10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com
10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga

© TongaPocketGuide.com

Guided Snorkelling Adventures in Tonga

Don’t settle for mediocre snorkelling from your resort’s beach. Get to the good stuff by jumping on one of the snorkelling tours in Tonga! Float over shallow coral reefs, swim into incredible caves and hop from island to island as part of one of the many snorkelling boat tours available in “The Kingdom”. Most of the time, snorkelling tours provide the gear so you just need to bring some reef-safe sunscreen and a sense of adventure. Check out some of our top picks for Tonga snorkelling tours in the list below.

Note that some of the operators listed below do not provide their standard snorkelling tours during the whale season. On the other hand, many whale swimming tours still visit snorkelling spots with lots of coral and fish. See the 10 Best Whale Swim Tours in Tonga, should you be visiting Tonga during the whale season.

1. Riki Tiki Tours (Vava’u)

Join Riki for a personalised snorkelling tour in Vava’u. Departing from the wharf outside of the Mango Cafe, Riki Tiki Tours offers snorkelling trips to Swallows’ Cave and the Coral Gardens or wherever else you like – he’s a pretty relaxed guy. It’s best to head down to the wharf to book face-to-face (before 9 am or after 4 pm) or with one of the local accommodations when you arrive, as he doesn’t check his emails. Wetsuits and snorkelling gear are included in the tour but bring your own snacks/lunch. Riki operates his tours all year round – even during the whale season!

Location: Tours depart from Fangafoa Marina (near Mango Cafe), Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga(c) tongapocketguide.com

2. Deep Blue Diving (Tongatapu)

Outside of the whale season, Deep Blue Diving offers snorkelling tours to the breathtaking ‘Atata Island within Tongatapu‘s inner reef. Although the island and surrounding reef have suffered some tsunami damage in recent years, marine life is protected as part of the ‘Atata Special Management Area (SMA) allowing life to regenerate so that it’s still one of the best places to snorkel in Tongatapu. Snorkelling tours with Deep Blue include all the gear that you’ll need for snorkelling, as well as snacks and a homemade cooked lunch in reusable containers (a rarity in Tonga). See more snorkelling opportunities from Tonga’s main island in The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours on Tongatapu.

Location: Faua Wharf, Vuna Road, Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

3. Ha’apai Beach Resort (Ha’apai)

On the shores of the main island of Ha’apai, Ha’apai Beach Resort provides snorkelling tours from Lifuka. Join the crew for one of their snorkelling trips by boat with all of the snorkelling gear and snacks included. No two trips are the same, so there’s plenty of scope to see different spots if you happen to want to join a snorkelling trip multiple times during your visit. Tours depart from the main wharf in Pangai, making this a good option for travellers staying on Ha’apai’s main island (or Ha’apai Beach Resort itself). Note that snorkelling trips are only available outside of the whale season.

Location: Taufa’ahau Wharf, Pangai, Lifuka, Ha’apai.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

4. Sea Change Eco Retreat (Ha’apai)

Another option for snorkelling tours in Ha’apai is with Sea Change Eco Retreat on Uoleva Island. Not only do they offer complimentary use of snorkelling gear to explore the waters directly outside of the resort, but they also do snorkelling boat trips when boats are available. Only a minimum of two is needed for this snorkel tour to go ahead, which also includes tea/coffee and biscuits to keep you going. Note that snorkelling tours are only available during May and June before the whale season. Learn more about snorkelling tours in this island group in The Best Snorkel & Scuba Dive Tours in Ha’apai.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

5. Pangaimotu Island Day Trip (Tongatapu)

Although not a fully guided snorkelling tour, snorkelling gear is available to hire on the Pangaimotu Island Day Trip which makes it another viable option for travellers seeking a snorkelling experience. Catch the Pangaimotu Island boat from Faua Wharf for a day of sand, sea and (hopefully) sun! Also known as King’s Island, Pangaimotu Island is your quintessential tropical island where you can spend the day snorkelling at the reef, walking on the beach, and finding yourself a shady spot to relax under a coconut tree (watch your head)! Snorkelling gear is available to rent for a small fee. Bring your own lunch, water and any other supplies you may need.

