Most people, and we can pretty confidently say all scuba divers, dream of a close encounter with the graceful gentle giant, the Manta ray.
Nusa Penida happens to be one of these special places where you can go diving with mantas year around. These incredible creatures of the reef manta species (Mobula alfredi) in the family Mobulidae are found in the waters around Nusa Penida, feeding or being cleaned. They happen to be one of the most intelligent fish as well as being beautiful and awe-inspiring.
Diving Manta Point, Nusa Penida
Manta point, Nusa Penida, Bali, is a cleaning station dive site where the rays come for a bit of pampering by the local cleaner wrasse and juvenile fish population, having their parasites and other sea lice removed.
The main cleaning station is a small sea mound or hill which hits 10m at its base and rises to 3-4 metres at its summit. Snorkellers and novice divers can also enjoy these magical encounters with manta rays thanks to the shallowness of the dive site.
The rays pass over the top of the mound to get cleaned. This area is off-limits for divers but as the mantas cruise in and out they can be seen up close and personal by the amazed scuba divers hovering around the small hill at around 10m. A completely black manta, also known as a melanistic manta ray, may swim past.
There are several other cleaning station spots in the area so Mantas can be admired over the whole dive site. The dive site spans quite a long distance with different rock formations and patchy sandy areas where blue spotted sting rays and the occasional eagle ray can be seen.
What else can you see in Manta Point?
On the coral reef, octopuses like to hide, as well as many other cool sea creatures. There are a couple of cool swim-throughs in the area of the dive site called the labyrinth and there is a wall dropping down to a lunar sandy bottom at around 30 to 35 metres. The very lucky ones may even bump into a Mola mola there.
This dive site is one of the most popular dive site in Nusa Penida and you can easily do a couple of more dives there before having seen the whole sight or getting bored of hanging out with manta rays.