Manta Sandy Dive Site

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Manta Sandy is probably one of the best known Raja Ampat dive sites and is considered a signature dive of the area. Also known as Mata Mantra, this site offers divers the chance to get great views of manta rays feeding and swimming.

The depth of the dive is perfect for all levels of divers from an average of 5 metres down to a maximum of 20 metres. The currents are also usually moderate, although they can sometimes get strong. Divers will need to check these levels and ensure they have enough experience for the level of current. The site is a main cleaning station for Manta Rays and is a narrow channel that has a number of coral bommies. At around 15 metres, there are usually around 10 giant manta rays to be found. They normally wait around at the bommies hoping for a cleaner wrasse to come out and start cleaning them.

Divers should be careful not to get too close to the rays or else the mantas will leave. The site is close to Manta Ridge, which is another cleaning station in the area, so if the mantas are not here, divers should check the second site. Most of the mantas found here are completely black, although there are some with white markings as well. Their wingspans can measure up to 5 metres and they often swim close to divers. Along with the many cleaner wrasse, and the manta rays, divers can also see large numbers of butterfly fish on the bommies.

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Anne-Sophie October 05, 2017

Manta Sandy is one of the most famous dive sites to watch manta rays in Raja Ampat. It is possible to meet them all year round, but the best period is between October and April.

I dove there in October and in June and I had the chance to meet the mantas on each dives. Down on my knees, behind the defined area where divers can’t go, in order to ensure manta rays can move freely, I just waited a few minutes before I can see them appearing.

One, two, three, I could see until seven or eight mantas in a row. Some of them come, get cleaned, and go. Some others are more curious, and get closer. In a couple of seconds, I had literally 2 mantas above my head ! I could not believe it. Peacefully, they even didn’t move when they felt my bubbles tickling their bellies. An unforgettable experience !

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