Scuba diving in Manta Ridge
Manta Ridge is one of the most popular dive sites in Raja Ampat region, in terms of watching mantas. It is situated between Mansuar and Airborei islands, and is reached from the extra-small islet of only several meters' square which is a few centimeters above the sea level. It is a reef slope where already at the depth of 6m/20ft it is possible to hook to the sandy seabed, and 'reserve a seat' to watch an amazing mantas' dances show. The show alternates with the routine of a regular cleaning station, where mantas get their bodies' cavities cleaned from parasites with the help of small fishes. At the sandy bottom there can be seen secluded reef formations and bushes of algaes. Due to the strong currents, the dive can be safely recommended to experienced divers only.
When to go
It is possible to dive at the Manta Ridge dive site all the year through, though the period from May to September is known to be the time of rainfalls. To witness mostly sunny and dry weather it's better to plan visiting this spot in the time from October through April. The temperature of water here is almost constant and is 29C/84F. The currents in this place are forceful.
What to see
In addition to being the most reliable place for spotting mantas, Manta Ridge also offers shoals of bumphead parrotfish, blacklip butterflyfishturtles. Moon wrasse, cleaner wrasse, leopard wrasse, black eye thicklips are the 'workers' here. Remoras and golden trevallies often accompany the stars of the show, mantas. Turtles also can often be spotted here.