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© Copyright U.S. Dive Travel Network.
Wanyaan Beach, one of several alluring sandy strips on Yap Island, Micronesia.
All photos on this page are © Copyright MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL, Yap &
provided courtesy of our friend, MRBH owner Bill Acker. Photo by Patrik Nilsson.
MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL, YAP ISLAND,
The PEACEFUL PRISTINE PEARL of MICRONESIA:
Here's the Soul of YAP DIVING, funseekers -- MANTA RAY MECCA ! ! !
Bar none, the best place on earth to scuba dive with heart-sparking schools of huge manta rays !
MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL, YAP ISLAND,
Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers -- several times each year -- offer U.S. DIVE TRAVEL clients some wonderful cost-cutting specials to make it much easier to visit this magical isle:
* Call us at 952-953-4124 at least 5-6 months before departure to ensure the space you need is still available...
* Our Rockin'-in-the-Big-Blue Mid-Year Special is often available for trips from June thru August. Excluding MantaFest timeframe.
* Valid for new bookings only.
* Valid for dive packages of 7 nights or longer.
* When booking any new special, please call 952-953-4124 (USA #) & reference “Wholesale Code # 877-377-ZG Special."
U.S. Dive Travel now is offering customized Yap dive vacations for any clients who book the Ocean Hunter yachts or Palau Aggressor in nearby Palau; & also the Truk Odyssey diving yacht. You can add 4 - 12 nights for a fun side tour on the legendary isle of Yap, where for centuries natives used huge circular stones, like massive rock donuts, for currency. This island is world-renowned for gracious & hospitable people, plus schools of huge manta rays that will amaze you as they sweep past your dive group like a B2 bomber squadron on full after-burn. This is one magical island, funseekers.
For years our group guides & clients have reported back to us that some of these rays come in schools of 7 - 10 huge critters, some grand-daddys with wingspans more than 12 - 14 feet wide! This is a breath-taking experience that can be found only in Yap & a scant few other locations worldwide. Yap dive vacations = teeming manta rays, pure & simple, amigos.
[ For YAP ISLAND PACKAGE PRICES call us at 952-953-4124.
CHECK these GROUP-LEADER COMPS; BEST DIVE PACKAGE DEALS EVER !
Keep in touch with John & Susie as the Yap discount scene is an exciting "moveable feast"! When Yap's resort owner Bill Acker announces the seasonal special (always call us to double-check timing & availability) it is perfect for either small or large groups since for every 7 paid divers get 1 FREE, 10 pay get 2 FREE and 13 pay get 3 FREE! Also, guests receive a complimentary one class up-grade in rooms (subject to availability) and, on top of that, a restaurant voucher worth US$25 if the reservation is booked and deposited between now and the end of the DEMA show. When Bill activates it, this offer is valid for travel, stay and departure between April 15th and December 14th. When booking you must ask for the "Group Special" by name. Seven-night, ten-dive packages start at approx $1300 - $1400 p.p. and include room, tax, diving, airport transfers and a daily breakfast package. The free spaces apply to double occupancy rooms only. This special offer ends when resort management announces it, normally when MRBH experiences advanced high-volume bookings -- for example just before peak seasons like summer or holidays.
(Most of this text below is courtesy of Manta Ray Bay Hotel in Yap,
whom U.S. Dive Travel Network represents as a stateside wholesaler.
All copyrighted photos on this page are provided courtesy of the hotel.)
Dear Partner, Good morning !
As promised, here is an update as to what is happening, construction-wise, here at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers. We have built walls, and decorated them, closing off all of the constructions sites to our guests. All walkways are now paved and only awaiting the final paving stones, which are due to arrive in Yap tomorrow via ship from Indonesia. You can also see that the swimming pool is now very close to being ready to fill. You can even see the manta rays taking shape on the bottom of the pool! Please advise your clients that we are expanding.
We are relocating "Mnuw"(the permanently moored wooden ship), adding a new dive base, a swimming pool, 7 new rooms, a staff apartment, a public toilet, a staff locker room, a new laundry facility, a new compressor room and compressor plus a NITROX membrane system, a new lobby and new offices. As of today, March 15th, Mnuw is in her new position and is fully open to the public, the dive base is complete, the swimming pool is within a week of opening, 6 of the new rooms will open about the 1st of April, the staff apartment will be completed on the 1st of April, the public toilet will be complete by the 1st of April, as will the new NITROX system.
Next up is to pave the walkways with stones, install the gazebos over the new plunge pools for rooms 106 and 107, install the new dive shop briefing gazebos (all of these 5 gazebos are being built in Bali and will come here ready to erect) and then begin work on the new lobby building. The entire project should be complete by the 1st of November, barring any unforeseen delays in obtaining materials from off-island.
