East Side Dive Sites

“Straight Wall”

This dive is on the outer edge of the long, straight fringing reef east of Nahnningi (Joy) Island. It’s a good place to see schools of tuna and barracuda hanging out beyond the wall. It’s also one of the few places you might spot sea turtles. This side of the island is very exposed to winds, so summer is the best bet for good conditions. 1-37 meters. Advanced.

“Joy / Nahnningi”

This spot is known by most people as “Joy,” which used to be the name of the island nearby (the local name of the island is Nahnningi). The dive is actually in the small bay-like channel south of Nahnningi on the outer edge of the barrier reef. One informant reported seeing huge mantas here, larger than any at “Manta Road” or “Ros”. Other sights include schools of barracuda and the occasional sea turtle. 1-37 meters. Intermediate.

“Nan Madol” (Kahnimweiso)

This is spot, east of the ruins of Nan Madol (not far beyond Kerian islet), garnered fame when divers apparently discovered a line of pillars on the bottom that they believed were related to the story of Kahnimweiso — a fabled stone city that is said to have pre-dated Nan Madol. The pillars were later proved to be natural coral formations, but the site is still intriguing. Anemones, pipefish, hydroids, and a whole lot of other reef fish can be found in the area. The problem is that the visibility is often terrible and the water can be very rough. 3-21 meters. Best at 18-21 meters. Advanced.

“Pahn Nahkapw”

This dive begins in front of the boulder break-wall off Nahkapw‘s western shore and follows the steep reef wall as it curves around to the east toward Kepidauen Nahkapw. Water clarity at this spot can be absolutely incredible and the reef is alive with fish of many types. Shark sightings are a strong possibility in this incredibly deep blue hole — especially below 18 meters. 2-30 meters. Any tide. Novice.


This wall dive is located east of Na on the outer slope of the reef. Staghorn and elkhorn coral, sting rays, sharks, manta rays, and the usual gamut of reef fish are what to look for. The water can be very rough in this area as it’s directly exposed to the northeasterlies, so winter diving is out of the question. 2-29 meters. Advanced.

“Nanwap Corner”

This wall dive in the Nanwap Marine Protected Area is located on the north side of Kepidauen Deleur, on the opposite side of the pass from Nahpali. This is a great place for sharks and rays, but it’s also one of the healthiest spawning sites for reef fish in Pohnpei. However, the pass (and the general area) has a reputation for rough water, and the currents can be intense. Mid-summer diving, when winds are minimal, is the safest. Best on an in-coming tide. Advanced.

There’s also good diving and snorkeling around the blue holes in the inner reef, where you’re more protected from waves and current. The coral is nice here and there are usually plenty of fish around. Best at slack-tide. Intermediate.

  • Entering the MPA requires a permit. Visit our MPA page for details.

“Areu North / South” (Kepidauen Alohkapw)

Drift-dives can be done on either the north or south edges of Alohkapw Pass (Kepidauen Alohkapw), beginning along the outer barrier reef walls and moving in to the inner reef. There have been reports of large of schools of reef sharks below 30 meters. Best on an in-coming tide. Advanced.

“Areu Wall”

Located along the wall of one of the inner reefs west of Kepidauen Alohkapw, this site is about the little creatures — invertebrates, small reef fish, sponges, tunicates, anemones, and soft coral. You can also find sea fans (18-24 meters), sea whips, white-tip reef sharks, and barracuda here. 2-34 meters. Currents can be strong at times. Best at 6-18 meters on an in-coming tide. Novice-Intermediate.

“Areu Avenue”

This is another inner lagoon wall-dive similar to “Areu Wall” but in a different location nearer to Kepidauen Alohkapw. Many of the same sights can be found, including sea fans at depth. 2-30 meters. Currents can be strong at times. Best at 6-18 meters on an in-coming tide. Intermediate.


We’d like to extend a big kalahngan to Mike Viti, John Ranahan, and Karino Olpet for sharing their in-depth, first-hand knowledge about SCUBA diving on Pohnpei — without which this page could not have been created. Images licensed from

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