Top Snorkeling and Scuba Diving in Vanuatu

Ready to check out the best sites in Vanuatu for scuba diving, snorkeling, shore diving, free diving or other ocean activities? Zentacle has 11 dive sites, snorkel spots, beaches, and more. Discover hand-curated maps, along with reviews and photos from nature lovers like you. No matter what you're looking for, you can find a diverse range of the best ocean activities in Vanuatu to suit your needs.
Star Of Russia

#1 - Star Of Russia

Vanuatu, Efate island

intermediate
(0)
STAR OF RUSSIA: 80 metres in length and 13 metres in breadth, this grand old lady of the sailing ship days rests in Port Vila Harbor holding court for the divers attending by countless varieties of tropical fish fussing around on the tour around the shipwreck. Following the buoyed line to a depth of 33 metres take a leisurely swim through the body of the ship which again, due to the rotting away of the teak decking, is perfectly safe for a penetration. Built of bolted iron plates (shiplap style), the hull is intact with a romantic shapely bow. Divers can inspect the old anchor weighting equipment and huge main bollard in the forward section, dead eyes and rigging along the railings, three massive masts and remains of a crow's nest, to the wheel machinery at the stern which manipulated the rudder. A great shipwreck to enjoy and quite definitely of historical interest, the "Star of Russia" was built by Harlan and Wolff of Belfast (also famous for construction of the Titanic). A challenging race was set up in the early 1900's between this fast sailing ship and the first of the exciting new steamships – both crafts left Liverpool together, the steam ship setting off direct for Australia and the "Star of Russia" heading south to catch the wind – imagine the reaction when the steam ship puffed into Port Phillip Bay to find the "Star of Russia" had arrived three days earlier!! Dive Site is located in the harbor of Efata (Port Vila). South west of Iriki Island about 100m from the mainland. There is a mooring attached to the bow of the Star Star Of Russia is also known as Guy Robinson.
Pango Wall

#2 - Pango Wall

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
One of the most Diverse Reef plains here in Port Vila. On the Out skirts of Pango Point lies a reef, gently sloping down into the unexplored blue, being host with Anemones to Hawksbills, Nudibranches to Yellowfin's and Mushroom corals to Gorgonian fans—all of which residing in her fantastic hard and soft Coral Gardens which accompany you throughout your dive. This dive occasionally allows you to have a quick glimpse at the astonishing 'cathedral' on the peninsula—as this is where the dive commonly concludes! Just out Port Vila, on the out skirts of Pango Point.
SS President Coolidge

