The Ultimate Guide To Diving In Chuuk Lagoon

The shallow, vast and beautiful turquoise waters of Chuuk Lagoon is THE most famous place in the world for wreck diving. If you are a wreck lover or love history, diving in Chuuk is a must. It should be on every divers’ bucket list. Read on to find out more.

Welcome to Chuuk Lagoon - A wreck diving heaven.

1. Where is Chuuk Lagoon?

Situated in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Chuuk States is approximately 1,800 km northeast of New Guinea. It is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and is the most populated state with over 50,000 inhabitants. In the Chuukese language, Chuuk means mountain and it is not difficult to see how this gem in the ocean got its name. Chuuk Lagoon, also known as Truk Lagoon, is a large archipelago with mountainous islands and a string of mangrove-fringed islets on a stunning barrier reef. This barrier reef encloses the natural harbour and is around 225 km in circumference. Weno Island in the lagoon functions as the state capital and is FSM’s biggest city.

2. What wrecks are at Chuuk Lagoon?

Chuuk Lagoon is home to an entire Japanese fleet that was sunk in 1944. Nowhere else in the world are there so many wrecks so tightly packed into a coral reef lagoon. In 1969 Jacques Cousteau and his team explored Chuuk Lagoon. Following his documentary in 1971 about the lagoon and its ghostly remains, the place has become a divers’ paradise. Divers flock from around the world to go diving in Chuuk. The shipwrecks and remains are sometimes referred to as the "Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon". From their watery grave, those ghostly skeletons give shape to a unique underwater museum. Many of the wrecks are "Maru" or merchant vessels that had been at anchor. Some had been fortified with anti-aircraft weapons and may have carried important supplies including zero fighter aircraft parts, tanks, torpedo shells, trucks and road supplies. As the lagoon has been declared a monument, salvage and souvenir taking of relics are prohibited by law. IDYLLIC ISLANDS - DISCOVER MORE FEATURED PLACES TO GO DIVING IN OCEANIA.

3. Who is the diving suitable for?

Chuuk Lagoon is undisputedly a wreck diving mecca. The calm, clear, sheltered lagoon is one of the largest in the world and provides relatively easy and safe diving conditions with few currents. There are dives suitable for all experience levels at Chuuk Lagoon.

4. What marine life can I see at Chuuk Lagoon?

Nature and time have softened and transformed Chuuk’s wrecks into thriving artificial reefs with incredible colors and diverse marine life. There is beautiful coral growth on every wreck in a kaleidoscope of colors. Brilliant soft corals, anemones and sponges now cling to rusted remnants of military glory. There is an abundant variety of schooling tropical fish life surrounding the wrecks and playing amongst once-lethal weapons! Even people who are not wreck diving enthusiasts will find it cool to see bicycles, pick-up trucks, tanks, torpedoes, guns, airplanes and much more from World War II.

5. What is the best way to go diving at Chuuk?

To experience the best wreck diving of this unique destination, join a liveaboard trip on the MY Truk Master operated by Master Liveaboards. This vessel offers comprehensive support for open-circuit extended range divers and CCR divers, enabling exploration of all the wrecks - including the deeper wrecks on the perimeter. READ MORE: WELCOME TO PARADISE - BIKINI ATOLL DIVING 101.

6. When is the best time to dive at Chuuk Lagoon?

As it is a tropical destination, Chuuk’s climate is fairly even all year round, meaning you can dive there all year.
  • The average temperature range is 30 °C to 25 °C throughout the year.
  • The more humid climate is during the summer months of June – September.
  • Trade winds come mainly from the northeast between December and June.
  • The dry seasons are between November and April.
  • May to October has higher humidity and rainfall.
  • July through to October has the highest rainfall.

7. How do I get to Chuuk?

There are daily flights from across Europe to Manila, and  you can take a flight to Chuuk via Guam from Manila. Guam is the central hub for all Micronesia flights and is an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. As such, all passengers travelling via Guam need to complete an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This must be done online in advance of your trip by visiting the  ESTA website.

8. What dive training will help me enjoy diving at Chuuk?

The wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon provide the greatest playground to either begin your overhead environment diver training or to learn advanced penetration techniques to explore every internal part of these majestic wrecks. Register and join the SSI Extended Range Wreck Diving program to explore the inner parts of the wrecks while remaining in the overlapping light zones provided by the multiple wreck entry points. Alternatively, if you already hold the Extended Range Wreck certification and engine rooms are your fascination, register and join the SSI Technical Wreck Diving program. You will learn, develop and master penetration techniques that will allow you safely explore these massive internal structures, heading into the darkness to witness and taste the history. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SSI EXTENDED RANGE PROGRAMS.

9. How do I organize my Chuuk Lagoon trip?

You can find more about Chuuk Lagoon on MyDiveGuide, including within our guide to Truk Lagoon diving. For more information about liveaboard diving in Chuuk, visit Map of Chuuk Lagoon Safari Ship to Chuuk Lagoon trip to Chuuk Lagoon Artillery in Chuuk Lagoon Engine Room in Chuuk Lagoon