Micronesia’s lush islands and clear waters host an array of WWII wrecks, thriving reefs, critters and pelagics, making diving there sheer paradise. Visit the bucket list destination of Palau to discover sparkling Chandelier Caves and numerous mantas, swim with millions of harmless jellyfish or go wall diving at world-famous Peleliu Cut.
Diving in Micronesia
Located in the Western Pacific Ocean, Micronesia is a cluster of green and lush islands surrounded by turquoise waters. The underwater world here provides endless things to see, meaning there is something for everyone. If you are a true underwater adventurer and enjoy thrill-seeking dives then you will enjoy diving between the large collection of WWII wrecks at Chuuk/Truk Lagoon and the naval ships at Bikini Atoll. Should the dream be to just want to drift along and take in the stunning colours, corals and marine life then you can do this at Peleliu and Blue Corner, two top diving spots in this area. Should your ultimate diving fantasy be to swim with a million, non-stinging jellyfish, then you can do that here as well at Jellyfish Lake.
Micronesia dive sites offer everything from the smallest nudibranchs to sharks so there is always something to excitedly talk with your diving buddies about when you surface after the dive. Let’s not forget that all these stunning dives are accompanied by generally excellent visibility and comfortable warm waters, which really are both always such a bonus.
You have the option to dive here either by booking a liveaboard or via a dive centre, or dive resort, of which there are over 50, so enough choice. The dive centres are spread all over the multiple areas so how to decide which dive centre to dive with will partially depend on what your interests are as a diver.
Micronesia is the kind of diving destination where you are almost certain to tick something off your diving bucket list by the end of the trip. It is still in such a pristine state and caters for so many divers interests, there is just no going wrong here.
Best time to dive
One of the main elements which contribute to the charm of this diving location is that the best time to dive in Micronesia is ‘all the time.’ There are no extreme seasonal changes which have significant effects on the ocean and its marine ecosystem. Officially they do have a hurricane season which runs from August to December, but this does not have an adverse effect on diving whatsoever. The climate there is quite humid and rains quite a lot but, again, this has no effect on the diving. The average visibility is always in the range of 30m and the water temperatures stay up in and around 26-28 degrees celsius, so generally comfortable temperatures.
The conditions are great all year round, but some of the larger marine species are more seasonal. For example, should you be hoping to see Manta Rays then the concentration of them is higher between December to April so do keep that in mind when booking your diving holiday here.
Types of diving
Just as there is a large variety in what you can sea under the turquoise waters of Micronesia, there is also a large variety in the type of dives you can do, so, once again, something for everyone no matter your interests or diving level. Even if you are not a diver yet, this is a great place to start taking courses.
As mentioned before, should you be a real thrill seeker underwater then you have a playground of wrecks from WWII scattered over a large area to explore at Chuuk/Truk Lagoon dive area and the majestic naval fleet at Bikini Atoll.
There are a few dive sites which have strong currents, but instead of battling them, you can drift along with the currents and on the way drift past incredible reef walls and large marine species, such as sharks, at Blue Corner and Peleliu dive areas. There really is a combination of dives for experienced and less experienced divers. Technical divers have plenty of options as many of the dive sites go deeper than recreational limits, and there is still enough light, and so visibility, and life to see at those deeper depths. There are multiple caverns to explore and even caves at the Chandelier Caves dive site. Chandelier Caves is a small cave system which consists of 5 caves which all have stalactites formations in them, hence the name.
What to see
Name any marine species and the chances are high there is an are in Micronesia where you can spot them. If sharks are on the top of your diving bucket list then the place to dive is Yap. At Yap they have an incredibly high success rate in spotting reef sharks in almost every dive. The three main species they spot here are Grey Reef Shark, Blacktip Reef Shark and Whitetip Reef Shark. Yap also features Manta Rays and some of the best kept coral reefs in the area. The unique experience of swimming with millions of jellyfish is definitely also worth experiencing as that is an encounter with marine life you cannot experience anywhere else.
One of the most elusive species which have been spotted here, specifically in the Chandelier Caves, is the Mandarinfish; a beautiful and rare fish. Aside from these other species which are spotted regularly involve Eagle Rays, Sea Turtles and much more. However, it’s not only the larger species which are impressive here; the macro life is just as flourishing. Some of the macro life which has been spotted here are: Ghost Pipe Fish, Mantis shrimp, Nudibranchs, Razorfish and much much more - so get ready to whip out the camera or keep your eyes peeled for these tiny creatures.
Best places to dive
The diving in Micronesia is, in general, not short of spectacular but there are some real dive spot gems which provide divers with unique experiences:
Jellyfish Lake: As mentioned above, but worth to be mentioned again is this once in a lifetime experience of diving through and between millions of jellyfish. The species of jellyfish here are of the non-stringing type - Moon jellyfish and Golden jellyfish - which is what makes this dive possible. This lake is located in the southern lagoon of Palau and is one of the 70 marine lakes in the area.
Blue Corner: If walls filled with colour, with life, with endless things to spot then Blue Corner is the place to go. When it comes to a coral reef, you won’t have many places which are more thriving than here. Aside from the coral, it brings a long such a range of marine life to spot - from the micro species to sharks - it’s all there.
Chandelier Caves: If you enjoy diving in enclosed, and potentially dark, spaces and the thrill accompanied with that then the chandelier caves are definitely worth a visit. Here you dive through a cave system which has hanging stalactites coming down from the ceiling to mimic chandeliers. You can even surface inside one of the caves as there is an air pocket. Impressive is definitely a word which has been used multiple times to describe this dive.
Another location for the thrill seekers and shark lovers with an abundance of sharks species which can be spotted here and the possibility of visiting numerous caverns as well as world class wreck diving.
Chuuk/Truk Lagoon: A literal playground of Japanese naval wrecks from WWII and something you can’t experience anywhere else. It's as though someone sprinkled wrecks of all shapes and sizes onto the seafloor for you to explore. Both dive centers and liveaboards offer trips to experience this famous dive area.
Bikini Atoll: The location chosen for the Unsited States to test out the effects of Nuclear weapons between 1946-1958, which after years of recovery has resulted in one of the most impressive wreck diving sites in the world.