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Dive Photo Guide

Big Animals – Mobula Rays, Mexico

Schools of hundreds of mobula rays can be seen in the Sea of Cortez. Closely related to manta rays, mobulas are slightly smaller. Keep an eye out for mobula rays that are breaching or jumping up to six feet out of the water.


Boats usually come across the schools of mobula rays by either seeing jumping rays, or while in transit going between dive sites or looking for other marine life. Make sure to keep your kit ready to jump in at a moment’s notice.

Recommended Operators

When to Dive

The spring months are prime for catching the mobulas in action, with February giving the most sightings.



Pro Tips

You can dive with the mobulas at night, very close to the beach at Espiritu Santo Island, but you have to stay on a camping site for the night. Only one operator can take you there since it’s a natural protected area.


The mobulas will be attracted by an artificial beam light suspended from the boat, and they will probably stay with you for your whole dive! So there’s no need to rush the shots, instead look for a particular angle, composition, or special moment or behavior when the mobula will look its best.


You can either use the available artificial light from the boat or use your own strobes—or a combination of both. This will give you a wide range of opportunities to use many different lighting techniques creating a broad range of moods in your images.Christian Vizl


One of the few other destinations to spot schooling mobula rays is the Adaman Islands, off the coast of Thailand and Myanmar (formerly Burma) at a site called Tower Rock. Go with the Aggressor Fleet.


Mike Clifford
Jan 12, 2015 10:55 AM
Mike Clifford wrote:
You should add Galapagos to the list for mobulas. We saw large schools on several occasions during our December 2013 liveaboard, and my understanding is that this is fairly common.
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