The Barefoot Collection’s Barefoot Kuata Resort in the southern Yasawa Islands is in a particularly beautiful part of this string of islands. The view from the small island resort, beyond the white sandy beach and turquoise water, is of tall striking rock formations on Waya Island across a narrow channel.
Most importantly it’s the place to go to do the Awakening Shark Dive – the best shark diving experience in the Yasawas.
Accommodation ranges from beachside dormitories to safari-style tented accommodation and family bures. The rooms are all very well appointed, no air conditioning but there are ceiling fans in the bures, and the tents have louvre windows that allow in the sea breeze.
Breakfast and lunch are both buffet-style, and you will usually be asked to choose your dinner options at lunch (a choice of two dishes).
The dive shop here is an SSI training facility and offers all the introductory SSI courses if you want to learn to dive there. Diving and snorkelling activities are managed by a resident marine biologist, who also looks after the island’s marine conservation projects, so if you want to know what you’ve just seen, you know who to ask.
The mornings here are usually shark dives, with an 8am shark dive for certified divers, and a shallower shark dive at 11am for Discover Scuba shark dives. The afternoon is reserved for reef dives. There are over 10 dive sites to choose from, including Sea Fan City, Coral Garden, Pinnacles and a Cave Dive. The House Reef is also great to explore as a day or night dive.
There are plenty of other activities on offer as well, including snorkelling, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The resort is also famous for its Shark Snorkel, a shark experience for non-divers.
For an extra cost, a village visit can also be organised. A local guide will take you through the village and explain what is going on. Certain dress and behaviour codes are relevant so you will be advised on these prior to leaving for the village.
While Barefoot Kuata is on the beach, there is also plenty to do on land. There are some fabulous walks to do, ranging from easy to energetic. Many of these will open out on spectacular views and all will enjoy spectacular scenery. Caves, jungles, beaches and rock pools to name a few. A walk with one of the local staff to learn about the history of the island is fascinating, and you can also join a walk with the resident botanist to learn about the plant life.
There are other activities that can be enjoyed such as basket weaving or coconut jewellery making classes. If you have an interest, ask the staff and they will be happy to help.
Indicative Pricing for Barefoot Kuata Resort 2018
|5 Nights, Sunrise Beach Dorm, diving: 2 Reef, 1 shark , 1 night , 2 shore, transfers from Denarau (single)||AUD||1404||FJD|
|5 nights, Beachfront Safari Room, diving: 2 Reef, 1 shark, 1 night, 2 shore, transfers from Denarau (Single)||AUD||2489||FJD|
|5 nights, Beachfront Safari Room, diving: 2 Reef, 1 shark, 1 night, 2 shore dives, transfers from Denarau (Double)||AUD||1884||FJD|
|Resort Only Package: (Inclusive of: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Wi-Fi and non motorised water sports (exclusive of dive)||AUD||105||FJD|
|Pricing includes accommodation as specified, tanks, weights, boat, dive guide, Fiji Government taxes.|
|The per person pricing above is indicative only: we show 7 night with 10/12 dive packages at high-end and lower-end rooms (singles & doubles) for the purposes of comparison. We can give you a price (and availability) for any combination of nights/dives you wish to undertake, which will include any discounts due to you as part of that package, and any exclusions, or items payable at the resort. Use the [Enquiry & Booking] button to give us your exact requirements and we'll give you the best deal we can.|
|Training School Type:||SSI||Nitrox Fill:|
|Air Fill||Number of Guides||6|
|Gear Hire||Number of Boats||3|
|Gear Sales||Number of Dive Sites||12|
Kuata is one of the more southern of the Yasawa Islands, and accessible via the Yasawa Flyer or seaplane.
What to expect
Diving starts at around 8am daily. Tanks and regs need to be carried to the boat, where they are laid on the floor of the boat for the (very short) trip to the first dive site, which could be the very pretty Seafan City or the Pinnacles – well known for white tipped reef sharks. Entry is a backward roll over the side, and exit is via the ladder at the rear. Even after two dives, and a surface interval, you will be back at the resort in time to catch lunch.
The Shark Snorkel is very popular, and day-trippers will also join you, so often two boats are used to take you out to the reef.