Hanifaru Bay is a heaven for people who love snorkelling with manta rays and whale sharks. This UNESCO biosphere reserve in the Maldives is legally designated as a Marine Protected Area.Hanifaru was declared protected on 5 June 2009 and the protected area of coverage includes the uninhabited island of Hanifaru and the reef of Hanifaru extending to 200m.
Hanifaru Bay is a jewel in Baa Atoll, the place where – in season – the world’s largest gathering of manta rays can be seen. Snorkelling with these peaceful ocean giants is an unforgettable experience.
The season runs from June to November each year and sightings depend on many factors such as tide times, moon phases and currents.
The best time to visit the Hanifaru Bay is during the New Moons & the Full Moons.
Aveyla Manta Village is the closest Hotel to Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll, allowing us to reach in just few minute boat ride.
Manta rays & Whale Sharks are attracted to the microscopic planktons brought with the currents and winds during the South West Monsoon. The Ocean’s largest spend large amount of time on the surface feeding on the planktons, which makes it the ideal place for the snorkelers.