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Explore the Ghost Fleet of Chuuk Lagoon which is possibly one of the best wreck diving destinations in the world.

Diving in Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon

Quick facts

Chuuk Lagoon is relatively easy to dive as the surrounding reef protects the lagoon from strong currents. Some wrecks lie in deeper waters making Chuuk Lagoon a perfect playground for technical divers. There are two options for diving which is either land-based or via a liveaboard diving vessel. The area can be dived on a year-round basis but the best conditions are during December to April. Water temperature is typically warm with a range of 82-84°F (28-29°C).

Chuuk Lagoon and wreck diving are synonymous. There are many wrecks to choose from and many are easily accessible to recreational divers as they lie in depths of 100-130ft (30-40m). The visibility ranges from 40-100ft (12-30m) so at times, you might have a stunning view of entire wrecks. Having been in the lagoon for more than 60 years, the wrecks are covered in soft and hard coral growth but they are still largely intact. Some wrecks can be penetrated by divers who will discover torpedoes, engine rooms, Zero airplanes, artillery guns and even tanks, trucks and ammunition.

Deeper wrecks like the San Francisco Maru are considered to be one of the highlights of Chuuk Lagoon but recreational divers will only be able to see three tanks with guns right on top of the deck which starts at 100ft (30m). Besides wrecks, it is also possible, and in fact recommended, to dive at some of the outer reefs of Chuuk Lagoon. This will be to enjoy superb coral reefs and steep walls which are busy with pelagic marine life.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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USD 1,299Per person for 7 nights for 2 divers
USD 2,195Per trip
USD 2,476Per trip

What to see

Sharks patrol the waters of Chuuk Lagoon and you are likely to encounter them whilst enjoying the wreck dives. At the outer reefs, sharks are even more plentiful with many sightings of whitetip sharks, blacktip sharks, and grey reef sharks. Other pelagic fish like trevally, barracuda and tuna also frequent the reefs and sometimes the wrecks.

The wrecks are often littered with anemones, sponges, colorful reef fish and juvenile fish which use the wrecks to take shelter. Along the parts of the wreck encrusted with soft and hard coral, expect to find little blennies, squirrelfish, moray eels, porcelain crab, shrimp, nudibranch and camouflaged scorpionfish.

Calendar

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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

Area

Chuuk is one of the four main island states that form the Federated States of Micronesia. It lies to the west of Yap and to the east of Pohnpei and its capital is Weno. Chuuk state has a population of 48,654 people which are mostly concentrated around the historically significant Chuuk Lagoon. The Chuuk Lagoon, also known as Truk Lagoon, is a sheltered archipelago with mountainous islands and is fringed by a barrier reef which stretches for 140 miles (225km).

During World War II, the lagoon was the Japanese stronghold in the Pacific. Chuuk Lagoon was a base for much of the Japanese fleet; while the islands had been fortified with infrastructure like roads, caves and airstrips. In 1944, Chuuk Lagoon suffered a naval air attack by American forces. Known as Operation Hailstone, it lasted for three days sinking twelve warships, thirty-two merchant ships and destroying 275 aircraft.

Fast forward to today, Chuuk Lagoon is a famous scuba diving destination and possibly one of the best sites for wreck diving in the world. Weather is balmy with rains picking up from late April to August but it is still possible to visit on a year-round basis. World War II enthusiast will also be delighted with land tours available.

Other attractions

Take a land tour to learn about World War II or snorkel around the shallow reefs of Chuuk Lagoon. Deep sea fishing trips beyond the outer reefs can also be organized.

Getting there

Fly to Chuuk International Airport via United Airlines which has connecting flights from Guam.

UTC+10:00

Time zone

USD

Currency

+691

Calling code

120 V

Electric volt

A, 

B

Plug type

TKK

Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.