#3 - SS President Coolidge

Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo Island

beginner
(0)
SS President Coolidge was a luxury ocean liner that measured 654 ft (198 metres) in length and was originally built, along with her sister ship the SS President Hoover, for Dollar Steamship Lines. They were the largest merchant ships the US had built up to that time. In 1938, when the Dollar Steamship Lines collapsed, she was transferred to American President Lines. In 1941 she was converted to carrying troops in the South Pacific. Launched in February of 1931, The SS President Coolidge was built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. in Newport News, Virginia USA. Prior to World War II, she was operated by the American President Lines as a luxury liner providing trans-Pacific passage and commercial service. The Coolidge was aimed at holiday makers seeking sun in the Pacific and Far East. During her time as a luxury liner, she broke several speed records on her frequent trips to Japan from San Francisco. Passengers had a luxurious experience on the ship with spacious staterooms and lounges, private telephones, two saltwater swimming pools, a barber shop, beauty salon, gymnasium and soda fountain. In March 1939, President Coolidge became the last ship to sight the custom-built Chinese junk Sea Dragon, captained by American explorer Richard Halliburton, before she disappeared in a typhoon some 1931 km west of the Midway Islands. In 1941, as war time activities increased, the US War Department began to use the President Coolidge for occasional voyages to Honolulu and Manila. She also helped evacuate Americans from Hong Kong when Japanese-British relations became strained in 1940. She was later called upon to assist in the evacuations of many people from Asia as the Japanese increased aggression. In June 1941, the Coolidge went into service with the American Army as a transport ship for reinforcing garrisons in the Pacific. A few months later the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. After this, the Coolidge was stripped of her finery, painted gun-metal gray, mounted with guns and turned into a troop ship. Many of the fixtures and fittings were removed or boarded up for protection. After full conversion in 1942, she could carry over 5000 troops. As a troop carrier, she was never intended to see any action. In her first few months of service, her ports of call included Melbourne, Wellington, Auckland, Bora Bora, and Suva. On October 6, she set sail from her home port of San Francisco, California for New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu A large military base and harbor had been established on Espiritu Santo and the harbor was heavily protected by mines. Information about safe entry into the harbor had been accidentally omitted from the Coolidge's sailing orders, and upon her approach to Santo on October 26, 1942, the SS Coolidge, fearing Japanese submarines and unaware of the mine fields, attempted to enter the harbor through the largest and most obvious channel. A friendly mine struck the ship at the engine room and moments later, a second mine hit her near the stern. Captain Henry Nelson, knowing that he was going to lose the ship, ran her aground and ordered troops to abandon ship. Not believing the ship would sink, troops were told to leave all of their belongings behind under the impression that they would conduct salvage operations over the next few days. Over the course of the next 90 minutes, 5340 men got safely off of the wreck and to shore. There was no panic as the troops disembarked - many even walked to shore. However, the captain's attempts to beach the ship were unsuccessful due to the coral reef. The Coolidge listed heavily on her side, sank, and slid down the slope into the channel. She now rests on her port side with her bow at a depth of 20 metres (70 ft) and her stern at 70 metres (240 ft). There were 2 casualties in the sinking of the Coolidge: The first was Fireman Robert Reid, who was working in the engine room and was killed by the initial mine blast. The second, Captain Elwood J. Euart, US Army Artillery Corps, had safely gotten off the Coolidge when he learned that there were still men in the infirmary who could not get out. He went back in to one of the sea doors, successfully rescued the men but was then unable to escape himself and he went down with the ship. A memorial to Captain Euart is located underwater near the access points for the Coolidge. The Coolidge is protected by Vanuatu law and provides endless enjoyment for divers. Her dual identity means that divers see a luxury cruise liner and a military ship on a single dive. Coral grows all around the wreck and many sea creatures such as sea turtles and moray eels call the wreck home. Resting in warm, tropical waters, the SS President Coolidge is a marvelous underwater playground for any diver. Lying on her side in 70 - 240 ft of water, she is perhaps the most accessible shipwreck of this size and type for divers. The wreck is renowned as one of the most desirable dives in the world due to the (relatively) shallow site, easy access off the beach, the often superb visibility, the warm waters and the relatively intact ship itself. The depths involved mean that, with care and decompression stops, recreational divers can explore the wreck without the need to use specialized equipment. Almost completely intact, you can swim through the numerous holds and decks viewing the reminders of her days as a cruise liner and the remnants of her days as a troop ship. There are guns, cannons, jeeps, helmets, trucks and personal supplies left by some of the soldiers, as well as a beautiful statue of "The Lady" (a porcelain relief of a lady riding a unicorn) chandeliers and a mosaic tile fountain. The wreck is covered in coral and is the home to a plethora of sea life such including sea turtles, barracuda, lionfish, and a host of reef fish. Unfortunately however the spectacular dive that is the Coolidge will not be around forever. Time is taking its toll and with recent earthquakes collapsing sections of the wreck, access enjoyed by divers in the past will not remain. Source: Wikipedia.org Shore Dive SS President Coolidge is also known as SS Coolidge.
Cathedral

#4 - Cathedral

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
At the tip of the Pango peninsular a vast cavern has formed which makes a delightful dive – maximum depth 26 metres inside with shafts of light creating an unusual effect. It is possible to swim right through to the back and up through a chimney to a large pool on the surface inside the reef – then back to the outside and along the wall to explore and look out into the deep open ocean. Tip of the Pango peninsular
Konanda Reef

