Snorkeling with manta rays at Manta Point was the highlight of our Nusa Penida tour, and the number one activity we recommend to people visiting Bali. If you’re considering a trip to Manta Point, expect a surreal experience getting up close and personal with these gentle giants.
To be able to swim with the manta rays at Manta Point Nusa Penida, you’ll need to join a tour. We’ve put together this complete guide so that you can easily organise your trip, from how to book a tour to how much it costs and what to expect.
Best time to visit Manta Point Nusa Penida
It’s crucial that you visit Manta Point early in the morning, around 7am. The first day we went out, it was pouring rain in the morning so we waited until afternoon to go to Manta Point. By then all the manta rays had either gone too deep to see or had left Manta Point entirely.
We tried again the following day and were out on the water by 7am. The conditions were a lot better and we saw at least 5 incredible manta rays. Morning is key!
How to get to Manta Point Nusa Penida
The best way to get around Nusa Penida is by scooter – this island is just not made for cars. Most accommodations will be able to arrange a scooter rental for you, and if you hire for multiple days you can usually haggle down to around 60,000 IDR per day. If you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, a popular option is to hire a car with a private driver.
Manta Point is on the souther coast of Nusa Penida island, not to be confused with Manta Bay which is the body of water directly in front of Broken Beach, at the base of the arch. You will need a boat to take you from Toya Pakeh Harbour to Manta Point.
How To Book A Manta Point Tour
You can join a public tour at the harbour, but we recommend booking a tour well in advance with a reputable company. We arranged our Manta Point Nusa Penida snorkeling tour with Island Time Bali. They were recommended to us by a friend and are well known in the Nusa Islands. Blackie our guide was personable and entertaining, moving heaven and earth to make sure we saw manta rays.
They have a number of packages that include Manta Point, as well as other stops on Nusa Penida, Ceningan and Lembongan. There are other companies you can go with, but we recommend you check out Island Time Bali first.
What to bring to Manta Point Nusa Penida
Manta Point Tour Price
You can choose a couple of different packages that will either include a Nusa Penida tour or Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan tour, as well as snorkeling at Manta Bay. Prices start at 1,150,000 IDR per person and include pick up and drop off at your hotel, all the snorkeling gear, snacks, food and the best vibes from Blackie.
What to expect at Manta Point
We boarded our Island Time boat at Toya Pakeh Harbour just before 7am and headed out to Manta Point. It’s about a 40-minute trip around the Nusa Penida coastline, and the swell can be choppy especially if it’s windy, so hold on tight!
There are a few spots along the way, including Manta Bay by Broken Beach, where you might be able to see manta rays. Since we had a big head start in front of the other boats, we stopped at some of these spots before Manta Point.
When we arrived at Manta Point we had the advantage of being the first boat out on the water. Blackie immediately spotted a big manta ray so we jumped straight in. A word of advice, prepare your fins and snorkel on the trip so that you can be ready to jump in at a moment’s notice when Blackie (or any guide) tells you to.
We had a good 15 minutes to ourselves swimming with the first few manta rays before the next boats arrived. Once other boats see you’ve found a manta ray, they’ll instruct their passengers to jump in where you are.
Obviously we expected to share the experience with others, but it was pretty magical having them to ourselves at the beginning. This is a massive advantage of getting out there early.
The awesome thing about snorkeling Nusa Penida is that you’re not guaranteed any manta rays, so when you do find one it’s truly special. Blackie made sure we all treated the manta rays with respect and maintained a safe distance – not for us, manta rays are harmless – but for them.
Blackie also helped us find what he called “chill” manta rays, which are manta rays that enjoy swimming around and showing off in front of humans. Some manta rays are indifferent and it’s harder to take photos if they quickly swim past you.
After around 45 minutes in the water we hopped back on the boat, exhausted but happy. We had swum with at least 5 amazing manta rays and had captured some incredible footage. As more boats began to arrive, we were content with wrapping up our Manta Point experience.
We left Manta Point and headed back towards Toya Pakeh Harbour, stopping at Gamat Bay and Crystal Bay along the way. These are incredible coves with diverse marine life and the perfect opportunity to take it easy after an adventurous morning.
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