as scuba diving goes, this is a relatively easy dive site. The topography of Manta Point is a gradual slope near the cliff face, dropping to a depth of about 25 metres, although you probably won’t go that far down. Sometimes there can be a bit of a current so I’d recommend having some scuba dive experience and a good level of buoyancy control to get the most out of this dive.

The bottom is a mixture of sand, rocks and coral. The Manta Rays congregate around a large rock in the centre of the dive site. This rock rises to just a few metres under sea level (which is why it’s a great spot for snorkelling too). The rock acts as a cleaning station for the Mantas.

Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife
Shutterstock

When you’re observing the Mantas, position yourself on some of the lower rocks, to give the Manta Rays some space. They will naturally be drifting around in large circles in the area, often swimming close. It’s probably one of the most rewarding ‘laziest’ dives I’ve ever done. I just stayed anchored to my rock and they came so close. I didn’t need to do anything to get close to them.

On the day I went diving with the Mantas, we had about 10 large rays circling round. If you’re lucky you might also see other aquatic life, blue-spotted stingrays are also really common here. I got super excited when we saw a Bamboo Shark swim past.

The Manta Rays are all here to be cleaned, and between themselves, they work out a pecking order to see who’s first up. If there’s a long queue of Mantas waiting, you can expect quite a show with these beautiful giants circling around waiting their turn.

We were in the water with the Mantas for just under an hour, for most of this, sat stationed to a rock and just letting the Mantas swim around us.

It’s been one of the best underwater encounters I’ve ever had and would do this again in an instant

Booking a tour to Manta Point Nusa Penida

There are plenty of options to book both dive and snorkel trips to Manta Point Nusa Penida. They are available from mainland Bali or from nearby Nusa Lembongan. Here are some great options which offer tours to see the Manta rays.

 

FOR SNORKELLING

Click here to snorkel with Mantas from mainland Bali

Click here to snorkel with Mantas from Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan

 

FOR NON-QUALIFIED DIVERS (WHO WANT TO TRY SCUBA DIVING)

Click here for an Introductory Scuba Dive at Manta Point from mainland Bali

Click here for an Introductory Scuba Dive with Mantas on Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan

 

FOR CERTIFIED DIVERS

Manta Ray Fun Dive for Certified divers from mainland Bali

Manta Ray Fun Dive for Certified divers from Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan

 

Where to stay in Nusa Lembongan

    • On a budget: Nusa Veranda Sunset Villas and Restaurant is said to have an excellent location. You won’t find a villa closer to the sea than this. The sun deck hangs out over the sea so you’re staying just meters above it. For the price, you can’t go wrong. It’s a steal at well under $50 a night. 
    • Mid-Budget: Jenggala Hill one phrase; just-look-at-that-infinity-pool! I was sold on this alone. I can’t even tell where the pool ends and the sea begins. The traditional Balinese decor and the generously sized rooms also make this a great mid-budget choice, but still, that infinity pool! 
    • Blow the Budget: The Tamarind Resort offers either mountain or sea views and located next to Tamarind beach. There are an onsite infinity swimming pool and a fitness centre. The bedrooms at this 5-star resort are huge and come with an equally large balcony. 

Where to stay in south Bali (Uluwatu)

    • On a budget: WIRA Homestay & Spa offers a lot for the price, for under $50 you get your own private villa with a balcony in beautiful gardens. There is a communal swimming pool, loads of outdoor space. It’s within easy access to the beach. 
    • Mid-Budget: Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu offers affordable 5-star accommodation. Located just 200 yards from Bingin Beach, with an onsite restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre and beautifully landscaped gardens.
    • Blow the Budget: The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is a luxurious cliff-edge resort, 493 feet above the Indian Ocean. With stunning panoramic views and a private beachfront as well as onsite fitness facilities and a day spa.

Final notes on swimming with Manta Rays at Manta Point Nusa Penida

If you’re in Bali, then I 100% recommend adding swimming with the Manta Rays to your Bali Bucket list. Regardless of whether this is snorkelling or diving, both will be a memorable experience of your trip to Bali. I would do this again in an instant.

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I hope after reading about Scuba Diving with Manta Rays at Manta Point Nusa Penida, you’re as excited as I was about seeing these ocean beauties in real life. It was so worth the wait!

If you loved this post, or know someone that will, then please like and share.

If you’re planning a trip to Bali or South East Asia, then why not pin it for future reference so you can add it to your Bali itinerary. 

Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife
Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife
Swimming with manta rays is a definite must for your Bali bucket list. Manta Point Nusa Penida is one of the easiest places to swim with these beautiful giants. This amazing experience needs to be on your Bali itinerary. Swim with manta rays as an easy day trip from Bali or Nusa Penida. #Bali #NusaPenida #Ocean #ScubaLife

Manta Point Nusa Penida: An outstanding experience swimming with Manta Rays 7

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Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Adventure travel blogger with a big addiction to the World. An ex-rat-racer who was fed up with sleep-work-eat-repeat materialistic mentality that plagues modern living. I love anything to do with off-beat travel, abandoned places, temples & ruins, street art, wildlife in its natural habitat, adventure sport.....basically anything but the 9-5!

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