Mobula Rays | Galapatours
Mobula Rays

Mobula Rays

The cleverest fish in the ocean?

Information about Mobula Rays

Alongside a large number of Galápagos Sting Rays (such as Spotted Eagle Rays, Golden Rays etc.), there are two types of Mobula Rays in Galápagos, which are commonly encountered swimming in the waters around the Galápagos Islands. The Mobula Birostris (Giant Oceanic Manta Ray) and the Mobula Japanica (Spinetail Devil Ray). The Devil Ray is so-called due to its distinctive ‘horns’ that grow on either side of its wide head.

Rays are extremely curious around humans and are fond of swimming with scuba divers on our Galápagos Diving Cruises and also snorkelers. Note: All of our Galápagos cruises include the option for snorkeling, and you will certainly encounter rays on a Galapatours adventure!

Rays will often come to the surface to investigate boats at anchor and some rays even like being stroked! Galápagos Manta Rays can sometimes be seen leaping out of the water and landing with a surprisingly loud slap. They also have the biggest brains of any fish!

These species have very few natural predators but are currently classed as being vulnerable due to bycatch. This overfishing, along with the long and slow breeding cycle of the rays, has meant a steady decline in numbers of these beautiful giants.

Galápagos and the coast of Ecuador holds the largest seasonal gatherings of Giant Manta Ray in the world, which is a breathtaking sight to behold. These majestic rays are not to missed when cruising the islands. Contact our travel advisors today to help plan your own remarkable Galápagos ray experience with a stunning naturalist cruise around the Galápagos Islands.

Interesting facts about Mobula Rays

Manta rays can grown up to 20ft across and weigh up to 3,000lb

Rays have the largest brain size to body size ratio - hence the smartest fish in the ocean

Markings on the belly of rays are unique, and can be used to identify individuals

The waters off Galápagos and Ecuador host the largest gatherings of Giant Manta Rays in the world

Pictures of Mobula Rays

Mobula Rays
Mobula Rays
Mobula Rays

Highlights where the Mobula Rays can be seen

Eden Islet
Cape Marshall

Cape (or Cabo) Marshall is a good wall dive on the northeastern coast of Isabela. Depths here can be as much as 130ft and the visibility is anywhere from 20 to 70ft depending on the time of year.

Because of the geography of the site the current here is always moderate to heavy, and this is always done as a drift dive following the coast. There's little surge here, though and you'll have a mix of wall and reef diving.

Cape Marshall is a great location for giant manta rays and a wide variety of pelagic fish, and hammerhead sharks are a common sight. Galapatours visitors have also reported encounters with large schools of barracuda and sea lions who come along to join in with your dive!

Carrion Point
Carrion Point

Carrion Point on the eastern coast of Santa Cruz protrudes into the ocean, creating a sheltered cove which is a superb place to snorkel.

There's no landing here, you can simply dive into the water from your boat. The sheltered waters are crystal clear and you will see a wide range of marine wildlife, including Galápagos rays, sharks, and innumerable tropical fish.

A panga ride along the coast here will also allow your Galapatours guide to tell you more about the bird species and about the ecology of this part of Santa Cruz in general.

Carrion Point
Carrion Point Dive Site

Carrion Point is often used as a dive site before the long trip north to Wolf and Darwin Islands, so you may have your first "proper" Galápagos dive here.

The site is typical of the Galápagos, with rocky slopes and a boulder-strewn reef with only ocasional patches of sand. The habitat is very rich here, and you are likely to encounter a wide range of tropical fish, as well as hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, manta rays, as well as the ever-curious Galápagos Sea Lions.

Cormorant Point
Cormorant Point

Cormorant Point is on the northern tip of Floreana, and you'll land on a beach that sits between two volcanic cones. The sand on one of the beaches here has a noticeably olive-green color. This is due to a much higher than usual concentration of olivine crystals in the sand. Another beach is made up mainly of coral sand and is almost a brilliant white in comparison.

This Galápagos site has a large lagoon which is favored by flamingos, their pink coloring contrasting with the green sand. There is some good snorkeling here, and you can often spot rays in the shallows. There is a one mile hike available that takes you to higher ground and provides great views over the lagoon, and to both beaches on either side of the Point.

Cowley Islet
Cowley Islet

This islet off the coast of Isabela is a popular diving site thanks to the variety of species that you can see in the waters here. In or on the water you are likely to encounter a range of shark species, Galápagos sea lions, stingrays, green sea turtles, cormorants, penguins, manta rays, and many more.

Also visible in these habitats are sponges and corals, and if you are lucky even sea horses, shaped just like the island of Isabela herself!

If you have any particular species that you are keen to see on your dive, contact one of our Galápagos experts today and we can advise on the best dive itinerary to suit your requirements.

Daphne Minor
Daphne Minor

Like her big sister Daphne Major, Daphne Minor is a barren, treeless extinct remains of a tuff cone. There are no visitor sites on Daphne Minor, but a panga ride along her shores will give the opportunity for some snorkeling.

Here is where Daphne Minor shows her true colors - literally. An unusually large amount of smaller underwater organisms live on the rocky undersea walls of the island, creating a real multi-colored environment amongst the black and grey rocks.

Other creatures often seen here include seahorses, Galápagos sharks, rays and green turtles.

Mosquera Islet
Mosquera Islet

Mosquera Islet, like may similar islets in the Galápagos, was formed by a volcanic uprising. Over the centuries it also attracted corals, and along with the rocks that form the islet this helped to capture the sand from the currents that flow between Baltra Island and North Seymour Island.

Mosquera is home to one of the largest populations of Galápagos Sea Lions on the archipelago, and you will be able to watch their playful antics and admire their sense of relaxation as they sunbathe on the beach.

There have been occasional sightings of Orca (Killer Whales) in the waters off Mosquera Island, probably attracted by the large number of Galápagos Sea Lions on which they prey.

Puerto Villamil
Puerto Villamil

The vast majority of Isabela's human population live in Puerto Villamil, which still holds onto its traditional fishing port charm. Indeed many of Galapatours visitors tell us they think it's the prettiest village in the whole archipelago.

The main reason for this is that Villamil had little impact from tourism until the 1990s, the residents quietly making their living from fishing and farming. Then in 1996 a small runway was opened for flights for light aircraft operating inter-island flights. There are now 13 hotels and 18 bars and restaurants in town, compared to only 1 and 2 respectively in 1980! Despite this, the town still enjoys a relaxed and authentic atmosphere.

Villamil enjoys a beautiful long beach, which is picture-book tropics - palm trees line it's bright white coral sand. Behind the beach are several saltwater lagoons which are home to pink flamingos, pintail ducks and several other species. There are several visitor sites that can be the subject of excursions from town on foot, by minibus or panga.

Punta Mejia
Punta Mejia

Marchena is the largest of the northern Galápagos Islands, but with no land-based visitor sites it is rarely seen by anyone - even scientists and National Park Wardens are very infrequent visitors.

The main attraction here is the snorkeling off Marchena's coast. The deep, clear waters and calmer seas here make exploring this undersea world a magical experience.

There is a huge variety of tropical fish at Punta Mejia, and when you go into the water accompanied by your Galapatours expert guide you are also likely to see rays, a variety of sharks, and green sea turtles to name but a few.

Our trips to spot the Mobula Rays

Price
Min Price

USD 900

Max Price

USD 23000

Duration (days)
Min Days

3

Max Days

19

Ship Category

Ship Type

Amenities

Cruise Type