Manta Ray Snorkeling In Fiji - Any Experiences?

by Ray R
(New Zealand)

Hi, I am looking at going to Fiji soon and have a couple of questions that I hope some people can help with.

1. I have seen there are a couple of places that offer snorkeling with Manta Rays. Does anyone have experience with these? Reports I have seen on TripAdvisor, etc. are quite mixed with good and bad comments.

2. Any suggestions of which islands to visit? I have heard good things about both the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands, but any resorts in particular? I am also considering splitting the time between a couple of islands.

I am primarily interested in snorkeling from beaches and like 'exploring' sites around an island where possible (I would rather not be limited to a single resort reef).

I look forward to any suggestions.

Thanks.

Comments for Manta Ray Snorkeling In Fiji - Any Experiences?

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Aug 22, 2017
Fiji Snorkeling
by: Erin

Fiji was our hands-down favourite snorkeling destination.

The best snorkeling by far was from the Tui Tai, a liveaboard ship that explores the Pacific cultural triangle from Savusavu. Stunning soft coral, abundant and varied marine life (we swam with dolphins!), meeting friendly villagers from 3 different cultures, sliding down a waterfall, kayaking through a volcanic crater lake... it was like summer camp for adults without having to rough it (they bring a massage chair to the waterfall!). We cried when we left.

For a land-based stay, normally I'd recommend staying at Namena Island Resort near Savusavu, where Jean-Michel Cousteau takes his guests. It's a wonderful marine reserve that has amazing giant clams and incredible sea life. Sadly it was hit hard by Cyclone Winston and is currently closed.

We also visited the Yasawas and Mamanucas, staying at Navutu Stars and Likuliku Resorts, both of which I'd definitely recommend. In general the Yasawas are much quieter because they're further out, whereas the Mamanucas are more accessible and have a busier "party" atmosphere.

Go to the Yasawas to see the grotto from the Blue Lagoon movie (you can swim underwater into caves), or the Mamanucas to visit Tom Hank's Cast Away island and where they film Survivor.

Navutu Stars has mangroves and a small house reef to snorkel, and boats will take you out to various reefs nearby. Excursions to the local village felt more authentic since the staff live there.

Likuliku has a tidal reef right under their overwater bungalows, as well as a nearby sandbar where you can have a romantic picnic for two (a real treat!).

If snorkeling is your main objective, then I'd highly recommend the Tui Tai expedition vs. the Yasawas or Mamanucas.

Hope this helps!

Aug 23, 2017
Manta Ray snorkelling in Fiji
by: Ray R (NZ)

Hi Erin, thanks for you comments, sounds as if you had a great time, the resorts you picked look really good.

Unfortunately the Tui Tai closed last year and so far I haven't managed to find a similar cruise yet. There are a number of day cruises that look good so I might pick a resort and then add in some day cruises.

Did you manage to do the Manta Ray experiences in the Yasawa's?

Have you snorkeled other Pacific Islands? is Fiji the best you've seen?

Thanks again for your input.

Aug 30, 2017
Fiji Snorkeling (cont'd)
by: Erin

Hi Ray, that's too bad the Tui Tai isn't around any more!

No, unfortunately I didn't manage to do the Manta Ray experiences in the Yasawas.

I can't compare to other Pacific Islands as I haven't been yet (it's pretty far from Canada). Fiji is the best I've seen compared to Hawaii (Maui and Big Island), Belize (Turneffe Atoll), Cozumel, Antigua, St. Lucia, Cuba (Cayo Santa Maria), and Dominican Republic (Punta Cana).

There's a fantastic night snorkel with Manta Rays in Kona, Hawaii on the Big Island... Highly recommended!

Have fun in Fiji!

Sep 01, 2017
Manta Ray Snorkelling in Fiji
by: Ray R (NZ)

Hi Erin, thanks for your further reply.

In doing some more digging I am probably thinking of staying at a mid-level Mamanuca resort and taking day trips to various islands to try and get an idea of the different snorkeling experiences and then be a bit more specific on a potentially later trip. As I am a single elder man I think the more top end resorts are a bit of a waste for me!

The Hawaii Manta Ray night trip looks great and Hawaii in general is on my list for the future some time.

Interesting where you put Fiji in comparison to your list of other locations. I enjoy the Pacific style of snorkeling having been to a few of the islands but always wonder if I am missing out on other locations!

Thanks.

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