I know, I know… This post is well overdue. We went to Mantaray Island Resort just a week before we left Fiji. I heard about the mantarays when we first moved to Fiji but every year I missed the season when they are actually in Fijian waters. SO, last year we just had to go and see (and swim with) them!
Mantaray Island resort offers to boat tours to take you to the passage where mantarays swim. Usually they have one boat early in the morning and one in the afternoon. The first day we arrived we all went out on the boat and took the kids as well. The water was really rough and we didn’t spend much time in the water swimming among them. So I went out again the next morning to swim among them. And I did get very lucky! We saw plenty of mantarays and spend a lot of time swimming among them – even though it’s quite hard keeping up with them!
Mantaray Island is one of the first Yasawa island resorts when you are coming from Port Denarau. The boat departs daily at 8.30 from Denarau. There is only one boat a day so mind that – if you are missing it you are missing a whole day on the island.
The first night on the island we stayed at one of their Tree Houses. I only booked a few days in advance, so that was the only accommodation they had available. Since it was four of us, they put two bunk beds into the tree house and there was no space as all- they bures are very small. But since we didn’t go there to spend our days inside, we didn’t mind. The second night, an ocean front Jungle Bure was available, so we moved in there. SO much more space and the views with your own beach access just divine!
If you are on a budget, there is also dorm accommodation available.
There is one restaurant catering for the resort. Its a steep climb up the hill – so you are really feeling hungry when you get there 🙂 They have a wide selection and dishes rotate daily. You have to purchase a meal package when you get to the resort since they aren’t any other restaurants on the island. The resort also has a bar which serves pizzas all day long… and they are pretty yummy.
Besides swimming with mantarays, the resort has a diving centre. There are plenty of dives to choose from, beginners dives courses, night dives and a shark dive.
Snorkelling is on of the best I have done in Fiji and its just off the beach. You can hire snorkel gear or just bring your own.
Mantaray Island has been a fantastic experience. It has been my dream to swim with mantarays for so many years, that it finally happening was just amazing. Swimming along those gentle giants is an experience like no other. Even seeing a shark while diving, was freaking scary but so fascinating at the same time. It#s been one of those experiences that I’ll treasure forever and I’ll never forget.
And to have my kids – 3 and 5 years at the time being experiencing the same is just incredible. Ever since they’ve been so interested in sea life and I think they’ll remember this for a very long time….