Tonga’s Best Resorts for Snorkelling
Tonga’s holiday accommodations are spread far and wide across the Kingdom, but if you want to make the most of the underwater world right on your doorstep, there are some resorts that are better than others. We go through some of the best resorts for snorkelling in Tonga in the list below!
Note that Tonga is an ever-evolving country with some services that accommodations provide changing with little notice. While we try to keep our accommodation listings up-to-date, know that some services may have changed. If you have an update, feel free to reach out.
For more snorkel talk, take a look at The Guide to Snorkelling in Tonga.
1. Matafonua Lodge
Isolated at the sandy tip of Foa Island in the less-visited Ha’apai group, Matafonua Lodge offers a tranquil yet stunning snorkelling holiday. The snorkelling is superb thanks to the marine reserve at their house reef. Explore some 400m (1,310ft) of reef that extends withing swimming distance from the resort and easily identified by a buoy. What’s more, snorkelling gear is free for guests to use. As for the accommodation, stay in one of the attractive elevated free-standing fales (bungalows) with shared (but stylish) bathroom facilities.
Check Matafonua Lodge out:
2. The Reef Resort
A resort in the islands of Vava’u, The Reef Resort is an upmarket offering on Kapa Island with proximity to Vava’u’s top snorkelling spots. The Japanese Coral Gardens is just off the resort’s beach, while the famous Swallows Cave is within kayaking (or quick boating) distance. The resort offers free snorkelling gear for guests. Stay in one of the resort’s sophisticated bungalows nestled in private gardens with two located on the hillside and two directly on the beach. Learn more in our 8 Best Luxury Accommodation in Vava’u.
Check The Reef Resort out:
3. Heilala Holiday Lodge
With some of Tongatapu’s best snorkelling at this resort’s beach, the Heilala Holiday Lodge is worth considering for a snorkelling holiday. Located off the sandy beaches of Ha’atafu and Kanokupolu, Heilala Holiday Lodge offers guest free use of snorkelling equipment to make the most of the lagoon and reef off the beach which have been established as a marine reserve. The beaches are also good for surfing and spotting whales during the whale season. As for accommodation, Heilala Holiday Lodge offers something for everyone, from budget rooms with shared facilities to apartments to a family house.
Check Heilala Holiday Lodge out:
4. Fafa Island Beach Resort
An outer island of Tongatapu, Fafa Island is home to a marine reserve and the Fafa Island Beach Resort, ideal for a snorkelling getaway. Stay in one of the island’s attractive fales with traditional decor for a real Tongan experience. Enjoy an outdoor shower amongst a private flower garden and make use of the on-site restaurant with Polynesian dinner nights and more. In between relaxation, explore the surrounding waters with the complimentary kayaks and snorkelling gear available. The resort also offers snorkelling boat trips to get to the best spots.
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5. Sea Change Eco Retreat
On the uninhabited (apart from a few boutique resorts) island of Uoleva in Ha’apai, Sea Change Eco Retreat offers a sustainable stay and a true Robinson Crusoe experience. Whether you stay in one of their eco-friendly fales in the forest or one of their glamping tents, you’ll definitely want to spend time discovering some of the snorkelling spots just off the beach. The resort offers free use of snorkelling gear, as well as offers boat trips to the outer reefs if you want to amp your snorkelling sessions to the next level. Learn more about this resort and others in the area in the 10 Best Resorts in Ha’apai.
6. Mounu Island Resort
Escape to this 6.5-acre (2.6ha) coral atoll in the southern reaches of the Vava’u Group where the snorkelling is sensational. There are excellent snorkelling spots in front of most of the Mounu Island Resort’s fales, while you can also take a walk around the island to find more. Otherwise, the staff at the resort are usually happy to take you to one of the outer reefs by boat, as well as provide snorkelling gear for your stay if needed. There are only four fales on the island, providing a tranquil stay in a modern bungalow with some traditional touches. Check out more resorts nearby in the 10 Best Resorts in Vava’u.
7. Mala Island Resort
Snorkelling is kind of the main thing to do at the Mala Island Resort in Vava’u, apart from sunbathing and beachcombing. There is good snorkelling off the beach in various locations around the small island, where there is a limited number of snorkelling gear available for guests to use (so you might want to bring your own). The island is also nearby the Japanese Coral Gardens. Your stay will be in Tongan fales with woven panel decor, giving the real island feel. The resort also offers Tongan feast nights, kava ceremonies, kayaking and can organise a number of activities from whale watching to scuba diving.
Check Mala Island Resort out:
8. Ha’atafu Beach Resort
Stay at the Ha’atafu Beach marine reserve and surfer’s paradise at the Ha’atafu Beach Resort in Tongatapu. Make use of the kayaks and snorkelling gear provided at the resort to explore the marine reserve right off the beach in between staying in one of the standard fales nestled in gardens, premium fales on the beachfront or family fales. Check out more resorts in this island group in the 10 Best Resorts in Tongatapu.
9. The Beach House (Shell Garden)
With only two cottages at The Beach House in Vava’u, you’ll feel like you have the whole of Fofoa Island to yourself. There’s excellent snorkelling within the lagoon of the holiday accommodation where it’s possible to spot stingray, eagle ray, turtles and, of course, fish! Confident swimmers can also explore the fringing reef of the island. Guests stay in either “The Beach House” elevated on a rocky clifftop with private beach access or the “Coral Cottage” nestled in coral gardens.
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10. Tongan Beach Resort
Easy to get to on ‘Utungake Island, which is connected to the main island of Vava’u by a causeway, the Tongan Beach Resort has good snorkelling off its beach. Check out the fish and urchins feeding on the seaweed and look out for the resident turtle. The resort has a restaurant on the beachfront, as well as 12 guest rooms all with beach views. There are double and family rooms available with their own verandah so you can enjoy the sunset over the Port of Refuge harbour each evening.
Check Tongan Beach Resort out:
More About the Best Resorts for Snorkelling in Tonga
- 10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga
- 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Tonga
- The Guide to Snorkelling in Tonga