Nusa Penida, located 20km south-east of Bali, is the largest of Bali’s 3 sister islands – Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida and Nusa Ceningan – and is characterised by the dramatic, steep cliffs along its coastline.
At Manta Point, a protected bay located southwest along the coast of Nusa Penida, the ocean is rich with plankton and attracts reef manta rays, which measure an impressive 4-5 metres in wing-span and are black on their backs and white underneath. This is the must-see dive site for all divers who come to Bali. The Manta ray is a majestic and impressive animal, and seeing it for the first time is a transcending and magical experience. An unforgettable dive awaits you!
Manta rays belong to the taxonomic family Mobulidae. This family contains eleven species of plankton eating rays. Within this family there are two genera, Mobula and Manta and more specifically within the genus manta there are two species, Manta birostris (the giant oceanic manta) and Manta alfredi (the resident reef manta). These two species have much in common, but a few important differences in life history exist between the two. These are important to note as they have very different implications for the management and conservation of these species. Whilst the main focus of the work of the Manta Trust is the two known manta species we are also trying to improve knowledge and understanding of the nine species of mobula.
After following the sheer cliff-faces that characterize the coastline to arrive at the southeast end of Nusa Penida, you have arrived at the mythical dive site Manta Point. Sitting in 7 metres of water, nestled inside this protected bay, is the Manta “cleaning station” where mantas swim overtop of the same enormous boulder and allow the little cleaner wrasse to eat off the parasites that cover their bodies. The water temperature ranges between 20-24⁰ C and is often rich in plankton. The Mantas found around Nusa Penida are classified as Reef Mantas (Manta alfredi), measure from 4-5 metres in wing-span, and are black on their backs and white underneath (or sometimes black) with black or white markings which allow scientists, and divers, to identify them.