Hanifaru Bay

Best Place to Snorkel with Giant Manta Rays

Hanifaru Bay in the Maldives is the best place to swim and snorkel with a giant manta ray according to experts. Or actually giant manta rays, because you'll see many.

The area’s official name is Hanifaru Marine Protected Area. But most people just call it it Hanifaru Bay. This spot is famous among nature lovers. And many tourists come here for snorkeling. This bay offers an unprecedented experience with some of the most beautiful creatures at sea.

The impressive Hanifaru Bay is located in the Baa Atoll, which has been declared a UNESCO Reserve. This area is sometimes referred to as the giant mantas highway. These impressive creatures come to eat in the bay. They also have their young in the bay.

A giant manta ray in Hanifaru Bay.

Strictly Regulated Tourism in Hanifaru Bay

The snorkelling excursion is strictly regulated. Only a limited number of people are admitted per day to protect the majestic animals. Diving has been banned here since 2017. This was also done to better protect the animals.

You can find this very special bay at Hanifaru. This is one of the many uninhabited islands in the Maldives. The island is nothing more than a heap of sand covered with some tropical shrubs. But incredibly beautiful. Although the underwater world is even more impressive.

The whale shark is also spotted regularly at Hanifaru Bay. They are often seen a few times a week, so if you are lucky you might have an encounter. Keep your eyes open. And look around you every now and then. Even though you see giant mantas everywhere.

Video: Manta Rays in Hanifaru Bay

Best Time for Manta Rays in Hanifaru Bay

Most of the manta rays can be seen from May to November. Mind you, this could be dozens. Which is more than impressive. And very special in the world. With a bit of luck, you can encounter whale sharks all year round.