Diving With Mola Mola

The bizarre mola mola is one of the ocean’s true wonders. Resembling a five-year-old's half-finished first attempt at drawing a fish, the mola mola (or oceanic sunfish) draws gazes of both bewilderment and wonder. Diving with mola mola is a rare treat, even though they inhabit temperate and tropical waters all around the globe. Known in German as 'der schwimmender Kopf' (the swimming head), the mola mola does regularly make an appearance in a couple of the world’s top diving destinations, and our team of diving specialists know when and where to be to maximise your chances of swimming alongside the world’s largest bony fish.

Mola mola commonly grow to around ten feet in length and can easily weigh more than a tonne. The huge size and odd shape of these slow-swimming fish make their silhouettes unmistakeable, and seeing one lurch out of the blue en route to a cleaning station is a magical sight. The cool currents swirling around the vibrant reefs in the shadows of the islands to the south of Bali - namely Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida - produce the perfect conditions for these behemoths to leave the deeper waters and visit the shallow cleaning stations. Crystal Bay is arguably the world's premier site to dive with mola mola, with July through to November being Bali's main mola mola diving season, when daily sightings are all but guaranteed.

At the top of every discerning diver's destination bucket list is, without a doubt, the Galapagos Islands. This legendary Ecuadorean archipelago straddles the equator and, ever since Darwin's On the Origin of Species regaled the world with stories of the islands' diverse flora and fauna, it has continued to captivate. With giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies on land, the cool waters below the surface are home to countless species of marine life. A trip to the Galapagos not only gives you the chance to dive with mola mola but also to see whale sharks, schools of hammerheads, tropical penguins and free-diving lizards while you wait for 'the swimming head' to make an appearance.

Whether you would like to dive with mola mola from Indonesia's Island of the Gods or in the waters surrounding Ecuador's Islands of the Tortoise, we can help you tailor your perfect mola mola diving itinerary. Pair your diving trip with the Hindu temples, rugged beaches and trekkable volcanoes in Bali or with the colonial Spanish churches, Incan-era ruins and wild Amazon rainforests of Ecuador. Your next dive trip could be just as magical topside as it will be below the waves...

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Emily C and Eleanor are our 'Diving With Mola Mola' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Call us on 1-800-652-1972