Raja Ampat is known to have the richest reefs in the world for its marine biodiversity. However, did you know that Raja Ampat is also home to several reef and oceanic mantas?

Due to the increasing amount of visitors to the area, we would like to ensure that all of our guests have the opportunity to have the best experience with the mantas by following the correct guidelines not only for the safety of the visitors but most importantly the mantas. Here are several guidelines and codes of conduct to follow when diving or snorkeling with the mantas.

How to swim with the ocean’s manta rays:

Upon arrival at the cleaning station, the rangers will check each guest's marine park tags, and afterward, the crew will position your group no closer than 10 meters from the manta ray to avoid disturbing them. Once you have your gear ready, please follow the following guidelines:

  1. Enter the water quietly and calmly - move calmly and quietly as you enter the water and follow your guide
  2. Do not approach closer than 3 meters - once you are near the manta, do not try to approach closer than three meters. Instead remain still and let the manta decide if it’s happy to come closer to you.
  3. Approach the manta from the side - Manta rays have excellent vision but they do have a blind spot directly behind them. To avoid startling them, approach slowly from their side, allowing the animals to see you whilst giving them a clear path ahead.
  4. Do not touch the manta ray - while they pass by you must not touch them. This will almost certainly scare them away and end the encounter for everyone.
  5. No flash when taking pictures - another way to respect the mantas is to make sure your flash is turned off for the entire dive and snorkel with them.

Millions of dollars are spent by snorkelers and divers each year for a chance to swim with these gentle giants. This global love for mantas provides a powerful reason to protect them. But we must respect these animals and their habitats. Wherever you are in the world, by following these guidelines, you will minimize your impact on the mantas you encounter.

At the same time, you’ll increase your chance of having an unforgettable experience with one of the most enigmatic animals in our oceans.

Manta Ridge
manta and school of fish snorkeling raja ampat

Code of Conduct at Manta Sandy

Manta Sandy is a cleaning station in Raja Ampat visited by reef mantas (Manta alfredi) that are vying for a position above the two rocks where wrasses clean these giants. We also get enormous 4-meter-wide black reef mantas, looking like a negative photographic image, their gills are highlighted in white, along with the other more common white-bellied variety.