We hired the head grounds keeper away from the Bali Grand Hyatt in Sanur (Indonesia) and he is already working his magic with the plants around the hotel and in the rooms. We expect the completed project to be an oasis this time next year. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and thank you very much for your continued support. Your business is sincerely appreciated by all of us here at the Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers.
All the best,
Bill Bill Acker, the Manta Man
Owner & CEO, Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers
HERE is RECENT LETTER from BILL "The Manta Man" ACKER concerning the wild mating rituals of Yap's ever-lovin' manta rays:
We have been having a lot of fun here in Yap lately ! The mantas have been their usual promiscuous selves here in the month of February. There have been a lot of sightings -- large groups of mantas following each other -- playing in the current at the Ridge, and of course participating in the absolutely magical act of the mating dance. There is nothing quite like watching a group of 15-20 individuals barrel rolling, loopty-doing, and of course mating in front of your eyes. Absolutely one of the finest sights to behold underwater.
Another show stopper these past couple of weeks has been the southern wall dives of Lionfish Wall, Gilman's Wall, Yap Caverns, and all of the areas to the south. Everyone has been returning from these dives raving about the unlimited visibility, the magnificent colors, and the large variety of fish life to be found all over the southern end of the reef.
Our favorite macro site, conveniently named "Macro," has been a stellar arena of discovery the past few weeks. Nudibranchs of all shapes and colors have been found in singles and pairs, crocodile fish, a large and cooperative resident Mantis Shrimp, the mini-city of anemone fish, and of course pipefish galore have all pleased our guests immensely. Perhaps the most entertaining feature of this sight is the cleaner shrimp who will happily clean finger cuticles and of course jump excitedly into the mouth of anyone brave enough to offer themselves up for a little dental checkup.
Our resident Mandarin Fish population has not stopped its promiscuous ways either. In fact, we had a guest mention she had never before had the chance to capture photos of the mating behavior. Well, this was fixed real quick after an evening visit to Rainbow Reef. She found at least 10 different pairs mating! This is truly one of the finest photo ops in the underwater world and not a dive to be missed.
We have also visited the wreck of the Laura Marie on several occasions to capture the stunning Longnose Hawkfish which live on brilliant red sponges as opposed to their typical black coral or sea fans. Another great photo opp to be sure.
On a completely different front, the concrete floor has been poured for the future Manta Pool located beside the Mnuw Restaurant and Bar. This will soon be a fantastic addition to the Manta Ray Bay Hotel.
We would like to thank all of our guests from the last couple of weeks, once again a very international crowd. Two large groups have been with us for the last week: Mass Diving from New England and The Dive Shop from Fairfax, Virginia. We have also had guests from all parts of the US as well as the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Hong Kong, and all points in between.
Hope to see you soon,
Bill Acker, the Manta Man
Owner, Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers
ABOUT BILL ACKER, the WELL-LOVED FOUNDER of MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL:
After two years in the Peace Corps, Bill Acker studied at the University of Hawaii Graduate School of Business and was there two years when a call for assistance came from old friends and "family" in Yap. Bill left Honolulu and became the manager of the WAAB Transportation Company where he stayed for the next 13 years. As part of his accomplishments while directing WAAB Transportation, Bill took up the sport of scuba diving. One thing led to another and one of the results of this new hobby became known as Yap Divers. Bill conceived the idea of opening Yap’s first dive shop in the fall of 1985 and by the Summer of 1986, Yap Diver’s was affiliated with both NAUI and PADI and opened for business. As they say, "The rest is history".
With guidance from the late Paul Tzimoulis, Hall of Fame dive pioneer and publisher of SKIN DIVER MAGAZINE, Bill developed the manta dives and the publicity that has culminated in Yap being one of the top international dive destinations in the world. With very few exceptions, all of the dive sites in Yap were found, explored and named by Bill. With over 9,000 dives in the waters of Yap, Bill is a member of the original class of SSI Platinum Pro Divers. As a PADI instructor, Bill remains active in exploring new dive sites and teaching the sport to people interested in sharing his love for the ocean environment.
Along the way, Bill met and married Patricia Mangthin of Yap and they have 4 wonderful children (Numie, Nathan, Valerie and Opie). All of the family are active in the sport of diving and share in their father’s commitment to safety and preservation of this natural resource. Bill and his family own and operate the Manta Ray Bay Hotel & Yap Divers. He can be found at the hotel 7 days a week, ready to help with suggestions on diving, photography, fishing or just relaxing on the back deck. As a family owned and operated dive resort, you can be sure that your satisfaction is taken very seriously and that the "boss" is around to help you in the event assistance is required.
