Meet Your Manta Mates at The Standard, Maldives

No trip to The Maldives is complete without a little outdoor adventure—and from May to October, the mantas put on a big show.

Raa Atoll, home of The Standard, Maldives, is just a hop, skip, and speedboat away from the magical manta rays found in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Hanifaru Bay

For a moment in time between May and October, hundreds of manta rays (and even whale sharks!) gather to take advantage of Hanifaru Bay’s plankton-rich waters, making it one of the best destinations in the world for marine megafauna encounters. From USD $250 per person, you can see the mantas up close and personal. Hop the speedboat for a 25-30 minute ride and prepare to snorkel alongside some of the world’s most magnificent sea creatures.

Each season, our guests are absolutely blown away by what they see. So much so, we go all out for mantas all over the resort. Manta swag from the Shop? Check. T-shirt painting at Joos Café? Check. We even throw informative Manta Nights (with more to learn about the UNESCO site) for adults. For the kids, manta cookie decoration and a manta sandcastle competition are must-dos.

Let's learn a little more about our charming neighbors...

Mantas 101

Although our manta friends can be massive in size, spanning an average width of 300-400 cm and weighing around 700 kg, they are harmless and pose no danger to humans. In fact, they are curious pelagic creatures that swim around snorkelers and divers, and there’s no better place to experience this absolute must in the Maldives than with us. Here's what you should know: 

  • Species: The reef manta ray (Mobula alfredi) is one of two species of manta rays, the other being the oceanic manta ray (Mobula birostris). Reef mantas are generally smaller than oceanic mantas and have distinctive markings on their undersides, which can be used for individual identification.
  • Habitat: Reef mantas are commonly found in tropical and subtropical waters, often near coral reefs, hence their name. They prefer warm, clear waters and can be found in various locations around the world, including the Maldives.
  • Feeding: Like other manta rays, reef mantas are filter feeders, consuming planktonic organisms such as small fish, crustaceans, and zooplankton. They often feed in areas where plankton is concentrated, such as near coral reefs or during seasonal plankton blooms.
  • Behavior: Reef mantas are known for their graceful swimming and acrobatic displays. They can often be seen gliding effortlessly through the water, sometimes leaping or barrel-rolling, possibly as a form of communication or to remove parasites.
  • Conservation: Reef mantas face threats from human activities such as overfishing, bycatch in fishing gear, and habitat degradation. Conservation efforts, including the establishment of marine protected areas and responsible tourism practices, are crucial for their survival.

The Standard, Maldives is not only situated 25-minutes away from the Bay, we’re also a strong advocate for sustainable tourism, strictly adhering to Manta Trust's guidelines on Manta Ray encounters. 

Before you meet your manta mate in real life, gather your intel with some obligatory stalking first…

Manta Trivia 
  • Mantas are among the largest animals in the ocean, weighing as much as 1,350 kg (3,000 lb) with a wingspan of up to 7 m (23 ft). 
  • Mantas have large brains, relative to their size. As a matter of fact, they have the largest brain in all of the fish species. 
  • The name "Manta" comes from the Spanish word meaning "mantle" after their appearance. 
  • If they stop swimming, they'll sink.
  • They can be individually identified by the spots on the underside of their bodies, much like our fingerprints.
  • Despite their gigantic size, they are filter feeders and typically feed on zooplankton and are totally harmless! 
The Manta Ray Excursion at Hanifaru Bay by our Water Sports team is run responsibly, providing guests with information on how they can enjoy this unique wildlife experience in a respectful and ethical manner. 

Check out our Facebook page and Instagram for the latest updates, and sign up for Snorkeling excursions when staying with us. 

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