Swimming with manta rays in Nusa Penida is a popular and exhilarating activity that attracts many tourists to this beautiful island in Indonesia. Nusa Penida is located just southeast of Bali and is known for its stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. Swimming with manta rays is one of the main highlights for visitors seeking a unique and unforgettable underwater experience.

Here’s some information about swimming with manta rays in Nusa Penida for tourists:


  • Manta Point: is one of the most famous sites for manta ray encounters in Nusa Penida. It’s located on the southwestern coast of the island and is characterized by strong currents that bring nutrient-rich waters, attracting plankton—the primary food source for manta rays. These nutrient-rich waters make it a prime location to spot these majestic creatures. The currents here can be strong, so divers should have some experience with drift diving.
  • Manta Bay: Another popular site, Manta Bay offers the chance to snorkel or dive with manta rays. The bay is more sheltered than Manta Point, providing a more relaxed experience.
  • Crystal Bay: While Crystal Bay is known for its stunning underwater scenery, it’s also possible to encounter manta rays here. The site is also famous for its Mola Mola (sunfish) sightings during certain times of the year.

How to Get There:
Tourists typically reach Nusa Penida by taking a boat or ferry from Bali. There are multiple options available for transportation, including fast boats from Sanur or Padang Bai. Once you arrive on Nusa Penida, you can join a guided tour or rent snorkeling equipment to explore the waters around the island.

Best Time to Visit:
The best time to swim with manta rays in Nusa Penida is during the dry season, which typically falls between April and October. During this period, the water is calmer and visibility is better, increasing your chances of encountering manta rays.

Manta Ray Species:
The manta rays commonly found in the waters around Nusa Penida are the reef manta ray (Manta alfredi) and the oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris). These gentle giants are known for their impressive size, graceful movements, and distinctive appearance with wide wingspans.

Snorkeling vs. Diving:
Both snorkelers and divers can enjoy the experience of swimming with manta rays at Nusa Penida. Snorkelers can observe these gentle giants from the surface of the water, while divers may have the opportunity to get closer and witness the manta rays gracefully gliding through the depths.
Swimming with manta rays is generally suitable for both experienced snorkelers and divers. While diving offers a closer encounter, snorkeling is also a fantastic option, as manta rays often swim close to the surface. You’ll have the opportunity to observe these graceful creatures in their natural habitat, gliding through the water and feeding on plankton. Diving with manta rays in Nusa Penida is an awe-inspiring experience. These gentle giants often glide gracefully through the water, and their sheer size and elegance can leave a lasting impression. Divers should follow responsible diving practices, such as maintaining a safe distance and avoiding touching animals or their environment.

Certification Requirements:
Depending on the dive site and the operator’s policy, some dive sites with strong currents might require divers to have an Advanced Open Water certification or equivalent, along with some drift diving experience.

Safety Precautions:
While swimming with manta rays is generally safe, it’s crucial to be mindful of your own safety and follow the instructions of your guides. Be comfortable in the water and ensure you’re using proper snorkeling or diving equipment. If you’re not a confident swimmer, you can still enjoy the experience from the boat.

Conservation and Eco-Friendly Practices:
Responsible tourism is crucial to protecting the marine environment and its inhabitants. Choose tour operators that prioritize eco-friendly practices and adhere to guidelines for wildlife interactions. Avoid supporting activities that involve feeding or touching the manta rays, as these practices can be harmful to the animals and disrupt their natural behavior.

When planning to swim with manta rays, consider bringing the following:

  • Swimsuit and appropriate swimwear
  • Sunscreen and sun protection
  • Towel
  • Waterproof camera or underwater equipment to capture the experience
  • Snorkeling gear (although many tours provide equipment)
  • Drinking water to stay hydrated

Swimming with manta rays in Nusa Penida is an awe-inspiring adventure that allows you to connect with the ocean’s incredible biodiversity. Remember to respect the marine environment and wildlife, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy these remarkable experiences.