One of the most famous attractions in Nusa Penida is the opportunity to swim with Manta Ray. The waters of the southern part of Nusa Penida are known as the natural habitat of this gentle giant fish. Therefore, many tour agents offer trips to the southern waters of Nusa Penida for a chance to meet the magnificent fish.
The main attraction is indeed the opportunity to meet and swim with Manta Ray fish in the wild. Even though there is no guarantee that you will meet the fish, but snorkeling on the South Coast of Nusa Penida will always be a pleasant experience.
The Gentle Giant Manta Ray
There are various wrong assumptions about manta ray, a fish that can grow up to 7 meters and weigh up to 3 tons. Because of its size, many people think that this fish is dangerous. But you don’t need to worry because the manta ray is completely harmless.
The manta ray species in Bali is Manta Alfredi, which is the second largest in the world. These fish are filter feeders, which means they eat small animals such as plankton, crustaceans, and small fish.
Their tail is also not poisonous so it is safe for you to swim near them. Manta Ray is even known to enjoy small interaction with humans and is one of the friendliest fish for snorkelers and divers.
The best time to find manta rays
The Southern Waters of Nusa Penida is one of the best places to find manta ray because this area is passed by Indonesian Throughflow. Simply put, there is a huge flow of water from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. This flow brings nutrients that make Indonesian waters rich with underwater life, including being the habitat of the manta ray.
Again, there is no guarantee that you will be able to find this fish, but normally you can find these fish throughout the year because they are not seasonal or migrating fish. The best time to find this fish is in the morning and evening. For the most convenient snorkeling experience, you should take a tour during the dry season, around April to October.
Manta Bay is located in a fairly shallow bay but is filled with lots of plankton which is the favorite food of manta ray. According to the tour guides in Bali, there is a 95% chance that you will meet manta ray here. Because the best time for snorkeling to meet the fish is in the morning, this place can be quite crowded even before the sun rises.
Manta Point is located in the southern part of Nusa Penida, in the Batukandik area to be exact. This area is surrounded by many tall rock cliffs. The depth of water in Manta Point is approximately 15 meters.
This spot is mostly visited by experienced divers because of its unpredictable current and the waves can be a bit rough. This area is a manta ray cleaning station, where they rest in the depth while being cleaned by smaller fish.
You don’t even need to take a plunge into the water to be able to see manta ray around Nusa Penida. When you are exploring several viewpoints in the southern part of the island, you might catch a glimpse when these fish is surfacing in the sea. Your chance to meet them is not too big, but many tourists have reported that they saw them from Broken Beach and Kelingking Beach.
If you want to use tour agencies services to see manta rays, you will usually be taken to snorkel in several places around Penida and Lembongan. If your schedule is crowded and you do not have much time in Bali, then this tour service is best for you. But if you have a lot of time, the best option is to do your own exploration of Nusa Penida, then come to manta spots one by one.