Deep Water Diving in Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) comprises four independent island groups: Kosrae State, Pohnpei State, Chuuk State and Yap State. While getting to this remote island nation, flung across the vast Pacific Ocean, requires an epic expedition, the diving more than makes up for it. With more ocean than land, Micronesia boasts a huge array of world-class dive sites devoid of crowds, making diving here feel akin to reaching the edge of the world. From the giant oceanic manta rays in Yap to the deep WWII wreck museum that is Chuuk Lagoon, the central Pacific waters surrounding these islands seldom fail to leave a lasting impression. While Micronesia is best known for mantas and wrecks, it also offers shallow twilight dives with mandarin-fish, vibrant hard and soft corals and exploratory shark dives on the outer reefs. For those looking to explore greater depths, there’s plenty of superb deep water diving in Micronesia too.


Nestled at the western edge of the Federated States of Micronesia lies the diminutive state of Yap. Its four closely-knit main islands have garnered the attention of divers as one of the world's best and most reliable oceanic manta ray dive destinations. Huge resident rays can be seen year-round in Mi'll Channel and Goofnuw Channel, regularly cruising the channels in search of a good pampering at the cleaning stations. Mi'il Channel is the deeper of the two sites, descending to 30 metres, while at the entrance to Goofnuw Channel, you can also explore the depths of the surrounding wall.

Located at the southernmost tip of the islands, Yap Caverns is another popular site for deep water diving in Micronesia, thanks to its interesting topography and consistent shark sightings. Narrow swim-through gulleys provide shelter for whitetip reef sharks seeking an undisturbed nap, while looking into the deep open blue will reveal patrolling grey reef sharks and squadrons of elegant eagle rays gliding by.

Chuuk Lagoon

Perhaps one of the world's leading destinations for depth junkies, Chuuk Lagoon is famous for housing a veritable underwater museum of WWII wrecks. Sent to their watery graves during Operation Hailstone in February 1944, Chuuk Lagoon's fleet of wrecks spans various depths within the lagoon. Some require technical training to explore, and their historical significance, coupled with the magical marine life that calls them home, ensures they sit at the top of wreck divers' bucket lists the world over.

Among the lagoon's most celebrated wrecks, the San Francisco Maru holds a special place due to the tanks that still adorn its deck. If you're seeking the best deep water diving in Micronesia, this wreck, which rests at 52 metres, should definitely top your dance card.

If that's a little beyond your training and comfort zone, there are 59 other wrecks to explore, with many at less intimidating depths. Two wrecks that consistently draw divers' attention are the I-169 Shinohara submarine and the Fujikawa Maru. While both wrecks lie shallower than the San Francisco Maru, at around 30 metres, they offer a unique glimpse into to the grim realities of war.

If you wish to giant stride into the best deep water diving in Micronesia, our team of dive travel specialists can pass on their knowledge of the best resorts and liveaboards and help craft your dream Micronesia holiday itinerary to discover the best diving in the region...

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Emily C, Eleanor, Rachel and Jacqui are our 'Deep Water Diving in Micronesia' experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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