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Looking over Jinek Bay from the cliffs that surround it, you’ll quickly understand why this must-see site in Lifou is nicknamed “The Natural Aquarium”. Through the surface of its beautifully translucent water, you can already see the magnificent corals that make up the reputation of this spot. Here, it’s an invitation to discover some of the most beautiful reefs of Lifou, where hundreds of species of tropical fish flourish and swim about.

Coral reef at Jinek Bay

How to get to Baie de Jinek?

Jinek Bay is located in Easo, on the northwest coast of Lifou island. To get there, it is better to have a rental car. Otherwise, hitchhiking works pretty well on the island. From Wé, the main village of Lifou, it takes about 35 minutes by car. It is recommended to use a geo-tracking application to find the site, though it is poorly indicated.

Jinek Bay snorkeling map, Lifou

Getting into the water to snorkel Baie de Jinek

There are stairs installed on the small cliff that allow yourself to be equipped and ready to launch into the water safely.

Baie de Jinek snorkeling tips

The area to be explored covers the coral reef that has developed in the calm waters of the bay. You can easily spot the coral bommies from the stairs and the different lookouts. In this sheltered area and after the absence of a beach, the corals developed only a few meters from the shore, just below the surface of the water.

Batfish at Jinek Bay

At this spot, the underwater landscape is rather constant. It alternates between more or less extensive coral plateaus just below the surface of the water (↕0.5m) and then deeper intermediate zones (↕3-8m), with sandy bottoms.

Jinek Bay greatly deserves its nickname of “Natural Aquarium”. Before completely immersed in the water, everything is already an incredible wonder: multicolored corals swept by sun rays, giant clams unfolding their fluorescent mantle in crystal clear water, sea lilies swaying by the movements of the water. Here, the decor is divine. Although some areas are slightly damaged, especially near the stairs, the corals are in overall superb condition on this spot.

Maori wrasse at Jinek Bay

Clown surgeonfish, butterflyfish, parrots and sixbar wrasse come and go on the reef. In the deepest areas, groups of hundreds of black and white damsels stand above the drop-offs. During your exploration, you may be surprised by a Maori wrasse (quite regularly seen in the bay), a yellowed-lipped sea krait sneaking between the corals, or a bench of convict surgeonfish storming a rock covered with small algae. The reef is also home to very localized concentrations of sea anemones (↕1.5-2m), around where dozens of fire clownfish gravitate. Sharks and turtles are not as common in Jinek Bay, but are sometimes sighted by the luckiest in the blue.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

This site is natural and you will not find any restaurants in the immediate vicinity. A water source is available outside the sanitary block on the site, which is often closed.

More images of snorkeling at Baie de Jinek in this video 👇 shared by Fongi!


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth26ft/8m
  • Water entranceFrom ladders
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersYes, but not always opened

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.