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With its well preserved coral reefs where giant clams, clownfish in their sea anemone and starfish live right below the surface of the water, Tavanipupu Island is an excellent snorkeling spot. Nevertheless, the access to Tavanipupu’s shore is reserved to the guests of Tavanipupu Island Resort, the only hotel on the island.

Paintspotted moray at Tavanipupu Island
The paintspotted moray is quite common in Tavanipupu.

How to get to Tavanipupu Island?

Tavanipupu is a small island located on the eastern tip of Guadalcanal Island. Since it is a private island, only Tavanipupu Island Resort clients have access to its shore.

The fastest way to get to Tavanipupu from Honiara is to book a flight to Marau (about 25 minutes). From there, you’ll reach the island after about a fifteen-minute trip by boat organized by the hotel.

Tavanipupu Island snorkeling areas map
Tavanipupu Island snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Tavanipupu Island

The snorkel entry depends on the area you want to explore. In order to snorkel in the western area (area 1 on the map), the simplest way is to get into the water from the pier. In order to explore the eastern area (area 2 on the map), enter the water from the small sandy beach.

Tavanipupu Island snorkeling exploration

There are two recommended snorkeling areas in Tavanipupu:

1/ The house reef on the western part of the island, facing the hotel (area 1 on the map).

Around the pier, you will snorkel over shallow reefs (↕4-6ft/1,5-2m) dominated by soft corals and some patches of digitate corals. Some porous corals host colonies of hundreds of Christmas tree worms in all colors. Many giant clams are attached to the reef, which is full of blue starfish as well.

Coral reef at Tavanipupu Island
Tavanipupu Island coral reef is colorful, with dozens of species of coral and invertebrates.

About a hundred meters away from the pier, the reef flat ends in a reef wall rich in corals. On this part of the island, you will come across many species of fish, including regal angelfish, ornate butterflyfish, bannerfish, and several species of damselfish.

You may also encounter Orange clownfish in large Stichodactyla gigantea anemones. The luckiest snorkelers may spot a moray eel just popping its head out of a crevice. It is undoubtedly the best area for snorkeling in Tavanipupu, all the more so given that the sea is generally very calm here.

2/ The small reef wall facing the channel which separates Tavanipupu from Marapa, in the south-eastern part of the island (area 2 on the map).

The reef wall is located between a shallow reef flat (impossible to explore at low tide) and the sandy beds of the channel, with some interesting areas. It starts just south of the little beach, stretching over about 150m.

Regal angelfish over Tavanipupu Island coral reef
The regal angelfish is one of the most beautiful fish species living at reef in the Solomon.

The reef wall hosts many species of fish and offers a beautiful overview of the marine life on the reefs of the island. Nevertheless, be careful because this section of the coast is sometimes subject to currents.

Restaurants and accommodation in Tavanipupu Island

Tavanipupu Island Resort guests are provided with full board accommodation.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach or a jetty (depending on the area you want to explore)
  • Potential DangersLionfish. Some currents on the eastern side of the island
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsOnly accessible to the resort's guests
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

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.