THE FAMOUS MANTA RAYS of YAP ISLAND:
Every morning on your Yap diving vacation, huge Manta Rays cruise into protected channels that penetrate the barrier reef. They come to "Cleaning Stations" where small specialized reef fishes called cleaners pick off tiny parasites that the Mantas pick up in blue water while feeding. The Mantas slowly circle the cleaning station & frequently pass within inches of the observing diver's heads. Small Mantas are generally about 8 feet from wingtip to wingtip. The largest rays are up to 14 feet across.
During the Manta mating season (December to late April), processions of as many as a dozen of the huge Rays can be seen cruising back & forth in Mi'l Channel. Yap Divers has identified several Manta cleaning stations, & guides are expert at finding the Mantas. These savvy guides make Yap dive vacations an adventure to remember.
MORE YAP DIVING HIGHLIGHTS:
A dive site called Yap Caverns, at the southern tip of the island, offers a truly spectacular dive with an array of caverns, swim-throughs & pinnacles populated by Lionfish & sleeping whitetip reef sharks. Large schools of Huge Bumphead Parrotfish are often seen here. A unique feature of Yap Caverns is that the dive is not restricted to advanced divers, & beginners have no trouble negotiating the swim throughs. Therefore novices are able to share an experience of rare beauty otherwise reserved for more experienced divers.
The reefs on the east side of the island (windward side) feature gently sloping terraces with one of the most diverse selections of hard corals in Micronesia. The west side of the island (lee side) is composed of a series of vertical walls starting in 15 feet of water & plunging straight down hundreds of feet. The visibility on the reefs usually exceeds 100 feet & frequently is over 150 ft. Yap diving, is often blessed with this extra-terrestrial viz, experts confirm.
Many species of marine creatures that are rare in some parts of the world are plentiful in Yap island. Dive sites such as Lionfish Wall offer a chance to experience the beauty of a pristine coral reef. One perpetual favorite of divers is the colorful clownfish. Five species can be seen in Yap on most scuba diving tours. Some of the anemones they live in are over four feet across & host dozens of clowns at one time. Who says Yap dive vacations are all manta rays? The critters abound down here. So send in the clowns!
WHAT'S FRESH for our DIVE-LOVIN' GUESTS ?
NITROX, MACRO DIVES & MANTA
SPECIALTY SCUBA DIVING COURSE:
Another new feature this year is the Macro Dive. A special dive site has been discovered in the main channel that offers more invertebrate life per square meter than any known site in Micronesia. The nudibranchs are outstanding & the diving guides have become very good at finding & identifying the animals for you. This is a great place for macro-photography enthusiasts as well as for people who want to experience something very different from normal daily dives in Micronesia. Yap diving will hone your photo skills, as these awesome creatures move slowly enough to catch on film easily.
Bill Acker, general manager of Manta Ray Bay Hotel & a member of the original class of SSI Platinum Pro Divers, teaches a PADI Specialty Course entitled "Manta Ray Awareness". This course involves a short video, a short lecture/discussion with Bill & 2 Manta dives. You will learn about the habitats of the Yapese mantas, about the cleaning stations & fish that inhabit the stations, become proficient in telling males from females as well as identifying the individual rays by name. This course is a must for anyone wishing to know more about watching, photographing & enjoying the gentle Manta Rays of Yap island. Any of the scuba diving staff or front desk workers can make the arrangements for you to take this class.
BEAUTIFUL CLIMATE on YAP:
LUXURY FEATURES of the MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL:
Along with these classic Yap diving vacation packages, we also offer world class fishing with Yap Anglers, & an opportunity to explore the wildlife & nature by kayaking with Yap's Planet Blue Kayak Tours. The third floor of the hotel houses the Manta Ray Grill, the Island's finest restaurant with a great view of the lagoon. Our Yap diving guests can also enjoy a refreshing tropical drink in the Nautical Weaver Bar on the ground floor right at the edge of the sea.
The visual theme of the entire redecorated hotel is "vivid marine life." Each distinctly designed room bears a fish name, and is decorated accordingly, with photographs & paintings of that fish, right down to the hand carved key chains and handmade bedspreads. The double doors connecting the rooms of the suite are adorned with carvings of manta rays. The hotel has been expanded to 28 rooms, including 15 Ocean View, 4 Deluxe Ocean View and 9 Standard. The Ocean View rooms are located on the seaward side of the hotel, providing a nice view of the lagoon from their private balconies. The Standard rooms are located on the opposite side, overlooking the road and the hills beyond.
