Discover the wonderful world of manta rays in Puerto Vallarta where you may swim, snorkel and scuba dive alongside some of the most majestic creatures in the sea.
We are passionate about the sea, and sharing our love of the manta rays in Puerto Vallarta with some interesting information about their species and habits. Manta rays inhabit the beautiful waters surrounding Puerto Vallarta and, year after year, our tours empower countless divers to discover the angelic swimming “devils of the sea”.
In order to see our fine-tailed friends, you will take a boat ride away from the shores of Puerto Vallarta and visit the famous Bay of Banderas – one of the largest in the world – that extends to more than 300 meters deep. Our expert tour guides will happily take you to multiple sites, as there are about 10 in the area, where you may see whales, dolphins and sea turtles – and of course, our magnificent manta rays.
Before you meet Puerto Vallarta’s underwater friends, here are some fun facts we thought you’d find interesting!
How do manta rays travel under the ocean?
For the past 5 million years, manta rays have been living along the bottom of the sea. Their bodies are flattened, so they are extremely fast swimmers that push the waves backwards, surging them forward. As the water flows along their fins, it appears as though the manta rays are flying. While giant manta rays tend to be more isolated creatures, their smaller counterparts are happier to travel in groups.
Are manta rays friendly or hostile with humans?
Manta rays differ from stingrays in that the latter’s deadly stinger is absent from all manta rays, so you can relax while you are swimming alongside these gorgeous creatures. Manta rays are extremely intelligent (unsurprisingly, because they have HUGE brains). They are also playful and curious. Not only are they aware of humans, but they even have a self-awareness, which tends to be rare among many animals.
With that said, their fun-loving personalities will not remain entirely docile if they feel threatened. We expect all our tour guests to treat Puerto Vallarta’s manta rays with respect and to act as politely as they would, if they were meeting new human friends for the first time.
How big are manta rays?
The manta rays in Puerto Vallarta are large – so say the least. While there is a huge discrepancy between each type of manta ray, many of those you will spot in Puerto Vallarta may range from 6 to, if you can imagine, 20 feet in width. Therefore, you will certainly be able to spot their triangular-shaped bodies, which each boast unique patterns.
Fun Fact: manta rays are actually related to sharks, so when you see them, you may notice that their pectoral fins look similar to their Jaws counterparts.
What do manta rays eat?
Despite their enormous size, giant mantas are similar to the largest fish (whale shark and basking shark) and the largest mammals (blue whale) in Puerto Vallarta, in that they eat tiny plankton. Known as filter feeders, manta rays constantly swim with their large mouths open to draw in and feed on plankton and krill.
Curious about the types of manta rays we’ve seen in Puerto Vallarta? Check out some of the ones we’ve spotted while swimming during our tours:
- Spotted eagle ray
- Pacific giant manta ray
- Devil ray (this one commonly finds traveling in large groups, which makes for a breathtaking spectacle for divers)
- Golden cownose ray (this one is also commonly found traveling in large groups, so we hope you will be lucky enough to come across this amazing scene)
- Guitarfish/shovelnose (find in cold water, 65ºF)
- Diamond stingray (find in cold water, 65ºF)
- Giant electric ray (find in cold water, 65ºF)
Hop aboard and allow our expert tour guides to take you on a wonderful exploration of Puerto Vallarta’s gorgeous waters.
On these tours, you may see even more than manta rays, and we will do our very best to ensure you get to see many aspects of the underwater world of Puerto Vallarta. Let’s dive into an amazing day playing in the sea.