Less than 1,000 divers a year visit Yap, this unpopulated and undeveloped area gives divers a rare chance to dive an exotic island where a mix of the modern world combines with the traditional cultures of an unspoiled island.
Famous for its Manta Ray presence, the YAP government created an 8,245 square mile protected area for the Manta Rays, comprising of 16 main islands, atolls, 145 smaller islands and a breeding site. However Yap is more than just diving for Manta Rays, surrounded by a reef this is a perfect backdrop for colourful and diverse marine and coral life to be discovered. Yap is a macro divers dream, the smaller features of this reef such as the Mandarinfish definitely compliments the bigger species like the reef sharks including Black Tip, White Tip and Grey Reef Sharks,
Over 100 Manta Rays live in the waters around Yap, to discover the best dive sites with Manta Rays head to the northern dive sites. In southern Yap you will see the reefs sloping away from the shore to then only flatten out at 30 to 60 feet and then drop off to surreal depths; here you will discover the best wall dives.
With beautiful crystal clear waters, the dive sites in Yap provide up to and over 30 metres of visibility.
Photo Credit: Brad Holland
Mi’l Channel offers incredible drift diving along with stunning walls and reefs. Although currents can be non-existent with changing tides the currents can rush through at 6k an hour making this dive difficult for beginners. The visibility here though is outstanding with nearly 30 metres of visibility. Along with the Manta Rays in this area you will see the occasional octopus, lobster, reef shark, hawksbill turtle and more.
With excellent visibility often exceeding 30 metres you will find steep walls covered in soft coral at Yap Corner. This is also a fantastic vantage point to see eagle rays, reef sharks, schooling snapper and loads more.
The amazing canyons at Yap Caverns go to depths of 18 metres. With visibility often exceeding 30 metres and a very light current there is an abundance of coral outcroppings, chimneys and chasms to explore. You will also be able to find schooling tuna , moray eels and the occasional stingrays around the dive site.
The name says it all, look for lionfish hiding in this wall’s variety of cracks and crevices. This wall dive drops from just five metres below the surface to meet a slope at forty metres which then descends to a ledge at sixty metres before it drops away into the abyss. The wall is decorated in daisy corals and coloured crinoids. With a light current the coral and fish stay happy and healthy and often the visibility at Lionfish is over 45 meters.
Best time to Dive
Diving is available all year round but the best time to dive to see Manta Rays is during the mating season which occurs over December-April.
There is more on offer than just world-class diving in Yap with amazing adventures adding to your diving experience.
Getting to Yap
Located in the Pacific Ocean fly into Guam’s International Airport then take a connecting flight to Yap International Airport
Ask our Active Travel Experts to assist you in prearranging transfers for your stay.
Yap has a variety of accommodation options to choose from.
Contact our Active Travel Experts for insider tips on where to stay and tailor-made dive experiences.
© Brad Holland
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