One of the Deluxe Ocean View rooms is located on the 3rd floor and has a private spiral staircase leading to an exclusive roof top Jacuzzi and sun deck. We can offer a suite by opening adjoining doors in the Deluxe Ocean View Room. The suite includes two full bathrooms, one king size bed and two queen size beds, two balconies and two TV/VCRs. Two other Deluxe Ocean View Rooms are located on the ground floor, each having a huge private deck extending over the lagoon with a private plunge pool. There is an antique king-size bed in each of these rooms. Our newest Deluxe Ocean View Room is on the 3rd floor and is a mini-suite with a king-sized bed, tropical hardwood flooring in the bedroom portion, a sitting area and a unique indoor garden shower.
The first floor has 5 rooms with a queen size waterbed and a queen size regular bed per room. Most of the rooms on the second and third floors have two queen size regular beds per room. A few rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors have 1 king size bed per room. The Deluxe Ocean View Rooms have one king size antique bed. All rooms are air-conditioned and have ceiling fan, color TV/VCR, international direct dial telephone, refrigerator (upon request), private bathroom with hot water and built-in hair dryer, as well as a private balcony with the Ocean View and Deluxe Ocean View Rooms. Most rooms have built-in electronic safes and for those rooms that do not have these feature, a bank of individual safes is located at the Front Desk. In addition, we have installed a sophisticated and highly efficient water purification and treatment system, resulting in fully potable in-room tap water. Our 20,000 gallon storage tank means that the Manta Ray Bay always has 24 hour water, which is a unique bonus in the dry season on an island.
YAP ISLAND's ANCIENT CULTURE & TRADITIONS:
Village life is influenced by a caste system which is complex & full of subtle nuances a visitor can never hope to fully understand. Status & success in Yapese society can be gained in a variety of ways, but the acquisition of material wealth in the western fashion is not one of them. Kindness & a generous spirit are prized in this culture. A shy, but gentle & friendly people, the Yapese welcome visitors from abroad. On our cultural tours, you will have the opportunity to visit a village & experience bona fide rural village life & traditions for yourself. We feel this is as vital a part of any Yap diving vacation as the manta rays.
The Yapese have a strong tradition of chants & dances, often of ancient origin. The chants & dances always tell a story, & teaching them to each new generation is an important part of preserving the Yapese heritage. Magic & ritual has a strong influence in Yapese society. "The magic is strong in Yap" is a commonly held opinion throughout most of the western Pacific, where the Yapese are held in great esteem as great navigators.
The RENOWNED STONE WHEEL CURRENCY of YAP:
One of the amazing facts about this stone money, or "Rai" as the wheels are called in Yapese, is that these gigantic stone discs were not quarried on the island. Instead, the Yapese traveled by outrigger canoe more than 300 miles to the neighboring island nation of Palau. There, in a quarry on northern Babelthaob, the Rai were hewn out of the rock with primitive tools & brought back to Yap on a perilous journey in the canoes. The value of an individual Rai piece is not determined by its size alone. Its shape, the quality & texture of the stone & most important: the difficulty of acquisition is equally important in assessing value. The greater the effort involved in bringing it safely home, the storms encountered & all too often, the men lost in the process - contribute to increase the value.
The Rai are not carried about, for obvious reasons. Individual pieces are found all over Yap, but most are kept in "Stone Money Banks" in the villages. When Rai shift hands as the result of a business transaction, a wedding or otherwise, the news spreads fast & it is soon common knowledge that a particular piece has a new owner. The Rai are seldom moved at all, but remain where they stand. Oh, as much as we would love to meld this concept with your Yap diving vacation, one cannot tip the divemasters in 200 lb Rai(just pulling your fins! ;)
In the mid 19th century the Irish-American trader & adventurer David Dean O'Keefe started a successful business using his ship to carry stone money from the Palau quarries to Yap in exchange for copra & beche-de-mer. The Yapese liked the idea, & even if the "O'Keefe-money" was valued much lower than the Rai brought by canoe, they offered a welcome possibility for the less well-off to own money & thus increase their status in the village. O'Keefe was well loved by the Yapese people who refused to trade with anyone else, & he maintained his monopoly for over 30 years.
WHERE in HEAVEN's NAME is YAP, ANYWAY?
While the mantas are the prime attraction that puts Yap on the map for scuba divers, the pristine reefs & walls are the icing on the cake. There are more than 90 miles of coral reefs & walls to tempt you. While the popular reefs at some of Yap's neighboring Micronesian islands see as many as 100 divers per day, many of Yap's beautiful reefs see fewer divers than that in one entire year. The Yap reefs are home to more than 150 species of corals & more than 750 species of vibrantly colored tropical fish.
