We were neither divers nor experienced open sea swimmers. We never thought that we would be considered as serious customers in a diving tour consisting of many experienced divers. First Manta Rhei answered tonnes of our questions almost immediately by email stating that we may join their tour as snorkelers. They also patiently helped us through WhatsApp and over the phone. When we went to their office, they were very professional in answering all of our questions with a great confidence and certainty. They let us try all the equipment that we would use and they declared that there would be one person with us snorkeling in all possible times in the water. The tour started with a short, to the point briefing. We were also informed about the currents, what to expect in the water with the maps shown during debriefing before snorkeling. All three locations was amazing to snorkel but I must admit the location “Cauldron” is the place where they really made the sentence as real stated in their website: “You will feel yourself in an aquarium” and I felt as if I was swimming in a massive aquarium tank. I am sure I will keep Cauldron” as a sweet memory all through my life. We would especially like to thank Dilan, our snorkeling master, who calmed us, guided us and found the Manta for us. We also enjoyed all the food served on the boot all through the journey. We would like to thank all Manta Rhei family for this lovely experience. Only one room for improvement is they should come up with a solution for disembarking the ship. The infrastructure of harbor is not in good shape, I totally understand that. But, still they may try a rope ladder or any other solution to minimize the risk of falling while disembarking. For my wife, it was a difficult step to the harbor deck despite the full support of the dive master. I am sure they may come up with a solid solution. Many thanks again for the whole experience.
I went on a snorkeling trip combined with a visit to Rinca Island with Manta Rhei Dive Center in Labuan Bajo. I highly recommend this company for snorkeling. The day consisted of two, hour long snorkel sessions and a short hike on Rinca to see the komodos. Our experience was great, I can't think of anything I would have wanted to be different. The boat is large, clean, and safe. The staff and instructors are friendly and outgoing. Before each snorkeling session, one of our guides pulled out a hand drawn map to show the route we would swim, which I found incredibly helpful. And then, when in the water, the two guides were constantly checking that we were all together and would point out different sea life and make sure everyone saw. It was really incredible to see turtles, mantas and even a shark.
I especially want to thank this company for ensuring that my friend, who does not know how to swim, had a great time. They put my friend in a personal flotation device and then she hung on to a ring buoy pulled by one of the guides. The guide pulled her along, offering encouragement and cracking jokes. He made sure she was comfortable and about halfway through the swim asked if she would like to stop early and get back on the boat. She replied, "No!"
I highly recommend Manta Rhei. If I'm ever back in the area I will use this company again.
My husband and I had an amazing snorkeling day trip with them and we would definitely choose them again. I have read all of the mediocre and bad reviews that were written so I will try to elaborate on our experience.
We love snorkeling at the shore but it was our first time snorkeling from a dive boat on open sea with divers so we were quite intimidated at first. Veronica patiently gave us very detailed answers and guided us to the appropriate day trip option. We clearly explained her about our lack of experience and she encouraged us a lot. We paid 700k per person plus 215k (National park entry fee) per person. This is required by the government as we were told and everyone had to pay it. I especially asked this because we would not be going for hiking on the island. I know some previous reviews complained about this fact. But it’s the government, there is nothing they can do. We went to their office two days before our trip and met Veronica. We tried our gear, and were very clearly explained what to expect on the trip. We knew that the dive sites could be changed based on the weather and the currents but it’s ok with us as long as they explain this beforehand. We were told that there would be only two snorkelers, us, on the boat and we would be accompanied by a guide at all times. We paid and signed very detailed consent forms and we took pictures of the forms. Veronica also told us to have pictures of our passports with us just in case our boat was checked. She told us to meet with them at their office at 7am on the day of the trip.
On the day of the trip we arrived at 6:45. The group gathered and we were taken to our boat, Yolande. It was a big and well-kept boat. We were separated into groups and assigned our guides. The dive master gave detailed explanations about the rules on board: the wet area, dry area, slippery parts, non-slippery parts etc. this was again one of the complaints in the previous reviews but I think they have improved themselves since those reviews.
Our guide, Dilan, introduced himself to us and explained about the the snorkeling sites using maps, and depths and currents, duration of snorkeling and what to expect and what to do in order to stay safe in water. He worked as a lifeguard before and he seemed quite calm and experienced so this made us comfortable and we trusted him. He did not rush us, he gave us enough time to wear our wetsuit before it was time to start snorkeling and made sure we felt comfortable with our gear once we were in water. Only after that we started snorkeling. Each time in water he showed us the range we can swim, where the currents are, where the boat will come to pick us up and what time. With all this information, we felt quite safe. We also had life jackets on as well as a ring buoy.
We went to three sites, around 1 hour of snorkeling at each: Crystal bay, Cauldron and Tatawa Kecil. Cauldron was definitely the best. I wish we could have spent more time there. At all of the sites there were tons of things to see. Tatawa Kecil was the hardest because of strong currents so unfortunately we had to stick together at all times and this limited our movement. But this is the nature. Could they have gone to a better site? I don’t know since I can’t judge the currents and the area. Still we saw many great things there.
One problem I had was with my mask which kept on taking water. I think it was slightly big for my face and I should have asked for a smaller one. It’s not their fault.
An improvement I can suggest is getting off the boat, which was quite tricky. Yes the dive master helped all of us but I’m short and not too flexible and my left shoulder has an injury so it was quite difficult for me. I understand that this place has lots of tides and every boat has this problem. But I’m not sure why the problem can’t be easily solved by having longer steps on the side of the decks or additional simple stairs added to the side of the board so people can climb out more easily. Is it not possible for all the boat companies to get together and create a solution?
Anyway, our overall experience was fabulous and if we had more time in Flores we would definitely go with them again.
I don't dive, but I opted for the full day of snorkelling, ending with a trip to Rinca Island to see the Komodo Dragons.
We were out from about 7.30am to 5pm. There were two dive spots where the divers went under and our little snorkel group kept to the surface, we saw turtles, sharks(!) and a lot of mantas, which put me in heaven. Out guide Gilan was so good at pointing them out to us. The last dive spot wasonly for the divers, the rest of us were set ashore on Rinca Island where we got a guided tour of the place to see the famous Komodo Dragons. As this was a bucket list item for me I was quite excited and I was not disappointed.
The breakfast consisted of donuts, some sandwiches, coffee/tea etc and was tasty enough. The lunch was really good (rice, chicken stew with vegetables and a nice salad). We got two cans of soda, unlimited water, tea and coffee during the day and the boat was stable and comfortable.
I would definitely recommend Manta Rhei if you wanna go see turtles, mantas and do a bit of snorkelling as well as see the Komodos.
We visited Manta Rhei dive shop after a recommendation from a fellow traveller and it’s the best thing we did. The staff in the shop were so helpful explaining and informing us of what our trip would entail. We were sold, they seemed so friendly and were visiting manta point! Very professional staff, both in the office and on the dive boat, yet so friendly and approachable. All instructors/dive masters made an effort to talk to us (Echo and Far!). The boat was beautiful. Really comfortable and relaxing, too standard. They accommodated different qualifications of divers within our friendship group and managed to get us to dive together. Crew on board were attentive and helped me into and out of my gear every time which I greatly appreciated. We even had Michelle on our boat the photographer who got some incredible shots which she sold for a fair price. I felt confident in the quality of the kit and the instruction. The dives were amazing, seeing so many Manta rays. 100% go with this company if you’re thinking of diving in Flores!! Thank you so much!