Paddle with humpback whales and snorkel over pristine reefs by day—relax in your private eco-resort by night
Discover the tranquil beaches, warm, sheltered waters, and friendly villagers of Tonga, on our easytomoderate sea kayaking adventure in the Ha’apai Islands, a jewel-like string of lush, green isles surrounded by the azure-blue South Pacific seas. Due to its pristine environment and fascinating cultural history, Ha’apai has been designated a conservation area, so MTS is privileged to offer kayak tours in this rarely visited but stunningly beautiful archipelago in the heart of Polynesia.
For four days, you’ll kayak along the Lifuka and Uoleva islands, tropical paradises of low-lying atolls, expansive white sand beaches, towering volcanoes and colorful lagoons teeming with tropical fish. You’ll paddle along the leeward side, skirting the reefs and beaches and occasionally venturing out to remote, uninhabited islands, spotting turtles, dolphins and humpback whales along the way. Humpbacks migrate through Tonga’s waters every year from July-November, meaning you’ll have an excellent chance to kayak and even snorkel with them— We’ve arranged for you to spend a morning with a team of whale educators, observing the whales’ impressive acrobatic and unraveling the mysteries of these gentle giants.
Because this is an MTS trip, it aims for the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure. Paddling happens mostly in the mornings, leaving the afternoons free for snorkeling over magnificent coral reefs and ledges, exploring lush tropical forests, interacting with the local villagers, and learning about their traditional ways of life. In Ha’apai you will find not only exceptional natural beauty, but also the friendliest folks in the Kingdom of Tonga—papalangis, or foreigners, are rare here, so they are welcomed with open arms by the locals! In the evening, you’ll return to your secluded, pleasantly rustic eco-resort, where you can relax and enjoy spectacular sunsets and fine cuisine in true Polynesian style.
Beginners are welcome on this idyllic adventure! No prior experience is necessary (though some previous paddling experience is helpful), and our guide will show you everything you need to know. The paddling is not very difficult, and a support boat is always available for those who would like to take a break. For the ultimate South Pacific kayaking adventure, consider combining this Tonga trip with our MTS Fiji Tropical Expedition—11 marvelous days of paddling through the remote, picture-perfect Yasawa Islands.
4 days easy to moderate sea kayaking
- Discover the pristine Ha’apai Islands by sea kayak—no prior sea kayaking experience necessary!
- Snorkel over brilliant, rainbow-colored coral reefs teeming with tropical fish
- Relax each night at your tranquil, charmingly rustic eco-resort on an uninhabited island
- Visit remote islands, explore lush tropical forest, and learn about the traditional Tongan way of life
- Kayak with humpback whales—the thrill of a lifetime—and spend a morning with a team of whale educators unraveling the mysteries of these gentle giants!
Duration: 7 days Start Location: Ha'apai End Location: Ha'apaiDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Welcome to the Kingdom of Tonga
Arrive in Ha'apai, Tonga. Spend the afternoon relaxing around the resort before a trip orientation in the late afternooon.
Day 2 : Let the Paddling Begin
Today we start off with a safety briefing before we depart for the first of 4 days of kayaking. We will paddle along the leeward
shores of Lifuka and Uoleva Islands. Paddling Time: 3-4 hours
Day 3 : Uninhabited Island
Today we paddle offshore to Luangahu, a tiny uninhabited island. After a picnic lunch, we circumnavigate the island on foot. Take a refreshing swim and snorkel before we paddle back to our resort. Paddling Time: 2-3 hours
Day 4 : Coral reefs and Whale Watching
Today we leave the kayaks behind and board a boat for a day of whale watching or outside the whale watch season we will spend the day snorkeling, picnicking and sightseeing in the beautiful Lifuka Archipelago.
Day 5 : Uoleva Island
Today you will stretch your legs with a walk through low-lying bush to the windward side of Uoleva Island. Take a short paddle to the southern tip of Uoleva. Here you may follow the guides on a drift snorkel along a spectacular coral wall. There are also lovely pockets of coral and reef fish closer to shore.
Day 6 : Lifuka Islands
Today is the final day of paddling. We paddle north along the leeward shores of Uoleva and Lifuka Islands back to Pangai township. Return to Matafonua Lodge in time for a celebratory meal. Paddling Time:3-4 hours
Day 7 : Goodbye Paradise
A warm farewell from your guides before transferring to Salote Pilolevu Airport to catch your homeward-bound flights.
DATES: Best time to go: July - September Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
$3,495 (4-12 members)
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.