Swimming with Manta Ray’s in Nusa Lembongan, Bali

Have you ever wanted to swim with the Manta rays? If so, then Nusa Lembongan is the place to visit in Bali.

A crew of nine of us headed out on a boat to the secret spot. Seven of us were friends and two other holiday makers. The tour we used (details provided below) provided us with a snorkel and mask and flippers.

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
from the left Amber, Georgina, Karen, Sarah and Amanda.

Note: you definitely needed flippers to keep up with following the Manta rays because at times they were fast.  The boat we went on had a variety of flipper sizes and it was a bit of a “free for all” situation! Because a lot of us were the same foot size, we were one pair of flippers short for the trip so we shared them all around. For this reason, I would recommend taking your own flippers if you have them.

Our crew was Amanda, Georgina, Karen, Andrea, Giulia and me. Two other people joined; a lovely lady and her daughter Lily. The day before, when I went to book the tour, I felt a bit cautious about my safety when swimming with the Manta rays. I even asked the guy at the booking office “when was the last time someone got killed by a Manta ray”. I was serious. I enjoy nature, but I also value my life. But he just laughed at me and said “NO NO! They are safe! The Manta rays don’t kill or sting anyone”.  Turns out I MAY have been confusing Manta rays with Sting rays. Manta rays don’t even have a stinger. So, with that knowledge I felt a lot more confident and happy to do the trip.  The boat ride out there was beautiful. The coastal views were amazing, with high cliffs and dark blue water.

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Off we go to see the Manta Ray’s

When we first arrived at the Mantra ray spot, we were lucky and we straight away saw a big Manta ray. We were so excited to see one but, but none of us were ready with our gear on and it quickly swam away. If you go on this trip, be prepared to jump straight in when you get there! The driver quickly set about trying to spot the next one, as we all scrambled around the boat trying to get ready!

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Our driver he was good at spotting the manta Ray’s

After just a couple of minutes of looking, the driver shouted “Manta, Manta, Manta!” and we all dived in the water close to where he was pointing. The Manta ray was easy to spot under water. It was huge and dark against the clear blue water. We followed after it as quickly as we could. I was mesmerized at how gracefully and calmly it glided through the water. It didn’t seem worried at all about the enthusiastic tourists following closely on its tail!

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Amanda has spotted a manta Ray

Tony, the guy who took us, was good. He did say at one point, after we had spotted two Manta rays, “shall we move onwards to snorkeling?” but we all said “NO NO, one more lap to search for the Mantas! PLEASE”. He said “Okay!”, and off we went again, hunting for Mantas. Sarah spotted the third Manta Ray. It surfaced right by the boat. We shouted to the driver to STOP and we all jumped in excitedly.

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
The manta ray’s so graceful to watch as it gluides through the water
The manta ray cruising along

Once we were all back in the boat, Amanda said “look at the dolphins!”. A family of dolphins were swimming along in the distance! What a magical day we were having.  The driver explained to us dolphins frighten away the Manta rays, so we followed the dolphins for a bit and then decided it was time to head to the next bay and do some snorkeling.  We were taken to Crystal Bay for snorkeling. This was really beautiful, with lots of different colored coral and many different types of tropical fish.  Apparently around Nusa Lembogan there are 250 species of fish. So, if you want to go snorkeling or diving, this is the place to be.

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
So many colourful fish

The next bay we went snorkeling in was called Garmart Bay. Here, the fish actually nibbled on your hands. It was amazing that they were so friendly! At this particular spot, we ventured onto the deserted island.  Georgina and I were designated the coconut finding job by Amanda (she was the captain), so off we went to the island. We found two coconuts; a young one and an old one. We were happy. We swam back to the boat to hear the team cheering for us. This made us smile. From here, we headed home via a different route; past the mangroves.

Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Andrea getting a closer look at the reef
Swimminng with manta rays in Nusa Lembongan, Bali
Amanda and Georgina

What an adrenalin rush day! It was so exciting “hunting” for Manta rays! It was also incredibly humbling to be in the presence of such big and graceful creatures. Once we got back, we ordered some lunch from the one of the local warungs and asked if we could have help opening our coconuts! Apparently, the old one was “no good” (sad face), but Georgina and I drank the juice from the young coconut, and then we shared the coconut pieces around with everyone. It was yummy.  This was definitely a day that will be treasured by all of us. It was a really unique experience.

Main Tips:

  • Take your own flippers if you can. Lilly (the young girl) was not provided with any child sized flippers and one of us was always without flippers because there were not enough sizes.
  • Be ready to jump in as soon as you arrive in the Manta ray area!
  • Wear sunscreen and take a hat.



Cost: $22 NZ per person, including snorkel gear and flippers. BARGAIN!!

Contact info: Tony Montana Ph 081 246 22645 (Bali number)