Home #WHERETONEXT Indonesia & Indian Ocean Intercontinental Maldives Launches First Manta Ray Retreat of Its Kind

Intercontinental Maldives Launches First Manta Ray Retreat of Its Kind

manta ray in the Maldives

Reaching out to adventure travelers and nature lovers, InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort launches the first Manta Retreat of its kind in October 2022. In collaboration with the resort-based Manta Trust organization, a thoughtfully curated program has been put together to educate, explore and raise awareness for manta rays in their natural habitat.

The resort’s unique location within the largely untouched Raa Atoll, just a few boat miles away from Hanifaru Bay, the largest manta ray feeding spot known in the world, and the resort island located within the unique Maamunagau lagoon, are perfect for spending time with manta rays all year round. Maamunagau is a known juvenile manta ray aggregation spot, where young manta rays spend their days in a sheltered area until they are large enough to travel the atolls. 

While manta rays are snorkelers’ and divers’ favorites, many questions are left to answer, and further research must be conducted to understand these underwater acrobats fully. With the dedicated Manta Retreat, InterContinental Maldives and Manta Trust are working together to elevate their manta ray conservation and research efforts. Further, the retreat offers guests an opportunity to get involved and experience first-hand why manta rays need our protection and attention. 

Participants of the Manta Retreat will gain exclusive insights into the work of the Manta Trust and get close to these gentle giants on several occasions. The retreat will take place over five days from 23rd to 28th October 2022 and include several snorkeling trips to search and identify the manta rays of the Maldives, as well as workshops and talks on several marine topics. 

Jessica Haines, the resort-based Manta Trust Project Manager, will lead the retreat to guide the snorkeling trips to local manta spots and share research insights and knowledge. “It is important for us to make this retreat an enjoyable but also educational experience for all participants. And as we want to take this opportunity to raise awareness of how our marine life depends on each other, there will be many touch points on different topics.” Participants will also learn about corals, coral propagation, turtles and how to ID a manta ray. “Of course, the mantas will be the stars of the retreat, but there is more to talk about. Understanding that the plankton in our ocean is the foundation for so much marine life is a great example. When you observe plankton under a microscope, you only begin to understand how diverse marine life is. Our approach is to give the participants a holistic experience that is enriching and raises awareness for marine protection simultaneously.”  

Naturally, during the retreat, participants also have the opportunity to enjoy the luxury resort’s facilities as well as their villa or residence accommodation. There is also plenty to keep family members and kids busy in case some family members or the travel partner is not participating in the retreat. There are additional activities that can be booked, or the stay can be extended if five days seem not enough to make the most out of the trip to the Maldives.

For certified divers options are available to ensure all guests find their individual way of interacting with manta rays. Dedicated dive spots are in the area around the resort that allows for divers to observe the natural manta ray ‘spa’, known as cleaning stations, showcasing the incredible symbiosis of marine life in the Maldives.