With nutrient-rich waters welling up from the Tonga Trench offshore and being carried by strong currents funneling through narrow passages, Fiji is famous for some of the world's most colorful soft corals.

All the islands have excellent scuba diving and snorkeling, and all but a few of the resorts either have their own dive operations or can easily make arrangements with a local company. Many dive operators will take snorkelers along; that's my favorite way to go snorkeling in Fiji.

  • Shark Diving (Pacific Harbour): The dive masters lure tiger, bull, and other sharks by feeding them in these exciting dives off southern Viti Levu. It's not for novices.

  • Beqa Lagoon (off Beqa Island): Beqa Lagoon has soft corals, especially at Frigate Passage, where they seem to fall over one another.

  • Great Astrolabe Reef (off Kadavu): Skirting the eastern and southern sides of Kadavu, the Great Astrolabe Reef has lost much of its reef-top soft corals but still has plenty over the sides. It also attracts Fiji's largest concentration of manta rays.

  • Namena Marine Protected Reserve (off Savusavu): This magnificent barrier reef that nearly surrounds Moody's Namena resort is now a protected marine reserve populated by both soft and hard corals.

  • Somosomo Strait (off Taveuni): The narrow passage between Vanua Levu and Taveuni is Fiji's most famous site for soft corals, especially its Great White Wall and Rainbow Reef. The snorkeling is very good here, too, but watch out for strong currents and sharks.

  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.