Yapese traditions are still taught to all children. The islanders are determined to ensure that their culture does not succumb to westernization. While the island has modern facilities, many Yapese still live an idyllic traditional lifestyle. Every village has a men's house constructed of large logs, bamboo & thatch. The men meet in the evening to tell stories & educate the village boys in the arts of fishing, sailing & crafts. Men from other villages who have strayed too far to reach home before dark can spend a night in another village's men's house.
The dances of Yap tell stories & relate the history of the island. By learning the dances, children learn about the ancient heritage of their people. Dances are performed every week, & the Manta Ray Bay Hotel can arrange a tour for you to witness them & see a bit of the village life. This is a splendid "spice of life" way to enliven your Yap diving vacation.
IMPORTANT COURTESY NOTE:
AMENITIES of MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL:
Your Yap diving vacation will not be a rough-it adventure. Nor will it a glitzy touristy experience. It's right in the happy middle of exotic & no frills. The rooms are decorated in tropical elegance. Furniture is natural rattan with a tropical pastel fabric, & pots of exotic tropical plants can be found everywhere. The motif of the entire hotel is marine life. Each room bears a fish name, & is decorated accordingly, with photographs & paintings of that particular fish, right down to the hand carved key chain. The double doors connecting the rooms of the suite are adorned with carvings of -- what else? -- manta rays!
In the evening, you can wander over to the Nautical Weaver Deck & Bar, where you can relax & enjoy the spectacular view of the bay with an aperitif & a lively conversation about the days events with the other guests & staff members. Complement your evening by sampling the excellent cuisine prepared by executive chef Bill Munn, & then polish off your meal with a special dessert created by Caroline Munn, a certified pastry chef. The lodge's menu features European, Asian, & American foods, utilizing fresh seafood & produce from Yap along with the finest imported foods.
SCUBA DIVING FUN with YAP DIVERS:
The traveler on any Yap diving vacation is offered all that he or she could ever ask for in terms of dive experiences with regularly scheduled drift dives, wall dives, cavern dives & night dives, as well as the Yap specialty -- giant manta dives. Although there is a host of charted dive sites & a program to discover more dive destinations, the fun part is that more than 80% of Yap's reefs remain unexplored.
Very few divers now know -- or ever will know in future years -- the joys of Yap diving locales like the certified dive staff at Yap Divers. Mi'l Channel, one of the classic dive destinations, is more than the "home of the mantas". This site offers teeming underwater life & color everywhere. Yap Divers' boats are modern, radio equipped dive boats, ranging in size from 21-38 feet, which allows the staff to accommodate your individual . The beat goes on baby -- the beat of life, of loving the water, of exploration, the beat of fun in the sun. Yap Divers knows this beat 2 D max. You'll love these guys.
NOTEWORTHY NEW ATTRACTIONS at MANTA RAY BAY HOTEL
Yap Anglers is dedicated to "catch & release" fishing only, thus saving this resource for the future guests. We do, however, allow one fish to be brought aboard & prepared in the restaurant for dinner.
Manta Visions Photo & Video Center is the full service, in-house photo shop. We offer UW photography services you expect from a first class dive resort. Manta Visions offers same day E-6 film processing & a wide variety of photo instruction. Classes in UW Videography, UW Production & Editing are also available for divers wishing to hone their video skills. Group & Custom video productions are available from Manta Visions & make a perfect souvenir of your dive experience with Manta Ray Bay Hotel.
Planet Blue Kayak Tours is the latest innovation at Manta Ray Bay. You are able to view the island from a different perspective & enter a living Mangrove Ecosystem, whilst paddling on Perception Kayaks using Werner Paddles. Planet Blue Kayak Tours offers full & half day tours personally led by Patricia Acker. At present, there are 5 different full & half day tours available with more to be added during the year.
What is the ocean water
The water temperature is 82 F degrees (28 C degrees) nearly all year round, which is warm enough to wear just a dive skin, Polartec, or 3mm neoprene suit, depending on how “toasty” you personally dive.
What is the underwater
On our reefs & walls the visibility often exceeds 150 feet (50 meters) & can top 200 feet after a long calm stretch. The visibility in the channels for the manta dives will range from 30 feet (10 meters) up to 100 feet (30 meters) with the average being about 50 to 60 feet; & since the manta rays come so close to you, this is perfect.
What is the range of
diving depths we’ll experience?
