Beqa Lagoon Reef Snorkeling
The 15th most popular snorkel dive spot in Fiji.
Friday 17 March 2017 06:46 GMT
Southeast of Nadi off the southshore of Viti Levu, the Beqa Lagoon offers the best snorkeling near Viti Levu. Beqa Lagoon was formed by an extinct collapsed volcano and the 250km2 lagoon is protected by a barrier reef offering calm waters. The water clarity can offer up to 30m visibility. The lagoon is habitat for diverse soft corals and sea fans. During Beqa Lagoon Reef snorkeling, you may encounter wrasse, parrotfish, lionfish, scorpionfish, barracuda, stingrays, manta rays, sea turtles, pipefish and moray eels. Near the edges of the barrier reef, there are shark feeding zones where you may see silver-tipped reef sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks. The most popular shark zone is off the northern edge of the Beqa Lagoon in the Shark Reef Marine Reserve where there is a marine park fee required before diving.
To reach the Beqa Island snorkeling, you'll need to fly into the only international airport in Fiji, Nadi International Airport (NAN), which is served by Fiji Airways, Qantas, and Air New Zealand. There are flights also coming from nearby Pacific islands including Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Hawaii. Many of the flights arrive very late at night, so plan accordingly. When arriving in Fiji from the US, keep in mind that most flights arrive very early in the morning and Fiji is just across the international date line, so you’ll effectively land two days after departing the US. It is not recommended to arrive or travel within Fiji on Sundays due to limited services available. The Nadi International Airport is on the west side of the main island Viti Levu. When you land in Nadi, keep in mind that there are not really any good beaches here or around Denarau Island since the coastal mangrove forest makes the sand gray and the lagoon water murky. Most boat charters out to Beqa Lagoon are from Pacific Harbor, which is located just west of the southeastern capital city of Suva on Viti Levu. The center of the lagoon is about an hour boat ride from Pacific Harbor.
TIP: The Fijian cyclone/typhoon rainy season starts in November and ends in late March. There have been periodic cyclones that have caused damage to both the reefs and to the resorts, including those in 2012 and 2016. It may be worth contacting a local dive shop or resort about cyclone impacts before booking. The best Fiji snorkeling is typically from May through October during the dry winter season, but be aware that the water becomes cooler as the winter season progresses.
Overall, Beqa Lagoon Reef is the 15th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 22 snorkeling dives in Fiji. Several of the better snorkeling spots are nearby Beqa Lagoon Reef including Vatulele Island, Bligh Water, Moon Reef, Natadola Beach, Likuri Island, Yanuca Island and Nananu-I-Ra Island.