Manta Point also known as Lankan Manta Point is located on the south eastern side of the North Male Atoll. The stretch of reef is one of the first spots in the country to have been discovered as a gathering place for manta rays. It is one of the Maldives’ top dive sites and attracts diving enthusiasts from all parts of the globe. Sailing to the south of Male you will find Cocoa Island by COMO, a popular Maldives luxury hotel that is also environmentally conscious; through their ‘Coral Propagation Project’ guests can contribute towards regeneration of the reef.
The ocean, in which the Maldivian islands are spread, is the main attraction for visitors to the area. A trip out to Manta Point is sure to give both novice and experienced divers a new appreciation of marine life. Descending twelve meters beneath the surface, one will encounter the top of the reef where Oriental sweetlips, Napoleonfish and hawksbill turtlecan be spotted in large numbers. White-tip reef shark are also a common sight on the sandy, seabed below. Peep into cracks and crevices in the rocky coral and there may be an octopus or moray eel sighting to be had.
To experience of the rays in all their splendour, plan a visit during the southwest monsoon which lasts from May to October. The rains bring forth plankton, which in turn attracts scores of manta rays, who come to feed and avail themselves of the cleaning services provided by the tiny, colourful wrasses that live in the reef. Manta Point is home to three or more coral blocks which serve as ‘cleaning stations’; observers can hover close by to watch the little fish at work while being surrounded by their majestic, giant customers. Divers are instructed to keep their distance from the blocks, so as not to make the ray believe the station is in use!
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.Google+