Our world-renowned Manta Dives typically are anywhere from 20 to 70 feet deep (6 to 20 meters). Average depths for reef dives is 60-80 feet & our walls begin at 20 feet & plunge vertically, past arrays of exciting colorful life forms, to more than 400 feet.
Are there strong
currents to contend with?
Occasional currents (mild to medium) in the channels for the manta dives are easy to navigate, since frequently there are calm spots behind high coral heads & coral ridges. Mild currents occasionally occur on the outside walls, making them excellent for drift dives. Overall,
Are the coral reefs
alive & well, despite global warming?
Our reefs are in phenomenal condition, almost pristine. We are blessed with some of the most beautiful coral formations in the Pacific -- including plate corals the size of dinner tables, plus healthy giant mounds of blue staghorn, golden elkhorn & giant brain corals. All formations are healthy & robust. We also have selections of psychedelic soft corals in Mi’l Channel as well as the soft corals of Yellow Wall.
signs of coral bleaching yet on
El Niño has spared Yap & there is virtually no coral bleaching on
What will I see on my
dives or snorkeling adventures?
Mantas, of course. Manta rays galore, huge ones in fact – some oldies as wide as 12-14-foot wingspans.
How many dive sites
does Yap offer for scuba enthusiasts?
We have explored & charted over 50 spectacular dive sites & there is still over 50 miles of uncharted reefs & channels.
How does Yap diving
The diving in
Are there dive boat
trips in the morning?
Yes indeed, funseekers! We depart every morning for a two-tank dive trip. The manta dive trips generally depart between 7 AM & 9 AM. Reef trips & wall dives depart between 8 AM & 10 AM. Third & fourth dives are available in the afternoon as well as a night dive, when divemaster discretion deems weather conditions are safe ‘n’ sound.
How many tanks per trip
at Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
Two dive tanks per trip are the norm but we certainly cater to our customers' desires. We can schedule 3 tank or 4 tank dive trips upon request. No problema, amigos
Are there afternoon
Yes a third & fourth dive are sometimes available. Our shark dives depart at 3 P.M. & are a one tank dive. We have found an excellent macro dive site for those of you who wish to find & photograph nudibranchs.
Are there night dives
Yes, we conduct night dives any night of the week upon request. Night dives are generally one-tank boat trips, no more than 5 to 15 minutes from the hotel. There are multiple sites for excellent night diving, including encounters with lionfish, octopus, Spanish dancers & other nocturnal creatures.
Are there shore dives
Is rental dive gear available?
Yes, we have a full line of ScubaPro rental gear that is completely renewed each November, thus assuring you of new state of the art dive gear. We also offer dive skins & computers.
Is NITROX available at Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
Yes, Yap Divers has a state of the art membrane system & NITROX is available for all dives.
What about high-tech rebreathers?
We do not have rebreathers available for rent but we do allow rebreathers & we do support them with O2 & with a limited supply of soda lime. Best to bring your own scrubbing agent in ample supply.
How many dive boats are
Yap Divers owns & operates 7 custom designed dive boats. These vessels have been designed & equipped specifically for diving & contain all of the equipment to make your trip comfortable & safe.
How many divers per
A maximum of 8 divers per boat is our norm. We can accommodate larger numbers for groups & we have the finest dive boat in
Can snorkelers join
scuba divers on the dive boats?
Yes indeed, snorkelers are more than welcome. Most dive sites offer the opportunity to snorkel & scuba at the same site. Our vertical walls & channels often rise to within a few feet of the surface.
Are there special
Yes, Yap Diver's offers dedicated snorkeling trips to the best snorkeling areas. These trips depart both in the morning & the afternoon & include a personal guide.
What time do you get
back from the morning dive?
Morning dive trips normally return between noon & 1 P.M.
Is lunch served on the
boat or at the resort?
On the boat you have a generous snack consisting of fresh baked pastries & fruit, as well as hot tea & ice water. Lunch is available at the resort, later on, as well, if you REALLY get the munchies.
What time does the
afternoon dive trip depart?
The afternoon trips depart between 2:30 & 3:30 P.M. All trips return in time for dinner or a night dive.
How close are the dive boats
to Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
The boats are right there at the hotel & it is as easy to get to the dive boats as it is to get to breakfast. Never a hassle, amigos
Is there shade on the
boats for escape from the hot sun?
Every one of our boats is completely shaded & offers custom built dive ladders for easy entry & exit.
What safety equipment
is on the dive boats?
All of our boats have first aid kits, DAN O2 kits, flares & VHF radios. Our boats have twin engines & we have switched to environmentally friendly 4 stroke engines. These new engines are fuel efficient, quite & do not burn oil so there is none of the oily smell associated with most dive boats.
