Best dive site to swim with Manta Rays at South Tip in Racha Noi

As the name indicates, South Tip is situated at the southernmost point of Racha Noi. It’s considered the best Manta Ray dive near Phuket and, overall, one of the best dive sites of Racha Islands. However, it’s also one of the most challenging dives in the area and only suitable for advanced and experienced divers.

racha noi south tip manta rays

South Tip dive site brief

  • Access: From boat
  • Maximum depth: 100 feet/ 30 meters
  • Visibility: 66 – 130 feet / 20 – 40 meters
  • Dive time: 45 minutes 
  • Certification level: Advanced Open Water
  • Current: very strong
  • Type: rock

About Racha Noi South Tip dive site

Located at the south end of Racha Noi, South Tip is a small area composed primarily of granite boulders. Depths here range from 39 feet (12 meters) to more than 197 feet (60 meters) beyond recreational diving limits in the southernmost part.

The dive site’s main feature is a pinnacle starting at 39 feet (12 meters). The west of the dive side is covered with many hard and soft corals like sea fans and fire corals. On the eastern end of South Tip, the dive site is steeper and rockier.

racha noi south tip purple coral reef

You’ll find a myriad of fish here, from Surgeonfish to Unicorn Fish and even Giant Trevally. With some luck, you can spot Chevron Barracuda in great numbers, too. Furthermore, Damsels are also conspicuous among the landscape of boulders that adorn this area.

Best Manta Ray diving at South Tip in Phuket

The main highlight of South Tip at Racha Noi is the manta rays. During the high season between February and April, it’s almost guaranteed to see them during every dive. The reason for this is a manta ray cleaning station that gets visited frequently by the majestic animals. 

But even without the manta rays, South Tip is an excellent dive site with plenty to see and explore. 

Strong currents at South Tip

The problem of the South Tip dive site, however, is the strong and unpredictable current. South Tip is probably the most challenging dive site in Phuket and is only suitable for advanced divers that are comfortable in strong currents and are in fit conditions. The tip of the island splits the incoming currents. This can cause unpredicted changes in any direction and divers can get caught in it.

south tip racha noi manta ray

Often, dive operators can only know the condition when reaching the South Tip. If the conditions don’t allow for a safe dive, you will usually dive at Racha Noi Bay as a backup.

The dive plan at Racha Noi South Tip

Due to the strong currents, you will make a descent as quickly as possible to the top of the pinnacle’s peak at 39 feet (12 meters). Closer to the rock formations, divers are protected from the strong currents. 

When descending along the west side, you will notice one thing: the color purple. The dive site is covered in purple soft coral, giving this dive site a very nice feeling. 

The highlight, however, is usually at the peak of the pinnacle. The manta cleaning station is perched at the summit of the dive site. Whether you are just starting or finishing your dive, this is when sightings are most likely. Sometimes you will see them glide through the currents during your safety stop, too.

racha noi south tip purple coral

Related dive sites

Another great dive site to see manta rays is Racha Noi North Bay. Marina Bay & Maritas Rock are great for bigger fish, too. Some of the best dives around Phuket are also the Anemone Reef, King Cruiser Wreck, and Shark Point. And don’t forget wreck diving in Phuket.

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