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The Yasawa Islands is a chain of 20 ancient volcanic islands just to the north-west of Fiji’s mainland. The archipelago stretches for over 80 kilometers. The mountainous islands are beautiful and unspoilt, offering some of the most spectacular scenery and beaches in Fiji. You won’t find any shops, banks or medical services here. A visit to the Yasawa Islands is a real escape from civilisation!
The group of islands is popular with backpackers and there is also a smaller selection of high end resorts.
Access is via the Yasawa Flyer operated by Awesome Adventures. The big yellow catamaran departs daily from Denarau Marina in Nadi stopping at several Mamanuca Islands then continuing on through the Yasawa Islands. The journey takes between 2 - 5 hours depending on which island you are staying on.
The Yasawas is a great destination for hiking, island hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and sailing. An unforgettable highlight is the opportunity to snorkel with the Manta Rays which feed in a channel between the islands between May to October.
The deep natural channel between Drawaqa Island (also known as Barefoot Island) and Naviti Island funnels strong nutrient rich currents through it’s waters. This provides a favourite feeding ground for migrating Pacific Manta Rays between the main months of May to October. The manta rays come here to filter feed on the concentration of plankton that streams through the channel.
An average sized Manta Ray takes in approximately 20-30kg of plankton per day and thus can grow to extraordinary sizes. With a wing span that can reach over 6 metres wide, they are one of the biggest creatures in the ocean, their only natural predators being large sharks and orcas.
Graceful and elegant to watch as they glide through the water, slowly flapping their enormous wings, the Manta Rays are a spectacle to behold as you swim alongside these majestic creatures. As many as thirteen Manta Rays have been recorded in the channel at one time. The highest chance of visitation and swimmer interaction with the Manta rays is typically from May to October but they have sometimes been seen as early as April and as late as November.
This modest lodge property is deliberately simple, not fussy and unsophisticated.
The Yasawa Islands has a variety of dive sites with a range of topograghy - from canyons, caves and swim throughs to pinnacles and bommies. Whilst the soft corals, for which Fiji is famous, are not as spectacular as in the regions further north, diving in the Yasawas offers both hard and soft corals and abundant marine life with turtles, reef sharks and eagle rays.
Diving in the Yasawa Islands is conducted year round but the conditions will vary. Visibility is best in the winter season. The diving is suitable for beginners with shallow reef dives to more experienced divers with deep and drift dives.
For divers with a non-diving partner, the Yasawa Islands is an excellent destination choice having plenty of beautiful snorkeling options.