Are weight belts
Yes, weights & belts are provided by Yap Divers. We have belts in a wide range of sizes & weights in 2, 3 & 4 pound (1 to 2 kilo) increments.
What size scuba tanks
We use 80 cubic foot aluminum tanks & we also have 63 cubic foot tanks available for guests desiring lighter or shorter tanks. All of the tanks are regularly inspected & hydrostatically tested for maximum safety, per PADI standards.
Where is the dive
center located at Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
The dive center is on the hotel premises within a few steps of the lobby & guest rooms. For those not staying at
What time does the dive
center open in the morning?
Generally 6 AM or one hour before the departure time of the first dive trip.
What time does the dive
10:00 P.M. is closing time but the dive shop manager lives on the premises & is available 24 hours a day, if needed.
Is there storage for my
personal gear while scuba diving or snorkeling?
Yes there is a private locker for every diver located within a few feet of the dive boats.
Does the staff speak
Yessirree Bob! All our staff members are fluent in English (some crew members also speak German, French & Japanese).
Does the dive center cater to photographers?
Yes, we have 6 custom built “camera hotels” with locked storage so that you don’t have to take your cameras to your room. Plus we offer clean lighted work areas, charging stations for strobes & batteries with both U.S. standard 110 volt/60 as well as European plugs with 220 volt power. What’s more, there is a padded work area so that gear doesn’t roll, plus clean air to dry cameras & strobes as well as magnifying glasses for close work.
Is there a place to
wash & rinse my dive gear?
Yes again. Extra-deep tiled & lighted rinse tanks are adjacent to the dive dock & within a few convenient feet of the gear storage area. The tanks are drained & refilled with fresh water several times daily. We have separate rinse tanks exclusive for photo gear.
Is there formal scuba
diving instruction offered at
Yap Divers, as both a PADI 5-Star Dive Center & PADI Gold Palm Resort offers a full range of dive courses, including a manta awareness course & NITROX specialties. We also offer Discover Scuba courses for non-divers who are interested in sampling this aquatic adventure.
Are the instructors all
formally certified at
All our instructors are fully PADI certified for basic, advanced & NITROX training.
Where is at Manta Ray
Bay Resort actually located?
The resort is on the waterfront in the heart of Colonia,
Yes, the hotel is on the waterfront, overlooking a picturesque bay. Guests are greeted with a spectacular morning sunrise & a glassy calm sea.
Is there a beach at
Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
There is no beach at the hotel but
Is there a convenient boat
dock, as well?
Yes there is a boat dock on the resort premises, within a few steps of the lobby & dive center.
Is there a restaurant right
at the resort?
Our Manta Ray Restaurant is located on the main deck of Mnuw & offers an excellent view of the harbor. Meals, from the same menu, are also served in the Nautical Weaver Bar located on the Bridge Deck of the Mnuw and/or the Crow’s Nest on the top deck. Breakfast, lunch & dinner are served daily. The always varied food is inspired by Asian, Local & European recipes with generous portions which are both wholesome & delicious.
What time does the restaurant open in the morning?
As this is a dive resort, the restaurant opens at 6 AM, to get morning divers healthily stoked for their scuba day. Freshly baked pastries, hot coffee & a complete breakfast menu are available from that time. The restaurant specializes in pancakes, waffles, omelets & fresh fruit in the mornings.
What time does the
The kitchen closes at 9:30 P.M. (unless we have divers running late in which case we wait on them) & the bar normally closes about 11:00 P.M. but will remain open for our guests as needed.
Are the rooms
air-conditioned at Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
Yes, all rooms are fully air-conditioned, as is a portion of the restaurant, the lobby & gift shop.
Are there telephones in
Yes, all of our rooms have Direct Dial International service.
Is there Internet access at
Yes, each guest room has Internet access available 24/7. You will need to obtain a network cable from the Front Desk to connect. Once an account is established in your room, you are then free to move around the resort using our wireless access. This is wonderful on the docked Mnuw vessel & by the pool.
Can I drink the water
Important question with a happy answer. Yes, we have our own water filtration system & the water is drinkable from the taps in any of the rooms & at the dive center.
Is there a TV in my
Yes, all rooms have color TVs with DVD players however there are no local stations available at the resort. The TVs are used for watching your dive video or rented DVD’s available at the front desk or from numerous video shops on the island.
How big are the rooms?
Our rooms are oversized (350 – almost 500 square feet) & each room has a unique layout. All of our rooms have tiled floors, ceiling fans, air-conditioning, built-in hair dryers, spacious showers & comfortable beds.
Is there a swimming
Yes, we have a wonderful fresh water infinity pool complete with 2 life size stone manta rays on the bottom & a unique waterfall along one wall.
