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Diving Yap | Micronesia
manta ray
moray eel

Scuba diving in Yap is all about one thing – manta rays. Yet, glorious though these creatures are, there is much more. Yap consists of four islands and these tightly-knit land masses are dissected by channels that lead over a broad lagoon to the surrounding reefs.

Each of the channels are rather shallow, lined by mangrove swamps with thick areas of seagrass. The water can be murky but head seawards and it’s all change. The visibility clears where the surf breaks against the submerged reef edges and the marine landscape lurches into coral clad hills and valleys. Many pelagics are attracted to this environment but it's the manta ray populations that are world famous. There are cleaning stations in two of the channel mouths so manta sightings are more-or-less a daily event.

Sharks also descend on Yap at certain times and the islands are becoming known for a selection of small, reef building animals including colonies of tiny mandarinfish.

YAP image gallery Scuba diving features
Marine Life

Manta rays

Top dive site Valley of the Rays
Seasons year round
Visibility 10 – 40 metres
Water temperature 28 – 30º C
Deco chambers Chuuk
Flights to Manila or Guam with a connection to Yap. The only airline is Continental.
Dive operators and accommodation The best known hotel is Manta Ray Bay although there are several others.

Yap is not the easiest diving destination to reach, especially if you live in Europe. It can take two days to get there and flights cost more than many people would normally consider paying. However, this is one of the few places in the world where an encounter with a manta ray is almost guaranteed. To make the trip better value for money go to Palau or Chuuk (Truk Lagoon) at the same time.

Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.

Order the book direct from SeaFocus here.

The digital edition is on iTunes.

Diving conditions change with the daily tides. There is always some current in the channels – which is why the mantas are there – and when the currents drop the mantas go. Dives are scheduled to take advantage of that and the conditions as they vary from the east, or windward side, to the west of the island. There is always a diving even when the weather is less than perfect.
This may well be a once in a lifetime destination but you really do have to do it. We planned a three week long trip to do Palau, Yap and Truk together but combining them wasn't easy as liveaboard schedules for Palau and Truk did not coordinate. Diving on Yap is land-based so it's easy to organise your time there, then add one of the other destinations before or after.
Locate Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia with google maps
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More diving in Micronesia:
Truk Lagoon | Republic of Palau
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