Location: Boats depart from Faua Wharf (behind Ngutulei Restaurant), Vuna Road, Ma’ufanga, Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu. Boat transfers only operate when there are at least 10 people booked, so it’s best to book ahead for weekday visits. On Sundays, the boat departs from Faua Wharf at 11 am and 12 pm and returns at 4 pm and 5/6 pm.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© Pixabay

6. Blue Water Retreat (‘Eua)

For something a little more specialised, try snorkelling or freediving with Blue Water Retreat. Based on the island of ‘Eua, the accommodation and adventure tour specialist offers snorkelling trips to the outer reefs of this ancient island. Jump on one of their custom-built charter vessels for an epic day out, which you can also mix with spearfishing. Note that trip availability may be limited during the whale season, but snorkelling outside of the reef can be incorporated into whale tours on request. Learn more about their whale tours in the 10 Best Whale Swim Tours in Tonga, as well as their accommodation in The Top 25 Resorts in Tonga.

Location: Tufuvai, west coast of ‘Eua.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

7. Hakula Lodge (Vava’u)

When they’re not running one of their popular fishing charters, Hakula Lodge takes their guests onboard the Monu’la for scenic cruises and snorkelling. Visit highlights like the Coral Gardens and Swallow’s Cave, which both offer awesome snorkelling as described in the 10 Best Places to Snorkel in Tonga. You’ll also stop by gorgeous island beaches, such as Port Mourelle on Kapa Island and Nuku Island. Note that you may need to bring your own snorkelling gear, so be sure to inquire first. Plus, learn more about the accommodation in the 10 Best Lodges in Tonga.

Location: Tours depart from Hakula Lodge, Toula village just south of Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

8. Puataukanave Hotel (Vava’u)

Outside of the whale season, Puataukanave Hotel runs snorkelling tours in Vava’u. Their snorkelling tours hit the hotspots, like the already mentioned, Swallows’ Cave and Nuku Island, while also taking you to a few “hidden treasures”. They also offer island picnics and the option to do some longline fishing along the way, so be sure to let them know if you want to experience these additions. Snorkelling gear, including wetsuits, can be provided. What’s more, their modern boats are some of the most comfortable on this list, with luxuries like a toilet and shower onboard. For more tours in the same island group, check out the 5 Best Snorkelling Tours in Vava’u.

Location: Tours depart from outside Puataukanave Hotel, on the waterfront between the small boat marina and Fangafoa Marina, Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

9. Beluga Diving (Vava’u)

Providing snorkelling tours exclusively as private charters outside of the whale season, Beluga Diving is worth considering only if your trip meets certain conditions. The whale-watching and dive operator has all the equipment for a comfortable snorkelling experience. All the gear is provided on their boat tours out to their favourite snorkelling spots. Snorkelling trips require a minimum of six to eight paying customers and only operate from November to June.

Location: Tours depart from Fangafoa Marina (near Mango Cafe), Neiafu, ‘Utu Vava’u, Vava’u.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

10. Tanoa Expeditions (Tongatapu)

Finally, as mentioned, another way to experience a guided snorkelling tour in Tonga is on a whale swimming tour. A fantastic location to mix whale swimming and snorkelling over coral from uninhabited islands is Tongatapu. Whale swimming tours with Tanoa Expeditions are full-day adventures, where there’s often plenty of time to do some island-hopping and snorkelling in between whale swimming. Learn more about their whale swimming tour in the 10 Best Whale Swim Tours in Tonga.

Location: Faua Wharf, Vuna Road, Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu.

10 Best Snorkelling Tours in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

More About Snorkelling Tours in Tonga

That’s it for the best snorkelling tours in Tonga. For more tips to plan the ultimate snorkelling holiday, take a look at the following:

Finally, inspire yourself with more experiences with the 101 Best Things to Do in Tonga: The Ultimate List. Plus, get even more tips in The Complete Travel Guide to Tonga.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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