Manta Season: December – May

Manta Season - 5 DIferent Types of Rays

Manta Season is the “warm season” for Galapagos diving. Air temperatures go up a few degrees, but typically the water at Wolf and Darwin Islands will be anywhere from 78 – 82 degrees F – a full six – ten degrees warmer than other seasons.

Despite the warmth – visibility is also usually the best Galapagos has to offer during Manta Season.

So during this time of year you have the perfect diving backdrop to explore the underwater world of the Galapagos Islands.  What should you expect?

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Hammerheads, hammerheads, hammerheads. Individuals, small schools, large schools, and even the possibility of running into a solid wall of hammers!  During manta season, the sharks tend to “wall up” – creating a solid school of large sharks in very, very close proximity to each other.

Look for these hammerhead “walls” around reef “points” – areas where the drop-offs take a sharp corner or turn.  Nearly always – the wall of hammerheads will be facing the current – and slowly undulating their tails – just enough to maintain their position.  It’s truly incredible!

What else?  Well, it’s called Manta Season because of the sharp increase in the sighting of all types of rays – giant mantas for sure, but also large (200 plus) schools of mobula rays, spotted eagle rays, golden rays, cow-nosed rays, and marble rays.

Patience is the key to close encounters with rays of all types.  Swimming directly at them typically produces an equal reaction from them – they swim away from you.  Side approaches work much better, and slow and easy works better than sprinting.  If you can stand the excitement – just hover and see if the rays will come to you – often they do – and that’s how the world class photos and video get shot.

Plus, Hammerhead Action Intensifies!

Hammerhead Shark, Wolf Island, Galapagos

Manta Season is also a time of intense interaction with hammerheads.

During Manta Season, there’s a marked increase in hammerhead action.  You typically see more individuals, small schools, and large schools at this time of year. Best yet, this is the time you have  the possibility of running into a solid wall of hammers!  The sharks tend to “wall up” – creating a solid school of large sharks in very, very close proximity to each other.

Look for these hammerhead “walls” around reef points – areas where the drop-offs take a sharp corner or turn.  Nearly always – the wall of hammerheads will be facing the current – and slowly undulating their tails – just enough to maintain their position.  It’s truly incredible!

Peter A. Hughes On “Manta Season”…

Peter A. HughesAccording to Peter: ” Manta Season is my best time of the year to visit Galapagos – with many trips over the years – I’ve seen more quantity and diversity of marine life during Manta Season than at any other time of the year”.

Still have Questions on Manta Season Diving?  Please contact us and we’ll be happy to answer them!