Does the Hotel provide
towels for diving?
Yes towels are put on the boat prior to departure & kept dry until needed.
What other activities
are available, besides diving?
We offer eco kayak tours, hiking, cultural tours, land tours, deep sea fishing, traditional sailing canoe trips & an in-house spa.
Yap is located in the Southwestern corner of
How big is the
What specific airline
do I take to reach this magical island?
Yap is served 3 times weekly from Guam (direct, non-stop flights) & 3 times weekly from
How long does it take
to get to
From Guam it is 1 hour & 15 minutes & only 45 minutes from
Yes, everybody on
What kind of money (currency)
do I need?
The U.S. dollar is the official currency of
Are most major credit
cards accepted in
Visa, MasterCard, American Express & JCB cards are accepted at the Manta Ray Bay Resort & Yap Divers for all purchases & services.
Should I bother to rent
a car when I arrive on
Car rentals are available but not necessary. The resort is centrally located close to good shopping & the other amenities in town. If you would prefer a rental car, the Manta Ray staff will be happy to make the necessary arrangements for you.
Are taxis available at
Manta Ray Bay Hotel?
Yes, taxis are plentiful & inexpensive.
How far is it from the
hotel to town?
The hotel is located within easy walking distance of the town's food stores, banks & gift shops.
Is there any decent
A wide variety of shops can be found in town, offering all sorts of merchandise & souvenirs.
Are there island
handicrafts available on
How safe is the island,
as far as crime?
Can I plug-in my
Yes, Yap uses the same electrical standards as the
Are there any cultural
Very much so. The Yapese culture dates back more than 1,000 years & has remained mostly intact down, & refreshingly unpolluted, throughout the many generations.
(Most of FAQ text block provided courtesy of Manta Ray Bay
HOW to GET to YAP:
Currently there are 2 flights per week between Palau & Yap & 2 flights per week between Guam & Yap. All flights departing Yap to Guam connect directly with flights to Truk Lagoon or to the US Mainland. Once you pass customs at the airport, we'll be there to take you to Manta Ray Bay Hotel. Ta boch gad! (See you soon!)
MORE USEFUL FACTS ABOUT YAP:
(Most of this text above is courtesy of Manta Ray Bay Hotel in Yap,
whom U.S. Dive Travel Network represents as a stateside wholesaler.
All copyrighted photos on this page are provided courtesy of the hotel.)
FOR MORE INFORMATION or RESERVATIONS:
Contact: John & Susan Hessburg, Managers
U.S. DIVE TRAVEL Network
IMPORTANT NOTE about PRICES & TARIFFS:
Unless specifically noted, these above Yap diving packages are prices for only the land-based portion of your vacation, in most cases reflecting double-occupancy rooms. At most dive resorts & on most live-aboard vessels, there will be no triple-occupancy rooms offered. Some exceptions will be noted. International & commuter "island-hopper" airfares are always extra above these land costs. Nominal service fees are also extra for air tickets & the lodging + diving components. The baseline tariffs for all clients start at $55 per person for the land portion + $45 pp for the air tickets. Late-booking clients at many dive resorts may receive slightly higher tariffs on the lodging + diving. Solo Yap diving clients will always pay a single supplement at any dive resorts to secure a private room -- normally 35% to 50% more -- & possibly a full doubling of the standard double-occupancy rate at some resorts, & on most live-aboards.
The preferred payment mode for all lodging, Yap diving & side tours is by cashier's check or wire transfer in U.S. dollars. All clients living outside the USA or Canada will need to pay for Yap diving vacations only via direct wire transfer in U.S. dollars. No personal checks will be accepted for the land portion of any dive vacations, please. Thank you for your gracious understanding. Our service level for these dive tours is the highest & our prices the lowest in this industry, & thus we need to preserve a reasonable margin. For published-fare air ticket bookings, USDT always accepts Visa & Mastercard.
Remember, all clients to all foreign destinations will be asked by local officials overseas, upon departing the airport on your final day, to pay a nominal government departure tax, usually between USD $35 - $45 per client. USDT cannot collect this tax beforehand, so you simply pay it down there, in your host country. Be sure to stash away a little cash for this final moment at the airport, so you'll get your exit visa stamped quickly with no fuss; & away you go. Best of luck with your Yap diving vacation plans. We hope your scuba vacation is a safe & satisfying adventure. Blessings & best wishes for all your dive vacations -- scuba tours or snorkeling trips.
Best fishes too!
John Hessburg & Susan Hessburg
Managers / Founding Partners
U.S. Dive Travel Network.
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