#5 - Konanda Reef

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
With depths starting at 3 meters this is a great dive for all levels of divers from the newly certified to the very experienced. Konanda Reef has a large variety of hard coral and fish life, some of the fish and coral life that you will come across on this dive are Clown Fish, Bat Fish, Lion Fish, Moorish Idols, large Brain Corals, Stag Horn Corals, not to mention Moray Eels, Octopus and the much loved Nudibranch. Konanda Reef is only a 15 minute boat trip on MV Cowrie from Nautilus base.
Twin Bommies

#6 - Twin Bommies

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
Most species of tropical fish are to be found on this site which features a sheer wall as well as the two "bombora" formations riddled with grottos. The site alive with fish life all used to divers and not afraid of the camera flash – depth from 10 metres on top of the reef to 18 metres over the edge of the drop-off. Dive Site is in the harbour of Efata (Port Vila)
Semle Federsen

#7 - Semle Federsen

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
A cargo carrying trading vessel well known around these islands over many years, this strong old ship was about to be relegated to the scrap heap as useless in 1985, when the Ports and Marine Department were persuaded that she would indeed be very useful as a new dive site and a home for the plants and animals of the sea along the Pango Coast in Mele Bay and this is where she reclines now. The "Semle" moved down the reef during Cyclone Uma in 1987 and the stern area cabins and wheelhouse can be dived within 40 metres. The clarity of the water at this site is a feature, i.e. if you can see the whole ship at a glance while descending the mooring line; you have over 60 metres viz. As a build up towards the "President Coolidge" in Santo, the "Semle" is a valuable experience.
Mele Reef

#8 - Mele Reef

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
This extensive reef rises up in the middle of Mele Bay to around 6 metres from the surface. We have more than one buoy here and generally like to dive where there is a vertical wall with a shallow reef top to finish off the dive under the boat. Masses of interesting life at this spot – you will want to visit Mele Reef more than once. In the middle of Mele Bay.
Tasman Flying Plane

#9 - Tasman Flying Plane

Vanuatu, Efate island

advanced
(0)
Less than ten minutes from Nautilus lies the Qantas S26 Sandringham Flying Boar – now here is something different. With a wingspan of over 30 metres this bulky giant, abandoned and dumped in the Harbour after a mishap which rendered it unfit for further service, was discovered in 1978, after quite a search, as a fascinating dive site. To successfully explore the "Tasman", the diver needs to plan for 40 metres maximum depth. The mooring line leads onto the tail plane and from there it is easy to swim above the wreck gaining an overall view of the plane and drop onto the nose, climb through the cockpit window and out the other side, and peer through the many windows. The spaciousness of the interior is surprising and the vastness of the wings which kept this old bird airborne is astonishing – just a reminder of the days when air travel was a long slow process. This particular craft was also a record breaker – she was the first plane to fly the Tasman Sea from Auckland to Sydney in less than eight hours!! Near Iririki Island Resort Tasman Flying Plane is also known as VH-EBW, Qantas S26 Sandringham, Sunderland Mk V.
Cindy's Reef

#10 - Cindy's Reef

Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo Island

beginner
(0)
A beautiful and relaxing drift dive over a bed of bright, colorful coral and an abundance of fish life. Divers see a tremendous variety of staghorn corals, large plate corals and our very own "potato head" coral which is unlike anything you've seen before. There is also an abundance of fish life and turtles and sharks are often spotted. 20 mn by boat from Luganville.
Gotham City

#11 - Gotham City

Vanuatu, Efate island

beginner
(0)
This dive site gets its name from the numerous Bat Fish that accompany you on the dive. This is a flat reef on top 12 to 14 metres deep with walls that drop down to 50 metres. Divers need to be able to monitor and control their depth if they are diving the walls. White tipped reef sharks can also been seen at times. Dive trips are operated out of Hideaway island by boat.