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Nanuya Balavu Island

Secluded bays, superb snorkeling, 40 dive sites, excellent fishing and gigantic manta rays make this tiny island the jewel in the Yasawa crown.

Nanuya Balavu is one of the smallest islands in the Yasawa chain. The island features only one resort, the Mantaray Island Resort, leaving the rest of the land deserted and free to explore. Stay at the resort or, for a great day trip, take a charter boat here from any of the nearby islands.

The biggest attractions on the island are the manta rays that rest in the island’s lagoons between May and October. The channel between Nanuya Balavu and Drawaqa island is rich in nutrients and plankton, which provides a banquet for the rays. These sea creatures can stretch up to 22-feet (seven-meters) wide, but they are gentle and harmless to humans. Take a chance to swim freely with these graceful creatures as they glide through the water. Diving is not allowed around the rays, however snorkeling is accepted and encouraged. 

If you don’t get a chance to visit when the rays are around, Nanuya Balavu still offers plenty of other attractions. Snorkeling and diving trips leave regularly from the resort and take you to local hot spots. Kayak around the island or across the channel and relax on the many deserted beaches. The waters surrounding the island are protected by reefs and are perfect for a casual paddle. 

Jump on a charter and head out beyond the reefs to cast a rod. You might haul in marlin, tuna or giant trevally. Your resort will cook up your catch — there’s no better feeling than being presented with a barbecued fish that you reeled in only hours ago. For those keen to explore deeper below the surface, Mantaray Island Resort has a team of qualified instructors ready to share their secret spots with first timers and experienced divers.

The Mantaray Island Resort has dorm-style accommodation and a small number of private, single-room villas. Other accommodation can be found throughout the Yasawa Islands. Nanuya Balavu is about a three-hour boat ride away from Viti Levu, Fiji’s main island.


Guide to Exploring around Nanuya Balavu Island


Best Lodging Options Near Nanuya Balavu Island

See all 10 properties in Nanuya Balavu Island
Mantaray Island Resort CA $96
Reviewed on Sep. 12, 2019
See details
 
Mantaray Island Resort

Mantaray Island Resort

Yasawa Island, Naviti Group, Nanuya Balavu Island
     
    4.2 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Hi i think there needs to be more educational talks with the people who come to stay about them standing on the reef when they are going for a snorkel. There was lots of gests standing all over the corals when stayed there and that was only for three days. May be there should only be one point of ...

    Paradise Cove Resort CA $244
    Reviewed on Oct. 2, 2019
    See details
     
    Paradise Cove Resort

    Paradise Cove Resort

    Naukacuvu Island, Naukacuvu Island
       
      4.8 of 5
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      The property is absolutely gorgeous and the staff couldn't be nicer or more friendly.

      Octopus Resort CA $139
      Reviewed on Jun. 13, 2019
      See details
       
      Octopus Resort

      Octopus Resort

      Likuliku Bay, Nalauwaki, Waya Island
         
        4.3 of 5
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Beautiful location. We loved the beachside bar, villas overlooking the ocean, the incredibly comfortable outdoor sofas and all the activities. The trip to snorkel with Manta Rays was incredible, kayaking and the village visit were nice as well. The food was good, though service was often slow for ...

        Barefoot Manta Island CA $22
        Reviewed on Sep. 26, 2019
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        Barefoot Manta Island

        Barefoot Manta Island

        Drawaqa Island, Drawaqa Island, Yasawa Islands
           
          4.4 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          The resort was wonderful, Expedia were not. Service is over the top, food is fine and the snorkeling is perfect. However, when booking a room, I expect a room. Traditional Dorm had no mention of booking beds only and having to share with 2 strangers. Overall a great holiday, but a little ...

          Barefoot Kuata Island Resort CA $111
          Reviewed on Apr. 10, 2019
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          Barefoot Kuata Island Resort

          Barefoot Kuata Island Resort

          Yasawa Islands, Kuata Island
             
            4.8 of 5
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            I can not say enough great things about Barefoot Kuata. Anyone leaving negative feedback about this island clearly doesn't know how to appreciate Fiji. The staff was so friendly and really tried to make you feel part of their family. I stayed here for 4 days and everyone knew me on a first name basis ...

            Viwa Island Resort CA $341
            Reviewed on Sep. 6, 2019
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            Viwa Island Resort

            Viwa Island Resort

            Viwa Island, Yasawa Islands, Viwa Island
               
              4.8 of 5
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              The property was amazing and functional. It had a great feel to the resort

              Navutu Stars Resort CA $273
              Reviewed on Oct. 2, 2019
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              Navutu Stars Resort

              Navutu Stars Resort

              North side of the island, Yageta Island
                 
                4.7 of 5
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                My daughter and I absolutely loved our stay at Navutu Stars! The bures are gorgeous and the location is perfect. The staff couldn't be nicer or more accommodating. It's the perfect place to relax and get a sense of Fijian life. We were so sad to leave and we're already looking forward to our next ...

                Naqalia Lodge CA $130
                Reviewed on Jul. 30, 2019
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                Naqalia Lodge

                Naqalia Lodge

                Naqalia Point, Wayasewa Island
                   
                  4.4 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  I loved every moment I spent there. Basic in terms of amenities, but sometimes that’s exactly what is needed to truly relax. The cold showers took some getting used to but then I realized how great I felt afterwards. Really, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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