Do I Need a Wetsuit to Snorkel in Fiji?

As you plan your diving or snorkeling trip to Fiji, you are probably asking yourself, “Do I need a wetsuit to snorkel in Fiji?” Whether or not you need a wetsuit, you have to consider some factors in relation to the climatic conditions in Fiji as well as your personal constitution.

Do the temperatures in Fiji make it necessary to wear a wetsuit when snorkeling?

Fiji is famous for its warm, tropical climate that is perfect for snorkeling. The weather in Fiji is without extreme heat or cold. The average daytime temperature around the Fiji Islands varies only by a few degrees, because of the influence of the surrounding ocean.

The Summer, from November till April is warm and humid with calm and sunny days often with short but heavy afternoon or night showers. Summer temperatures average about 82 F (28 C). The warmest and calmest is usually February/March with temperatures just over 30 Celsius. The water temperatures in the summer are also quite high, in the warmest month the water can reach surface temperatures of 85°F (28°C), in shallow lagoons even more.

Winters, from May till October bring dryer southeast trade winds that can cause the evenings to be cool and windy. The average daytime temperature in winter is around 77 F (25 C).  August usually is the coldest month, temperatures can drop just under 68 F (20 C)  on overcast days. The sea can be quite cool in the winter, especially in the coldest months of August, it can drop to as low as 70°F (22°C). Then you can get cold even while snorkeling. If you then dare to snorkel at night, you should definitely wear a wetsuit.

wetsuit for snorkeling

Type of Wetsuit

Diving suits are similar to all other clothing, they come in short and long versions. What you need depends on you and the waters you are snorkeling in. A long suit offers more protection against feeling cold and protects the whole body from sunburn or sometimes itchy stuff in the water (the sea has itchy plankton at some times of the year).

Short Wetsuit

Unisex Short Sleeve 2MM Neoprene Wetsuit Men for Surfing One Piece Triathlon Scuba Diving Spearfishing Wetsuit Women Surfing (1032 Women, XXL)
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Fuction:Surfing / Swimming / Diving
  • Size:S M L XL XXL
  • User:Men/Women
  • Note&care:Please do refer to the size chart on the last image or description before purchase,order a size up would be recommend !!!

This suit is also called “Shorty” and has short arms and legs, it provides thermal protection mainly for the body.
It can be the wetsuit of choice in summer in Fiji when water temperatures hover around 85ºF (29 C). To travel light, that’s all you need to pack to enjoy snorkeling in the warm waters of Fiji’s beautiful coral reefs.

Long Wetsuit

These suits come with long-sleeved arms as well as legs, they are also known as “Steamer”.  I would definitely recommend a steamer if you traveling to Fiji during the “cold month” or if you tend to get cold easily when in the water. A steamer has also the advantage that it offers protection to arms and legs from rare but still occasionally occurring stinging creatures.

Material Thickness

Diving wetsuits come in many different thicknesses In general the thicker the wetsuit, the warmer it will keep you, but the more it affects your buoyancy and it may restrict your movement. A thin material equals less warmth and buoyancy but is way more flexible.

Most people are fine in tropical regions with a 3 mm thick wetsuit. A 5 mm thick suit may be recommended for the cold month or if one is quite susceptible to getting cold really quickly.

There are also lycra skins that protect only little against heat loss in water but rather provide protection from marine stingers and from sunburn.

Overall, knowledge about the waters and the ocean conditions you are going to snorkel in is important to find the best wetsuit to enjoy snorkeling in Fiji.  Snorkel gear is important so that you can truly enjoy the underwater world!