When I first read about all the top attractions and things to do in Nusa Penida, snorkelling with Manta rays, seemed like something I would absolutely love. I always envisioned Manta Point to be this dreamy spot on a far off island throbbing with exotic Manta rays .
I wasn’t wrong!
During my stay in Nusa Penida, I visited all the popular attractions and slowly ticked them off my list. From Angels Billabong, Broken beach and KleingKing in the west, to Atuh beach in the east and Peguyangan falls in the south of the island – I had most of my Nusa Penida bucket list ticked off in 3 days flat.
Next on my list was snorkeling with the Manta rays. Somehow, even with so many diving schools around, there was no information on how or where to book a cheap snorkeling day trip in Nusa Penida.
I was lucky as I found a deal for just IDR 150,000 ($ 11). And of course there’s a story behind it….
As I was listening to live music and chilling at Full moon bungalows, I met a few friends from night before and asked them about their day. Immediately, they mentioned what a wonderful time they had snorkeling with Manta rays.
That was my cue.
I asked them where they booked, for how much and if they would recommend that operator. They actually paid over IDR 350,000 ($ 25) per person and weren’t extremely happy with the operator and pointed me to someone sitting next to them saying that they wished they went with him.
Yay – I found my guy!
I took his digits and asked him what time I need to be at the port to go find Manta rays with him. He offered me an unbelievable deal of IDR 150,000 as he already had a group of people so cost for me would be low if I join in.
Alas one of my friend was sick so I could not make it the next day but I did go 2 days later for IDR 200,000 and I have to say – this was the coolest boat on Nusa Penida, hands down. From our guide Adin , to his funky rasta boat, it was one of the best day trips in Nusa islands for me.
My Experience of Snorkeling with the Manta Rays
Okay so at 8:00 AM sharp, I rode my bike to the harbor, packed some Mie Goreng for breakfast and started looking for the Marley boat (Adin’s boat).
Lo behold! It was easy to find it as it literally has a Bob Marley picture on it and painted in Rasta colors with hip hop beats pumping the mood.
That’s when I knew I choose the best boat and guide 🙂
Now, I was told Manta rays are not a 100% guarantee (like everything that’s wild.. you cannot predict if you will see them). I had my fingers and toes crossed as this was my very last day on the island so my only shot to tick this off my bucket list.
I was joined by a cool Malaysian girl and the two of us set off on our lovely day adventure, in our cool Rasta boat with two guides, sipping chilled Bintangs (local beer).
Hey don’t judge us – its evening somewhere! BURP
Our first stop was the underwater Buddha. Now, obviously I hadn’t done my research well and didn’t even know it was part of the tour or that it existed (Duh). All I kept thinking was I want to see the Manta rays. So this was a pleasant surprise. There is actually an entire huge submerged sculpture.
The current was very strong there so we were advised to just see it and get out quickly – reluctantly, we obeyed.
Next stop was the much awaited Manta Point.
As we arrived, there were several other boats and excited snorkelers in search of these gentle creatures. Adin suddenly asked us to jump in the water as he spotted a Manta Ray. I didn’t even have my snorkel gear on and GoPro ready so I missed this beauty and just ended up flapping around in the waters for few minutes.
Tip – Be ready 2 minutes before you arrive at Manta point. Always have your snorkel gear on and be ready to jump as soon as your guide advises.
Luckily, soon after they spotted another and I was ready to jump and was able to follow this beauty for several minutes and capture the Manta ray on my GoPro too. She swam under me and almost into me once and this whole experience, even though it lasted just a few minutes, was perhaps one of my best experiences in Nusa Penida.
Here’s my GoPro footage of swimming with the beautiful Manta Ray –
We didn’t have our fill of the lovely creatures but time was running out and we were ushered back to our boat.
Note – There are jelly fish in the water as Manta rays and jelly fish co-exist. You might get stung several times but as long as you don’t rub/scratch , the itch fades off in few minutes. There were few people on other boats which were badly stung so if you have a wet suit – wear one.
We ended the trip by snorkeling in two other spots.
One had a strong current so we requested Adin to take us to calmer waters so we can enjoy (And bigger fish). He took us to a spot very close to harbor where we saw some amazing big fish of different kinds and had a wonderful snorkeling experience.
Where to Book Your Snorkel tour to Manta Point
I would highly recommend the tour guide (Adin) I used for my trip (This was NOT a compensated trip in any way (heck it was just $15) , I just genuinely loved it and recommend this – Its perhaps the cheapest and coolest option for your snorkel adventure).
You can book directly on their Facebook page – Dreaming About Penida.
How to Reach Manta Point
Well you can go to Manta point from all three Nusa islands. Somehow there are more visitors from Nusa Lembongan even though Manta Point is in Nusa Penida. Your tour guide / boat, will arrange your transfers , snorkel gear and everything else for a safe and comfortable trip. So, once you book your tour, you are all set!
So, have you been to Manta point or would like to try it for your next snorkeling adventure? Tell me in comments below 🙂