The waters of Beqa Lagoon are world renowned for their spectacular soft corals and abundant life, so much so that Beqa Lagoon has been called “The Soft Coral Capital of the World”. Everything from small critters to large pelagic species can be found in these waters while reef diving.
What Can I Expect?
Our experienced Divemasters will take you to a selection of our very best sites dependent on the day’s conditions. Weather permitting we will visit two distinct sites on every excursion.
You will be given a detailed briefing of the dive site upon arrival. You can opt for an underwater guided tour returning to the boat after approximately 40 mins; or, you have the opportunity to explore on your own in buddy teams. Depths range from 12m to 25m, most dives being around 18m. Dive times are 40-55mins depending on air consumption, dive site and conditions. For safety reasons, maximum allowed dive time shall be one hour.
For your safety!
Due to the depth and conditions experienced in the Beqa Lagoon we recommend our soft coral trips for divers with advanced certifications, although we can take newly certified divers upon request. We also recommend that every diver bring a personal computer for the excursion. As a general rule, we will have one Divemaster in the water for every four divers to provide navigational guidance and logistical assistance. However, we would like to remind customers that you will be responsible for your own dive safety as part of a buddy team as these excursions are not part of a dive course.
If you feel you may need a bit of extra help then please let us know in advance so we can advise on the best excursions for you. We completely understand that everyone starts somewhere and we want to help you have the most enjoyable time underwater!
Our Dive Sites
On all our Soft Coral and Wreck trips, diver safety is always our number one priority and the Beqa Lagoon is subject to changeable weather conditions and currents that are monitored and taken into account on a daily basis by our experienced diving team. We carefully select our dive sites on the day depending on surface conditions, currents, visibility and diver experience and therefore cannot guarantee to take you to specific dive sites on your trip (although we will do our best if requested). We have a policy not to dive in strong currents as our dive sites are not suited to adrenaline drift diving, however please be advised that currents have been known to pick up during dives. If this happens, we will move to a sheltered site or failing that, cancel any remaining dives .
7 Sisters – A network of seven separate pinnacles make up the ‘sisters’ with numerous routes that can be taken. Dives can be spent weaving between the pinnacles where you will see luscious soft corals and an abundance of marine life including white tip reef sharks, turtles and a symphony of reef fish between 5-10m. Venture down deeper to around 25m and discover the Tasu II wreck where lionfish, pipefish and nudibranch like to shelter on the 20 year old long line fishing vessel, surrounded by a sandy bottom covered in garden eels that dance in the current. On the final ‘sister’ you can also find one of our longer swim-throughs that starts at around 14m and brings you out up at 8m in the center of the pinnacles.
3 Nuns – As the name suggests this dive site is made up of three distinctive pinnacles that rise up from the 19m bottom to around 4m from the surface. You can spend an entire hour exploring these pinnacles, or when the visibility allows, venture off to the mini reef pinnacles that surround the ‘nuns’ where white tip reef sharks are often found taking a break on the bottom and grey reef sharks and the elusive zebra shark have previously been seen. This site is perfect for those buddy teams who would prefer to navigate the site themselves as it is very easy to find your way back to the mooring line whilst observing the abundant marine life of the Beqa Lagoon.
Turtle Head – A wonderful site that offers a mixture of rolling reef and pinnacles to explore and, as the name suggests, Turtles are often spotted here. Drop in at around 12m and follow the leader past the golden arch, to the leafy scorpionfish pinnacle and finish on top of the reef at around 6m where you will find lots of lovely critters hiding in amongst the branching corals, sea fans and anemones. This site is often protected from current and if you wish you can explore all the way from Turtle Head to our other site Three Nuns without having to venture deeper than 20m.
Swim-through City/Bird Island – An instructor favourite. This relaxed dive site offers divers the chance to explore a number of swim-throughs, hard coral encrusted pinnacles and luscious gorgonian sea fans all in the protected area of Bird Island where conditions are sheltered from strong currents and ocean swells offering a relaxing setting. The odd White Tip Reef Shark, Hawksbill Turtle and sometimes Spotted Eagle Rays can be seen cruising between the pinnacles and small critters such as nudibranchs, guard crabs and flatworms are often found by the eagle eyed divers. An hour can easily be spent just under the boat, or if you would like to explore further then our guides can take you whichever direction you feel like to see other areas of this vast reef.
Caesar’s Rock – Named after the local village Chief, Caesar’s Rock is a cluster of 5 current swept pinnacles rising up from 30m/100ft to within 5m/15ft of the surface. With the current running, the soft corals seem so much more vibrant, feeding on the nutrient sweeping past. Enormous sea fans filter out their breakfast and provide shelter on their lea side to Lionfish. Through one of the pinnacles runs a Y-shaped passage; light pouring in from the ends creates a silhouette of the corals inside giving it an eerie glow like a forest at dusk! Please note: This site requires the flat seas and slack tide conditions in order to be safe to dive.
E.T / Cyclop – A lone pinnacle towers up from the seabed encrusted with rainbow colored corals. Amongst this kaleidoscope of color hide Blue Ribbon Eels, Lionfish and Octopus. Cutting through the pinnacle an 18m/60ft long passage provides shelter for an array of Invertebrates with a chimney rising to the surface in the passage casting a dancing light as you swim through. While hanging out on the mooring line, watch for the Clownfish flitting in and out of their host anemones, if you look closely chances are there will be a Scorpionfish hiding behind its intricate camouflage. Please note: This site requires the flat seas and slack tide conditions in order to be safe to dive.
Carpet Cove – A favorite site of staff and visitors alike, Carpet Cove features not only brilliant soft corals but also a wreck. An old fishing vessel (30m/100ft) was intentionally sunk in 30m/100ft of water in 1996, providing a habitat for a vast array of life. The wreck itself is overgrown with blooming soft corals, with a swirling school of Chevron Barracuda and Trevally keeping lookout. Adjacent to the wreck are towering pinnacles that rise up to within 5m/15ft of the surface bursting with life.
Shark Reef – The second Shark Reef you may encounter if you dive with us as this is not the marine reserve where the shark dive occurs. This lovely dive site often accompanies trips to Carpet Cove as they are close by. The mooring sits in around 7m of water and you can explore shallow or deep at this dive site. Up in the shallows, a series of pinnacles surrounds a central area of around 10m where you can find all wonder of reef fish and critters, when the sun is shining the whole reef sparkles and comes alive. On the outside depths can reach 20m and beyond so this can be a good place to see the bigger species such as passing Bull Sharks, Grey Reefs and Barracudas.
Shark Reef Marine Reserve – In rougher sea conditions we have the phenomenal option of visiting our very own Shark Reef Marine Reserve outside of our shark diving hours. This is the place where you are most likely to see Bull Sharks in their natural state, cruising past and taking very little interest in divers! However our marine reserve is so much more… you can swim down deep around the feeding stations to look for a prize tooth, or explore shallow and weave amongst our Giant Clam garden, searching the slopes for the small stuff. Our staff have spent so many hours diving this reef they know it inside out and will help you find whatever you are looking for.